My Garden This Weekend – 13/10/2013

 Sorbus vilmorinii
Sorbus vilmorinii

Late last week I was slowly psyching myself up to tackle the compost heaps this weekend. A job very long overdue and now the temperatures are cooler it seemed to me to be an ideal time.  However the weather had different ideas and the forecast was heavy rain all weekend. I can’t complain though since the garden is really in need of a good soaking.  There has been little rain over the summer months and although we have had one or two days when there have been drizzle it hasn’t been enough to really soak the garden.  So I decided to  accept fate and use the opportunity to finish off decorating the downstairs toilet, a job I started back in September but that got put on hold when my mother had a stroke – she is loads better by the way.


The one horticultural goal I set myself was to get some more bulbs planted.  I wanted to get the crocus and iris reticulata in as they are the earliest to flower and so logic dictates that they should go in the ground early.  Some of the Crocus sieberi tricolor went into a shallow pot in the hope they might conveniently flower in time for one of the shows but if not I can bring them in the house; the rest have been planted out under the Abelia.  I also managed to plant out Iris reticulata ‘Frank Elder’ and ‘Cantab’ in pots again partly for showing, maybe, but also as I find they don’t flower that well planted out directly in the borders. As you can see from the photo above there are rather a lot of pots of small bulbs!


I am really pleased at how wonderful the Abelia looks.  It was moved here in the Spring and then shifted back a foot a couple of weeks ago to make way for the path.  I seem to have finally found the right home for it and it also fills a difficult gap which I have struggled with for some years.  Although I think I need to think about getting the wall redone!


The Cottage/Rose border is looking quite good considering it has been replanted in the last month.  It is amazing how much colour there seems to be although there isn’t that much in flower.  The majority of the roses have rewarded me with one or two flowers which is nice as they were completely swamped earlier in the year under other plants so I missed their first batch of flowers.  Even the Delphiniums have reflowered which is wonderful, although it does feel like the year is going backwards. As for the new path it was the best decision I have made in terms of the garden for a while and has made such a difference.


The Daisy Border got reduced substantially when the workshop went in and all the plants were either relocated, composted or bunched up.  The ones I really wanted to save where the Michaelmas Daisies from my friend Helen Picton’s nursery and I am pleased that they all seem to have survived being unceremoniously moved although Helen did tell me that they were quite happy being moved.  I need to assess the plants and work out what is what and whether they need a little rejigging so they are shown off better next year. This has worked so much better than I anticipated it would back in March when we started the project, especially given how dry it has been this year and I haven’t watered extensively.

Hopefully, next weekend I will get to tackle the compost heaps and do other jobs I want to get on with.  In the meantime I have been pouring over rose catalogues trying to choose  three roses to add to the Rose Border.



16 Comments Add yours

  1. Loving the daisy border and that path Helen, and what a stunning Abelia, clearly very happy. I have also rather fallen for that sorbus, such pretty slightly silvery leaves, not come across that one before.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Janet! I bought the sorbus for my birthday last year and it really benefitted from the wet summer last year. It is beautiful and the leaves are just turning, so lots of interest

  2. fairegarden says:

    It really looks good, Helen, especially considering that some things were recently moved. All those little pots of bulbs, what a treasure trove they are. I might be inspired to copy that, if you don’t mind. The better to see you, my dears!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi FG, my son built the staging a few years ago and I use it for different things during the year. In summer it is home to my succulent collection but they are now stashed away and it’s the turn of the bulbs pots. If very low temperatures threaten I will cover them with horticultural fleece

  3. Everything looks as though it has been very happy to have been moved to it’s new location! You must be doing something right as I don’t have that much luck if I move things. The bulbs will be amazing in spring based on the number of pots that you have. Glad that your Mum is on the mend.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Amy
      I work a lot of green waste into the border before I plant and I use rooting fungi to help the shrubs establish. That’s it really.

  4. Looking good, Helen. And what, may I ask, of the badger? D

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Dave
      we don’t mention the B word! I’m not planting tulips in the back garden this year and the bird feeders have gone so I am hoping s/he won’t feel a need to trash things this winter but I doubt it very much

  5. rusty duck says:

    I have coveted that particular Sorbus ever since I saw it growing at Rosemoor. It’s a beauty. Excellent choice!
    You have reminded me I was going to plant up some of the tiny Iris this year too. Oh no, not a badger… mice and squirrels are my nemesis. Thanks to them I can have no bulbs in the ground. A badger would be even more destructive.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi RD
      The badger trashed my garden last year in tips quest for tulips. I have replaced them with daffs this year which are toxic so should be OK

  6. Ricki Grady says:

    I love the term “rejigging”. You Brits do have some wonderful expressions. I think I will stick to “tweaking” though. Your words sound a little off when used by a Yank.
    I’ve started growing bulbs that way now that the garden is starting to fill up. That way I can see where there are holes to plant them out after enjoying them in their pots…saves slicing into bulbs already in place.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      hi Ricky
      I didn’t realise rejigging was peculiar to UK! I plant bulbs close around perennials and that way you won’t dig into them and the perennials leaves will cover the fading bulb leaves

  7. GREAT post and AWESOME photos!

  8. sueturner31 says:

    Hi,Along with Sorbus Vilmorinii..I have 3 other sorbus all doing exceptionally well this year ,loads of berries…love them.

  9. Pauline says:

    Everything seems to have appreciated their move in your garden, they are looking very happy!
    Your spring show is going to be wonderful if your pots are anything to go by, it will be so colourful and will lift your spirits if the winter is getting you down.
    So glad to hear that your Mum is getting over her stroke, it must have been a worrying time for you.

  10. Cathy says:

    We seem to have had some rain now, so no doubt you too! Good luck with all those pots. Your borders are still looking nice and dense with a pleasant sprinkling of colour too. How tall does the abelia grow, as it not something I have ever grown?

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s