For a change I can report back on a productive and enjoyable weekend of gardening. Saturday was sunny although with a distinct Autumnal chill in the air. I have had a to do list in my head for over two weeks now so I was quite focussed. First up was to finish planting the tulip bulbs. Last winter I had real problems with a badger digging up all the tulip bulbs in the main garden so I have had to contain my love of tulips to large pots on the patio. The pots had to be emptied of the Dahlia imperialis first. These plants are quite amazing having grown at around 5ft in just a year and I had to resort to lopers to cut the stem down to ground level; hopefully they will flower next year.
The patio is looking rather bare now but at least everything that needs protecting from the cold is stored away safely. Having planted up the pots with the tulip bulbs I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon tidying up the original woodland border which has been neglected completely this year.
I know many advocate leaving borders to be tidied in the spring but due to my neglect this year I had lost track of what was actually in this border. I needed to remove a couple of Deschampsia which just weren’t work along with various weeds. I think this border needs some reorganising in the spring once I can see where the dormant bulbs are. I need to give it a more coherent approach rather than looking like I have shoehorned in all my woodland plant purchases which to be honest has been the approach. However, I now have more shady space and to I can start to bring some semblance of order to the planting and hopefully show the plants off better.
One of these new areas is the shady bank which I mentioned a few weeks ago. This has been completely dominated by an old unknown Crocosmia which has been removed. There were already some ferns in the border along with one or two hostas. I have decided to use the slope primarily for small spring bulbs along with Epimediums and Ferns which I seem to be drawn to at the moment. I have acquired three new Epimediums in recent weeks: Epimedium pinnatum subsp Colchicum, Epimedium ogisui and Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Red Beauty’. These have been supplemented with ferns including Blechnum chilense, Dryopteris sieboldiii and Asplenium trichomanes.
There is a little colour from flowers left in the garden from a few late flowering geraniums, another new interest, Saxifraga, and the last of the Chrysanthemums.
Sunday has been a damp day with that fine misty rain that you can hardly see but which slowly soaks everything. Luckily I now have my new working area in the garage which I have to keep pinching myself about. This means I have spent a contented day sorting through the cold frames, removing old foliage and discarding seed trays which are just not going to produce seedlings. I am all for waiting for seeds to germinate but I know that due to pressures earlier this year I have neglected some of the pots of seeds and they have just dried out far too much to be viable. I need to the space to overwinter the seedlings I have as well as to house the seeds that will be sown in the coming months.
All my new purchases have been planted up including some Arisema consanguineum corms which I am hoping will produce wonderful seed heads in the coming years and some Narcissus ‘Little Flick’ bulbs that I ‘won’ at the Plant Auction last weekend. The last job was to reposition the hardy succulents that are overwintering in the garage and give them a water – although they are hardy I overwinter them under cover as I don’t want them to freeze in their pots.
So now when the weather is conducive at weekends it will be a case of tidying the garden and planning for next year. It is nice to feel like there aren’t piles of jobs that need to be done for a change.