My Garden This Weekend – 17th November 2013

Galanthus peshmenii
Galanthus peshmenii

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Asplenium trichomanes
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.

Chrysanthemum Little Red
Chrysanthemum Little Red

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.

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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.

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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.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    Come on now Helen! You start of by showing us a picture of a snowdrop flowering on 17th November – November! – and then say nothing else about it! Surely you are not embarrassed to be showing off this early delight before any of the rest of us have any snowdrops to show?! You have had a busy weekend tidying and sorting and enjoying your new space in the garage and you can rightly be pleased with what you have achieved – hope you have not exhausted yourself though

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Oh Cathy how remiss of me, the snowdrop is a newish purchase and is an early flowerer

  2. I’ve never resolved the conflict between tidying borders and looking after insects which might like to hide under leaves. Trouble is, all the wrong things seem to like leaves too.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Esther

      I work on the basis that I have other areas that arent tidy and the insects can live there. I dont want to be harbouring more slugs than I need to where all my precious spring bulbs are coming up.

  3. Anna says:

    Oh a snowdrop in flower – what a cheerful sight Helen. I’ve not bought any autumn flowering ones until a couple of weeks ago so it’s good to see what peshmeni looks like. The markings are most subtle and elegant. Are you overwintering the bulb outdoors or will you bring into your greenhouse? I hope that the pesky badger does not reappear this spring.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anna. the snowdrop is currently residing outside but I think it will soon move under coverage in the garage

  4. That was a good weekend in the garden, I look forward to seeing your woodland area evolve along with your other shady areas, though I fear I could find it expensive, you hunt out lovely plants. That Asplenium trichomanes, for instance, is very pretty. I have temporarily sworn off epimediums as there is still no sign of life from the ones I planted early this year.

  5. Wow this garden looks amazing, I’ve not had much chance to do any gardening since I moved out here to Bulgaria but nice my house is finished being sorted out il have a huge garden to finally carry on with some serious gardening.

  6. Wow this garden looks amazing, I’ve not had much chance to do any gardening since I moved out here to Bulgaria but nice my house is finished being sorted out il have a huge garden to finally carry on with some serious gardening.

    Sorry for the repeat message I listed my site as your after copying the link off a friend and didn’t put my gardening blog there, sorry

  7. lizjwells46 says:

    Hello Helen,
    I was interested to hear that you grow Dahlia Imperialis too. I grow it and now is its second year from seed. The trouble is that it wants to escape through the greenhouse roof. I wonder if anyone has got one to flower in this country.
    Is your snowdrop Galanthus elwesyii ‘Barnes’?
    Nice to read your blog; I’m new to blogging but it is great fun getting in touch with fellow enthusiasts..
    Chloris

  8. 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.

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.

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