It has been a delightful weekend, with temperatures reaching 10C, mild for the time of year and the sun shining in a clear blue sky.
Sadly this idyllic gardening weather was tainted by one of my neighbours, who despite having a handkerchief of a garden, seems to possess and use every sort of petrol driven tool you can think of – this weekend it was the leafblower! I have incredibly sensitive hearing which hones on to distant noises rather than noises nearer and drives me mad so I retreated to the front garden and cut back the perennials. This was a long overdue job so I was quite pleased to have put the front garden to bed, so to speak, for the winter.
Next up was a tidy up of the greenhouse. I had put all the plants I want to overwinter in the greenhouse a few weeks, possibly even a month, ago but it was in chaos and needed a good sort out. I also wanted to put some new gravel in the gravel trays as I find this makes a huge difference to the watering needed. A half-hearted effort of cleaning the glass was made with me washing the panes from the waist up inside and out – sometimes I pull all the staging out and do it properly but the afternoon was already advancing.
I am rather pleased with the succulent collection I have accumulated over the last couple of years. There are more hiding out the winter in the garage but these are the most tender and live in the greenhouse for the winter which is kept frost-free.
Wandering up the garden I was thrilled to discover this Iris unguicularis ‘Water Butt’ flowering in the conifer border. It was only planted out a month or so ago and I have to admit that the rhizomes which arrived in the green from Avon Bulbs did sit for rather too long waiting to be planted. Such as wonderful iridescent blue although sadly no fragrance which apparently it should have.
This morning I cracked on as the sun was shining and it was nice and quiet. For a while I have been thinking about moving an Azalea and Rhododendron to the top slope where there is a gap crying out for some evergreen shrubs. Both plants have been struggling at the back of the large woodland border where I think it is rather too dry for them and they are in competition with other larger shrubs for the moisture. I added a whole bag of ericaceous compost although the soil in the garden is generally acidic enough for these plants. Fingers crossed the shrubs will establish and start to thrive but I think I will have to keep a close eye on them especially moisture wise.
I still had some energy so I started tidying up the Bog Garden. I said a while ago that the bog garden isn’t working since the old liner isn’t retaining enough moisture. I am going to remove the ligularia which has struggled for a few years and a few other moisture loving plants which also look a little sad. I am currently contemplating planting two camellias I have in this bed – one is in a pot on the patio and is doing well but is outgrowing its pot and is awkward to protect from low temperatures; the other is on the top slope but the fatsia that was planted near it at the same time is taking most of the moisture so the camellia is Ok but not flowering. I think that by moving them to the old bog garden they will do better but I need to do a little research first.
This afternoon saw the power mad neighbour back to his old tricks plus I had worn myself out earlier so I sowed some narcissus and allium seeds and put my feet up with a seed catalogue.