Autumn has arrived and a sense of panic marred my gardening today. With evening gardening over due to the shortening days and a wet day yesterday, I felt an unexpected sense of urgency in the garden today. To such an extent that I found myself not enjoying myself at all but this may be tangled up with the pervasive feeling of unhappiness I am experiencing currently – which I know is hardly surprising and I need to be kind to myself.
With cooler temperatures forecast the tender plants were the priority. I am in a bit of a quandary at the moment since I am using the greenhouse for my alpine bulbs which presumably means that this space won’t be very helpful for overwintering the tender perennials. I intend to keep the greenhouse just frost-free, or even cold, and the door will be open on warmer and sunnier days and I suspect this won’t be good for the succulents and pelargoniums. There is part of me which thinks “give it a go and see what happens”. I’m not emotionally attached to any of the plants so if I lose them I won’t be heartbroken but then my sensible and risk averse head kicks in and I wonder how to accommodate the diverse range of plants I have accumulated in recent years. The solution, at the moment, is that I have tided up my work space in the garage and all the pelargoniums are now stored in there by the window where they will get lots of light. The tender succulents are currently in the greenhouse whilst I come up with a better solution. I only ever keep the greenhouse frost-free and they have always been fine so I wonder if I corral them in one area and give them some extra
protection with fleece whether that will be sufficient. The rest of the borderline plants in pots have been collected on to the patio so they can be quickly put under cover if a frost is forecast. There are still some planted out but again I am thinking of risking them to see what happens. Bob Brown told me the other week that he thought if you planted them deep enough and mulched plants you didn’t expect to survive do. I have also heard John Massey say the same so I might give it a go.
As I collected the pots up I was deeply conscious of the fallen leaves which weren’t present last week and how much I still wanted to achieve in the garden to prepare it for Spring and finish off projects before Winter commences. Then in the next breath I experience a strong feeling of just needing to give up and ignore it all. There are areas of the garden where I still feel very strongly that the planting could be better. I spent some time talking to my sons about my loss of confidence in my horticultural abilities, how the borders don’t replicate the images in my head and our conclusion was that writing about the garden on this blog may be partly to blame. I have always shared my plans and thoughts about the borders and in the last few years on a weekly basis, much as I have done today. I have always tried to treat the blog as a record for myself but at the moment, in my heightened emotional state, I am feeling quite vulnerable and sensitive so it may be that the garden won’t appear here for a while until I am feeling a bit more positive and confident.