My Garden This Weekend – 18/10/15

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The arrival of Autumn has been more noticeable this weekend with the first flurry of fallen leaves on the paths.  But just as you start to feel sad you spot the first signs of snowdrop leaves beginning to push their way through the soil and you are reminded that Spring isn’t that far away.

With that in mind I have been busy planting more bulbs.  The narcissus and crocus went in a few weeks ago so this weekend it was the turn of Alliums and Dutch iris.  I discovered Dutch Iris, or Florists Iris, a few years ago more by accident than design.  I think I must have bought some in one of the bargain buckets at the local garden centre without really engaging in what sort of iris they were.  However when they flowered they were beautiful although a little stiff on their own at the front of the border.  I have since learnt to plant them further into the border so they grow up amongst the stems of early perennials such as Aquilegias.

Callicarpa (Beauty Berry)
Callicarpa (Beauty Berry)

I have been tidying up the patio which is cluttered with pots of perennial seedlings.  Some have been tucked away in the cold frames to give them protection over the winter whilst others have been planted out.  Some 10 Barnhaven Primulas have gone into the Cottage Garden Border along the edge of the bottom path and under the roses.  They have been grown from a ‘Enthusiasts Mix’ so who knows what their flowers will be like but the idea is that they will compliment the spring bulbs and add some real colour that I will be able to enjoy from the house.  I also planted out 15 variegated white flowering honesty in the woodland border.  I wonder is 15 is a little over the top given the size of my garden but hopefully they will add a magical zing amongst the young shrubs.

Impatiens stenantha
Impatiens stenantha

This week’s scare-mongering by the media that we are about to be plunged into some sort of ice age has focussed my mind that although it all seems quite extreme I do need to make sure that I have taken care of my tender plants just in case we get a sudden frost or significant drop in temperatures.  The Pelargoniums have been cut back and stored away in the greenhouse along with the succulents and tender ferns.  Their place on the outside staging has now been taken by pots of bulbs.

Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw)
Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw)

There are still some tender plants outside such as the Kangaroo Paw and a Burgmansia which is full of wonderful white trumpet flowers.  We have allocated a space for them in the garage and as soon as the temperatures drop to a point when I start to worry they will quickly be moved inside.  In the meantime I am really enjoying them especially the Kangaroo Paw which I grew from seed about 4 years ago and am so thrilled with.  Its flowers are quite magical especially when the sunlight is at the right angle and back light them.

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There is still a little space in the green house for one or two more specials but I am pleased with how good it all looks.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. AnnetteM says:

    Lovely berries. I had planned to keep some tender plants in my new little growhouse, but after watching Monty Don line his proper greenhouse with bubble wrap, I am not sure it will do the trick at all. Oh well, I have to try. Your plants all look well tucked away for winter.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Annette
      If you growhouse is one of the ones covered in flimsy plastic then I would suggest you use some fleece inside it to give the plants extra protection. I have lost tenders in them but fleece makes a huge difference and is much easier in a small space than bubble wrap. I also think it breaths better whereas bubble wrap produces lots of condensation which then leads to mould etc forming

    2. AnnetteM says:

      Hi Helen, Fleece is a good idea. I have the growhouse right up against an inside corner of the house so it is enclosed by two walls which I think will help a lot. It is very dark though so not sure how things will get on. Only one way to find out . . . . .

  2. Brian Skeys says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to have a plant like the Kangaroo Paw flowering in your garden that you planted as a seed four years ago.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Brian
      You are right it is a real thrill

  3. ghostmmnc says:

    Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! It must be very rewarding to be able to grow such beautiful plants.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thank you, I love really looking at the plants through the photos, you see even more

  4. Cathy says:

    Brilliant pictures of callicarpa and Iris foetidissima, Helen – and well done for all your tasks this weekend. I only have few outstanding things in pots to get planted now and all bulbs except tulips and ranunculus have been planted – these are the tasks that stare you in the face until they are done, aren’t they?!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I dont worry too much about bulb planting. The real problem I have is remembering where I was thinking of planting things and then coming up with a new plan when I realise there are already bulbs in that spot. I take notes in the spring but then I forget to consult them – hopeless really!

    2. Cathy says:

      And I have ‘shoved’ the rest of mine in today (not the tulips yet), most without due care and attention either 🙂

  5. Oh dear, are we in for a long hard winter?
    Love that picture of the berries though – gorgeous!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Rachel
      I am hoping that as they are making a fuss about it being a long hard winter it wont be – just as they said we would have a heatwave this summer!

  6. What a tidy greenhouse. Today (at least) you are the Queen of Neat!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Marina
      It has to be neat as it is so small!

  7. germac4 says:

    I love your photos! We have just finished a winter with lots of frosts so I am very careful what plants we buy…as soon as the sun comes out I tend to get foolhardy!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi CGS
      I always start of sensibly and then like you get foolhardy. Sometimes I remember I have little space for overwintering and then I see something like a Brugmansia and it is a lost cause

  8. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Gorgeous berries! We seem to be heading into a very dry windy summer! Haven’t had rain for a month so at this time of late spring soil (clay) very dry! Having to water and tankers lining up to fill for homes that don’t have city water. Optional up here as previously only tank water. My daughter has a tank for garden and also on city water. Sensible as usually we have lots of rain and a waste. Enjoy your lovely autumn colours!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Yvonne
      we had dryish summer but it was very cool as well as dry. Luckily we werent as dry as you seem to be, must be a worry

  9. Linda says:

    Gorgeous photos Helen! I have a couple of callicarpas in my garden, but my photos aren’t as good as yours! Well done for all your preparation for winter. Most of my summer plants are in the greenhouse now and my winter pots are planted. I am really pleased with my pots, so maybe I should do a blog post about them! Love your kangeroo paw flowers! You deserve to feel proud!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Linda
      Thank you, I play around on Picture Monkey which is a free online photo editing service. Really easy and fab results. Yes do a post about your winter pots. I’m rubbish at pots I tend to just have single species in pots rather than mixed as I dont seem to be able to get the balance right. I used to do great basket 20 years ago but somehow I have forgotten how to do them – maybe I over think it.

  10. rusty duck says:

    You are sounding very organised Helen. I’m tempted to have a go at the kangaroo paws. Impatiens stenantha is a beauty too.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jessica
      I got the seeds from a S. African company – maybe Silverseeds. You have to be very patient though
      Impatiens stenantha is from Pan Global Plants

  11. when to start the spring.?
    where I was going on a severe drought, and no idea when it rains to start the cropping season.

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