My garden this weekend – 25/10/2015

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It has been a slow weekend of pottering and faffing around.  We are at that point of the gardening year when you suddenly realise that you have to grab the opportunities to garden when you can both due to the shortening days and also the inclement weather. I haven’t quite got that sense of urgency I often get at this time of year when I realise how many bulbs I have to plant or things that need tidying up. I wonder whether its because I seem to have kept on top of the bulb planting this year.

Oenothera versicolor 'Sunset Boulevard'
Oenothera versicolor ‘Sunset Boulevard’

I am really thrilled with this Evening Primrose (Oenothera versicolor ‘Sunset Boulevard’).  They were grown from seed earlier in the year and I am hoping they will be perennial and not biennial as it was said on Gardeners World the other night! I love the warmth of the orange flowers, it is working really well with the Autumn foliage.

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Today  the sun was attempting to shine and although chilly at first it was a pleasant day to be outside.  I had to half empty the greenhouse yet again so I could plug in the heater and re-jig all the plants, again, in order to fit just a few more tenders in.  This year some have been brought into the house as I will never get them all in the greenhouse – luckily my youngest has moved out so his bedroom is available!  There are now only the border line plants to deal with.  I have been taking cuttings but I think I will lift one of the Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ and then mulch around the base of the other border line plants.

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The last of the bulbs, with the exception of a few tulips, have gone in.  I struggle to get Iris reticulata to come back year on year but I read the other day that this is because we plant them in dry and warm areas and this leads the corms to split into smaller corms and then a delay of several years for them to bulk up and flower.  The theory is that you should plant them deep in a sightly shadier location which seems to make sense.  I thought I would give this a go as I love Iris reticulata and I would be thrilled if I could establish a drift of them.  So I have planted groups of corms in two shady parts of the garden and we will have to wait and see.

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The other job I wanted to complete this weekend was emptying one of the compost bins.  Sadly I sort of failed with this task.  I have dug most of the contents out over the last few weeks and used it for mulching but I discovered today that the bottom battens of bin had rotted so I need to replace it.  The trouble is that due to the slope of the garden the bins are cut into the side of the hill and when I don’t empty them for ages the moisture rots the wood.  I also have to literally dig out the contents as I can only access the bins from above (i.e. standing on ground level with the top of the bin!) which is not very satisfactory.  It has been annoying me for ages so after a consultation with my eldest we have decided to build a couple of new bins from pallets, which we can easily access, and have them along the fence line.  They will be built in such a way that I can remove the front of the bin and empty them easily.  It will also mean that I can really tidy up the area under the willow where the bins are located.  Now the willow has been cut back there is more light in this area and all sorts of things are growing and shooting so it would be good to use the space better.  So that will be my winter project.

I think it is one of the joys of this time of year that as you slow down you start to have time to look and think and muse and decide on what you might do next year

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. “Faffing around”, now that’s a dandy description. 🙂

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I do a lot of faffing

  2. Interesting about the Iris reticulata. I know the most reliable tulips in my garden are planted about 20ft down (OK, slight exaggeration!). I agree with you about autumn being a time to think ahead.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      We shall see if it works, read it Christine Skelmsdale book on bulbs. A good read

  3. Ariel Imoto says:

    It’s so interesting to hear about preparing plants for winter. I’m from Hawaii so it’s perfect planting weather year-round.

  4. Matt @ Garden59 says:

    One of the reasons I like autumn is the chance to slow down and think about plans for next year.

  5. Brian Skeys says:

    It must be in the autumn air, I hope to move and rebuild my compost bins. There is so much to do in the garden at this time of year I shall have to make sure I don’t do to much faffing around!

  6. rusty duck says:

    A line has been crossed here today. I’ve finally realised that I am not going to achieve all I set out to do (as if I ever do!) and I’ve mentally moved on to next year. This makes me feel a lot more relaxed! I’ve spent the day planting hardy but homeless purchases in a corner of the veg garden where hopefully they will be happier than in their pots. They can be sorted out in the Spring.
    I shall try the same trick with the Iris reticulata. Drifts of them under trees would look fab.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi RD
      I have no idea if the Iris idea will work but the corms are quite cheap so worth a go

  7. I agree with your feeling of lack of urgency, the days are perfect for sitting on the porch with a cup of hot tea and watching our season pass; hard to use these remaining moments of the season for more projects.

  8. annamadeit says:

    That’s interesting about the Iris – live and learn, huh?

  9. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Pallets are used for so many things now! Good Recyling – from table tops, furniture, garden structures like raised gardens etc – walls in up market restaurants etc. The timber cam comes up quite well with lots of sanding down etc. Save a few trees. Crazy in NZ and many countries – our ancestors cut and destroyed our beautiful forests to make NZ another green Britiian – planted crazy plants like pines, gorse etc etc etc which took over in a kind enviroment – now busy ripping them out or poisoning and trying to replant into original natives! Crazy. After all Britian and Europe used to be covered in trees! and don’t get me started on Brazil or Palm Oil! What have we done to our beautiful Planet!!!!

    cr

  10. Pauline says:

    My Iris reticulata are planted in the alpine scree which is in full sun and very well drained soil and they are doing very well indeed. However I have just planted some more a couple of weeks ago in the woodland on a slope. I’m hoping the drainage will be to their liking and that the sun which they will get in the winter when the leaves are off the trees, will be enough for them. It’s a case of fingers crossed and wait and see.

  11. I like the sound of “faffing around” – except in our case it is inside, not outside!

  12. Anna says:

    Oh pottering and faffing in the garden are my favourite activities Helen. I enjoyed a day of doing so after a month’s absence from the garden. It was most therapeutic to say the least and much needed. Hope that you succeed with the iris reticulata.

  13. Faffing around? It sounds to me like you have been doing anything but!
    My bulbs are still in the garage. I will be interested to read about your compost bins as I plan to build some this winter

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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