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.
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.
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.
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.
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.