The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Garden Report 2007 - 19

October has brought sunshine.

The last of my bulbs arrived at the start of last week. I was mistaken in what was outstanding - 25 alliums and 30 dwarf tulips.

On Tuesday I got back out there in the afternoon when the temperature had risen sufficiently to make it enjoyable. I negotiated a route up to under the buddleia with a rubbish bag, trowel, gloves and fork - the alchemelias had to go. I made the mistake last year of keeping a couple, and they had obviously loved it up there and taken over again. Digging on a slope hampered by the buddleia is a little precarious, but at least the ground was soft. The only real problem I had was with a clump close to the berberis lower down as I couldn't get the fork behind them without being pricked.

Stage 2 of the plan was to plant up the foxgloves that had been thriving in the two sacks of soil from Anne that are still waiting to be dug into the high bank. There were two large ones and four smaller ones which I loaded into an old washing up bowl, and headed back to the cleared area and planted them up. I would recommend keeping washing up bowls for use in the garden - they are very versatile.

Stage 3 - I planted up the alliums around the foxgloves and all down the slope on the right hand side of the buddleia, where I had pruned the shrubs previously.

I then had a couple of days off - legs aching and other things to do. However, I was back out there again yesterday afternoon.

The verge had started encroaching on the small beds I had created along the bottom of rockery area, so job one was to get that back under control. As I was digging out the grass and weeds I found loads of baby heucheras. I went and got some of my small pots and potted them up, two or three to a pot. Over two dozen, and still more if there is demand. I then planted up the tulips, in two of the beds and in the rockery itself. To finish the job I split up a large clump of self-seeded pansies and replanted the larger ones back into the beds.

There isn't anything new flowering now, which isn't surprising. However, there is still a lot of colour in the garden. Spring (aubretia), summer (lupins) and autumn (gentians) are living side by side in the rockery at the moment.

The gentians are looking particularly good at the moment. I bought four different varieties last year from Lamberton nursery, which specialises in them. I was intrigued by the thought of white gentians but I think they are rather lovely.

But so are the blue ones...

The geranium is still flowering in the bad at the top of the drive, now well complemented by the schizostylus which are now flowering en-masse.

The beds I dug out in the middle of the long back are generally shadier and damper than the ones at the ends. This one even more so as yet another spiraea has grown out towards the road. However, the purple-leaved heucheras and pulmonaria are thriving in those conditions, so I am unsure how hard I should prune.

The hardy annuals that I sowed from last year's seed collection are still flowering. I will be back out collecting seed heads again soon.

The only 'new' thing to report is this oddity of a lupin. It threw up a flower spike, but each of the buds produced a miniature leaf. I think it is rather attractive.

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