September started off quite chilly and I was dismayed by how quickly the days shorten. Dark in the countryside really is dark. No street lights here. In contrast though the stars are bright as was the “micro harvest moon” (so named because it is the smallest it has been for a while on account of being at its furthest point in its orbit around the earth). We had a lovely week of warmth followed by rain and wind this week, but in that brief interlude I decided on another minor project. Well two really, but one will wait until next year. Photos have been taken in between some very heavy showers!
- Project #1 has been to remove the top end of the lawn which really served as an alternative pathway through to the raised beds at the back of the garden between the two trees there – Kilmarnock Willow and Contorted Hazel. I had widened the beds beneath these trees when I moved here and have mulched them with bark chippings each autumn which seems to help keep weeds away. Now the beds have been joined together and I shall buy some new stepping stones so I can still take a short-cut. I have a few plants in mind for this new space, but will probably wait until spring to plant any.
- In the spring I bought two replacement Penstemons for those that didn’t make it through the winter. P. ‘Garnet’ which has been flowering non-stop all summer and still is, and P. ‘Sour Grapes’ which has grown well, but not flowered. Until this week when I noticed one flower spike with the most beautiful iridescent lilac and blue petals.
- Another plant that has really taken off this year after being destroyed by the beast from the east in 2018 and taking a long time to regenerate, is this Fuchsia. This is a cutting from my late mother-in-law’s garden in Shrewsbury. A hardy tall shrub I was hoping it would do well here. Now, at last, maybe it will. It was the only one not to suffer from the horrid rust that all my fuchsias in the courtyard had.
- Dahlia ‘Edge of Joy’ has been far from joyous. Despite having dozens of flowers they have never looked particularly good, tiny snails have made their home in her foliage and earwigs have nibbled every petal produced. That’s it then. Mind made up. No more Dahlias for me.
- Cyclamen hederifolium which I planted under the willow last autumn have reappeared. Well the flowers have. The pretty leaves will come later. I bought a pack of white ones from ASDA yesterday which I will plant close by. I’d also like to buy some spring flowering Cyclamen coum for this spot.
- Spring Bulbs. Over 500 of them have now arrived. I might have gone a bit overboard, but I want to plant a load in my raised bed which is now made over for perennial plants and I hope that they will naturalise. Sticking with a vague blue and white scheme I have gone for crocuses, muscari, iris reticulata, and glory in the snow around the edges, with narcissi and contrasting tulips in the centre. Nothing has yet been planted except the bulbs bought for the shallow round pots which are designated for the courtyard – predominantly dwarf narcissi as they did well there last year. Tulips won’t be planted just yet, but most will be in pots. This year I am going for 6 different colours which I will plant separately rather than mixing several together as I normally do. These will be mainly on the patio, with two pots destined for the courtyard. And I also have last year’s bulbs to find a place for. OOPS! Maybe on the top of the tulip pots!
I hope you all survived the gales and thunderstorms and torrential rain that hammered its way across the UK this week. Not a week for gardening, but I did manage a quick look around on Thursday when the sun shone for several hours. Got to make the most of it now.
As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.
See here for the participant’s guide.