Today I’ve spent time sorting out the winter bedding from the greenhouse which are in need of transplanting into the herbaceous borders.
The Stocks ‘Most scented mix’ and the Polyanthus ‘Crescendo’ have been desperate to be planted, out growing their nursery pots so I cleared areas for them and cut back some of the perennial plants.
Our beds are plagued by Bindweed, this weed is a real pain, left to its own devices, it grows quickly, climbing up the nearest plant and choking it.
I try not to use much spray any more, but this time of the year (when not cold and icy) and spring is perfect to dig it out. Even the smallest piece left in will regenerate. I actually find it quite therapeutic and collect as many pieces as I can.
In between planting my plugs, now garden readies, I have put some more Alliums using my trusty Wolf Garten bulb planter.
It’s so easy to use, my general rule of thumb with planted bulbs is, whatever the size of the bulb, the hole needs to be double that size. The bulb planter has measurements on the side. Simply turn the planter into the soil with a twist, lift out the core of soil held inside the planter, then place the bulb in the hole, roots down! and then replace the core by gently squeezing the top.
The Phlomis russeliana, (Turkish sage) I leave in the borders and cut back in the spring, as the old seed heads look great with a dusting on frost and gives the birds somewhere to perch. The foliage is lovely too.
After going on my walk of the garden, firstly I could smell my favourite winter flowering plant, Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, it’s a real beauty, it flowers on bare stems and gives that sweet fragrance as you walk past. It is a must for any garden in my opinion, adds height to borders and winter interest.
The Fatsia japonica also was in flower, attracting any little insects that may be around. Its glossy dark green leaves really are something at this time of year, stunning!
Anyway, back to getting outside while the sun is shining and it’s relatively warm!
October is my favourite month, as I can do my favourite annual job in the garden.
A lot of people seem to be scared of rose pruning, but I actually love it. The more challenging the better.
Each year the lovely Rosa “Climbing Shot Silk” gets a tidy up.
Shot Silk is a fragrant, repeat flowering rose which have large double blooms. It has silky textured flowers with golden centre, with strong growth, (ideal for tying in) and dark green glossy foliage.
Tools of choice for this job are, my beloved Felco No2’s, I will be lost without these, (each year I send them to Felco to service them), pruning saw and loppers.
I try to reuse ties for the previous year, but having spare ones help!
This is the Rose before I started, the long whips that are reaching to sky are going to be tied in to produce new blooms next year.
I start by untieing last years clips and start reducing the ends to make it easier to deal with.
With pruning any Roses, always remember to prune the D’s :- Dead, Dying Damaged and one other I tend to include is Don’t know! So if I have particular piece that doesn’t look right, I will prune it out.
Reduce stems which could potentially grow next year’s long whips, always to an outwards facing bud, a sharp clean cut.
These pieces which are untied float around begging to be tied in, I loosely tie them in and then step back to see the finished vision, I aim for two long stems per wire to maximise flowers on each rung.
This is my finished rose. With the branches laid flat it encourages new growth to shoot up and lovely roses on the end.
And, here is a picture of our beloved Rosa “Climbing Shot Silk” it her full glory!
So that’s the climbing rose pruning done and now to prune back the other Hybrid Teas.
Enjoy October, the nights are drawing in, so make the most of the glorious Autumn sun.
Yum, I love this time of year! September seems to have an endless supplies of tomatoes, so I know Ill be making my end of season tomato soups.
I chop up the tomatoes, one onion and about three cloves of garlic and a few chilis. I roast them off for about 40 minutes and them blitz them till smooth and then enjoy with some granary bread, lush!!
The weather is changing too, I still have my fingers crossed for an ‘Indian Summer’ but at the moment in Suffolk, its seems like rain, rain or windy.
It’s still gilet and shorts weather for work, Im dreading getting the Winter coat, hat and scarf out though.
There are stunning flowers out at the moment, just walking around the gardens at work I have found these beauties!!
The wonderful Rudbeckia, it bridges the seasons between late summer and autumn, one of my favourites, easy to grow from seed and to propagate by lifting and dividing what the clump gets too big.
Sedum, lovely big flower heads and the bees and butterflies, love them. They use them for their last pit stop before the end of the year!
Leycesteria, Pheasant Berry, this border plant has worked hard this season with its long arching stems dripping with rich purple pearls careful holding those seeds for next year.
Anemone, I love seeing this lovely pink flower towards the back of the border, coming alive! With a slight breeze, they sway, carefully dancing learning the moves on Strictly!
And lastly Dahlias, how can you forget these? They are in my opinion the jewel in the crown, this time of the year the flower borders, I even have some on the patio, of course, keeping up to date on the dead heading will keep these flowering until the first frosts.
That’s it for September, see you in October.
Keep dead heading!!
One of my earliest memories is of helping my Mum and Dad weed the veggie plot and collecting chicken eggs from the chooks at the end of the garden. I grew up on a farm as a child and always had my own piece of land to grow and learn with, so I suppose it’s in the blood!
In my mid twenties, I re trained in Horticulture (Professional Gardening ANCH) and set up my own Gardening business working for clients in the Suffolk/Essex area. For the last thirteen years I’ve had the pleasure of working on a private twenty five acre estate tending to the grounds.
This year I’ve grown everything from seed on the estate. I wanted different and above all tasty and engaging fruits and veg.
In the greenhouse this year I’ve grown Harbinger, Terenzo and Red Cherry, three different types of toms, slicing and cooking with the Harbinger and a little snacking tomato, appropriately named Cherry Red and also the Terenzo which is hanging basket variety.
Also cucumber Swing, which hasn’t stopped producing and has a great taste, two types of Aubergine, Bonica and Orlando. I tried Aubergines a few years ago, they didn’t come to anything and the Woodlice enjoyed eating them before they were ready for humans.
In the veggie plot, are Courgette – Parador and Eclipse. I wanted a break away from the regular, (boring!) courgettes, so this year, yellow and green and round. Lovely flavours too, tonight I added the yellow to a veggie Spaghetti Bolognese which we all tucked into, ending with clean plates all round, great way to get it into the kiddies!!
Runner beans are in pots this year with six canes in each, I tried two varieties, Scarlet Emperor and Desiree, thought these two were good to try with each having different coloured flowers and growing in pots means they are transportable!
One wet spring afternoon after visiting Waitrose and enjoying our free hot beverages, the kids raided my seed box and chose seeds they fancied growing to sow in the empty cups, (a good way to recycle). They sat on my kitchen window sill to grow, the children checked every day to see who’s grew first and then we transplanted their seedlings. The Rudbeckia looks superb on the patio and will be planted into the garden in the autumn.
There is definitely something to be said for encouraging children at a young age, especially nowadays with so much focus on five a day and healthy eating and children finding out where and how their food grows.
I haven’t grown as much as I would really like to this but I did try Chilli Pepper Numex Twilight which was new for me, love chillies, great to be picking and cooking from garden to kitchen within seconds.
Once thing that never makes it into the kitchen though are our peas, we all sow them all together, watch them grow and when ready sit on the patio and eat them. A few are left now to save the seeds for next year’s annual pea sowing.
I wanted to know what all the fuss was about with Begonia Apricot Shades, to be fair I was in Monty Don’s camp with the dislike of these plants. But reluctantly I gave them a go, a few crept into the baskets and pots and they are ok, won’t say I love them just yet!
I am impressed with my patio Vicky Plum though, my favourite plum! Bought it last year and last week William (my eight year old son) and I shared the first one. Simply divine.
Looking ahead to next year, as I mentioned through the good and the bad, William and I are season ticket holders at our beloved ITFC, so we thought about planting and growing from seed blue plants for the garden and friends. There is a Pansy actually called ‘Singing the Blues‘, so maybe a good place to start!
Well that’s my first ever blog, hope you enjoyed a little insight into my world, until next time, over and out!!