There was not much opportunity for gardening this week, I had free time on Tuesday but the rain fell all day. I managed to plant out the actaeas late on Friday which gave a small sense of achievement. But I am frustrated in my early bulb planting as the long arm of Brexit has entangled itself in my order and I will have to be patient. Even as the garden falls away towards winter there is much to be done. Including finding six things from the garden each week. Here they are.
The rain brought down more of the persimmons and I doubt there will be many left to ripen but fortunately we had picked most of the apples over last weekend and they were taken off to the apple pressing farm on Monday. On Friday we collected the result which was 31 bottles. Slightly less than last year, possible due to us not picking from the Braeburn which looked as though it needed another month or so for the apples to get to a good size. We will taste the result today.
Although I didn’t get the chance to garden much this week I did have the muscle in to deal with two variegated box shrubs that had lost the battle against box moth caterpillar. I can’t say I will miss them and I now have two planting spaces to fill. I am thinking hibiscus or perhaps an amelanchier. Suggestions welcome – something with white flowers would be ideal.
Some plants are dogged survivors and although I dug out this aster last year I must have left a piece behind and it has duly fought its way through the echinacea to flower again. It looks quite good!
This is an unknown hesperantha has made its usual re-appearance and reminded me how solidly reliable these are. I determined to invest in some more and have my eye on a pink variety called ‘Sunrise’.
I really don’t grow dahlias in any great quantity but every now and then one makes an appearance in a SOS. This one grows in a pot and has done so for about four years. It’s ‘Blanca y Verde’ and is one of the few I have decided I like.
Darcey Bussell rose has suffered very badly with blackspot this year and I worry for next year. But it has been in the garden for about four years so I’m hoping it is well enough established to cope with the attack. The flowers keep coming.
Jobs for weekend in this garden will be cutting back the agapanthus stems and calling time on the courgettes and cucumbers. The tomatoes have finally succumbed to blight so were culled last night. The empty spaces on the veg patch will give me a place for overwintering plants that are being dug up in the border rearrangement. I’ve decided that my grass border project will have to wait until next year as I fear I was being over optimistic about the amount of sunshine the chosen space received. I’m fine tuning my choices to ensure they are better suited to a shadier site. I doubt there will enough hours in the weekend for all I hope to get through and Sunday looks like being wet. My top priority is to sprinkle some bonemeal around the fruit trees and bushes so that it is watered in by Sunday’s showers. I hope you all have productive weekends whatever your tasks are. The Propagator shares his short but seminal thoughts as usual via his site and hosts all the links. Good on you!
I had some time to do a catch up in the garden and rather later than usual I have cut back the last of the delphiniums. I was showered with seeds as the stems were cut back. I doubt they’ll come to anything but it would be fun if they did! Having completed the cut back I can see that there are way too many astrantias, which do self seed very well. There has been some pulling up but there is more to be done. The garden has a scruffy feel at this time of the year but the roses are coming through again which helps hold things together. Here’s this week’s six.
The cutting patch is just beginning to deliver the goods. I planted half with seed tray sown plants and half was direct sown in May. The May sown seeds unfortunately had to compete with the verbena bonariensis seeds that came through in the home made compost. The verbena won hands down and so that half was dug over and given to some lettuce plants and some very late sown cosmos. These are the China Asters which I really do like. Now I just have to cut them, which of course I won’t as they look so much better here.
The other side of the asters is a patch of dahlias grown from seed. This was ‘cactus mix’ and there does seem to be a good variety of shapes and colours. The bees like this yellow one.
I have several large pots of deciduous agapanthus, the ones that need to be fleeced over winter. They flower on much longer stems and look fabulous at this time of year. I have a record nine stems in one pot this year and I try to remember to feed them once a week with a seaweed feed.
All the apple trees were summer pruned for the first time this year. About three years ago I took the decision to bring in a specialist to prune the trees back to a good shape and I planned to take over again once that had been achieved. How weak am I? He makes such a brilliant job of it that I have decided to use him every year. And this year he did the plum tree as well.
I could fill the late summer borders with this rudbeckia, it spreads that quickly. But I reign it in every other year. It does cheer the eye on a cloudy day though. It’s ‘Goldsturm’. This I would cut for the house as it is so floriferous.
Yes, the roses are back so I am featuring Jaqueline du Pre again. So very pretty.
I have many plans to move plants around this autumn and will have to add some things in to take the place of some of the astrantias. I’ve made a start by, late again, dividing some bearded irises and there has been much reviewing of the wish list and checking of prices on the internet. I’m really trying to resist the sprawlers and go for more vertical height. Much more research to be done.
If you are also seeking inspiration then there’s nothing better than reading a few of the #SixOnSaturday posts. The links are hosted by The Propagator, who has got a very fab gladioli this week. Enjoy the weekend.
The comments on last week’s post were very reassuring. We all have those moments of stepping on, cutting off or killing one plant or another. I was most struck by the thoughts that this all about learning to forgive ourselves and that enjoying what the garden gives are the most important things. So this week, as the days shorten and the leaves begin to turn, there are a few growing successes to share.
A few weeks ago it seemed that the figs would remain green and would all have to picked off. Suddenly they started to ripen and each day brings more and more. Most importantly I think I am getting to them before the squirrels!
More by the power of nature than my gardening skills I have managed to grow a strong crop of parsley from seed. They were started of in a pot, transplanted into the greenhouse and a few more seeds were direct sown. Having a steady supply of parsley is a first for me.
Also from the greenhouse is a photo of those peppers I was muttering about last week. These are continuing to grow strongly and early problems with end rot seem to have disappeared. The variety is supposedly Long Red Marconi, described as a mild sweet pepper. But these have a bit of kick!
The basil growing in the greenhouse keeps on going. I’ve made some brilliant pesto and it is regularly used for cooking.
My eye popping aster is in full bloom. It grows at the shadier end of the border and even there I am beginning to find it a little too bright! I namby-pambied about giving this the chelsea chop this year. In the end I gave it a layered chop which has produced great flowers at about 50cms. Those stems that were left unchopped must be at 150cms now and needed staking. I had a nose around to see if I could identify the variety and came up against the great re-naming debate. I name this one Aster ‘Tall and Bright Pink’!
Back to those squirrels again. The recently completed wood facade to a breeze block structure at the end of the garden is a great place to perch and enjoy a different view. Seems that the wildlife are also appreciating a new lunch venue and bring in their own food! All our apples were picked and juiced a few weeks back. Perhaps we missed one at the top of a tree. The result of this year’s apple crop was 33 bottles of juice. Last year we had 73 bottles. I’m not complaining!
Mr P host of this meme, is having a busy weekend away from the garden and politely asks if someone could mow the lawn for him. Sorry Mr P, I can’t help out as I will be too busy reading everyone else’s posts!