The October Garden

Has it really been a month since my last post! October really does seem to have just flown by, and the garden has taken a bit of a back seat while I've been busy with other things.

The exceptionally mild weather has left the garden looking fairly good considering it's nearly November. Deciduous trees are only just starting to lose their leaves, and many plants still have flowers that usually would have stopped blooming long ago. I've been out there today doing a quick tidy up and cleaning out the pond filter and the weather was positively balmy!

I actually spent a few days planting up all my winter bedding and placing the tender summer plants into the growhouse and coldframe, expecting winter to arrive, but they are still flowering away in there and I wish I'd left them out a bit longer now. Never mind, the job is done and the winter pansies and wallflowers couldn't have lasted much longer in their tiny pots anyway.

The mild weather is set to continue over the weekend, and there is nothing to do in the garden except sit out with a mug of tea and enjoy everything before winter does arrive. Bliss, and well deserved I think after all the work that has gone into the garden during the year.

Now I will sit back and think of all the things I want to do next year to complete this years garden overhaul. I've made a list of plants I'd like, because, when is there ever not a list of plants a gardener wants! And plans are afoot to revamp the patio area, including the wooden furniture which has sadly started to rot. 

Until next time, Happy Gardening!


The September Garden

September is nearly over, and although the nights have got a lot chillier here and there's a bit of a nip in the air during the day, it's still quite beautiful and sunny.


Aside from fighting my squirrel battle I've just been enjoying the garden, wandering round with a cup of tea, drooling over the latest plant catalogues and generally taking a week off from any hard work. Over the next fortnight, I'll be adding my yearly mulch of bark. I find this helps so much at keeping the weeds away and it shows the plants off well too. It takes a while, but I actually enjoy doing it.

I am off to purchase some more bulbs at the weekend though, because I know by the time Spring comes the garden will be sadly lacking in tulips! Someone suggested sprinkling the bulbs with cayenne pepper before planting them, but I'm not sure if this works, or if it would harm the squirrels if they still ate them. The dilemmas of a gardener! This next purchase will be grown in pots until planting out time in Spring.

The growhouse is a little less packed as I planted out a mass of bedding plants I'd been growing on into the front garden. There are still cuttings and seedlings and I'll be trying to overwinter some tender plants in there soon. The coldframe is bursting with cuttings so there's no more room for anything in there.

The garden has recovered nicely from it's revamp and everything is growing back. What a shame it will die back again when the weather eventually starts to turn. The Hardy Geraniums are rampant although with more foliage than flowers, just a sprinkling of those here and there. The Cyclamens are looking great though.

I hope you liked the overviews and that you've been able to put your feet up a bit and enjoy your late September gardens. :-) .

You might also like:

The August Garden                       The July Garden


They may look cute, but...!

I was busy last week, planting out hundreds of Spring bulbs. I had visions of a wonderful display of tulips like those I saw at RHS Wisley earlier this year. Just gorgeous!

So I broke my back and a trowel, digging down deep into the clay soil to put out my lovely new selection of blooms. It took me two days, and I was pretty chuffed after I'd finished, sat back, rubbed my hands and thought 'Job well done'. Hmm, it never does to be complacent as a gardener does it, because when I came out the morning after, a certain something had dug a good proportion of them up. Eaten some, discarded half munched others. I could have cried. Oh alright, I did shed a little tear. I'm sure you've already guessed who was responsible.

Oh, they look cute, and most of the year I can rub along with them, even after they've broken three birdfeeders, knocked over the birdtable twice and generally rummaged all over my plants. But grrrrr, my bulbs...really, when you're fed and pampered all year round!! Squirrel family, this is war! Stick war.

Not the most attractive option, but it's partly working. I ran out of sticks and they managed to get into one little patch, and they also burrowed under the strawberry netting that I thought would be the most secure option, but the other areas are untouched. Sigh. I'm hoping when I start putting my yearly bark mulch down they'll be deterred a little, but I'm not holding out much hope. Maybe I'll need to leave the sticks in until Spring? I'm guessing I've never had this problem before as my garden is usually so jam packed with plants there's no room for them to dig. This year, after my revamp, there are lots of bare areas and I guess that is heaven for a squirrel.

Here's hoping I still get some beautiful Tulips next Spring like these stunners from Wisley.

You may also like:


In Bloom for September

Summer is still clinging on here in London. We had a gorgeous couple of days last week where the temperature hit the mid 80's...and I was out planting Spring bulbs! It felt quite strange to be doing that in the sunshine, but nice to work while it is still warm.

There are lots of blooms still going strong, not least the roses nearly all of which are in flower again.  This is Joseph's Coat, my absolute favourite rose. I just love the myriad of colour changes it goes through and it's incredible scent. I can smell it a long time before I even reach the plant.

Arthur Bell, still producing it's beautiful blooms. This flower has some apricot shades that I've not noticed before. Very pretty.

My newest purchase is The Prince's Trust Rose, a climber that I've bought to grow up the trellis alongside Joseph's Coat. The full blooms are lovely, but not as deep a red as I was expecting. I do find plant labels can be very misleading a lot of the time, but it's growing well so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Korresia is just about to flower. I'm looking forward to seeing this plant mature as it's a gorgeous rose but was in my front garden for the best part of the year so I missed out on most of the blooms and it's fragrance.

The Japanese Anemone Honorine Jobert is showing no signs of giving up blooming. It still has many unopened buds and seems to be preferring its new spot in the woodland border.

Helenium Mardi Gras has joined the late summer party. I LOVE this plant and have my fingers crossed it will spread out quite a bit.

Echinacea is still going strong.

And so are many of the summer annuals like Impatiens, Nemesia and Geraniums.

They're looking really pretty around the pond area and are cheering up the patio.

The Fuchsias are looking spectacular and more Lilies are just beginning to bloom.

The Sedums are out. This is the least floppy of the ones I left after my mass culling.

Campanula, flowering for the third time this year. It's such a useful ground cover plant.

The Cyclamen are looking great under the Willow. They're gradually spreading out to make a lovely patch here.

The Pickerel Hyacinths in the pond are still producing, even though I had to divide the plant as it was starting to take over. Funny how I've had this a number of years and this is the first time it's ever really done anything worthwhile.

Lastly, I have Winter Pansies and Violas now in bloom. I'm in two minds if I should plant these now or leave them for a few more weeks as the Summer bedding is still looking great. Hmm, maybe I'll put my feet up for a week and then decide :-) .

You might also like: