Back home after a fortnight's holiday to find a cobweb festooned greenhouse, cuttings that have got on with their business silently sending out roots, the first piles of discarded leaves and gleaming red berries which have appeared out of nowhere. The allotment remains undiscovered terrain until tomorrow and goodness knows what has been going on there whilst my back has been turned. New seed catalogues have landed on the doormat along with some gardening magazines. There seems to be a myriad of jobs to catch up on but for once the weather looks as if it is going to oblige with predictions of the warmest spell of early autumn weather for some twenty five years! What an unexpected surprise. So this week feeling reinvigorated after breathing in both sea and country air I am going to :
sort out the cold frame and make sure that all pots are labeled before the onset of winter. No more guessing games next spring.
make sure that I sort out and send off my spring bulb orders. This year I am going to be restrained and not bite off more than I can chew.
get my order off for some garlic cloves.
start making some inroad into eating some of the potatoes which I harvested from the allotment before we went away.
make a list of what will need sheltering in the greenhouse 'ere the winter storms begin.'
start making inroads into clearing one of the raised beds at the allotment which has had permanent planting in up to now.
check to see whether there are any seeds that can be saved.
gently brush away those cobwebs as they can prevent overwintering butterfly chrysalis from emerging in the spring.
Think that's enough for one week. What are your plans for early autumn?
I have been spending a few days in the fair county of Kent (often known as
'The Garden of England' because of its abundance of orchards and hops), hence my recent silence both here and commenting on other blogs. Just happened to stray over the border into East Sussex to visit Great Dixter, which after many years of wanting to visit more than lived up to all expectations! A sneak preview above and more to follow when normal service is resumed shortly.
Last September himself and I holidayed in North Wales. I hurt my knee not long before we went and was in horrible pain. As the week went on I had to use a stick to hurtle myself about. However we still managed to visit the highest garden open to the public in North Wales, which I wrote about here and homeward bound we made haste for Powis Castle and its gardens. Here I hopped about and imagined the work involved in maintaining these hedges to the highest standard!
Fashionably late as usual here is my 'End of Month View' post - in real life I am one of those people who is completely neurotic about timekeeping. Despite not wearing a watch for the last quarter of a century or so, I arrive early for appointments and am terribly impatient of those who do not arrive on time. I am working at being more tolerant.
Well here we are at the end of another month and as you can see the border is shrieking out colour wise. My senses are offended and the occupants are going, going, gone! I have realised that apart from the colour combinations that most of the plants are too tall for where they have been planted. The chocolate cosmos, day lilies and osteospernum and geraniums are staying put but the penstemons and dahlias are headed elsewhere. The dwarf French beans are just a one season wonder - surplus to room at the allotment I was reluctant to consign them to the compost heap so stuck them in the border. I have some thyme and a white parahebe to plant as well as the purple campanula in a pot which has crept into the above photo. I am looking for not too tall grasses and as yet other unidentified companions to fill in the gaps.
What may not be obvious from these photos is that there is a four foot or so drop to the lawn below, where there is another border, so the dahlias and penstemons are either headed for the lower deck and/or to grace the allotment.
With a special thanks to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener' who came up with the idea of a critical monthly review and also this month to Monty Don, who imparted some succinct but most useful advice on 'Gardeners' World' last Friday. Deadheading dahlias has always been a bit of a mystery to me but Monty has shed light on the matter. If the bud is round it is still to flower, if pointed time for the snip. I finally now know what I am doing and am pleased to report that I am no longer feeling spent, squelchy flowers.
Of the September sun: his golden gleams On gaudy flowers shine, that prank the rows Of high-grown hollyhocks, and all tall show That Autumn flaunteth in his bushy bowers; Where tomtits, hanging from the drooping heads Of giant sunflowers, peck the nutty seeds; An in the feathery aster bees on wing Seize and set free the honied flowers, Till thousand stars leap with their visiting: While ever across the path mazily flit, Unpiloted in the sun, The dreamy butterflies With dazzling colours powdered and soft glooms, White, black and crimson stripes, and peacock eyes, Or on change flowers sit, With idle effort plundering one by one The nectaries of deepest-throated blooms."
~ 'The Garden in September ' - Robert Bridges
This post has been inspired by Carolyn Choi over at Sweet Home And Garden Chicago. Carolyn's blog is presently closed, as she has moved from Chicago to be nearer loved family members in Carolina. I hope that the move goes well for her and hope that we hear about her new garden in the future. In the meantime as I have derived so much pleasure from Garden Bloggers Muse Day I will be continuing with a monthly muse.