greentapestry : 'Double Dipping'

Sunday, 13 November 2011

'Double Dipping'

This 'double dip' autumn continues broken only briefly by the first frost last Sunday. Any thoughts of lifting the dahlias had to be put on hold as I was heading south for a few days. I have come back to find frazzled leaves but still need to lift them and find them a des res for the winter. Other than that most other things escaped damage and it has turned mild again. Before I went there was time to sow a few pots of sweet peas. The sowing I made in October was most disappointing as only seven seeds germinated out of fifteen. I am not sure how old the seed was but I picked up a packet of a new introduction 'Prima Ballerina' and hope that they fare better. I have never sown sweet peas so late in the year so yesterday I switched the heated sand bench on in the greenhouse. Maybe some bottom heat will encourage them to get going. I must order some more sweet pea seeds for spring sowing - definitely 'Matucana' but also want to try some different varieties. The catalogues have been arriving in dribs and drabs including the arrival this week of Elizabeth MacGregor's new catalogue which I am really looking forward to browsing through. Somehow online catalogues are never quite as satisfying. I have had a quick flick and am tempted by a few plants.

Himself has been busy this weekend relocating the bird box that we fitted with a camera earlier this year. We were hoping to be able to watch 24/7 live action from the nest but it was not to be. We were initially encouraged to see leaves and twiggy bits arrive and held our breath in vain for some time. Our most exciting moment was when we saw a wood louse scuttle across the floor of the box. So we have decided to try another venue next year and have finally decided on its location. The box will be spring cleaned next spring and a few starter leaves added for encouragement. Maybe there will be fledgelings to report on then.

Meanwhile the leaf sweeping goes on and on. I have been wondering when the leaves in the photo are going to relinquish their hold and where they will land. The tree - a cherry blossom belongs to our next door neighbour - it had lost all its foliage on the same date in 2009. So for all the talk of a premature start autumn is still going strong.


  1. I sowed some sweetpeas about 4 weeks ago in my my unheated greenhouse and am amazed that every single seed has germinated! I've never sown them in aautumn before, and now have to not kill them over the winter! I still have some flowering in the garden as we've not had any frost yet - tis a weird old year!

  2. Still no frosts here, dahlias are in full bloom, and the shelves I cleared for them to dry on remain empty. I gave up and planted the wallflowers and tulips in pots! Good luck with your sweetpeas, my experience this year convinced me that (a)I am lousy at taking care of things in the greenhouse over winter and (b) The Spring sown ones flowered at the same time and with the same vigour as the autumn sown ones. So I'm sure you will have great - and fragrant - colour next year. Enjoy choosing the new ones!

  3. Oh to have a greenhouse - I'm very envious.

    However, I'm sure it'd get so full, there still wouldn't be room for any sweet peas!

    There's something very comforting about curling up on the sofa with a stack of catalogues isn't there? Online just isn't the same - I can't add my scribbles for starters and it's nowhere near as comfy.

  4. I dont bother with autumn sown sweet peas any more as they get too leggy over the winter despite me pinching them out.

    Thanks for the reminder about Elizabeth McGregors catalogue. Bought some plants from her at Tatton so will have a look

  5. We still haven't had our first frost, I can't believe we're in November and the gloves still aren't out. I never got round to sowing sweet peas this year which I've regretted so I'll definitely be sowing some for next year but I'll wait until spring.


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