Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Got piccies this week !!

Yay - camera is back in the land of the living - actually the camera was always working, it was the batteries (fresh out the box) that were naff.So without further ado, here is the border from the potting shed first thing (almost) this morning

You can tell the mornings are getting darker as the flash came on automatically !! Anyway, today was spent mainly in the pursuit of more free plants!!
First off it was time to set about the various clumps of huge but seriously underperforming white geraniums that are one of the garden originals. These had been cut back last week and after chatting with Sally, it was decided to divide them up and plant them in a line just inside the border hedge - job done

Well not quite, there are two small clumps left to divide and replant but I ned to jig things about at the top of the border first.
I then split a couple more of the garden originals   - a hemerocallis which is now 5 hemerocalli (is that the plural - a bit like hippopotamus / hippopotami!) and one of the clumps of blue iris which now divided into 7.

The lifting and dividing of these plants has given me about 40 or so new plants and also gave me the chance to dig out some of the couch grass and ground elder roots that were enmeshed in the rootballs of these plants, I'm not daft enough to think I got it all but hopefully a greater amount was removed than remains!
I also potted up some more self seeded buddleia that I came across as I was working in the border.
Next I did some deadheading - mainly of the Scabious, Astrantias and Papavers, so all in all the clearing up of the top border should be finished and the border ready for bed next week. However, there are still some bright notes in amongst the dieback.

A couple of the climbing roses against the SF wall are still producing blooms

As are some of the Astrantia

And the Verbena bonariensis
The Bowles Mauve is doing what it does best and is still heavily in flower
And the Sweet Peas, although beginning to go over are still looking okay.

Add to these the various rosebushes covered in bright red hips, the odd oriental poppy, the lupins, and dahlias, and there is still some colour about the place, though we have yet to have a frost.

On the veg front, the leeks are doing well and the PSB is producing its first florets.

Elsewhere, the Savoy cabbage is ready, the last of the cucumbers were picked, the chard is still going strong, the tomatoes are still ripening though for how much longer remains to be seen, the lettuces planted below the tomato plants are now harvestable and there are still some carrots to be lifted.
The Petit Posy plants are looking healthy enough but something is eating the "posies" from the ground to almost three quarters of the way up the stem - mice are the probable culprits - and the garden isn't short of these critters - although I did see a wren today having a peck at the top growth - though it was probably munching a beastie as oppposed to the plant.
Anyway, todays harvest conisted of savoy cabbage, carrots, tomatoes (three varieties) Silver Chard, Lettuce,  2 cucumbers Pepita, 5 leeks and some PSB as well as a small bunch of Sweet Peas.#

And finally, if you remember the potting shed mouse eating the apple, well, to prove he/she/it has cosmopolitan tastes, here it is again this week - this time chowing down on a pizza crust.

And that's it for this week. :)


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

No piccies again !!!

Apologies but no pics again this week. I put fresh batteries straight out the pack into the camera this morning but when I got to the garden, the camera indicator showed flat battery / low battery power!
Anyway, the day started out dull and overcast and went downhill rapidly with heavy, almost constant rain and it began to blw a real hoolie about 12 o'clock and is still giving it yee-hah as I type.
Still no sign of the perennial plugs that Sally has ordered, but checked on the primulas and buuddlieas in the greenhouse and they are all doing fine. Started to cut down more of the perennials in the herbaceous borders - achillea (again) and a white geranium that has not really put up much of a display this year, This was a "garden original" and having cut down all the growth on the four large clumps, I think that it will definitely benefit from being divided this year.
Cut down the runner beans too, after picking what was left (actually quite a few) as the beans wil start to get hard and unpalatable with the onset of this colder weather. I also pulled up some scabby cauliflower and a coule of split cabbage, as well as a black tuscan kale plant that was infested with caterpillars, which after some peeking on the Interweb, looked like those of the Peacock butterfly. All of these went over the back of the garden to my newly started and as yet unrestrained compost heap.
After dinner I started to clear the small bed by the gate, removing the Sweet Peas and cutting back both the shrub roses and the Silver Pear Tree - the latter only having branches pruned where they were smothering the young lilac bush. After this, I weeded the bed and raked up the Lime and sycamore leaves that come in over the wall, tyen on my way to the compost heap, dug up some more lupins!
I had planted two Hebes in this bed - Purple Shamrock- and whilst one was nice and bright, the other which had been overshaded by the sweet peas, was just a plain green colour, so hopefully we'll let more light into it and it will catch up with its mate again.
The two buddliea "trunks" that I sank into holes last week still have fresh looking foliage on them but they are probably still living off what they had in storage so time will tell if the are going to grow away or not. The berries are out on the holly trees and the birds are filling the garden -there were lots of them about today - eating berries, apples and pears.
Ovcer beside the raspberry patch, the PSB is looking good and the first florets are starting to burst through and the leeks are doing really well and should be ready to start lifting anytime really.
That's it for this week - will get the camera sorted for next week.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Free plants a plenty

Late again I know but here it is now, First off as usual here is this weeks pic from the potting shed,

The borders are beginning to fade now and so it's time to start sorting out freebie plants and seeds.
First off there are the lupins - and whilst initially I was pleased to see so many self seeded lupins this Spring in the border to the left of the photo above, they have continued to appear all year and the lupins were in danger of smothering pretty much all the other young plants in the  borders, so a gret many have been removed. I have the seedheads  from a lot of these in bags in the potting shed - one bag of pink lupins, 1 of blue / purple lupins and an empty compost bag filled with seedheads of a general mix of colours. Ther is a bank down where the greenhouse is that these seeds will be broadcast onto in the Spring where they will be allowed to grow and spread to their hearts content (within
The next major freebies are the buddleia - not only have I dug up and potted up six self seeded young plants of the purple variety which are now in the greenhouse, I have removed two section s of the trunk of this one, one about 18" long, the other about 30" long and these have been planted at depths equivalent to half their length in the banking outside the greenhouse. Both sections have planty of green growth buried so should grow away and form decent sized shrubs fairly quickly. The reason for cutting back the trunks is to try and curtail the smothering effect that the original bush was having on the Governor Cheery tree which more or less dissapeared from view from Mid May onwards. I split some more clumps of Achillea Summer Pastels and these have been planted in such a way as to to hopefully provide more of a drift effect in the border than a large clump.
Other plants will be divided over the coming weeks, including hemerocallis, iris, centaurea and geranium.
I also erected the supports and wires for the forthcoming raspberry canes. Theare will be two rows each 5 metres long. The frames are constructed from deer fenceposts, chapped in til only 5ft remains above ground. To these are attached cross members each 2ft long, the first 3ft from the ground and the other at the top of the post (5ft from the ground). Wires are then run the length of the beds between the supports then additional wires are strung across the wires at 1.5ft intervals. The canes will be contained within these wires and the crosswires will help provide additional support for the growing canes.
 It may well be that when the canes are planted we shall enclose them in  a wooden surround / mini raised bed to make future feeding / mulching easier and then any canes that appear outsideof this  wooden frame can be removed  whilst those within the confines of the bed will be allowed to remain and grow on.
Anyway here is a pic of the finished item

I also sowed some Astrantia seed and pruned some more climbing roses.That's about it for this week. Back on Tuesday night. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

After the winds we have had all week I was expecting quite a bit of damage in the garden but the only casualty was one of the Sinflower Pastiche plants which had snapped at the base. Anyway, here is this weeks pic from the potting shed

The borders are beginning to go over a bit so you may (or may not) notice a few things seem to be missing - in particular the buddleijas have gone - only the base stumps remain and these will be cut back even further this year to try and control the size of the plants. There are numerous baby budds dotted about in the borders and these will be lifted and potted up for replanting in the Spring in the bottom part of the garden. I have also started cutting down various perrenials,, especially the campanulas that are aginst the wall and have started to divide and replant clumps of the Achillea, and will be doing the same with the geraniums soon too. There are various plants that will need moved either soon or in the Spring and Sally has another batch of perennial plugs due to arrive anytime so these will also be potted up toawait Spring planting.
After digging over the rasp bed last week, I now have the deer posts so will set to that next week as Sally has decided what varieties of raspberries she would like, although they are not yet ordered.
I also cleared a path through the scrub at the far end of the garden so that I can get my composting area set up ready to take all the dead growth from the borders.
The last of the Dahlias has produced two flowers and although it is almost two weeks later than the rest, I think it was worth the wait.
Also flowering this week we still have geraniums, echinacea, some achillea, sweet peas, roses, lupins, scabious, astrantia, verbena bonariensis, a coule of oriental poppies, erysimum and phlox. We have also managed to het some heleniums to flower - this might not sound too impressive but this the third batch that has been planted ion the borders and the only one to actually do anything !

Anyway, that's it for this week, back next Tuesday..