Just a quick garden update for those who like that sort of thing!
Work on the new shade bed is trucking along steadily. I have now rehomed all of Raymond Next Door’s unwanted hostas and potted up the broken bits to act as possible fillers elsewhere next year. I think there’s space in the nuttery for a few more but don’t want to plant them in until after the bulbs are up and I can see where the gaps are (every year I mark the bulbs then promptly lose the markers). There’s still quite a bit of space left to populate in the new bed and I now find myself casting a critical eye over the rest of the garden, looking for plants that would be better off in shade that could happily be moved in. There’s a rather overweening clump of omphalodes in the gravel garden and I have whacked out a couple of chunks of this as well as an over vigorous brunnera from the edge of the quadrant bed. A spindly silene from the path to the pond and an over vigorous white sanguisorba from the top pond bed that never quite works are now “definite maybes”. Mum has promised some harts tongue ferns and I plan to order some naturalising bulbs as well so by spring it could really be quite well populated. I’m looking forward now to seeing how it all turns out.
One downside of all this diversion though, is that the bottom borders and the pond and stream beds have not yet been cut back and I foresee a rather grisly few weeks in late November catching up. The recent rain has the ponds absolutely lipping full, so skipping over the stepping stones is a tad risky. This means I’ll be hauling all the clippings the long way round to the bins. I suppose it will be aerobic if nothing else.
There’s a surprising amount of colour still. Michaelmas daisies are glowing in the back of the borders and the, dahlias which were a bit sad in the dry summer, are now giving it big licks so I haven’t the heart to lift them. We even have a confused lupin in flower. There’s a warm glow above the pergola from the hips of the rambling rector and the acers in the library bed are especially pretty. Even though there’s been some wind damage at the tops, but below the hedge level the scarlet ones are a wonder. This is also the season when I remember just why we keep the spindle trees. Actual spindles remain in annoyingly short supply but the colour of the leaves is quite enough to justify their existence. We are only just beginning to see flowers on the chrysanthemum we bought last year. Keith thinks they are waiting for colder weather and at this rate I’ll be gathering them in at Christmas! The cuttings I took in the spring have all done well though and as soon as I know what colour they are I will move them on from the pots to find them homes. I’m also promised a few more from Kate down the road who has some absolute whoppers. Quite where everything will go is as yet unclear but space will be found. Maybe I could try a few in the top pond bed that never works – goodness knows I’ve tried everything else there…..
The unpacking of the cutting bed – now to be a flower seed bed – proceeds slowly and I really need to speed that up to get the lupins in. About half of the carnations and a couple of lilies have been moved. I still have the last of the carnations, a few lilies, two huge clumps of alstromeria and a lifetime’s supply of gladioli to go…I can find homes for about half of the perennials I think and I am toying with growing the glads in pots. Absent a strike of inspiration the rest are destined for the plant sale at the next open day, and if anyone wants to put in an early bid do come on down……