For me November has been a sunny month but the mists of autumn arrived on Friday. The softened light wrapped itself around the garden and the muted colours blended together like a good Harris tweed. I loved it. Today the skies are blue again, a brief respite as next week promises a good blast of winter chill. The gardening year is moving on.
I had the opportunity to be out in the garden this week and my bulb planting success rate increased. I started out with 258 to plant. I put away the ‘Mount Everest’ Alliums and Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’ last week, leaving me with 240 bulbs. This week the extra Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ went in along with most of the Thalia. Planting the yellow tulip ‘World Friendship’ in the narrow border led to a little swearing as I encountered one or two of last year’s friends. I took a rain check on them for another day. So I have 106 tulips to go, 10 Thalia and 50 of the tiny allium sphaerocephalon. I plan to get them in before the cold spell arrives.
It was a week of tidying up and fond farewells were said to some old friends. The last of zinnias and cosmos went to the compost heap. The verbena bonariensis were brought back in check with self seeders despatched to the heap or relocated. I now have a clear patch in the south east facing border for 60 of those extra tulips and the remaining allium sphaerocephalon. I’m feeling the need for an anchor plant in this corner, something that would work well with the trachelospermum jasminoides. Suggestions welcome! It’s a sunny corner as it also picks up some afternoon sun from the west.
Most of the leaves have fallen from my trees and the leaf pile is growing steadily. There are still plenty to come as the leaves on the trees in neighbouring gardens are still hanging on. Whilst I am not a regular gardening diyer I did turn my hand and trusty staple gun to producing this leaf bin. Say no more!
At this time of year my thoughts turn to plans for next year. After two and half years in this new garden I am getting round to the north facing border. This photo shows the section that is currently home to a stand of blackcurrant bushes. I love blackcurrants but I do also have another stand in the veg plot so the ruthless gardener is going to make an appearance and these will go to be replaced by a planting of white shade lovers completely inspired by a Joe Swift article in the August edition of Gardeners’ world. Watch this space.
Also on the project list is a new compost area. The current heaps are in crumbling brick bays. I’ve emptied out two sections and installed a builder’s bag nearby to take the new pile. Once the other two sections are empty I will be calling in some muscle to knock down and wheel away the bricks. Then Father Christmas will bring me some new wooden bins – I’ve had an early word!
I’m looking forward to the bricks going as I will be getting a skip, which, perhaps sadly, I always find very exciting! I am inspired by One man and his garden trowel, a fellow sixer to share with you ‘down the side of my shed’. Hiding beneath those autumnal leaves is a great collection of old paving slabs and miscellaneous bits of metal excavated from the garden over the year. Once the skip arrives it will indeed be farewell old friends!
Good luck with your garden plans. Find out what everyone else is up to by checking in with Mr P. All the links to SOS appear throughout the day.