FIN DE SAISON! – or it is for selling activity! Plus the last of the big cut flower displays going out.

Still much work of muddy monotony clearing and sorting and tucking the containerised plants up for the winter. This year the barn will come into play with a ‘daylight’ strip light, triumphantly installed from scratch by mother and daughter team, plus lots of white paint, should be bright enough to avoid getting too leggy in dormant months. Having saved hard all summer the replacement for the Storm Doris Tunnel disaster is up and running, full of over wintering annual plug plants – didn’t quite get them in the open  ground as planned. In my latest innovation I’ve built a slightly crap, bamboo frame over the warm benches to hold fleece etc off the seedlings. and with so much concrete and rope etc etc over the whole tunnel    that it would take a tornado  …… perhaps shouldn’t tempt fate?

Outside the Nerines, snapdragons . schizostylis and  dahlias are all stlll  going strong!

       

 

Plus some perky lupins with no sense of the season brightening things up! I now have 76 beds dug and collapsing among them the other day it has finally dawned on me that the task may be beyond one half person……….!  I am going to add Mypex ground cover wherever I can on the banks to stop the dreaded tentacles of twitch invading so much which will help but other than that there is not much I can do.

 

More perennials are in which is excellent to provide more divisions and cuttings for next year – kniphofia rooperi, centurea, gaura,  3 sorts of santolina, Shasta daisies, salvias en masse, diascia , crocosmia, rudbeckia   hemerocallis and lots of cheery geums for the cut flowers,.

      Crocosmia and disascia Hopleys (right)

Following the eelworm disaster I have planted out some new  good healthy penstemon plants, 2 each of 5 varieties as sacrificial lambs – a long way from any other fetid wormy beds of old plants, so if its in the whole field at least I will know……….not very scientific I know and I’m now not 100% that eelworms were the culprit as the plants I chucked away in to the ditch of desolation are growing cheerily away with good clean foliage and lots of flowers, SO…… greatly daring, I am rooting cuttings of these………..

In my “garden’’ I’ve finally hacked out a shrub bed, which inevitably with my ‘whats left over’ planting policy contains all sorts of things as well as cotinus, deutzia and hydrangea ( all for cutting) bergenia taking a starring role. I used to despise these as a bit car parky but faced with soil consisting of stones, clay, old ash, bits of coal, asbestos and multiple damp wodges of ancient copies of  German womens magazines I need tough performers and so far they are thriving in the bog/stone/flood   garden. I have now started adding concentrated manure and rootgrow wih everything.

Enriching the soil, something I’m  always telling others to do.is now a priority – earlier this year I supplied my Mum with dozens of plants to fill her new bijou garden, she had added some organic matter but not she would be the first to admit terribly systematically, and I’m delighted to report that her plot is bursting with growth just a few months later – every plant  is twice the size of their siblings here……….shaming!! As you can see below no silly waste of space lawn here just plants and more plants  – plus a lovely meandering stream with a  very professional timber bridge  – made by my nearly eighty yr old mother!!  Necessity is the mother of……..etc!

 

Here in West Wales, I will have to ‘retro fit’ manure/compost/leaf mould to every area near the house…….hours of fun I can see…

Strategic planning for next year!?? A vague plan to create a covered structure for growing roses  and extending season of tender annuals probably based on an immensely cunning plan I saw from an American grower on the internet, When I say ‘saw’ of course I got fragments plus lengthy buffering plus oh –the internet’s  gone off……..and all with a presenter with somewhat laconic delivery already. Any sign of my  much, much,  promised fibre broadband ? Er, of course not……

A new idea for the outside  dahlias this winter – whilst laying what feels like my hundredth acre of laminate flooring in the bathroom  the other day, (too much moving) I was enjoying the warmth under foot of the strange foamy  underlay – what a brilliant idea for the dahlias!! I will of course put anti rot  holes through it but stronger and warmer than fleece and securely held down with bricks should be with a try. Also a new mulch, cruel and sharp alpine grit which should reduce any wandering spring  molluscs to shreds………sorry, nature. Anyway I will report back.

More plant fairs, including a 2 day event at the Royal Welsh showground and more products for cut flowers – trugs and jugs all full of flowers…………watch this space!