It’s late November, we’ve had thanksgiving and are heading towards Christmas quickly, how prepared are you. It seems a strange time in the garden, I still have summer flowering plants with flowers some for a second time – a Fuschia, hydrangea and Hesperantha (I think it’s changed name again but I can’t keep up).
We haven’t had any frost yet here so my dahlias are still in pots outside. This is the latest by far that they’ve been outside, usually mid October they go to their winter home – the greenhouse and I’m thinking I might put them in anyway. The fact it’s not been so cold is great for the rising heating bills as it means we haven’t really needed it much as yet but it worries me for the garden as we need the proper seasons in order for plants to grow properly. So while I have some summer plants still in flower I also have the hellebores showing their buds and they are about 2 or 3 months early!
I feel like it’s been a long dry and rather hot summer. If anyone says to me ‘we haven’t had a summer this year’ expect me to be cross. I struggle a lot with the hot weather (huge migraine trigger for me) and the constant watering of the garden has definitely been hurting my shoulders and the pain goes straight to my head! I live in the north of England where everyone thinks it rains non-stop, well this year it’s hardly rained all summer! Despite this I feel like the garden has mostly faired pretty well. I’ve done a lot of watering, I know people say you don’t need to water so much but I don’t work hard all year on a garden to let it die because I can’t be bothered!
So the roses have done well and I’ve had just one new one this year called Queen Bee (picture below) although if I see a Queen Elizabeth one I’ll be very tempted to buy one.
I’ve sown some plants from seeds that I’ve never tried before and some I do each year. The cosmos didn’t even germinate, the zinnia did but they were tiny plants and didn’t flower for long. My Ammi, sweetpeas, honeywort (cerinthe), verbena bonariensis (or as someone I follow on Twitter calls it verbena bananarama) and Tithonia have done really well. My sweet William and wallflowers have germinated well and hopefully will flower just as successfully.
Fruit wise we have strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries (actually the birds had them all), apples and tomatoes. We didn’t have such a big raspberry harvest this year but it has meant we didn’t need to give so many away as usually we have way more than we can eat or store!
My perennials have faired pretty well too.
As much as I normally love gardening I find this time of year I have such a long list of jobs to do in the garden getting it ready for winter including moving things, weeding, tidying and bulb planting that I don’t enjoy it as much because I’m just trying to complete my to do list. This year I also have 2 bags of bark chippings to spread, hoping this will reduce the need for so much watering in future dry summers.
My friend and I visited Fryers garden centre in knutsford last week and I got this new rose partly with some birthday vouchers, it smells lovely and fits well beside the alstroemeria of similar colours
After a real heatwave here in the UK the weather is much cooler today and ideal for a visit to the Bluebell Cottage garden and nursery in Dutton, nr Warrington. I’ve never been before but have bought plants in the post and was eager to see the gardens, I wasn’t disappointed, they are beautiful, so pretty and colourful with just the sort of herbaceous plants I like. I was also impressed they manage to stand up for themselves with no support. Mine certainly need staking. I took lots of pictures and here are some.