4 October 2015

Dorset Garden Diary - A Perfect Week for Gardening

Good evening fellow gardeners,

Well, it's been the perfect week for gardening here in Dorset - windy, but the sun still has some strength. One of the things I will remember about this September is the seemingly never-ending stunning sunrises and sunsets; just when you think one can't be beaten along comes another stunner - I was running out of superlatives towards the end of the month. I haven't managed to upload pics from camera yet but I do have a pic the morning after the super moon from my phone. It doesn't do the view justice unfortunately, but I'll explain...the front of the house faces east and the sunrise was well under way whilst out  the back in the west the moon was still bathing everything in silver.

Monday - I finally ordered the plants I've been dithering over for a couple of weeks - Lily of the Valley, Echinacea purpurea White Swan, a selection of ground cover perennials and Viburnum Kilimanjaro (Chelsea plant of the year 2015)...really excited about the latter. Hopefully, these should arrive towards the end of the month. Yesterday, I pulled up all the carrots, parsnips and beetroot, cut the tops off and stored them in hessian bags in the shed, I'm hoping they'll last for a while and not go off. I left the leeks and fennel in the ground as they are more difficult to store and it will give me somewhere to plant the carrots next year as they don't like too rich a soil (possible senior moment here, I may be repeating myself). I sowed the green manure which will over-winter and when dug in will put some oomph back into the soil for next year. I covered the veg beds with netting and then erected string and ribbons to keep the birds off the seeds and stop them getting caught in the netting. The last job of the day was to get the surplus-to-requirements daffodil and tulip bulbs bagged up ready for their new owners. 

Tuesday - out early to feed the fish on a very chilly morning, pleased to see the heron scarer is still in place. I waited for the fish to surface and this morning they took their time, they obviously don't like the cold weather.  I re-potted the perennials that I bought from Hampton Court Flower Show in July. They are in 'holding pots' until I can get them in the garden. The alpines will be planted out in the Spring as part of my next couple of projects (more on this at a later date).

Wednesday - came home from work and the garden was wallowing in late blooms. The cucumbers are visibly longer, over half the remaining tomatoes had ripened and the chillies are turning bright red

(check out the bad boys above, they'll keep you warm on a cold winter's day!). There were also a few runner beans to pick. The aster and pineapple mint I rescued a few weeks ago are both looking healthy and have been re-potted.

The rose is in flower again, the hot lips salvia is putting on a valiant show and the violas are looking colourful and posing for the camera...say cheese!

Thursday - a very busy day in the garden - still warm, sunny and windy. Him indoors and myself started the day sitting in the conservatory eating crumpets and honey for breakfast. There was quite a bit of bird activity in the garden, which reminded me we need to be thinking about cleaning out the bird boxes, when something caught my eye in the clematis above the blue tit box. 'Is that one of the blue tits?' I asked. Him indoors said that's what he thought, too. Something moved again and it was a blue tit. It then went inside the box for about a minute, came out and flew away. I wonder if it was looking to see if we'd cleaned it yet, or maybe checking for squatters! It appears the cleaning of the bird boxes is on hold for a while now. Him indoors adjusted the back gate so that I can release the bolts easier; I need to get out to the large compost bin as the bins in the garden are now full. He then smashed up some unwanted crockery that I can use as drainage in the bottom of the pots. We now have the sundial in the garden (bought a couple of weeks ago) and yes, we checked it's showing the right time! It's not in it's final resting place yet, that will be next year.
Unusual, isn't it!

Him indoors then went out the front and dug out another of the hydrangeas that we'd inherited. I know I've said this before but I really don't like them. It will be replaced with the Viburnum Kilimanjaro when it arrives...yesssss!!

I came across this, something else that's just appeared - any ideas? That's what I love about this garden, you never know what you're going to find.

I planted some Arctic Verbascum in the cottage garden, it's coming along nicely. I made a small herb pot with dwarf marjoram, menthe requiem, chives and thyme and also put another menthe requiem along with more thyme in the garden. These also are 'on hold' until next year (big plans!). I re-potted the salvia and rose into their new pots (looking good) and also the lemon verbena. I have taken cuttings of the verbena and the rose to see if they'll take. The salvia cuttings I propagated a few weeks ago are coming along nicely and...when I planted the azaleas early this year a small branch broke off so I potted it up to see what would happen and it's growing - although I have no idea which azalea it is yet (no surprise there then). Also, when I planted the dwarf buddleia a small twig broke off  (I'm not always this careless with plants, honest|!) so that was potted up and guess what? It's only gone and got a tiny flower on it!
Yes, I know it's small but there is definitely a small flower growing at the end of the stalk. And a walk up the top of the garden revealed flowers on the goji berry. It's all happening.

We were both out in the garden for over 6 hours - time certainly does fly when you're enjoying yourself!

Today - I just pottered about for a few hours tidying up, picking more ripe tomatoes and runner beans and re-potting the iris bulbs. I used some of the surplus tomatoes for soup and tonight's dinner of potatoes, carrots and parsnips roasted with rosemary was all from the garden...the chicken pie was not!

Not sure how much gardening will be done this week as rain coming in tonight, we'll see. Anyway, hope you all have a good week and catch up next Sunday.