An Autumnal Update ~ Part 2

Hello! I hope today’s post finds you well. I just checked the date of my last post and I can’t believe it was over a month ago already! Whilst the days have been getting shorter and the temperature’s dropping, I’ve enjoyed a couple of quieter weeks garden wise focusing instead on indoor projects. Andrew and I spent a weekend revamping our utility room including flooring, worktops, painting and cupboards. It was supposed to be a temporary fix until we start renovation works next year but I’m thinking a one year fix may end up as three year stop gap!

I also completed my first sewing project. I made curtains for the entry way. I’ve had a lot of questions about them over on Instagram, so will likely do a separate post on this. Needless to say I think I have caught the sewing bug and will be starting a new project this week.

I mentioned in my last post that I would share a second update on our autumn garden activities, specifically bulb planting, as there has been a lot of it! So lets start off in the rose beds.

For spring colour, I opted for the dwarf tete a tete daffodil planted in a river like path behind the lavender. I don’t think there is anything more cheerful than the first pop of yellow after the dark winter months. For the summer months I chose a variety of allium bulbs to compliment the roses and to give height to the middle of the beds.

  • Allium amplectens ‘Graceful Beauty’ –  White
  • Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ – mid size purple globe
  • Allium caeruleum Azure –  Blue
  • Allium Globemaster –  large purple globe

To plant, we dug a trench, sprinkled the base with bulb starting fertiliser before popping the bulbs in. Apart from the extra large globemaster bulbs which were spaced around 10 inches apart, everything else is spaced only an inch or two apart.

In the cutting flower courtyard, I planted around 70 tulips that I’ll use to brighten up rooms indoors over Spring. The tulip varieties are Maja and Diana as shown below.

Up in the shed, I had fun planting up pots with tulips, two varieties of muscari and more tete a tetes. I tried the layered planting technique known as a bulb lasagne, with tulips at the bottom of the pot, tete a tetes in the middle and muscari to top them off. In a couple of pots, I layered two varieties of tulips for a fuller effect.

  • Tulip Maja –  yellow
  • Tulip Diana 🙂 –  White
  • Muscari Blue Spike – fuller blooms
  • Mascara Armeniacum
  • Narcissi Cyclamineus Tete a Tete

From MANY YouTube tutorials and Monty, I’ve learnt that planting almost all types of spring bulbs in pots follow these basic principles:

  1. If your pots will live outside over the winter, make sure they are frost proof
  2. Add broken crocks, so the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot doesn’t become blocked with soil
  3. Mix a good multi purpose compost with some horticultural grit to allow for good drainage. Bulbs don’t like to sit in water.
  4. Add some bulb fertiliser to kick off root production
  5. Plant pointy end up
  6. Plant bulbs close together for a fuller effect
  7. Water them in to remove any air pockets
  8. Top the pots with either hardy plants or decorative grit to keep things pretty over winter
  9. Keep the pots close to the house or shed to protect them from the worst of the winter weather.

Moving indoors, I was keen to have something growing over what is forecasted to be a really long winter. I opted for the easy to grow Narcissus Paperwhites. They grow in almost anything from pebbles to multi-purpose compost. I’ve been planting them successionally for the last three weeks and I’m eagerly expecting the first blooms in the next couple of weeks.

For what I am hoping will be an abundant Christmas day display, I bought a lined willow basket from Sarah Raven and popped in 18 bulbs before topping with a layer moss. I’ll share the progress of these beauties over on my Instagram over the coming weeks. One tip if you’re having a go with Paperwhites, is to cover at least half of the bulb in whatever matter you are planting in. I’ve discovered that as the roots are first sprouting the bulb does tend to lift up out of the pot like a rocket!

So the bulbs are in and although there are close to 500 now in the ground or pots, its actually a tiny amount in comparison to the size of the garden. The plan is to go easy in the first year to see what works and what doesn’t before delving in to more varieties. The dream is to one year plant an enormous drift along the side of the house. Wouldn’t that be something…

In other news, the first severe frost at the end of October took out all the Dahlia’s in one fell swoop. So they have been lifted and popped in the garage to dry out. I really must get them potted up this weekend!

The ‘Teasing Georgia’ climbing rose planted in July was still flowering in November!

The brussels are sprouting (scuse the pun) and may just be ready in time for the big day…

…and we are still raking up leaves. (sigh)

End of October 2018

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