October Chores

This mild weather is really letting me spend lots of time out in the garden and I have been making a start on the cuttimg back and shredding of the herbaceous plants that have gone over but the best part of the day is going round the garden, secateurs in hand. dead-heading! It is a great excuse to get up close and personal with the plants and there is still a lot of colour around!

The cutting back and shredding does not make for pretty pictures, so I thought I would chart my progress in the text but just add photos of my roses in October!

I have made a good start on cutting back the willow fences but this year I am not shredding them. That task involves days at the shredder and the resulting shreddings are too coarse to be of much use as a mulch, and take a really long time to break down into compost. I am experimenting this year with just piling them up in the composting area to see what will happen! There is also a space to the side of the compost bins and that area is being used too. I am hoping that they will rot down sufficiently in a year to allow the process to be repeated!

One of the original fences is coming to the end of its time, I think. It will be removed and replaced I think with a non-growing fence to retain the design but reduce the workload! Usually I tackle one border at a time and do the Autumn clear-up but this year I seem to be hopping from one area to another! I really miss having the HelpX people who were a great help with these tasks in pre-Covid days! The borders still need clearing, and I find it better to try and do as much as possible in Autumn because if left until late Winter or Spring the whole job becomes very messy and muddy!

Yesterday I cleared the debris from a large clump of Crocosmia from under my bird-feeders and to my horror I found that the clump had extended considerably and was actually lifting the paving beside it! The only solution was to try and remove the whole clump! This was a serious task and took most of the day and I am sure I didn’t manage to get ALL the corms! It will be a case of vigilance next year if they are not to take over again!

I made use of one of the raised beds to create a kind of “nursery” for all the “plants in waiting” I usually have to look after on the tables near the patio. I sunk them all in the raised beds in their pots – just down about a quarter of each pot! If we get severe frosts forecast it will be a simple job to cover the whole area with fleece. My objective is to have no pots to mind – well, apart from the two lovely healthy plants of Salvia ‘Heatwave Glimmer’ I got from my friend Joan at the last meet-up of gardening friends! Since my greenhouse is no more (thanks to Hurricane Ophelia) I will have to keep them in my shed and I am hoping they will survive with the limited light they will get through the small window!

Everything else will go in the Nursery bed! I have only four more pots to deal with – and I really want to plant them! I have three new Hemerocallis to add to my collection but their new home is still under construction! They are in good-sized pots so may end up just being placed near their planned spot with a bit of fleece to protect them! There is one more New Arrival waiting to be planted – it is a lovely Penstemon – but its new home is currently occupied by a large Sedum that has outgrown its space and needs to be moved. Of course it is very hard to cut off lovely flowers before they are done but I just might have to bite that particular bullet very shortly!

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