Having finished work on the bothy last weekend and prepared and posted a special post for 12 months of vases on Monday, I felt at liberty to get on with other tasks in the garden. This is a time of year when all sorts of loose ends can be sorted as part of a general tidying up and overview. Thus the jungle in the larger greenhouse had been attended to, the prolific tomato crop being halted whilst still barely past its prime, the remaining tomatoes frozen or spread out in the house to finish ripening. Despite making chutney for every month of the year 45 pounds of tomatoes is a lot for the two of us to get through…. The peppers and chillis await their turn, and I must remember to turn down the offer of chilli seedlings next year as I rarely use them and even then only mild ones. There have been great crops of peppers too, little orange and long red ones, from the same source.
The smaller greenhouse has also been partially emptied, with as many seedlings and young plants being moved outside, either into temporary or possibly permanent positions. A corner of one of the cutting beds is a winter home to some of these outcasts, including the ‘Winter Moonbeam’ seedling I found in a pot of tulips, now joined by two fellows. I can only assume that I reused the compost from the original pot and they grew from seeds which had been lying dormant in the soil. They are most welcome guests!
Bulb planting is now about 99% complete, with the bulk of the tulips going in this week – it is not such an onerous task planting in an empty bed, and about 3 varieties of tulips were planted up in the new bold border, along with various alliums, centaurea and aquilegia grown from seed and some delayed flowering seedlings from my disappointing spring sowings. The recently bare bed is now a sea of plant labels with a sprinkling of young plants:
There are still narcissi to plant in baskets at the front of the house, along with winter pansies, but the petunias have decided to respond to the increased rainfall and are flowering their socks off again (despite complete lack of attention from me) so deserve to stay a little longer, and there is a similar problem with the 5 matching pots I see from the kitchen windows which are awaiting their new tulips.
There were a few flowers on the petunias in the big galvanised tank too, but not enough to merit their retention, so the tank was emptied and prior to winter planting I also got round to a Heath Robinson adaptation of the vintage weather vane I have had propped up in the tank – making it a concrete ‘boot’ so it will stay upright. It worked, I am pleased to say, and there are now mixed pink and purple tulips planted up along with ‘Cool Wave Polar Frost’ pansies grown from seed – sown at the end of August and showing flowers two months later. Very impressive (the pansies, that is, rather than the fact I have most satisfactorily grown them from seed)!
I am sure the weather vane had an ‘east’ direction when we first bought it – but no chance of young men going either east or west now. As for me, I now have a lot of relatively neat knots and bows after tying up all those loose ends.