… hopefully there will be healthy plants next year, so because winter pruning the wisteria has been deferred until Storm Barbara has passed us by I have instead been distributing various composts around the garden, starting with 2015’s compost (above) which is gradually being added to most of the borders (like the blue & white border below). The fresh, dark mix instantly adds a kind of neatness where it has been applied, which is all very satisfying. Sadly, I have so far not rediscovered my favourite pair of secateurs but I have found a small scoop, several plant labels and rather too much non-decomposable parcel tape.
For the first time ever I have managed to produce decent leaf mould after 12 months in black bin bags (was it the holes in the bags and the watering?) – but a full bag of leaves turns into a very much smaller black bin bag of leaf mould so I have willingly donated it all to my special snowdrop border. “Thank you very much”, says Mrs Macnamara:
A sizeable proportion of our large quantity of leaves normally go into the green waste bin for recycling, but with this new success I think I will bag up more in the future – as the bags tend to be slung on top of that year’s compost heap to keep them out of the way their storage location would need to reassessed if I collected more.
With prompting, one of our neighbours brings us a bag of horse manure occasionally, fortunately already well-rotted, but she needs to be prompted more frequently as the recent bag was quickly emptied onto the cutting beds ready to be spread out and perhaps forked over. I shall be expecting particularly good results from these beds next year!
What a series of boring pictures those are! But be honest, don’t you just want to run your fingers through all that compost…?
When I am not looking towards the future fertility of the garden, I have been beginning to think about how to fill the gaps in the borders once the year is out and my self-imposed plant-buying embargo is over. Despite having drawn up rough plans of all the borders showing existing plants alongside the gaps and successfully negotiated an abstemious twelve months, I nevertheless found myself still at risk of just buying lots of plants that I liked and plonking them in. It was when I counted these potential gaps and found the total came to around 60+ that I woke up to the foolishness of such a short-sighted solution – and after all, what about all those cuttings that have been taken, all those seeds sowed, all those dahlias? So it’s back to detailed planning again, starting with slotting in future homes for those cuttings and seedlings and dahlias – phew! limitless plant-buying spree curtailed!