Oops, silly me, ‘Winter Draws On’ is what I meant to say! Yes indeed, with each chilly night the new day sees more evidence of the impending wintry season, with Persicaria ‘Painters Palette’ drying to a cold crisp overnight and P ‘Red Dragon’ just starting to go the same way. Unlike these persicarias grown mostly for their foliage, the shrubbier flowering ones like Blackfield and its P amplexicaulis friends are untouched and, in the case of Blackfield, still flowering.
Over the week, the dahlias have all been lifted and are now in various states of undress in the back sitting room, having the soil brushed off them and drying out:
It is a little too warm here for a long vacation and they will be evicted in due course, probably to the sitooterie, where they will join pelargonium, fuchsia, eucomis and (shortly) nerines, although the latter did not cough up any flowers this year so perhaps do not merit their gentle and protected overwintering. It doesn’t look as if there will be much sitting-oot going on here during the winter, particularly once the dahlias move in!
Meanwhile, having ousted the dahlias , pre-winter clearing of the cutting beds can finally take place, and there was a certain amount of satisfaction to be gained from turning the lingering remnants of a great summer of bloom…
…into deep, empty and fertile beds ready to start again next year. Such promise! There’s something strangely appealing about a bed of pristine soil, don’t you think? The only remaining greenery now is courtesy of some scruffy wallflowers, the product of a wrongly-labelled packet of seed. The liable company did replace the seed but it was some before I knew for sure what the mystery seedlings were going to grow into and the wallflowers were a bit of a disappointment – but heyho! they will provide blooms for a vase at some stage, I daresay and I have moved them into the corner where they will be a little less offensive.
The large pots ahad previously held dahlias and have been planted up with tulips; I was going to plant the bulbs into one of the cutting beds but emptying the pots generated so much used compost that my overflowing compost heap would have struggled to cope with, so refilling the pots and putting the tulips in seemed a better bet. Job done, but several more pre-winter jobs still to do, emptying the 2016 compost heap being one of them, and this can’t be done till the borders have had a final a pre-mulch trim (where appropriate) and tidy. This will be a job for the coming week, weather permitting, along with moving the nerines and bringing the last of the fuchsias inside.
And just us to remind us that winter really IS on its way, I heard a faint jingling today: