A dry day and an absence of other commitments have meant a start to some of those seasonal jobs that weigh on put minds for weeks if we don’t get stuck in when we have the chance. Here, the Golfer is contemplating the next section of hedge to be trimmed, the hedge on the other side of the gate having been completed (below). Some parts of the hedge are more accessible than others, but the section containing Rambling Rector and continuing behind the snowdrop border is more awkward which is why it doesn’t get cut every year – and why it now needs to be lopped by around 2 feet (60cm). As it grows outwards as well as upwards, it becomes quite a stretch for the Golfer, but it makes a big difference having hedge trimmers with long blades, as we found out a couple of years ago when we bought a replacement.
I made a start on emptying some of the big pots today, ready for tulips and a topping of bellis. As I pulled out the contents of the big square pots on the paved area, I mentally assessed how well they had performed this year and how they could be tweaked next time. I had certainly stuffed too many plants in, a common failing, and some were dominated by other plants and made no contribution to the display at all. I think I can safely leave out the fuchsia and include fewer argyranthemum, whereas the calibrachoa can be replaced by bigger petunias which will make more of an impact. The pelargonium will be overwintered in the greenhouse.
The scruffy white bedding plants in the snowdrop border have also been removed, the bed weeded and a generous mulch of leaf mould added, bringing a resolution to create more of the gorgeous black gold. I probably only fill about half a dozen bags with leaves each year, although the opportunity for many more is there, and having already used some of the 2018 bags I had to use some of the 2019 bags too, which wasn’t nearly as gorgeous. I am waiting for the local wildlife to come and rummage amongst it, no doubt spreading it onto the path as well as digging holes, but at the moment it looks lovely!
One of the things I look forward to once autumn tidying up begins in earnest is watching the compost heap fill up, as more and more is piled on top. Sadly the pleasure has a limited life as there will come a point when I will have to start emptying the 2019 heap ready to start a new one, and that is certainly NOT one of my favourite tasks!
For the time being though, there is spare capacity, as the current pile will quickly compact in yet another of nature’s little miracles…
The witch hazel I showed you last week, resplendent in buttery yellow foliage, has now dropped almost all its leaves, leaving a golden circle at its feet. Looking towards it from the house, however, in front of it we have its witchy friends ‘Spanish Spider’, ‘Diane’ and ‘Jelena’, now clothed in various shades of green and yellow and red:
For anyone unsure of pruning back their cornus to encourage winter colour, never fear! I cut mine back on April 1st and look at them today:
Just go for it, I would say!
These are my autumnal Six on Saturday, to link with Jon the Propagator‘s weekly meme.