Six on Saturday: Getting Stuck In

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.



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25 Responses to Six on Saturday: Getting Stuck In

  1. bcparkison says:

    There is always something to do in the garden…no rest for the old bones.

  2. Heyjude says:

    You have been busy! I could do with borrowing the Golfer 😁

    • Cathy says:

      So many days when there wasn’t time or the weather wasn’t suitable, though, so it’s about grabbing chances when we can

  3. Cathy says:

    I share issues with hedge-trimming and compost bins. We bought a long-handled hedge-trimmer, but unfortunately it seems a bit heavier than one of a friend’s I trialled before I purchased, so I get tired quite quickly and, this year, half the hedges still remain uncut! I have to do it this week!

    • Cathy says:

      And I suspect you have even more hedge than we do! When we chose our trimmers, the weight was one of the things we looked into and the ones we chose were acceptable. Still lots more hedge to cut though!

      • Cathy says:

        Unfortunately I just went for what was on sale in Lidl at the time – my friend’s gear came from Lidl, but that year they were selling something lighter. Hoping to get on with my hedges this week – strimming last week! Good luck with your hedges!

        • Cathy says:

          And likewise with yours! We are trying to bring the height down this year too and thankfully our neighbour is OK with this so will do their side. Sadly some parts will prove really awkward to cut because of what is in front of them – like the rose arbour with Rambling Rector and the snowdrop border, which is probably why they they haven’t been done every year…

          • Cathy says:

            Oh – I have exactly the same Rambling Rector issue – it’s worrying me a little, but I daresay I’ll manage. Good luck again!

  4. Noelle M says:

    Well done to the Golfer on all that work. Your snowdrop border looks neat and ready for a clear viewing of your special collection.

    • Cathy says:

      Plenty more still to cut – but nowhere for trimmings to go when the green bin is full and a trip has been made to the tip, as you can still (I think) only go once a fortnight

      • Noelle M says:

        Here the tip is back to normal as far as green waste is concerned. I am bin monitor for the close, taking out and returning bins to the end of the close from gardens, and I get to top up all the other bins with any spill over or unwanteds from my compost bin.

        • Cathy says:

          That’s a useful perk! Our immediate neighbour has a tiny garden and we often borrow his green bin, but trimming a hedge like ours takes up a lot of bin/bag space! We are booked in to go to the tip tomorrow but sadly it is still just once a fortnight per household

  5. We’ve got a load of very similar jobs waiting for attention, one problem is that I have joined my Golfer and am spending far too much time on the golf course!

  6. Anna says:

    Hope that the Golfer was taking it steady Cathy and allowed himself to come up for a breather at appropriate intervals. Himself spent a lot of time up a ladder earlier in the week pruning a tree and cleaning the garage roof resulting in some stiffness as he must have overstretched. The new top dressing on the snowdrop border is a most lovely sight. Shame that that witch hazel didn’t hold onto those colours slightly longer but what what a fine treat when it was in full flow 😄

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely steady, Anna, with just a section each day. Himself clearly needs to take care if he doesn’t want a repeat of his last episode. I am thrilled to have an autumn flowering snowdrop coming through for the first time G ‘Cambridge’ – no doubt you have several!

  7. So many challenges this time of year. It looks like you’re well on your way to accomplishing your tasks. I hope you and the Golfer will stay safe!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Beth, it is rare that we we spend more than a couple of hours at a time in the garden – probably just when there is an on-going project. All well with us, anyway

  8. johnvic8 says:

    PLease tell my golfing buddy to be careful so high up. It’s stay safe time around the world.

    • Cathy says:

      Not really high though John, compared to to the tree felling! He is very safety conscious though, which you will be relieved to know. Do you still play golf yourself John?

  9. tonytomeo says:

    That hedge looks more like ivy that overwhelmed a hedge that is no longer visible. I will be working on a hedge tomorrow and next week that is composed of Catalina cherry. The individual plants grew from seed, and exhibit major genetic variability. Some are quite shrubby while others are tall trees that need to be cut down.

    • Cathy says:

      There is a lot of ivy, Tony, some with very thick and woody stems, but mostly holly with some remnants of hawthorn. I expect you have considerable lengths of hedge to cut!

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