Six on Saturday: Always Something to Do

Hairdressers and barbers may now be closed again here in England due to Lockdown #2, but trimming of the hedge still continues, and the Golfer has moved on to the section that needs most work, that behind the special snowdrop border. This border is raised about 3 courses of brick above ground level and the scaffolding is resting on this, so hopefully any early emerging snowdrops will not damaged. A plastic tarpaulin collects most of the trimmings, but once this section is finished I shall go and handpick out any stray bits of holly left behind. You can just about see the transition between done and undone sections towards the right of the picture, with the overall height being reduced by nearly 2 feet (60 cm). The hedge is also quite thick at this point, and the Golfer is struggling to reach some new shoots emerging from within the hedge so we may need to prompt our neighbour about these before they get out of hand. It’s all looking so much better, and the effect of reducing the height and width of the section down the side of the house is particularly wonderful, with a noticeable increase in light and airiness. Hurrah for the Golfer, the scaffolding and the hedgetrimmer!

I have not been standing over the Golfer as he works, nor twiddling my thumbs, and this week removed the netting from the cutting beds and dug out all the contents other than the remaining scabious (in case it overwinters again), piling them into the already overflowing compost heap. The beds have now been weeded and roughly raked over, and will be mulched in due course ready for next year – there is a surprising degree of satisfaction to be had from a bed of bare soil!!

After three consecutive light frosts, I thought I might be digging out the dahlias too, but they are still unscathed, living on in their colourful glory to fill a few more vases, all being well – shame I have challenged myself and others to create a vase without blooms next Monday for the seventh anniversary of IAVOM!

Behind the dahlias, in the fruit cage, I am regularly picking a few ounces of raspberries, the second crop of my double cropped canes, with 2020 proving to be their best ever season, as was the case with the blackberries. The Sawfly Scare in the middle of June has proved to be only a temporary setback and perhaps the spray I used did do the trick, but I shall still be drenching the soil under the bushes and canes with Neem Oil this winter in an attempt to stop the sawfly reappearing next year.

During the week I have also continued defoliating roses, with only a few more to be done. I may be imaging it, but I am fairly sure there has been less evidence of blackspot since I began this autumn routine, so it is well worth doing. I shall not be defoliating ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’ yet though, as she is still a picture of glorious health, full of flower and healthy foliage, the perfect complementary neighbour for crab apple ‘Evereste’:

And finally, for galanthophiles, here is my first unscathed snowdrop of the season, G ‘Barnes’; this is its first season with me and I am pleased to see the single bulb is producing a second scape too. There are a number of my collection that start to appear before Christmas, some of them flowering in December, so once hedgetrimming is complete and stray holly removed I shall be on regular snowdrop watch!

Some regular Six on Saturday contributors plan to have a break as their gardens begin to wind down for the winter season; here, however, there are reasons to ramble whatever the season and hard surfaced paths to ramble on during inclement weather, so I shall be sticking around. If you pop over and visit our host, Jon the Propagator, you will still be able to access six goings-on in his garden too and those of many other bloggers throughout the winter (or southern hemisphere equivalent).

This entry was posted in Autumn, cutting beds, dahlias, garden pests, Gardening, Gardens, Six on Saturday, snowdrops. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Six on Saturday: Always Something to Do

  1. Heyjude says:

    That rose is a beauty!

  2. Debra says:

    Gardening has saved my sanity during lockdown. I live in Southern California, and our climates aren’t at all similar, but I’ve been reveling in British gardening “chores” while watching Monty Don.. He’s introduced me to Snow Drops, which couldn’t possibly survive in my garden, but I love them. And your Dahlias are special. 😊

    • Cathy says:

      Good to hear that gardening had such a positive impact for you during lockdown – apparently viewing figures for Gardeners World went up by about 20% at the start of lockdown here. Sadly the show is now off air till March, which is a shame as it would be beneficial to encourage more people to garden all year round.

  3. Noelle M says:

    Well done to the Golfer for that work on the hedge. It makes a beautiful backdrop to your newly emerging snowdrops. Have you just plunged a standard pot or it is one of those perforated ones? Which size would you recommend? Lady Hamilton is still fabulous, one of the roses which holds up well late in the autumn from the looks of it in your garden.

    • Cathy says:

      This snowdrop is in an ordinary but deeper than usual 9cm pot, sold by Avon Bulbs and aimed at snowdrops. Once it has clumped up I shall replant it directly into the soil. I used to use the lattice pots (similar size for a single bulb) and bigger ones for a clump, but found that they could become invaded by roots of other things, so two seasons ago I replanted established clumps into the soil, and singles or smaller clumps into the snowdrop pots. I still lose a few each year, but that seems to be an occupational hazard.

  4. The Golfer says:

    Remember me if I fall into the holly and fail to get out

    • Cathy says:

      I would be foolish not to, as another blogger might otherwise fish you out instead and whisk you away to be their own handyman…

  5. I bought Lady Emma H this year. How long did it take for yours to look this good? Lovely combo with the crab apple.

    • Cathy says:

      I have only had mine a couple of years, Sel, bought as a potted rose in the late summer, and it (well, I have two, either side of the bench, but I am going to move the bench and move them closer together) made an impact even from the next season

  6. Congratulations to the golfer for cutting the hedge! Cathy you have left the precious court beds. Dahlias are still divine despite the three frosts. I am very happy that the second raspberry crop is the best despite the sawfly. Lady Emma Hamilton has divine roses, I love it: it looks beautiful next to the crab apple tree. I love the first Snowdrop. Cathy you are right: your wonderful garden is enjoyed all four seasons. Take good care of the golfer and you. Stay safe. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Margarita – the hedgecutting is a bigger job than usual as we want to trim more from it than usual , and the Golfer is indeed doing a great job!

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Your dahlias are gorgeous and the photo of crabapple and roses is beautiful.

  8. Wonderful November Roses and the hedge looks quite tidy – is it English Holly?

  9. Great hedge cutting! Lady Hamilton looks wonderful next to the malus

  10. cavershamjj says:

    i trimmed my confier hedge for the final time earlier this year. it hadn’t been done for a couple of years, since my old hedge trimmer burnt out on a particularly thick branch. i hated doing it, i ended up with too much trimmings, and, i decided, i don’t even like the hedge. it is coming out next year…!

    • Cathy says:

      Yahay – that’s the way to go! Better not to put up with things in the garden you don’t like just for the sake of it 😁

  11. tonytomeo says:

    ‘Evereste’ really is pretty. It seems to look differently in different gardens. I will not plant one, but would if I could. There are already too many apples, and one old crabapple. It is not as pretty, but it is very productive.

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