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).