There has been a lot of snipping going on around here recently, with cutting back, down or out beginning in the borders during the week but, more excitingly, our neighbours on the hedge side had workers in the garden today working on the hedge. When the Golfer began cutting our side some weeks ago they told him of their plans, which involved reducing the height of the hedge by about 18″, sometime ‘in October’. In many places the hedge is just too wide for the Golfer to reduce it himself, so this was welcome news, especially as for many years there has been little in the way of maintenance on their side. October was fast disappearing so we were relieved when their workers turned up today.
It has made such a difference, especially to light levels in part of our kitchen, and our old friend the Rambling Rector (above) has had a bit of a makeover too as much of the deadwood reaching into their garden has been cut out. It also meant that the remaining stems that couldn’t be accessed and tied into the rose arbour when the rose was cut back after flowering could now be pulled down to join the rest, facilitated by the scaffolding, and further deadwood cut out.
While the Golfer communed with the Rector, I took Madame Alfred Carriere, clambering above the bus shelter, in hand. I usually cut her back quite severely at this time of year and she always seems to reward me with her blooms, but having watched Monty Don prune his on Gardeners’ World on television last night I decided I could be more severe still…and know who to blame if this proves to be a mistake, which is unlikely!
Even though there was some residual colour in the ‘rainbow border’, I wanted to ensure the bed was ready for the appearance of the snowdrops in the winter months, so removed the summer annuals earlier in the week, leaving the border looking very empty after more than five months of colour:
Removing what was essentially ground cover exposed not only residual snippets of holly from the Golfer’s recent hedge cutting, previously hidden amongst the foliage, but also some tatty hellebore leaves and a number of pots of snowdrops which have pushed themseves above soil level and will need to be repositioned. The hellebore foliage will be trimmed in a few weeks time, a task which I now see the benefit of, as it allows the blooms to be viewed clearly, as well as reducing disease.
Talking about snowdrops, whch we increasingly will do in the coming months, I checked on the progress of some of my early flowering ones and – whohoo! – we have visible (but, sadly, out of focus) progress, from Foursome (left) and Cambridge (right)…
Not all annuals are being taken out yet, and these Busy Lizzies will carry on being busy until temperatures really drop – what a star plant, and how I missed them when they were not available due to mildew intolerance! Meanwhile, another job for the Golfer is replacing the seat of the rustic bench behind them, which has outlived its useful life.
Finally, cut back earlier in the year when they were severely affected by aphids, these two pots of greenhouse fantasy chrysanthemums have just been moved back under cover again today, where they will no doubt be revisited by the aphids’ progeny, but at least they are not as tall and lanky as they were the previous year…and there are some blooms on the way to grace a few vases in due course:
That’s my snippy six for Jon the Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme – why don’t you visit hs blog too and see what other bloggers are featuring today?