Six on Saturday: Busy Between the Blooms

After a few days away at my Mum’s it was good to get back into the garden and get on with the accumulating tasks, as well as catching on the remaining blooms, like climbing rose ‘Crown Princess Margarita’ (above) and all the dahlias (below), now making up for the time they lost during the heat and drought with a floriferous autumnal display. Gardeners’ World yesterday included a feature on a gardener who dried her dahlias, hanging them up from chicken wire in what seemed like every room in her house. I wouldn’t go that far, but have picked a few blooms today and will try it for myself.

Thinking ahead to next year, I have been sowing a range of seeds and decided to try an autumnal sowing of larkspur, an annual I struggle to get to germinate when sowing in spring. Even putting the seeds in the freezer for a week or two doesn’t always work, although with a couple of attempts I usually manage a handful of seedlings. Not surprisingly, I was gobsmacked to achieve 100% germination from my early September sowing!

An elderly near-neighbour has what was once a smallholding, but now only has a few hens and an equally elderly horse. The horse, not surprisingly, produces a regular supply of manure, and I have decided to risk utilising it in the garden – my previous experience of manure from a friend introduced all sorts of weeds into the garden, and for a long time I was reluctant to chance it again, so currently it is a largely wasted resource with only one other neighbour digging into the heap. Although close by, access is awkward for a wheelbarrow as there is a ‘kissing gate’, but risking blocking the path for a short time I have brought a couple of loads back to spread on the beds where there is planting to do. You wouldn’t guess its source though, as any smell has long gone – just as long as the fertility hasn’t disappeared with the smell!

Some of it has been added to the corner bed gained from removing the dead stump I showed recently. The comfrey has now been removed from the bed as well (and will be replanted in the woodland edge), and it will become an extension to the blue & white border. The retaining wall needed some attention first, so I have done a spot of bricklaying today, the first for a while:

To complete my Six on Saturday, the meme hosted by Jon the Propagator, I have found time to admire the streptocarpus in the Coop, with ‘Red Hot Chili’ in the foreground and ‘Bethan’ and ‘Polka Dot Purple’ behind. They and the handful of others are still looking healthy, so perhaps I can gradually uncross my fingers!

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24 Responses to Six on Saturday: Busy Between the Blooms

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    Really like that rose. I use farm manure and often get some unwanted weeds but I don’t mind as I feel the rest of it makes up for the weeds.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    It is almost embarrassing that dahlias perform so much better in other gardens than they do here. Our climate should be ideal for them. I would not have noticed how substandard ours are if I had not noticed how late in the season it is. They look fine, but are no larger than they should have been last spring. Sheltering dahlias seems odd to me, but the dahlias do not seem to mind.

    • Cathy says:

      This lady cut the stems to dry and preserve them, but in the UK it is not always worth the risk leaving the tubers outside as they could rot in a cold wet winter

      • tonytomeo says:

        I prefer to leave ours out through winter, but will dig them again this year because they were only put where they are now temporarily. I do not have a plan for them yet. Except for one, they were the ‘annual’ bedding dahlias that typically get discarded when finished. I just can not bear to discard them.

  3. bcparkison says:

    Your brick laying looks good.

  4. Heyjude says:

    That is a beautiful coloured rose. I am surprised to see so many roses on the SOS posts. My Graham Thomas is still producing buds as is the unknow white climber.

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I’m astonished to read about your larkspur. A friend gave me a few seedlings which I planted and now they go everywhere. I pull them out frequently!

  6. Pauline says:

    Your rose and dahlias are doing really well, keeping you with plenty of colour in your garden.

  7. Noelle Mace says:

    Perhaps with the larkspur it is a question of how old the seed is. Perhaps as fewer gardeners are growing from seed the merchants are holding on to old seed stock? Well done on getting good germination now, and look forward to seeing them in bloom next year.

    • Cathy says:

      Possibly, but these are from the same packet of seeds I have used foe the last couple of years! I complained to Plants of Distinction when some of the seeds they sent were best by the end of this season – they sent replacements

  8. The Crown Princess is a stunning beauty Cathy. Well done you on the larkspur germination rate ! My September sowings have all germinated except for the larkspur πŸ˜‚ Mind you I sowed it more towards the middle of the month so will keep my fingers crossed. I don’t think himself would put up with so many dahlias drying in the house without dark mutterings. A Cheshire gardener who I thinks runs a flower farm business. Will have to try and find out whether it’s possible to visit.

    • Cathy says:

      I put the seeds in the freezer for about a week before I sowed them – germination was just under a fortnight, I think. The lady on GW didn’t give any details of what she did, so I have threaded some linen thread through the stems – only about half a dozen blooms though. Would be interesting to visit a flower farm 🌸🏡🌹🌺🌻

  9. It’s always a great thing to get the garden taken care of and ready for a new season. Great work!

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