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!