Six on Saturday: Ticking Off the Jobs

This week I seem to have had more time available to get on with autumnal tasks, and despite an unwritten list there have still been all sorts of things ticked off it, ranging from washing pots and making more chutney, to planting out new or displaced plants and potting up cuttings – even the bulbs have been tackled, a task never anticipated with any pleasure. Not completed though, as I have numerous indoor bulbs to plant in due course, but as they can be done inside at the kitchen table which does not feel such a chore. Tulips will not be planted until sometime in November, but more fritillary were added to the woodland soon after the bulbs arrived, and today a few additional allium were planted and narcissi added to the verge opposite our house (above). It wasn’t easy to dig holes for the bulbs here, but hopefully they will be deep enough for the bulbs to reflower after their first season.

As part of revamping the borders, I have been quite tough on plants that have not justified their position in them, and this week has seen the removal of two large Anemanthele, which will not be replanted elsewhere. It’s not that I don’t like them, as their colour and movement are a great asset, but in a garden with small borders they are just too big – and of course they seed around as if there is no tomorrow! In truth, they were both added because there was space to fill at the time, and they were small seed-sown plants, but they have now outgrown their spots. The one below came from one of the bold borders, and leaves a very useable space, especially since the ‘cloud’ pruning of the climbing hydrangea to the left, which leaves that end of the border less dry and less shady.

Leaf change continues apace, and the witch hazels never fail to deliver – in the streamside border (below) we have, from front to back, Spanish Spider, Diane and Jelena:

Not to be outdone, Amelanchier lamarkii is decorating the cobbles below it:

Having partially planted up what had been the snowdrop border, purchasing a sculpture as its focal point has become more pressing. In an effort to narrow down the small selection I have been considering, I asked the Golfer to make me a quick mock-up of one of the ones I favoured, to get a better idea of scale. The mock-up is only two-dimensional, but the actual sculpture (in stainless steel) is a three-dimensional pyramid with a sphere attached. I had originally envisaged something chunkier, but having seen the mock-up in situ I do rather like its sleeker profile.

Finally, with the current stunning display (after all, it’s halfway through October!) from the small collection of streptocarpus (there are another four not yet flowering), I have in the Coop, I was close to ordering more but fortunately held back, remembering they would come as plugs and wouldn’t flower this season, and how difficult it had been to keep my existing ones in good health over the winter. Phew, that was close!

These are my six, and if you would like to see six snippets from other gardeners around the world just head to the blog of our host, Jon the Propagator, where you will find the links.

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24 Responses to Six on Saturday: Ticking Off the Jobs

  1. bcparkison says:

    At least you still have some color. Here with very little rain everything is turning brown.

  2. Heyjude says:

    Your streptocarpus are lovely. I had some auricula plants that I struggled to keep alive over winter and keep S&S off them in the summer, finally decided that they were far too much of a faff and binned them last year. I am beginning to get ruthless in my old age!

    • Cathy says:

      At least in the Coop s&s are unlikely, but it was tiny aphids and overwatering that nearly put paid to them all. I did lose some, but replaced my favourites, and am keeping them on the lower staging to keep better tabs on watering. If it is continually a problem over winter I may follow your example in future – which would be a shame, as plants that flower for 9-10 months of the year are something worth having…

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Rosie, I just need to crack their maintenance regime though!

  3. Rosie Amber says:

    Super streptocarpus.

  4. Beautiful Saturday Snippets! Autumn is in full swing here, too. Enjoy!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks, our neighbour’s huge beech tree has started to turn now, so we can expect a lot of its leaves in our garden soon, to add to the hundreds of beech nuts already here!

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Why does a garden like that need another focal point? There is plenty of interesting plant material there. The foliar color is nice. Ours is just beginning.

    • Cathy says:

      Focal point for the border, Tony, not the garden, which is split into so many different areas you couldn’t have just one focal point. I agree though, that plants can be focal points in themselves

  6. Jim Stephens says:

    I fell out of love with Anemanthele several years ago and pull it up whenever I see it. I wouldn’t have expected seeds of a grass to have much longevity but it keeps on coming 3 or 4 years after it last flowered. Lovely Streptocarpus, if I can get my Kohleria through the winter and back into growth I may have to revisit Streptocarpus. We’ve killed quite a lot down the years.

    • Cathy says:

      They appear all over the garden here and I found a seedling outside our front door recently! As well as getting my streptocarpus through the winter I have to be able to propagate them successfully, but I shall keep trying! Have you propagated them, Jim? Thanks for agreeing to take over Six on Saturday πŸ‘

  7. Pauline says:

    I keep pulling out Anemanthele seedlings too, but keep the parents as they fill quite a large space nicely. Your streptocarpus are lovely, much better than mine which are in the kitchen on a north windowsill, I think maybe mine need more light.

    • Cathy says:

      That’s what I thought with the two I have just taken out! The streptocarpus do need light, but not direct sunshine and the Coop seems to fit the bill – as long as I keep it at a min temp of 6 degrees over winter. I did briefly wonder if I should bring the contents into the house over the winter – until I realised our overall electricity costs (heater in Coop is electric) are relatively low compared to our gas!

  8. Oh I applaud your spot of guerilla gardening in the verge across the road Cathy πŸ˜‚ I will be adding a few anemanthele seedlings to the green waste bin tomorrow before it’s collected the following morning. At least they come out relatively easily. Well done on the bulb planting – a box from Peter Nyssen arrived on Tuesday but I’ve still to make a start.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – your fortnightly quest! Ours and the neighbour’s we borrow are both full of hedge trimmings! I did ask the neighbour whose hedge it is if it was OK , just in case, and was applauded by another gardener for the planting πŸ˜‰ There are many bags of PN bulbs still to plant in pots for the Coop, plus all the tulips, but they are all for pots too which is not too onerous. I bought a nice pink of tulips from Lidl last week, which I rarely pop into so was pleased I did. Can you let me know if they get any hippeastrum in please? Aldi didn’t have any last year.

  9. Noelle says:

    Amelanchier have so many qualities, including the colour of their fallen leaves..love the way it was carpeted the floor.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I always enjoy this view of them on the cobbles, whilst still feeing sorry that they have fallen. After last week’s vase I was considering preserving some of the leaves in glycerine but I am too late this year!!

  10. Cathy says:

    The autumn colours in your garden are lovely Cathy. And the streptocarpus are a pretty bunch too. I am unfamiliar with that grass, but must look it up.

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