The garden has almost been put to bed for the winter. Yet there’s still one task left to do, a task I’ve been putting off for a while now. Unfortunately I’ve run out of other gardening chores to prioritise over this horticultural horror and the weather is set to be dry tomorrow. It’s time to face my nemesis. On Sunday I’m chopping back the Jasmine. Then again… Perhaps a trip to a garden centre to purchase some gift vouchers as Christmas presents would be a better use of my time. They might even have some bargain bulbs, and they’d need planting pretty sharpish. Not that I really need any more bulbs, which leads me to my first SoS.
1. I picked up that last minute accidental purchase of tulips from the sorting office last Sunday. Thirty Clusiana Tubergen’s Gem, a small yellow and red tulip that will hopefully naturalise
… and twenty-four Brown Sugar tulips that should produce orangey-brown blooms in the spring. Most of the Brown Sugar bulbs have gone into pots, although I’m slightly concerned the compost I planted them in was too wet and may cause them to rot. Fingers crossed they’ll be okay as the flowers are supposedly scented.
2. Talking of scent, the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ has turned all autumnally. Its fragrant flowers open in April but the buds have already started to form. Unfortunately I’ve snapped a few of the surprisingly brittle branches off while brushing past it to retrieve bags of compost from down the side of the blue shed.
3. Next up, some cuttings of Penstemon ‘Garnet’ taken last month. They appear to be doing okay.
And the parent plant is still just about flowering.
4. For the past few weeks I’ve been pondering the acquisition of another plant to provide some more vertical structure in the garden. I was originally leaning towards a standard Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’, thinking it would also provide some evergreen interest, but I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough space in the spot I had in mind, near the patio. It also didn’t fulfil the criteria of trying to provide all year round fragrance in the garden. In the end I went for a bare root rose tree, Harlow Carr.
Planting the rose was relatively easy. Putting the stake in beforehand was a nightmare. Hammering something into the ground so that it’s perfectly straight is beyond my capabilities (the rotary washing line stands at a jaunty angle once adorned with laundry, despite spending ages trying to achieve vertical perfection with a spirit level). A free stake was provided with the rose but I managed to snap it at the base after attempting to pull it up for a third time. Luckily I had a spare one at hand, but it still took several more painstaking goes. Hang on, I wonder if that’s how the word ‘painstaking’ came about?
5. Surveying the stake and rose from all angles involved quite a bit of marching back and forth in my wellies, something the lawn could have done without after weeks of wet weather. It’s looking very sorry for itself. Gravel paths and muddy footwear aren’t a good combination. I should probably get the garden fork out to help with aeration and drainage. In fact I could do that instead of chopping the Jasmine.
6. And finally… Another Penstemon, Laura, has been flowering for months and is still going strong. I took a few cuttings of this plant last year but while they look healthy enough they’ve yet to bloom. Maybe next year.
And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.