November is racing by and winter is fast approaching, although you wouldn’t really know it weather-wise. Last Saturday I donned my serious gardening get-up (torn trousers and ancient fleece) and set to work tackling those tasks that needed doing before bulb planting could finally commence. The Dahlias were dug up, a few phloxes were split and moved and most of the Zinnias were got shot of. Preparation complete, it was time to tackle my first Six on Saturday…
1. I thought I’d purchased far fewer bulbs this autumn but after checking an SoS from around this time last year I’m not so sure. Sunday was spent planting those that were going in the ground (including Narcissi, Crocuses and several varieties of supposedly perennial Tulips). I adopted a new method this year: the dig-the-holes-plonk-the-bulbs-in-leave-uncovered-until-all-other-bulbs-are-in-to-avoid-digging-them-all-up-mere-moments-later-when-planting-the-rest method. As dusk fell the first stage of bulb planting was completed, although by the time I’d got to the Crocus bulbs I’d adopted the usual scrape-a-shallow-ditch-and-throw-the-sodding-things-in-any-old-how method.
2. The rest of the bulbs are going in pots, hopefully a far less onerous task. Fingers crossed they’ll all be planted by Sunday, including these dwarf iris that were purchased last autumn, put in a draw for safe keeping and completely forgotten about until the summer.
3. To finish off the pots and provide some winter colour I need to acquire a few ‘essentials’ from the Plant Man in town this morning. Last weekend I bought this fragrant Cyclamen. I suspect some more will be joining it later.
4. While most of the Zinnias have been pulled up there are still a few blooming away, including these diminutive ‘Jazzy.’ They seem far tougher than the other Zinnias and will be grown again next year.
5. As will Calendula ‘Snow Princess.’ I must try and save myself a few quid and collect some seed.
6. And finally… An evergreen dangly winter flowering Clematis. I’m rubbish with Clematis as 8 out of 10 Clematis would tell you if they hadn’t joined that great big compost heap in the sky. However, there are two varieties that have survived. The first? An indestructible Montana. The second? This Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ that’s growing up the garden arch that was installed last summer. It has reached the top already and is now headed down the other side. Apparently it appreciates shelter from strong, cold winds but it’s proving to be a pretty rampant variety (possibly the only kind I can grow).
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.