Still cleaning up…

The weather is being amazingly kind with temperatures in the 20s and lovely sunny days. It is difficult to believe it’s November the 11th. There are still plenty of tasks that need doing but I am making progress I may even get on top of the garden if the weather holds. While it may feel like summer the trees are not fooled and are quickly losing their leaves. They drop them and we rake them up and add them to our leaf tower. This little lot is from the lime tree at the back of the house as you can see there’s plenty to be raked up at the top of the garden. Slowly but surely the leaves will break down and I’ll have wonderful leaf mould for the flower beds.

Moreleaves    Tower

Two days work and I did manage to get the Buddleia hacked back and their weed infested bases cleared. I’ve taken masses of cuttings and stuck them in the ground. Last year I must have taken 300 cuttings and about 99% took – beginners luck surely.  And, not only did they take but they flowered and some are still in bloom. Having 300 flowering Buddleia cuttings at about knee high is amazing for watching butterflies and bees.

clear buds   lastyear cutting

At the very top of the garden I’ve cut down the christmas tree sized asparagus and weeded the bed – the onion bed to the left is still to weed, it has however had some new additions as at either end I’ve planted lavender and thyme. It will be the third year for the asparagus next year so I’m hoping for at least one meal. You can see some new Buddleia cuttings in front of the little cherry tree. To the right are the spent flowering cuttings from last year.

topasp   yearold

Opposite these two beds was a totally out of hand area that friends helped clear last year. After removing masses of broom, we were left, to our surprise, with a few nice oaks, a guelder rose, a blackthorn and a spindle – we kept those. I cleared some of the weed covered ground and threw in some seeds. The cosmos and the calendula are still going strong the borage went over a little while back. The blackthorn was amazing, one day it was totally cover with berries and the next day the birds had stripped it bare – no sloe gin for us then! You can see mother nature wants this area back but I’m going to battle to have more space for flowering annuals. This area is near the picnic table (you can just about see its umbrella poking through in the picture on the right) so lots of flowers means more bees and butterflies to watch when dining al fesco. Needless to say I’ll be collecting seeds from this little lot!

cosmos    picnic

I started working on this area yesterday and once I finish my second cup of coffee I’m off out to try and complete the clear up. I planted about eight clumps of snowdrops in this bank and this year I’d really like to see them clearly. Last year I failed to get this cleared over winter so the snowdrops were well hidden. Oh, I picked up a wire heart for 20 centimes in a second hand shop – it’s hanging in the oak. Hmm a clear up and it still looks a bit grim and that heart is so subtle you can’t even see it. Back out to do more on this tomorrow and then sow a few thousand honesty seeds.

before work    bank cleanup

Much less work involved clearing out the polytunnels of their spent summer crops and sowing a winter crop. As you can see some of the chillies are still going strong and the seeds I’ve sown appear to have germinated. In the polytunnel on the left I’ve stuffed the middle with strawberries and along the back I’ve planted some spuds. In this one I’ve also  sown spring onion, pak choi (Hanakan) along with some Chinese cabbage. The Echinacea I sowed near the front is probably a washout thanks to Mr Mole! In the polytunnel on the right you’ll see some lemon colour marigolds I love this colour and I’ve collected masses of seeds which I hope will come true next year as I plan on having this everywhere.

poly one   poly 2

This is what I planted in polytunnel number two – mainly lettuce and oriental greens – so easy to forget so I keep a note of everything I sow in my diary. I’ve just noticed I’ve also sown some Honesty and more Echinacea neither of which are showing yet. This is my third batch of Marigold seeds and I should get another one next week.

planting schem poly 2   seeds

I’ve made a start on weeding some of the island beds, the blackcurrants are done as is the bed with the blueberries, and one planted with the new daylilies. That leaves three more to complete. They all look so pathetic at this time of the year.

blackcurrants   daylilly bed

I reckon at least three days work on this the largest one – really looking forward to that!

large isalnd

Down at the veggie plot things not looking too bad, there’s still lots of eating to be had kale, cabbage, collards, calabrese, perpetual spinach and swiss chard are all being picked regularly. Not sure what is wrong with the broad beans masses of flowers but it looks like rust on the leaves?  I’m still eating the odd runner bean as I walk past!

We’ve picked and eaten all the beetroot so the only roots left are carrots, parsnips, swedes, celeriac and turnips. I’ve recently planted garlic after rooting it on paper towel – that worked really well. There is still some coriander suitable for use so more fresh pesto before the winter. The basil did not survive a really cold night a couple of weeks back so that’s all been grubbed out. You can see on the right yet more Buddleia cuttings hopefully on there way to creating a nice little hedge at this end of the veggie plot.

veggie plot    cuttings veggie

Finally, at the weekend this Dahlia decided to flower but must admit it looks out of place in a garden that feels very much like it’s ready for bed!