The State of Play at 23.11.21


Once again I am prompted by the WordPress renewal reminder that I’ve failed! My last post was back in August, and quite a lot has happened since, one way and another – maybe that’s why I’ve not sat at the computer and produced anything – or maybe I’ve just been watching too much TV. Anyway, this sets our to be a resume of where we are at in the gardening process, and indeed on the gardening learning curve.

Part 1: The Greenhouse.

We’re into the first serious cold snap of the autumn/winter period with just a touch of overnight frost. I’ve decided this year not to try to insulate the entire greenhouse, but rather to protect individual groups of young plants. So they’re pretty much all in propagators which have lids and can then be swathed in garden fleece and, perhaps, bubble wrap as it gets colder. This is what it looked like this morning:

The overnight temperature wasn’t too bad – and as I look at the greenhouse now (1030) I can see the automatic vents beginning to open, so it must be 15C plus in there.

The young plants are either hardy perennials, most of which have grown from cuttings of existing plants in the garden, or hardy annuals, most of which have grown from seed. So we have:

They’re all doing well, or at least seem still to be living and in with a chance. There is also a somewhat rampant crop of Borage which threatens to outgrow the greenhouse:

Borage

I have some anxiety / uncertainty about when to pot on seedlings and have had to dump a few Borage and Gypsophila in particular because I moved them too soon. I’m now hanging on to the remaining seedlings in the tray and waiting for what seems like the right moment. Obviously the hope and intention is to be able to nurture all of these through the winter and then plant them out in the garden come next Spring; meanwhile it’s good to be able to enjoy the winter growth and even to see some flowering in the greenhouse.

Part 2 – the rest of the garden:

Late November, so obviously the game is basically about preparing for Winter and the Spring that lies beyond it – and, of course, clearing up the leaves which have now very nearly finished falling, I’m glad to say. So shrubs have been cut back fairly ruthlessly ……

…… and down at the business end of the garden, leaves have been stacked in a “leaf mould bin” alongside a fairly full composting bin whose partner is full of potential mulch:

There are still many leaves on the actual flower beds. We’ve debated this several times and in the end think to lead them there as a natural mulch and, maybe cat deterrent. We could use advice on both those possibilities.

This tub of perennials is a delight and I hope will remain so through the winter. The “perennial bed” is part prepared with the hardy shrubs tied up with the intention to cut them back in Spring, and the Dahlias awaiting attention, maybe next week:

The front garden progresses, with major questions about at least the larger of the two Acers. We are thinking that it may be OK to prune it back quite hard to try to rid it of the dead branches at its heart. This too can wait a week or so ……. it’s not ideally placed in terms of the sunshine and wind a receives where it is and we might have to take it out altogether. There is also a question mark over the little “hedge” of Box in front of it – does this take too much water from the soil????

So all in all I think the state of play is moderately positive – there are questions, but Ireenhouse guess there have to be questions before we find answers, so that’s OK.

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