October in the centre of England has been a strange month. The temperature has continued to be above average and the plants have continued to flower. It is definitely autumn with the leaves turning and dropping, all the more so with several windy periods as a couple of Atlantic storms have arrived. We are towards the east of the country so even these storms have normally moderated by the time they get to us.
My regular view across the garden. There are still many flowers out although not as many as last month. We have not had any frost so far so the dahlias are continuing to flower. One of the negative aspect of the warm and damp weather through September and October has been the growth of moss in the lawns. This time of year is a good time for scarification to remove any thatch and moss in the lawn. It always amazes me how much can come up with such a small machine and this is after the lawns have been cut with the normal mower.Its a labour intensive job. After the scarification the thatch needs to be raked into piles.Bagged up ready to be moved around to the composting area. Then the lawn need mowing again to pick any lose material not raked up. Thank goodness it is only once a year.Elsewhere a sure sign that winter is on the way is when we start to wrap the benches in the garden.However, the roses continue to flower. This is mostly Rosa ‘Lichfield Angel’and Rosa ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ which also needs its winter prune to get it back into shape.Pruning climbing roses is a significant job at this time of year. This will more or less need to be taken off the wall and rearranged but………..……….see how it will look in May. Rosa ‘Shot Silk’ is the rose.
One of the stars this autumn has been Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ which continues to look fantastic.View across the lawn with Salvia ‘Phyllis Fancy’ either side of the pond.
It is getting into bulb planting time. We do not lift our tulips as most come back each year but over time they do need replenishing. My order for 2017 arrived and contains the following:
|250||Crocus Joan of Arc|
|100||Crocus speciosus Albus|
|50||Cyclamineus Narcissi Jenny|
|20||Lilium Bright Diamond|
|10||Lilium Purple Lady|
|10||Lilium Curly Sue|
|15||Cyclamen Coum Album|
|10||Cyclamen Hederifolium Album|
|100||Iris Histrioides Katherine Hodgkin|
|100||Tulip Exotic Emperor|
|100||Tulip Purissima White Emperor|
|100||Tulip Red Impression|
|100||Tulip Big Smiles|
|100||Tulip Elegant Lady|
|100||Tulip Purple Blend|
|100||Tulip Species Turkestanica|
We have made a start but the tulips are best not planted before November to avoid “Tulip Fire” so we are going to be busy in November with 700 bulbs to plant! Tulip fire is caused by the fungus Botrytis tulipae. It is closely related to the grey mould pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Leaf symptoms are visible from when leaves emerge in late winter until they die back in summer.
In some areas we have started to cut back the herbaceous plants in preparation for tulips and mulching. However, with so much still flowering it seems a shame to cut out too much.
The dahlias will continue to flower until the first hard frost. Here is Dahlia “Twyning’s After Eight” plus a Red Admiral butterfly!This is Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ which will be cut back soon but is looking great right now.This combination of Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ and Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ has been looking great since June this year.What is this flowering so much at the end of November? Helianthemum ‘Ben Fhada’ a flower I normally associate with the summer but I am not complaining.
If you would like to join in with the End of Month View please do. It would be great if you could add a link to your post in the comments below and link to this post in your post.
|2017 Gardening Hours|
|Total 2017 to-date||Average per week|
Having almost completed this blog and commented on the frost free weather; this morning we had the first frost of the winter! Not enough to hurt the dahlias but they will be hit soon.