It’s Saturday…and time for a gardening week review.

It has been a good gardening week with good weather, those bright and sparkling days of autumn, that very special light that comes in October – ten in the morning is the very best time when the fog and darkness clears and those strong shafts of light cut across the garden, almost like spotlights, and give the garden an appearance it has only at this time of year. I’m digressing and repeating myself as I wrote about this light and posted a selection of photographs earlier this week.

We have grown colchicums in the garden for many years, the more common cultivars, the more easily found ones and these have increased well in number. In the last few years I have begun adding a few new ones each year – and have some more due to arrive in next week’s post. The flowering of colchicums is coming to an end so here is a last round-up of this year’s flowers:

Click on the first photograph to view in a larger format and start a slideshow:

Now, I did say it had been a good week for work in the garden so there was only so much time for admiring the flowers. Cutting the hedges had been in the offing for a long time but was on the long finger because of poor weather; it seemed the rain would never stop and we had days of fog and mist which ruled out hedge cutting for ages. Eventually, the few bright days arrived and we set to. We have four yew hedges immediately behind the house, framing an open lawn, and privet hedges dividing other areas. We cut the privet hedges several times during the season but the yew only once each year. There is a mixed hedge at the bottom of the garden, the old ditch which separated the field from the road and this is comprised of native species – I simply cut down, layered, what was there and with regular cutting it has made a reasonable hedge. Every few years, it needs a good scairting to keep it in shape and it got such a strong cut back this year.

Click on the first photograph to view in a larger format and start a slideshow:

Monday morning was a bit damp here, a lingering fog and a heavy dew, so I went to work in the vegetable patch. The pathways are of gravel so it is always clean underfoot when working there. The asparagus was just on the turn of colour and I decided to just get on with it and cut it down. Early Sprouting Brocolli was a complete flop on me this year as it ran to flower in mid-summer rather than waiting for next spring. There was no choice but to take it out. A small bed of spinach was only fit to be taken out as well but there is another bed still producing. Finally, the autumn raspberries had reached their end and were taken out also. And all of this was shredded and added to the compost heap.

Click on the first photograph to view in a larger format and start a slideshow:

I started on Wednesday to take out a big patch of Eupatorium purpureum which had stretched to just over a metre across and was dead in the centre. It was also impinging on a small tree, Sorbus cashmeriana, which is far more precious to us than the Eupatorium. Three large patches of daylily – Hemerocallis ‘Kwanzo flore pleno’ which has a double orange flower – also needed to come out. There are several other patches in the garden and it is a vigorous plant, inclined to be a thug, so it will not be missed. It was one of those plants which we used as a filler when we started on this part of the garden over twenty years ago and we are now throwing out. There were four wheelbarrow loads of roots from these two and they were a nuisance to shred even though I shook as much soil from them as possible. To add to the work, I went to cut the grass this morning – really, just running the lawnmower to collect the leaves which seem to be everywhere at the moment. A drive belt broke on the mower so I had to revert to the push mower to do the run around. I certainly had a good walk today! All of this lead to further work at the compost bin: gathering, shredding, piling up again and again! As they say, “It all makes work for the working man to do.” It does involved an amount of work but the compost produced is the very best for the garden.

Click on the first photograph to view in a larger format and start a slideshow:

Two flowers are proving their great worth in the garden at the moment, two old reliable sedums. One is Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ and the other a variegated form. Both are the easiest of plants in the garden, easy to grow and easy to propagate and are still looking especially good when many other plants have reached the end of their season.

Click on the first photograph to view in a larger format and start a slideshow:

Finally, just some glimpses of autumn. The trees are changing colour but are not quite at their best yet. For the moment, it is just the beginning:

Click on the first photograph to view in a larger format and start a slideshow:

I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator” on his blog site. To read more contributors to the Six on Saturday theme go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!

19 thoughts on “It’s Saturday…and time for a gardening week review.

  1. Such a busy time there for you, Paddy. It always feels great to clear out some of the veg beds. Your compost system looks impressive and productive. As I walk our garden, each glimpse of autumn, like yours, feels like a gift.

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    1. I think the garden quietens down at this time of the year; the display has also quietened down and we appreciate the little beauties we see. (but snowdrops are coming!)

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    1. Now, you’ve put me to thinking. I’ve copied and pasted an entry from Ó Dónaill’s dictionary below. but my understanding parallels the English phrase “to cut to the quick” as it describes cutting a ditch or hedge right back to bare frame. I have the word from my father who would cut back a hedge every few years, cutting one side right back to the centre so that it would shoot again afresh. A few years later he would cut the other side back similarly. So, it is far more than just a trim on the hedges; it’s a severe cutback, a cut to the butt, so to speak. From Ó Dónaill: scairt1, f. (gs. ~e, pl. ~eacha).1. (a) Caul, omentum. (b) Diaphragm, midriff. ~ an chléibh, the midriff. Buille sa ~, body-blow. (c)(pl.) Lungs. Is maith na ~eacha atá aige, he has good lungs, a strong voice. (d)(pl.)Cu: Lights, lungs. (e)Fig:Níl sé de ~ aige, he hasn’t the gumption. Ghoill sé go dtí na ~eacha orm, it hurt me to my innermost being. A mhic na ~e! Good heavens! 2. Sheltering cave or thicket; shelter, covert. S.a. SCOIL 1(a). There was also a turn of phrases – Ghearr sé go scairt mé or Ghoill sé go scairt mé both of which are almost perfectly equivalent to the English, cut to the quick.

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  2. I’ve added colchicums to my list for next year – I particularly love C. ‘Waterlily’.
    You’ve obviously had a very busy week, there’s always such a lot of jobs to tackle at this time of the year. The changing colours in your garden are beautiful.

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    1. “Waterlily” is certainly one of the very best. The bother with some colchicums is that they have a weak stem and flop about but ‘Waterlily” is short and sturdy. Colchicum speciousum ‘Alboplenum’ is very similar in white.

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    1. Yes, we’ve just decided to take on the autumn clear up. Our ground gets very wet in winter and it is messy to work on it so it is better to have a scourge at it and get it over with. That sedum: Yes, Mary propagated a lot of it this year and it has looked well. It is not as strong a grower as the plain varieties but is attractive.

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  3. Thanks for that wonderful informative post Paddy which was a joy to read. Really impressed by your composting technique – and is that a duvet you have covered it with? Great idea and ours is in a shaded part of the garden and doesn’t heat up. 🙏👏

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    1. Thank you for the kind comments, Mary. Yes, I use two old duvets to cover the compost bins. I shred as much as I can – some thing don’t shred – and that with the duvets gives great heat in the heap which helps with the breakdown of the material and speeds up the composting process.

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  4. I am sharing this blog with my snowdrop friend, who recently said that he had put in an order for a number of colchicums. I had no idea there were so many! I do love the way they push their delicate flowers out of the rampant growth of summer plants in late fall in places where I had totally forgotten their rowdy leaves took up space in the spring! Such a beautiful surprise always!

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