Playing Away Most of the Time.

Rather surprisingly, and quite out of contrast with our lifestyle of more than the past year, I have been away from the garden most days of this past week. There was a day to visit Meadow Saffron in a riverside meadow earlier in the week and another to see the last native orchids to flower this season. Our grandson had his first day at big school and we went to meet our youngest son and enjoy a walk around Fota Island Garden in Cork. Another morning was given to walking with the afternoon giving a hand to our neighbour. So, there was not a huge amount of gardening done and it is as well that the garden is in that slowing down period of the year – though there are signs of those autumnal flowers and the start of a new gardening year with Stenbergia lutea, Nerine x bowdenii and the first of the colchicums coming into flower. There is never an end to the gardening season, it simply moves along.

Despite being away there was some gardening done: I planted out the garlic, a little earlier than normal but I took my cue from the few bulbs which escaped me when I lifted earlier in the summer and which are well into growth already. I have confined myself to three varieties this year, one which is without a name but which we have grown for many years and two which came from a friend in Finland and have been excellent here. I have decided to give up on the several varieties from the Isle of Wight suppliers as they have petered out miserable over recent years and don’t merit the time nor the effort. Though late in the season, I have transplanted some young spinach plants. They will give a cutting or two before the winter and will come into growth early in spring before bolting in early summer. Welsh onions, a clumping variety of onion, has done too well and I dug out a bed of it last weekend. It was offered for anybody who wished to have it via Facebook and will find good homes elsewhere. I have enough left to keep us in onions for years to come. Otherwise, there was the routine chores of cutting grass, shredding garden material, dead-heading, weeding and freshening-up – hardly exciting but essential. Now, for some flower from the past week:

Dahlias did not grow well for us this year. They were hit with a dry spell after being planted out and failed to thrive afterwards. Nonetheless, they did manage to produce a small display of flowers:

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Roses are ever so reliable and manage to put on a show regardless of the conditions:

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The rains of later summer have been a boon to the hydrangeas. They have suffered in recent dry summers so it is heartening to see them doing well again:

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Finally, three odd little things – a short week in the garden leads to a short report!

This is Biarum tenuifolium, a diminutive member of the arum family, which I grow on a raised bed where it gets heat and good drainage. It is hardly beautiful but it is interesting in its own way.
This variegated Tulbaghia violacea is hardly tough enough for growing in the open garden but it has a gentle attraction and we have kept it going as a pot plant, kept in the glasshouse overwinter, for some years.
I took out an old camera, not used since March or so, and found this one photograph on the memory card. It is of Narcissus ‘Geranium’ on the bathroom windowsill.

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”. To read more contributions 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!

18 thoughts on “Playing Away Most of the Time.

    1. I always feel the year is starting again at this time of the year. There is a sense of a gap in late August to mid September and then those autumn flowers spring up – nerines, sternbergias and, of course, the first of the snowdrops.

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    1. It’s good to have a change. We have been very much as stay-at-home family for more than a year so it is good to move about again though we are still avoiding social contact.

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  1. I also transplanted some spinach about a week or two ago. Can I ask your advice re garlic – how do you reuse the cloves you harvested to make new plants? Should they be replanted fresh or dry? I have some I harvested in July so am wondering if I can use those. Very fine specimen of H. Annabelle!

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    1. I have one variety of garlic which we have going for twenty+ years. We lift in July and generally plant in September. The bulbs are dried off as and then in September I split the best of them into cloves and plant individual cloves. However, I am coming to think they would do better if planted earlier than this and I base this on seeing those bulbs that were missed at harvest time coming into strong growth by the middle of August and I wonder if it would be just as easy to replant cloves immediately at harvest time – something I’m going to do next year.

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