WP_20151030_13_49_00_ProOld School Garden – 30th October 2015

Dear Walter,

Well, this month I can say that I’ve just about caught up with the routine jobs that Old School Garden needs at this time of year, though my bigger projects of pond and shed still await some serious attention.

I’ve spread a large pile of leaf mould in the new woodland garden I’m creating and mixed this with the topsoil and ashes from the old bonfire site I’d deposited there a few months ago. The soil is at least starting to deepen and hold some moisture. Into this mix I’ve planted a lot of ground cover and slightly larger perennials from around the garden as well as many spring bulbs – in waves that should hopefully make a bit of an impact next March and April.

The new woodland garden...promise of things to come.

The new woodland garden…promise of things to come.

I’ve also dug over the main kitchen garden beds and added some leaf mould and compost; the latter around the various fruit bushes. It all looks nice and tidy and should help to enrich the soil as well as cover it over the winter. I also finally got around to cleaning up the greenhouse and am about to add its winter insulation before putting in the various tender plants that I try to over winter.

I also plan to buy some bare root summer fruiting raspberries and a redcurrant bush- I’ve decided to reduce further our stock of blackcurrant bushes to one and donate the other to the local Primary School; how we ever dealt with three bushes I don’t know! (the first one went to Gressenhall Museum last year).

The table planter I created this year has also been stocked with a mix of garlic, shallots and broad beans that should get going and give me a chance of early crops next year. And a mix of white and red onions have also been planted out for the same reason.

Leaves, leaves everywhere

Leaves, leaves everywhere

Elsewhere in the garden its been leaf collecting time, and having cleared last year’s leaf mould pile, I’m slightly reorganising the storage areas to accommodate a new supply of firewood (yet to be cut and collected) from our near neighbours. In doing this I’ve opened up a new vista towards the church..maybe a spot for another bench methinks?

New view...one to take advantage of with a new seat?

New view…one to take advantage of with a new seat?

I had hoped to have shown you some pictures of the beautiful leaves on the Sumachs, but once again a little breeze and they soon disappear! It’s also been a time of hedge cutting and I’m pleased that this big job- with the added task of reshaping the big Laurel hedge in the main garden- has now been completed, as has fence painting. I spent one morning spreading 7.5 tonnes of shingle we had delivered which certainly improves the look of the drive, though in places it’s rather like Sheringham beach!

I recently made start on some plant moving, specifically a large white rose bush that was being crowded out by a vibrant Choisya and Viburnum. This helps to plug a gap in one of the mixed borders. I’ve also been mentally logging which other plants need to be shifted, including a Myrtle (which I’ll leave until early spring) and some other shrubs I’ve earmarked for the new pond garden. The plants I now have for this area – including some purchases earlier in the year – are now making a nice little collection and I can’t wait to finalise my design and get on with the pond and its surrounds.

Some of the plants I've been collecting for the new pond garden

Some of the plants I’ve been collecting for the new pond garden

I also have a big bag of tulips of various kinds as well as some Alliums I want to get into some of the containers we have and some in the borders. A job for next month.

As you’ll read in my other posts I’ve been putting in some sessions at Blickling Hall and also went over to Gressenhall museum last week to plant up some tubs with some drought tolerant perennials; two varieties of Cistus and a compact Buddleja, to be precise, with a few small ivies to add ‘edge interest’.

I gave a talk to a local gardening group the other night on the basics of garden design. This went well and I took the opportunity to plug my new garden design course (‘Your Garden- your Design’) I’m hoping to run at Blickling Hall from February next year.

The switchover has begun...the tender plants formerly in these pots are on their way to the greenhouse..to be replaced by Carex elata aureum ('Bowles Golden Grass') and tulips to come..

The switchover has begun…the tender plants formerly in these pots are on their way to the greenhouse..to be replaced by Carex elata aureum (‘Bowles Golden Grass’) and tulips to come..

I do hope you and Lise are in good health as the days shorten and the temperatures drop. No doubt you’re enjoying watching someone else do the autumn tasks now that you’re getting some extra gardening help!

All the best old friend,

Old School Gardener