October Gardening....Clearing And Mulching
The garden is slowing down – two very early frosts (for us!) have knocked the dahlias back a bit, but they’re still with us for a week or so. But the clearing of old beds and beginning the big winter mulch is a kind of zen activity once you get into the swing of it.
Fabrizio always wants to engineer the mulching so that it’s all done in a oner, but I prefer the clear a bit, mulch a bit, clear a bit, mulch a bit way of gardening – which does take much longer, but means I get a really good overview of how the beds are, are they in good heart, are they very shaded now the trees have grown up, what will do best in which space next season?
And I’m sowing annuals for next year too in two clear tunnels, remembering to keep space for the ranunculus and the anemones which I’ll sprout in module trays in November.
We created this garden from scratch, and we still have structural plans to achieve: will we have time/budget this winter to extend the Pitch by Yard (named after the sports fields at Fabrizio’s old school.) I plan to lift all the dahlias this winter and move them to the Pale, so that next year the space they are in now will be all annuals. And do I have budget for more roses/shrubs? And then there’s the list of perennials I’ve been scribbling on the board in the office all year: can we afford them? and if we can where will we plant them? I spend my life thinking about how best to de-frag the flower farm in order to try and walk less in a day and make more time.
So enjoy your gardens friends, and I wish you strong shoulders and well-functioning barrows as you clear and mulch beds. And if, like me, you can’t resist spending money, then I’ll think of you all, enjoying all those brilliant websites where you can order seeds and plants and bulbs and bare root shrubs as the evenings draw in and you can sit by the fire, choosing next year’s garden. Here are some people we highly recommend:
Higgledy Garden – cut flower seed
Dalefoot Compost – brilliant compost
Bluebell Cottage Garden – excellent quality plants by post
Peter Nyssen – bulbs which haven’t been dipped in Neonicotinoids