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That Time of Year Again!

64 comments


Ah well, it’s that time of year again! It seems like the past 2/3 weeks have been taken up with weeding and cutting back whenever the weather is favourable. And here in the west of Scotland that happens every week for only a few hours!

Three weeks ago the conifer hedges got trimmed. Don’t you just love power tools? That made me very deaf for a day and a bit. Real bad tinnitus in both ears. ‘Course my wife chose to blame my guitar playing and having the amp set far to loud for my health and the neighbours…………can’t imagine where she gets the idea from! A builder’s bag full of trimmings then had to be carted off to the local recycling centre. Needed the help of my son for that.

Then it was the turn of the fork. I love my fork – almost as much as I love my wrecking bar! You can tell that my garden takes a fair bit of heavy work to sort out. For the past 4 years I have been on a mission to ‘reclaim’ the garden from the shrubs that the previous owner found it necessary to plant around the house. Several injured backs and a dose of sciatica this summer is the result of significant progress on this project. Anyhoo, I digress…..!

Forked over all the beds last week after the latest gales cleared from the west of Scotland. Gales in August and we are still denying that there is something changing in our climate! Trimmed back all the perennials and tidied up some shrubs. Repaired and reinforced the tree and shrub stakes. Put down some Autumn lawn fertiliser last Saturday and today I acted wormlike and got under those rosa rugosa hedges and declared war on the buttercup legions.

Now sitting down having had a shower and enjoying an apple, orange and cup of peppermint tea.

Then maybe, I’ll go and make myself deaf playing my guitar too loud again………….

(I think that I’m getting used to this early retirement lark :-) )

A wee chap who visited our garden recently!

The brutal pruning of an old rose tree!

More blog posts by somhairle



Comments

 

Sounds like you're making progress with good preparation for winter at least. And you're right - gales in August (or June and July, for that matter) are more common now even here in London - and is indisputably acknowledged, by me at least, as global climate change... I certainly have the feeling of hang on to your hats, here it comes in terms of these distinctive weather changes.
The tea you describe sounds interesting...

20 Sep, 2011

 

We had 80 mph gales in May this year when trees and shrubs were in full leaf. My rowan blew over and had to be staked. But the number of fine trees in the parks and roads in and around the Glasgow area that were lost was really sad. Many had been there for 40 years or more.

I didn't really want to stake my rowan as I would prefer it to develop roots around ground level, but I had no other option. At least it meant that when we were hit by 70mph gales last week, the tree survived - despite being full of fruit and in full leaf.

20 Sep, 2011

 

My word, don't you sound energetic? Just reading it made me come over all faint and I think I'll have to go and lie down for a bit.......

20 Sep, 2011

 

Us Glasgow gardeners are out there getting ready for winter!!!! I'm the same Somhairle..... every bit of dry weather and I am chopping and trimming. I have been up and down ladders etc. Just dug up my tender plants and put them in the green house. Like you showers and tea are very popular at the moment!!! :o) We have a high wall round our slopping garden which really helps against the winds. I just hate high winds!!!!!

20 Sep, 2011

 

I think I will need to stop until next week now! My garden recycling bin is full! I don't want to lose it in the back of the truck again!

We need to start 3 weeks ahead of everyone else, Linda235?

20 Sep, 2011

 

How could the other half even dare to blame the guitar when you have been at it with the trimmer, possibly she didn`t appreciate the tunes..
Before you stop work check if any kind neighbours have any space in theres, lol., glad you are enjoying the gardening....

20 Sep, 2011

 

Sounds like you've been a very busy man.

20 Sep, 2011

 

My admiration Somhairle. You are a very energetic person as Gattina already said. I won't compete with you in order to lose. You are young and me old to find one excuse.

20 Sep, 2011

 

I reckon you deserve a little music after grubbing up buttercups from under rugosas. What a heroic task! I hope you got them all out so you won't have to go and do it again very soon! My son who is a professional drummer always wears ear plugs to save his hearing. You can still hear but it is not so dangerous. Have you tried them?

20 Sep, 2011

 

She never appreciates the tunes, Linclass!

My son does his DJ and now has his own custom made earplugs. Before this he had the small ones that you get quite generally. Unfortunately, he had none of these left. So, I am on the look out for some more, Steragram!

Don't feel very energetic just now Costas! And I fear for the morning!

20 Sep, 2011

 

Have you seen the weather forecast for tomorrow......wind and rain for us Somhairle!!!!!

20 Sep, 2011

 

I did, and I think that the end of the week is as bad? Glad I got some work done today. Indoor duties tomorrow, I think!

20 Sep, 2011

 

You've been very busy Somhairle....I've spent the last 2 weeks digging, moving, painting and painting and more painting!!!! Was up a ladder painting the high fence in those gales....my knuckles were White! Had to be done.
You will enjoy your respite indoors tomorrow.
I feel it's such a shame to be getting the garden ready for winter already. Some of my plants haven't opened their buds yet...I live in hope!!
Enjoyed you blog and smiled at the thought of you wriggling about under the Rugosa :)

20 Sep, 2011

 

It's amazing what you find under those hedges. Found a nice wee geranium that had strayed in from next door. Unfortunately, I could not get it out to replant!

The birds were a bit unhappy that I had invaded their territory!

21 Sep, 2011

 

Strange...........my post above has been credited to Iclar!

Somhairle

21 Sep, 2011

 

As Linda235 mentioned, the weather is absolutely dreadful today. Torrential rain and strong winds. No work in the garden today. Even the birds have taken shelter.

21 Sep, 2011

 

Yes it was rotten today Somhairle......Those rain showers were incredible...horizontal rain, don't you just love it!!

21 Sep, 2011

 

Now that the rain has stopped - at least for a few hours, this wee chap is brightening up a small spot in the rockery. No one seems to have told him that everything else is going to sleep!

http://media.growsonyou.com/photos/photo/image/223614/main/DSCN1087.jpg

22 Sep, 2011

 

Hmmm, can't get the image to embed. Tried wrapping in IMG tags but it makes no difference. If someone can help, let me know what to do!

22 Sep, 2011

 

Weird - but there does seem to be a bit of a problem with the site in the last couple of days - photos lagging in their appearance behind posting of questions, and now, differences in the News section... I know Peter and Ajay have been tinkering with things, so maybe you should do a contact us and let them know you've got a problem, Somhairle - always assuming you sized the photograph at something the site can accept, that is.

22 Sep, 2011

 

Thanks, Bamboo. The image is less than the 5mb limit and does appear OK elsewhere in the site.

I'll try a contact us.

22 Sep, 2011

 

I think it is a 3mb max. Somhairle. Did you try putting it up beside your original blog message or did you try to add it in with 'add comment'. It would be a handy tool to have but as far as I know you can only add them at the top and mention that you have done so in Add comments. Glad to hear you are enjoying your retirement.

24 Sep, 2011

 

No, it was in the add comment. Maybe that was the problem.

Yep, retirement is great.........and very busy!

24 Sep, 2011

 

You can go back and click on "Edit blog" then on "Include photos" and add them in now if you want. Just add a note in the "Add comments" so we know there has been a change and can go look at it.

25 Sep, 2011

 

Thanks, Scotgran. Done it and the elusive Lewisia has been added to the blog above!

25 Sep, 2011

 

And isn't it a little beauty. It is so welcome on cold and rainy days.

25 Sep, 2011

 

Like today.............!

Planted some bulbs today. Tulips, crocuses, irises, narcissi and then the rain came down.

Still got the anemones, allium and muscari to plant once it stops and the ground dries a bit. Hopefully later in the week when the promised sun has dried the place up a bit.

25 Sep, 2011

 

I have had a lot of trouble trying to grow anemone de Caen. I picked up a helpful tip which said to soak the corms for 24 hours before planting and this year I managed to get some.There were more than a few but something kept cutting the stems at the bottom and then eating the flower head and then discarding the rest. I have just planted some more because I really like them. I have no difficulty with the anemone blanda. Roll on the heat wave which is forecast. Is this going to be our Indian summer at last. I don't plant my tulips until late October /November because if they start growing early then the frost can get the growing tips.

26 Sep, 2011

 

Scotgran, I know what you mean about the tulips. I did think about this but thought it better to plant now than November in case we are hit with any further severe weather.

I had a problem with something nibbling the shoots of my heucheras. It was either field mice or a squirrel who decided to visit the bird feeders - until I caged the feeder.

I have posted a couple of images of him. He chewed the plastic feeders to bits and I had to buy metal ones.

26 Sep, 2011

 

Squirrels are the bane of our lives. Believe it or not one managed to bite through a wire peanut container inside a mesh ball. We don't know how he managed it. The grey squirrels are becoming commonplace in our garden but I have not managed to get a photo of one. I was away for three months last year so did not have to suffer the weather up here. I hope it is not as bad this year. I remember as a child of 5/6 walking through an open topped snow tunnel to get to school. The snow would have been over 6' in lots of places. The men going to work in the local distillery made the tunnels to get to work and we would not have considered not going to school. Happy days.

26 Sep, 2011

 

Well the promised summer weather arrived today. Bloomin' warm but I got on with pruning an old rose tree that had become a bit wild. I have never pruned it in the 10 years that I have lived in this house. I also removed the stake which I installed hastily a few years ago following a storm when the tree and the old stake had blown over. Since then it has always been at an angle. Removing it was a bit of a task as app 18" is under ground, however, it is done now and the pruning will prevent so much rocking in the gales. We are pretty exposed here and catch the strength of any gales that arrive.

Also, pruned back the buddleia to about a half/third of the branch lengths.

And dug up some old Margueritas. They have been in the ground for decades and were reluctant come out. About a metre square but it gives me mopre ground to play with next year.

Still to finish the bulb planting and hope to get that done tomorrow. Then it's onto forking the grass (I wouldn't call it a lawn!).

Getting there......................

28 Sep, 2011

 

Um, they can't be marguerite daisies, Somhairle, they're tender. Probably Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum)

28 Sep, 2011

 

Strange, there was a label hidden among them and I thought that it started to spell out Margeurite. Maybe stray label. These daisies were well established. At one stage they covered an area of almost 1m x 6m.

They certainly look like Leucanthumums. I have some yellow ones in the back garden and they are similar in height and spread.

28 Sep, 2011

 

Marguerite Silver Princess is being sold for planting in Oct / Nov and is said to be hardy. Large white daisies with flat smooth leaves are commonly known as Marguerites in Scotland. Leucanthemum have feathery leaves. I stand to be corrected. This site is full of amazing people who can explain that sometimes plants which were named as one thing have officially been designated as something different. It will be interesting to find out the rights of it.

28 Sep, 2011

 

That's funny - marguerites are Argyranthemum frutescens, and they have greyish green, dissected leaves - Leucanthemum (shasta daisy) has flat, smooth green leaves, so sounds like, in Scotland, you call them the other way round from us here.

28 Sep, 2011

 

Thank you Bamboo, I thought you would be able to put us right. I have only started growing hardy perennials so I am often not sure about the names. I'm going to have to go in to my data base to see what I actually have.

28 Sep, 2011

 

Got the rest of the bulbs in today. Muscari, anemone de caen and small allium. Soaked the anemones as suggested by Scotsgran for a day before planting. Also, sprayed a rose that has blackspot. However, it is a bit windy today, so I think I will need to do it again tomorrow :-(

29 Sep, 2011

 

If the blackspot is not too all over the plant take off leaves with the blackspot and burn them if you can. Pick up any infected leaves that fall and burn them as well. This should help to minimize the problem next year. As soon as you see it next year take off affected leaves and you might get away without needing to spray.
The following link gives very good advice about why blackspot occurs and ways of preventing it. http://organicgardening.about.com/od/diseases/p/blackspot.htm

29 Sep, 2011

 

Thanks, Scotsgran. The disease is pretty widespread on the rose - which is a standard. It is a new rose and was planted in July. It must have had the disease when I brought it into the garden.

I sprayed it yesterday but it does sound as if it will be weakened for next season. It is planted in the environment described in your link - full sun, plenty of room for air circulation. And it is away from other roses.

Anyway, I'll get rid of the leaves as they fall and hope for the best next year. Pity, it is a pretty yellow standard.

30 Sep, 2011

 

That is a shame but roses are supposed to be almost impossible to kill so you just need to stick with it and feed it from early spring next year to build it up again.

30 Sep, 2011

 

Think I finished the last of the hard work today. I turned the soil at the bottom of the back garden. You know, the area that everyone ignores and it becomes overgrown and an embarassment! Well turned it over to let the frost do its work. Bit difficult working around some shrubs.

Now to sit back and think of the next task.

30 Sep, 2011

 

I did not notice the new pics until this am. I can see how entertaining the little squirrel is, no wonder we have a love hate relationship with them. Ours take off at the first sign of activity and i would never get a chance to take pics like these. You have certainly tidied up your rose bush and I think you will have done it a favour and you might be pleased at how well it grows next year. I was toying with the idea of standard roses up each side of the drive until i saw the prices.

1 Oct, 2011

 

We got some bargains in July. Greenhead Nurseries who have specialised in roses for decades, closed down. They sold off there stock in the last week. We got a standard for £7.50 and loads of other things for coppers. It was sad to see them go out of business but allowed me to restock parts of the garden that would otherwise have been left.

The squirrel has not been back since we caged the feeders. At the time, I could hear him scamper up the climbing rose at the back of the house and into the gutters. I was getting a bit worried that he may get into the loft and cause unimaginable damage.

BTW......the rain today has been torrential. Flooding on the roads and all the good work done in the garden over the past few weeks hidden beneath a muddy mass. My daughter and son gave us 3 roses for our anniversary yesterday and I am now thinking that it will be next year before I can get them into the ground. I have no obvious space for them asnd would have to do some shuffling around. The ground is now too wet for that.

1 Oct, 2011

 

Horror of horrors i am hoping it passes us to the north. I am still very busy in the garden and the last thing I need is more rain. The Indian summer did not last very long. Plant them in big pots now and then you can shuffle things around in Spring if it comes. That was a nice gift, was it a special anniversary?. Congratulations anyway.

1 Oct, 2011

 

I don't want to rub it in, but its roasting again here in London and will remain so until Tuesday apparently - frankly its a bit of a nuisance, its far too hot to work in (30 deg C) and I've got lots of moving plants around to do and now have to wait for the weather to become cool and damp again. Lovely to look at, but too hot for me... and the plants, at this time of year.

1 Oct, 2011

 

I know what you mean. We only reached 24C but I found that too hot for the heavy work.

Not a speacial anniversary, Scotsgran. My daughter loves roses and can't see past them. So I think she took the opportunity to buy some.

1 Oct, 2011

 

Well, the rain has stopped for a while and I managed to get the 3 roses planted - Guy's Gold, Carris and Misty Morning. Had to remove a quince that wasn't doing much anyway and a photina. Moved the photina to another location.
The ground was pretty heavy but not as bad as it can be. I reckon that I would be pushing it to do it any later, tho'.

7 Oct, 2011

 

I'm still waiting to do my moving around, Somhairle - we've had a little light rain, but the soil's very dry still.

7 Oct, 2011

 

We've had some pretty horrific wind and rain in the past week. I really thought that the chance to plant had gone, but since they are roses, and the ground wasn't as bad as expected, I took the chance.

7 Oct, 2011

 

I'm still moving things around and I have bought some extras to make the garden look better next year. I think the ground will still be warm and allow the plants to settle in but not be so hot that they will start sprouting new growth which will die at the first sign of frost. We had bright moonlight last night and a lovely starry sky so the frost can't be too far in the future.

7 Oct, 2011

 

Pretty clear tonight and I think that a meteor shower is expected to be visible in parts of our sky.

7 Oct, 2011

 

I must keep a look out. I have never seen one of them. It is pretty clear here in the east too. I have just googled it and it is supposed to be tomorrow the 8th.

7 Oct, 2011

 

Ooops! Must have misheard the news!

7 Oct, 2011

 

I did not hear it on our news but this morning the sky is overcast and looks like rain again. There is to be another one later in the month. The moon was really lovely last night. There was a huge pink halo all around it although it is not a full moon yet. It lit up ripples of wispy clouds. The clouds looked like a trail from an aeroplane.

8 Oct, 2011

 

It is ouring here in the west - no chance of seeing anything tonight!

8 Oct, 2011

 

It has just stopped pouring rain here in the east so I will go out and do some work where I can, standing on the patio or paths. The ground is so wet that walking onit will just compact it.

8 Oct, 2011

 

Quiet week this week. Apart from some tidying up and labelling the plants so I know where they are hiding during winter, I tackled the block paving with one of those wire brush thinies on a pole. It worked surprisingly well!

Need to fork the lawn soon tho'. The ground is really get a bit soft now.

14 Oct, 2011

 

Still not a drop here in London - had to get the sprinkler out 2 days ago.

14 Oct, 2011

 

Good grief.........that is unimaginable where I am!

14 Oct, 2011

 

We have barely had a drop of rain in 9 weeks! We've just had our water bill, too. an hour's watering every evening soon builds it up.You lucky, lucky people with all that lovely rain! I'd need a sledgehammer to get the fork into our lawn right now.

14 Oct, 2011

 

I have just heard from a friend near Brighton that they had ground frost this am. We had howling gales again last night. I am still unearthing my potatoes from their pots and Gattina some of the pots are so wet it is a wonder the potatoes have not rotted.

15 Oct, 2011

 

I'm planning what to do about my pots. With first frosts around the corner, it is time to get them some protection.

15 Oct, 2011

 

I have my pottery pots close to the house and they get enough reflected heat off the house that they survive well. My plastic pots, the majority of my pots, are mostly encased within a support framework of wood. That is enough to keep them safe and snug. The others are left in the open garden to take their chances. I have nothing in them that will not survive the cold. EG wallflower and bulbs. I like an easy life.

15 Oct, 2011

 

I've got a couple of Acers, a photina, lavender, fuschcia and a couple of roses. I am mostly worried about the acers as one is quite large and the roots fill the pot.

I will judge what to do depending on the severity of the weather.

In past years, the roses are not a problem but last year killed on. The lavender and fuschia would not normally survive outdoors anyway, so I need to think if I try to protect over winter or simply replace next year. I'm not sure about the photina but it should be preetty hardy.

15 Oct, 2011

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