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By AndrewR


With heavy rain forecast for tomorrow and possible frosts next week, today was the time to put the garden to bed for this year.

The first job was to move anything tender indoors – this included digging up pennisteum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ and potting it up. Any cuttings taken earlier in the year are now in the greenhouse unless they are totally hardy and in large pots – these will stay out unless we have a really cold spell when they will go into the cold frame.

Next I turned my attention to the pond. Some plants, while appreciating moisture in the growing season, are intolerant of wet feet during our colder months so they go under cover for winter. This includes asplenium bulbiferum (a fern from New Zealand), arisaema candidissimum, lobelia cardinalis and primula viallii (which has now completed its fourth year under this regime). I also take pots of hostas and candelabra primulas out of the water and leave them standing on the side of the pond.

All these pots were standing on bricks (to ensure the plants were in shallow water). The bricks are now free to be placed on the alpine bed and sheets of glass placed over anything in this area that is intolerant of winter wet – mainly sempervivums but I have also planted some rhodohypoxis bulbs this autumn which need the same treatment.

Work will continue at a more leisurely pace now over winter until the tidy-up starts next spring. How will I fill my time until then? Maybe I ought to write a book on gardening!

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: In Praise of Ferns

Next post: Tulips from Kazakhstan



A great Blog again Andrew. I personally find this time quite sad as the garden has to be put to bed for the winter, but it's also lovely to look out and see the garden with its winter coat on, and....if we have frosts and snow that will add considerably to the overall picture, and will be a wonderful bonus.

We can also look forward to spring when everything begins to burst into life again, and we see the new colours and new growth starting to erupt.

Good luck with all your gardening tasks. We are just starting on the same journey- Tidying, preparing and protecting all the delicate plants!
P.S How about a joint writing effort?
'Memoirs of two N.G.S Garden openers!'
(We have some funny stories to share.)

25 Oct, 2008


Yes, guys ~
Books, DVD'S.
These would be wonderful from you two.
You both have good sense of humour so that would be an added bonus. :o)

Andrewr ~ great blog.
Absolutely sums up the closing down season of autumn.
I really don't like this time of year for all sorts of reasons.

25 Oct, 2008


I dont like this time of the year either. nice blog Andrew.

26 Oct, 2008


Help! It's dark and I haven't dug up my Pennisetum! Thanks for the reminder, Andrew. I've been raking up leaves until I couldn't see any more (due to the darkness, there are still plenty more leaves out there!) I do hope that we get a dry day tomorrow - I've got so much more to do before the cold hits! It's simply amazing how much there is to do, putting the garden to bed, isn't it!

I agree with you, TT and Clarice, I don't like the long dark evenings either.

26 Oct, 2008


Spritz - you need a head torch!!

26 Oct, 2008


I'm not going to get one for one reason only, useful though it must be .

We have been told that our predecessor used to be seen cutting the grass with the mower headlamps on - sent out by his wife! In a small hamlet, everything is known/seen. Imagine the gossip!

27 Oct, 2008


This all sounds rather depressing! I'm not saying I like longer hours of darkness but there's still plenty going on in the garden. The Mahonia Charity is just forming huge sprays of flowers which will soon be fragrant and yellow. Camellia buds are getting fatter. lots more bulbs to plant - waiting in the garage. Actually my hanging baskets and tubs are still flowering although the frost may put an end to that. But my idea is to have things flowering every month of the year. In fact primulas and pansies are flowering away too......

27 Oct, 2008


Thanks to good lighting in our new garden (having just read this and Grenville's blog on lighting), I've been known to be out there at midnight sweeping up leaves, potting/lifting plants, etc. Sometimes this is the first chance I get to go out and do anything out there. Great blog, Andrew. I must get a move on, especially up here.

28 Oct, 2008


Good work Andrew. Bet you are glad you got your 'tender,s' indoors just in time.. Still collecting the leaves, but once that finishes, It does show up the Evergreens and deciduous Bonsai show up well. We wait for the Books.

31 Oct, 2008

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