Take A Rainy Day to Plan

Rain is coming down, alternating from hard uncontrollable onslaughts, to soft falling sheets of wet mist. It’s much needed. For all that we haven’t had the glorious summer than was intended, rainfall has been sporadic at most and I have all but given up mowing clients lawns due to the barren and dusty tundra that was largely imminent. Blades turning a dead brown, ant hills rising out of the scorched turf, that’s all that remains of many beautiful lawns. With the return of the rain, comes the return of green and once stubborn grass starts to again grow with vigour, the autumn fix can start. The raking out of moss and weeds. The aeration using forks or bizarre spiked shoe contraptions. A final feed before the season for garden hibernation sets in.

But whilst the rain is falling, and a dropping leaf and a colder night spell the oncoming of change, it is time to take a look back at the garden year and assess. My own garden has largely been left to its own devices, which has spelt doom for many a plant. Other than the real changes afoot, mentioned in my previous post, it is important to any gardener to recall which plants have done well and which haven’t. Take the time to plan where to move less than happy plants to over the coming months. At the time of year when real moves can be made to alter planting schemes and buy in new plants, think about the changing of the seasons of the year. Gaining colour, or intrigue, throughout the garden all year round is one of the most difficult things to achieve without having to consistantly buy in new bedding plants as previous ones stop flowering. By looking at the garden now and assessing which months desperately need colour, you can plan what to buy before you get to the nursery and fill the trolley with whatever’s going.

Looking ahead is also vitally important when establishing which plants are going to need winter protection. Start thinking about taking cuttings from less hardy plants such as Osteospermum, Fushia’s, Geranium’s. The snow of last winter destroyed my Osteospermum collection through thoughtlessness on my part, the days of snow chilling the plants to their very core. Leave a few flower heads to seed on annuals that you wish to grow next year, and plan how to protect plants which need to frost proof such as Echium’s and Tree Ferns. Pot up collections of smaller, self seeded plants within the garden so that when it comes time to replant borders, all the little younglings are there, waiting for you. I have pots upon pots of Aquilega’s and Verbena’s which have proliferated in the garden. I can now plant these younger specimens, whilst older, woodier individuals can be banished to the compost bin.

Rain is here. Be glad it’s watering the garden, bringing life force to your tended plants. Take the opportunity to think a little, plan a little and get excited about the garden once again.

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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.