• Autumn is a good time to work in the borders. The soil is still warm so its helpful for planting and it matters less what gets trampled on. It is an ideal time to access the borders, move plants around and divide up herbaceous perennials.

    I have just dug out several elderly (5 years plus) perennials which didn’t flower very well this season. These were mainly Hemerocallis, and Crocosmia highlighted left. Herbaceous perennials frequently get crowded with time, especially in the centre of the plant. The best thing is to dig them up, carefully seperate a part of the plant however with some it perhaps needed to cut up the plant. Replant a new healthy piece with more area and it ought to do better next year. I am attempting to dig up anything which didn’t do well in 2015 and divide or replace. Some plants succeed with time, some need dividing and others require changing.

    Perennials suitable for dividing: Agapanthus, Hemerocallis (Day Lily,) Salvia, Sedum, Verbena, Astilbe, Hosta, Crocosmia, Delphinium, and Aster. The tell tale sign that the plant needs to be divided is an overloaded centre and flowering less each year.

    I seem to spend the majority of October weeding trying to clean up the borders to put down a mulch for the winter season. Mulching assists the plants over winter and come the spring will assist to suppress the weeds. As plants pass away back more of the border is exposed which assists you identify the weeds and clear them out.

    Beyond that I am not keen on too tidy borders; the garden is home to many creatures they need somewhere to spend the winter. In among the shrubs are log stacks and leaves, stones and sheltered corners.


    In 2015’s spring bulbs can be all combined in together presenting a problem to understand which bulbs are which. If you have stored the bulbs over the summer in extra containers, or even the original containers, possibilities are this year when you wish to re utilise them and plant out or into containers, its really difficult to know what the bulbs are. Taking a look at them are they Daffodil, tulip, or crocus?

    One way to a minimum of half fix the issue if you can not determine the bulbs is to arrange them into sizes. Broadly speaking various types of bulbs are different sizes. The first image left shows a collection of bulbs tipped out of a container from last year. They are all healthy bulbs, all set to be replanted, and will supply an excellent spring screen.

    By arranging them into sizes such as the 2nd image, which is all large bulbs, you have a prospect of planting comparable kinds of bulbs together.

    The bigger of the bulbs are typically Hyacinth, followed by daffodil, and lots of tulips are largish bulbs. They are less most likely to be Tulips since only a few varieties flower every year. The smaller sized bulbs are usually iris reticulata, muscari, crocus and the smallest of all, snow drops.

    After sorting into sizes plant in layers, biggest at the bottom of the container to get the depth of soil it requires (preferably 3x the size of the bulb,) and keep putting in layers with snowdrops and crocus on the top.

    The principle whatever you are planing is lots of grit as in the image. Mix the grit with excellent compost. If the pot ends up being water logged there is a threat the bulbs will rot and the extra grit assists to prevent this.

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