Even though today it seems that the dismal days of dreary rain and drizzle have come and will not shift, there is still a lot to think about, plan and prepare at all the plots. And this, of course, is hopeful. Recently, work, a blue sky sunny holiday in Mallorca and drenching rain at home have meant that most tasks have been done just outside my front door: planting sweet pea seeds, spring bulbs in pots and potting on the cuttings and perennials outgrowing their containers.
Sitting here at home, I can imagine the slowly yellowing-leaved plot with dahlias sodden and in need of dead heading and the cosmos flattened by the wind and rains. Hoping the biennials are short and sturdy enough to not really be affected badly by the weather. Work to be done there includes digging up dahlias not suited for cutting; clearing the cosmos and seeded grasses; starting the tulip marathon planting and gently tidying and mulching. The plan (as often with my plans) is to start tomorrow. Today, put off by the buffeting wind and the persistent rain, I am lazily just enjoying the cheerfulness of the Heartease violas outside my door.
Last month’s plan of planting sweet peas in October and January, has already been adapted as predictably didn’t get as many seeds planted before October was over as I had planned. So the now it will be, October/November planting with a break before starting again in January. Then any leftover seeds will go in March. The first seeds have germinated and the next batch will be sown in a couple of days.
Turning into a pot rather than a plot grower at the moment with containers full of bulbs everywhere around the outside of the house. Some, like the ranunculus, daffodils and tulips are for cutting at various stages of Spring, but others are being forced for possible Christmas market sales. This is an uncertain process though as doing if for the first time makes it difficult to predict whether the crocus, iris and Paperwhite daffodils can be forced in time. If not, friends and family will have terracotta pots of scent and colour and we can enjoy them inside too before planting them outside in the garden to look after themselves.