Cold November Sun
The weather is truly wintry now, and the Flower Garden is starting to curl in on itself as the plants focus all their energy underground, before a burst of renewal in the spring. The team are tirelessly working, digging trenches for new tulips (perhaps we may have gone a bit crazy with the scrumptious double peach variety 'La Belle Epoque', but they sold so quickly this spring that we didn't have a single one to bring home for ourselves - surely an important perk of flower growing) as well as clearing spent comos, weeding the rose garden (much cherished by all of us), sowing sweet peas, protecting ranunculus and planting out new little hellebores and other perennial plants. The awful rain affected us very little, other than amazingly stalwart Jak, who chose to carry on digging trenches in spite of the torrents of rain. The high protective walls, sheltered situation and gently sloping bank on which the garden is built all help to shield us from the worst of the weather. The ground at the bottom of the garden has become a little boggy, and new planting there has been tucked into pockets of grit and potting compost, so that the new babies won't rot over the winter months.
We've also been able to do some divisions of congested perennials over the last few weeks, in particular of some extraordinary yarrow which was grown from seed this spring and which has already made enormous clumps; a patch of white camassia four or five years old, where the original bulbs have increased so happily that we now have five times the quantity of bulbs we started off with; and a row of glorious soft orange geum 'Totally Tangerine', which flowered so beautifully and so generously all through May (a month in which we are glad of pretty much any flower to pick, as it's a lull between the spring and summer crops), and which by the autumn was crying out to be divided so that it can work even harder for us next year. Thank you, lovely garden.