September Blues

After the long hot summer, September has arrived and I don’t know about you, but the sudden drop in temperature has me feeling gloomy! I always used to like September as a child – the start of the new school year, a brand new planner and a blank slate. Now the nights are drawing in rapidly and there just isn’t enough daylight to do everything I want to do. And so I sit writing a blog post on a morning when I should be doing something else! All is not lost though. September is a great time to plan for the next year, and I love a good plan.

I am trying to sort the gardens out. It is a big project and at times I’m pulling my hair out. If I get a couple of hours I can really go to town. I’ve cleared a huge chunk of the back border and planted it up with perennials, something which I am really pleased about. It was a wilderness and now it looks a little more uniform. Hopefully it will overwinter and in the spring everything will come back bigger and better than before.

There is still a little bit left to do; I reached my established delphiniums and wanted to try and dig these up and divide them. I’ve not got round to it but I will sort myself out. They are a gorgeous deep blue, one a deep indigo, and I would like to keep them as best I can.

I’ve tackled the shrub bed between the drive and the lawn to the side of the house. There are a couple of potentilla bushes, some tree saplings and a lot of weeds. I’m cutting the potentilla back quite harshly – if they survive, fair enough, if not, they can come out next year and something else can go in. I’m not sure where the tree saplings have come from, but I’ve dug a lot of them up. Some I’ve potted up to see what happens, others have been consigned to the compost heap. I had to get Scott to help me pull out a huge broom tree. I had dug underneath it ever so far, but there was no way I was getting that out! So we tied a rope round it and fastened it to the tow bar on the car and pulled it out that way. The main thing I keep coming across in all my borders are bulbs – bulbs and bulbs and bulbs, all shapes and sizes.

At the spring of this year, daffodils, tulips and muscari erupted all over the place. There were swathes of daffodils and narcissi nodding in the breeze. It was lovely, though a lot of things just threw up leaves and no flowers. As I went about my digging rampage, I discovered others – great long iris rhizomes, chunks of mysterious tubers. Everything has been dug up and now I’m in the process of sorting through things. I’ve divided up the iris and have replanted those in the perennial border to see how they do. I held back from buying any daffodil bulbs as I know I already have hundreds. I did however order some tulips, but I don’t have as many of those. I made an error when I last planted tulips out anyway; I had the idea of planting them in a line down the driveside, but when they flowered they looked lonely, so this time I will group them together in clumps. The muscari I will end up having thousands of, so I will plant some out and maybe pot the others up and when they start sprouting (as some already are) sell them at the road end.

Another thing to do this September is start my annuals for next year. I bought a polytunnel which we need to put up at some point. This will house my annuals over winter and then over summer will be home to my tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and peppers. That’s the plan anyway. I have lots and lots of packets of seeds – the garden centre in town was having a half price sale on Thompson and Morgan, plus I had some leftover from the beginning of the year that I dithered about too long and got left out.

Things to do in September:

  • Plant out spring flowering bulbs
  • Sow annual seeds to overwinter
  • Clear space in greenhouse for overwintering
  • Continue weeding
  • Clean used plastic pots and trays
  • Plan for next year
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