|Fucshia Dollar Princess (?) through the kitchen window|
I always enjoy sweeping up leaves and cutting back perennials (although I am leaving most of the latter for a while as a lot of things are still growing) and there are real treasures to be found amongst the dried leaves and seed heads. Yesterday I found a tiny poppy seed-head skeleton and a beautiful perennial sweet pea which had also rotten back to its delicate framework. Holly skeletons are also prized finds and they all have great photographic potential even thought they do rather clutter up the kitchen.
I planted the tulips really densely this year and tried to remember to put the shorter, earlier-flowering ones to the front. I still finished up with a bag of 25 Princess Irene which I will have to plant in pots and didn't quite get round to finishing my planting at the front. The soil was moist but not too heavy and easily mixed with a good few handfuls of bonemeal.
Mum told me that squirrels have been digging up the bulbs she has planted which set me thinking, so I firmed down the soil well and strewed holly and a thick layer of fallen leaves over the areas I planted. I'm sure it won't make any difference to squirrels but it may deter cats!
I have decided to leave the dahlias in non-tulip areas in the ground to over-winter as an experiment. I am still drying and cleaning the ones I lifted which should be ready to put into store next week. Some of the tubers are huge so I really hope I am successful this year. Maybe I could divide some of them to give away or do some swapping...?
There is little left in flower now; evergreen honeysuckle, the odd rose and a few early flowers of winter jasmine but the hardy fucshia opposite my kitchen window (Dollar Princess - I think...) is still giving me a great show. They go in and out of fashion but I still really like them in moderation.