June view 2009

June view 2009
View of rose and herb garden, June 2009

Small Garden Story

Over some 15 + years, I have been photographing the evolution of my small (85 x 15 foot) garden and it seems a waste not to put these records into some sort of context. Beginning here in April 2010 this Blog is intended to both act as a diary and to share past and present successes (and some failures), pleasures and disappointments with fellow garden-lovers. In due course, I intend to fill in some of the background and early days but that will have to wait until the winter months!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mean, thrifty or green?

Golden wisteria and a carpet of hazel leaves but the dahlias are still green and budding...
Every so often I become aware of having inherited a little of my Yorkshire Dad's "waste not want not" philosophy.  I don't think it's meanness, I just hate waste and equally hate being exploited.   This tends to come to the fore in gardening activities, plant labelling being a prime example and as at the weekend I finally decided I would have to start lifting the dahlias - green and thriving as they were - to make space for tulips I realised that one of the things that was making me procrastinate was the labelling issue.   Last year I spent ages making labels for my dahlias from old wooden lolly sticks.   What a waste of time - they all faded!   But this year I was really chuffed to find that the labels I had made with indelible marker pen written on to strips of cut up plastic milk bottles were mostly still legible next to the plants when I dug them up.   So I have wrapped each tightly around the remaining stub of stem with a bit of garden wire or string re-cycled from the plant supports.   Great if they don't fade over winter; will have to remember to check them.
Digging up the tubers was satisfying work - enjoyed equally by a hungry robin!   It also threw up another dilemma - what to do with them over winter.  The last 2 years have been fairly disastrous as I failed to protect the tubers from 1. extreme cold and 2. mildew.   So I began lifting them and putting them to dry on a rack in the greenhouse still pondering the best method.   Happily, a lovely guy I was shooting with on Sunday, who runs his own landscape gardening business near Portsmouth, had a bright suggestion - a garage - the ideal compromise.

Next weekend I will have to finish the job and get down to some serious decision-making with my tulip combinations.   It can't possibly be as warm and sunny....

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