The clock-change last weekend marked another shift in the gardening year. Quite suddenly, even the sunniest day in the garden seems to end prematurely. Of course, we could get outside early to take advantage of the extra hour but the temperature has really dropped this week making the mornings very chilly. All of this means it is probably time to consign the runner bean vines to the compost heap. There are still some beans slowly ripening, but not many, and it is a good moment to harvest the beans we neglected over the past few weeks, all of which are now fat and brown. They will go into a paper bag and be saved for next year’s crop. The last of the sweet peas are joining the runner beans on the compost heap, and we are saving their pods too. Some of the seeds will be sown now to overwinter in the unheated Rhino greenhouse, while the rest will be sown in the spring.
We have carried on lifting and dividing perennials, replanting them in rows in our stock beds, making parts of the Walled Garden begin to look like a nursery. We are getting ready for next year’s Practical Certificate in Horticulture, when the students will need loads of plants for propagation practice and for potting up. As the temperature drops and plants become dormant, we will be adding more shrubs and small trees to our stock so that the students can practice planting, pruning and training. Some of the trees may end up being lifted and replanted several times in the next year!
Our upcoming course, What Needs Doing Now, takes a seasonal look at what we can get on with in the garden over the next couple of months. We will cover maintenance jobs, seeds that can be sown, shrubs and trees which can be planted, how to overwinter tender plants, which plants can be moved and divided now, and what jobs can be done now to prepare for your spring garden.
Don’t forget to book your place on one of our Christmas Wreath and Christmas Table Decoration workshops in early December. We do have spaces left on some of the dates.
Upcoming courses with availability:
Care of Fruit Trees 12th November
Planting Trees Shrubs & Hedges 14th November
Developing an Annual Maintenance Plan 15th November
Plants for the Menopause 16th November
Plants for Free: Propagation & Seed Saving 21st November
Floristry Workshop 4: Tablescapes 26th November
Floristry Workshop 5: Christmas Wreaths 3rd December
Floristry Workshop 6: Christmas Table Decorations 10th December
Christmas Wreath Workshops 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th December
Plant of the Week
Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea'
Vitis is Latin for grapevine; vinifera indicates it can be used for wine production. The ‘Purpurea’ cultivar is a vigorous ornamental vine with leaves that change from green to purple in summer then take on hints of crimson in autumn. This climbing shrub is suitable for wall training or growing over a pergola. It is easy to grow, thriving in full sun or partial shade and in well-drained soil. Although we associate vines with southern Europe, this one is hardy and grows happily in this country, even if we are unlikely to make a decent wine from its grapes.