We have bought our Christmas cards, ready to be written on dark evenings, but I am determined to spend the last autumn days in the garden (when it is not raining!) before the Christmas rush begins in our household. The garden is really starting to change now, with most of the leaves off the trees and the last of the perennials to cut back. I like to get as much done as possible before the beginning of December when thoughts turn to Christmas preparations and the dreaded ‘indoor jobs’ which usually mean decorating a room or fixing something! Leaving routine garden tasks until the New Year can sometimes be a problem with wet soil and bad weather making things take twice as long!
Time seems to have flown by this year - it definitely does as you get older - and I am already planning for next spring, with the allotment cropping programme to write and the last of the spring bulbs to go in this week. More Tulips have been purchased from Notcutts, to be planted in pots for the patio and I couldn’t resist picking up some white Anemone blanda and Scilla for the area by the dining room. At the moment, with plants jostling for space it is difficult to remember how much spring bulbs are appreciated filling the borders before perennials begin to grow and shrubs put on their green summer coats in May.
My raised beds have been built and I am looking forward to moving the salad crops from the allotment so that they are easier to harvest as we need them. I am hoping to grow some more Dahlias here as well and will be on the lookout for some of the miniature ‘pom pom’ varieties when they are in stock at Notcutts as tubers next spring. They are some of the best flowers for arrangements – the more they are cut the more they flower! The scented white Lilies that we have had in pots for years are also favourites of ours through the summer and I will be looking to add to these as well.
Christmas is fast approaching now and Notcutts will soon have their cut trees in stock in the outdoor planteria. We like to buy ours early and keep it in its net in the garden shed, well watered, until it is time to bring it into the house and decorate it. I love the strong pine scent of Norway Spruce but prefer the softer needles of the Fraser Fir, which is a narrower alternative to the Nordmann Spruce. Last year we had one of each but this year we are going away over Christmas, so will stick to one large tree for the lounge and if I have time a ‘twig tree’ using suitable branches from the garden to go in the dining room.
Twig trees are useful to show off ‘special’ decorations and over the years we have collected many, mainly from Notcutts who always have a unique range that we find irresistible!
No doubt on our frequent visits running up to Christmas we will be tempted again, whilst we are busy finding the perfect presents for friends and relatives!