This is my first opportunity since the Minchinhampton Gardening Club Show, held on 8th September, to thank all those who contributed in any way to the show’s success. I have to admit to a few sleepless nights before the entry forms were due, but the total number of entries, 315, spread across 70 classes, was wonderful. The exhibits made a lovely display in the school hall, treating us to scents, not least the cakes, vibrant effervescent colours, and a buzz of activity during the day, so thank you.
Unfortunately, none of my entries was considered worthy of a 1st prize, so it’s all to do for next year, when the show will coincide with the Minchinhampton Country Fayre, and there are usually more exhibits making for an even better display.
Two plants spring to mind; garlic, which I have learned should be planted as bulbs now, and ferns, as a tougher alternative to the fashionable lace-leaved hosta. Well, this year, mine were certainly lace-leaved.
Other tasks that you could consider are taking cuttings from the larger fuchsias and lifting any smaller tender ones to overwinter in the greenhouse, together with dahlia tubers and chrysanthemums. Having lost all our tulip bulbs to a badger earlier in the year, we’re currently planting new bulbs in pots which can be moved to safety every evening. We’ve also planted up a few hyacinths for Christmas, and a pot of narcissi.
On the allotment, I am planning to move the rhubarb and the asparagus to beds which have been more thoroughly weeded, and fed. I planted these at the same time, 2 years ago, and whilst the freezer is groaning with rhubarb, I have yet to cut a single asparagus tip. The raspberries will need cutting down soon, and thinning out to avoid them becoming a jungle. Similarly, the stems on gooseberry and currant bushes could be thinned by a third, aiming to allow air to circulate by removing the older or damaged ones. Strawberries should be tidied, removing runners (unless you wish to propagate some) and old leaves.
In the garden, there are plans (and some effort) to re-invigorate the overall layout and pond. But after this year’s poor summer, it’s nice to look ahead, catalogue in hand, and plan for a scorcher.