Western Isles Gardening
November Gardening Page
It felt like a huge undertaking to get out into the garden today. I have been away off the island quite a bit over the last few months and the garden has got rather out of hand. So, feeling pressed for time, daunted by the amount of work I wanted to get done and the weather I found myself hiding from it instead of just getting out there and tackling one small bit.
|| The experience of finding the first spring crocus is a joy not to be missed, so the most pressing job just now is getting the spring bulbs out. But, if you are anything like me, then, tubs need to be emptied before they can be filled!
The dahlias were due to be lifted although they could have been left until the frosts had blackened them off, but I needed the tubs. They were not easy to get out of the tubs, but with a bit of careful loosening with a garden fork trying not to damage the tubers and a fair bit of heaving and pulling I managed to get them out intact. I cut off the stems 9” above the tubers and got rid of as much soil as possible. I put them in the greenhouse on trays to dry off . Once dried they can be stored in strong paper bags and put somewhere dry, cool and frost free.
|So, that gave me three empty tubs to fill with narcissi and alliums. I washed the tubs to get rid of any mould or parasites that might be lurking around, and put drainage at the bottom. I use whatever is at hand, a bit of gravel or broken bits of pot.
Bulbs to plant out now are, daffodils, tulips, alliums, iris, lily of the valley, anemones, grape hyacinths and narcissi.
I always tend to plant my bulbs close together as I feel this gives each plant a bit of support and protection from the weather, and plant them the same depth as the size of the bulb, so if a bulb is 2” then I plant it 2” below the surface.
If you want to get interested in gardening or you want a bit of early spring colour indoors then hyacinths are a great way to achieve both. Plant the bulbs just up to their necks in compost, water lightly, place in a plastic bag and keep in the dark until shoots begin to appear and then bring them out into the light.
Other jobs to be getting on with if you have the time and the weather here in the Western Isles will allow are:
- Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs can be planted out.
- Prune conifers.
- Take hardwood cuttings
- Plant out roses.
- Tidy borders, cut back plants and remove old stems and leaves.
- Divide and replant overgrown perennials that have finished flowering.
- You can still plant out any fruit trees and bushed.
- Prune apples and pears before frost comes, prune red and white currants.
- Begin to force rhubarb.
Flower, leaf and berry colour at this time of year are Chinese lanterns, mountain ash, skinnia japonica, barberries, vibernums and snowberries.
Happy autumn gardening to you all and may your dreams and ideas flourish in a profusion of blooms!!
Callanish, November 2007
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