I’ve just planted 200 Crocus tommasianus in our corner plot to pop up through the grass and can’t wait to see how they look come spring. I saw these on the Avon Bulbs stand at the RHS spring show, and thankfully remembered to write a note to self to order in September.
As the temperatures finally drop, people keep on asking me if I’ve finished working for the year, and I have to tell them, ‘not a bit of it’. Despite the depressing fact that the clocks have gone back and the nights are rapidly drawing in, there’s still tons to do. These last few weeks I must have planted thousands of bulbs and have a nice few calluses on my palms to prove it. I’ve even managed to get my act together to plant some of my own bulbs and this year I’ve plumped for a mass of pink parrot Rai tulips to appear alongside the dark curvaceous curls of a Black Parrot or two. A sumptuous combination hopefully. There’s still plenty of time to plant Tulips (up to the end of the year I’d say) and although Peter Nyssen are fast selling out of some varieties, there’s still lots of gorgeous bulbs online to tempt you.
I’ll also be planting some delightful Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake) which will flower in April and May. Well after snowdrops have vanished for the year, these flowers are such a treat and at a foot or so high, seem to blend in well amongst most small shrubs and emerging perennials alike.
Once all my bulbs are in, I’ll be ordering some bare-rooted ‘Lord Lambourne’ apple trees from Blackmoor nurseries for a spot of training. I think I mentioned to Sue at Backlane Notebook that I’ll be attempting to train a one year old maiden up a coiling metal framework as I’d like to see how successfully apples will grow in a pot. She’s putting her allotment to bed for the winter, and this will be on my ‘to do’ list soon, although I still have quite a few Jerusalem artichokes to dig up and enjoy.
My leeks on the other hand have been rather disappointing, as quite a number have already started flowering, depriving me of one of my favourite winter veg. I didn’t water my crop when dry this year, and no doubt this, as well as our strange weather patterns, has prompted my leeks into premature seed production. My loss!
And last of my autumn jobs is to order some bare-rooted fruit canes. I’ve experimented with different varieties of raspberries this year, and although my old reliable ‘Autumn Bliss’ is still much-loved, I’ve found that Polka is equally (if not more) tasty, rather juicy and double the size (all this when grown in an old wooden wine box!). Again, available from Blackmoor Nursery.