Catching Up – Part 1

I’ve taken a longer break from the blog than I meant to and so much has changed and developed that it just has to be written down, somewhere.

When I last left-off we had finished the corner border and it was establishing well. The main-stay of the border – the Dahlias – were starting to bulk out and flower and we were about to experience some wonderfully warm summer weather in the weeks ahead. I closed with the view from the top, showing the three completed borders as the culmination of two years of hard work and remarked on how nice it would be to put my feet up.

Which I did.

But it wasn’t for very long.

There were a couple of jobs that I last-minute-added to the “list” that I wanted to get done before the year was out. So with a sigh and not a small bit-of-a-heave-ho, I put the martini glass down, put on the wellies and headed out into the garden again.

The lower terrace got an acid-and-bleach clean (not simultaneously). We dead-headed the dahlias. Vine-eyes went into the posts for the raspberries and blackberries. We dead-headed the dahlias. Another round of ferns were propagated from spores and the painted ferns (from spores last year) were potted on. We dead-headed the dahlias. I extended the wire run for the Wisteria, Banksiae Rose and now honey-suckle. Oh and we dead-headed the dahlias (again).

I don’t know what we did but for a bunch of discarded dahlias rescued from a spoil heap at the back of the garden we have had them flowering without end for months. The border has been buzzing with bees as countless flowers just keep on appearing on these plants. Even now, as the day length shortens and the nights get colder, powdery mildew has turned the plants white but there are still many flowers open and many more to come. When I dead-head the dahlias I go out with a large bucket as anything smaller just isn’t big enough.


The ginger-lily, a kind donation from the parents – has gone native and thrown up several robust flower stems, the Teasing Georgia rose that I propagated from a hardwood cutting from the original is reaching the top of its tower and we have foxgloves flowering months after they should have finished. The red-hot poker and Iris Sibirica on opposite sides of the grass path are now touching and you can walk under the Sambucus Nigra, which arches gracefully overhead. The Judas tree – a kind donation from the neighbour – has thickened and grown substantially and the two roses that were near-death from being in the border at the front are now thriving. We’ve had raspberries, wineberries, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries and rhubarb from Fruit Avenue as well.

It’s all been happening in the last few months but I’ve been too busy or otherwise occupied to write about it so I am trying to catch-up now. There’ll be more info, pics and details to follow…


  1. What a gift those dahlias tubers were! The Karma Fairy must love you. 🙂 I am always just amazed that you’ve grown ferns from spores. Incredible!


    1. Hello Tammy, thank you, it’s good job we’re able to grow ferns from spores as we have many planted about that garden that would cost an absolute fortune if we had to buy each one. They take a couple of years to reach planting size, but the numbers we have mean they’re almost disposable!


    1. Hello Alistair, I think it’s something in the soil 🙂


  2. Your never ending Dahlia deadheading reminds me of my Tithonia, except with Tithonia you have to deadhead some flowers growing 8′ off the ground.


    1. Hello Jason, these dahlias are much shorter, but I can only reach the ones at the front as I didn’t leave a way to get to the middle of the border before the dahlias grew to fill all the gaps!


  3. You clearly have a talent for making garden gold from dross. If I were a discarded or orphaned plant, I would definitely want to be rescued by you. 🙂 Congratulations on all your successes.


    1. Thanks, Jean, though I’m not green fingered in all areas. You definitely wouldn’t want to be a clematis rescued by me, you’d be in for a tough time!


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