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Flaming blueberries

Flaming blueberry bush

I’ve been running around in a bit of a panic this week trying to get the plot and garden sorted. I saw the forecast for the week ahead, on Sunday night, and no my eyes did not deceive me, there were snow flurries shown on the map. OK they aren’t meant to make it so far as Wales but those icy winds from the Arctic looked like they might. Even the weatherman was warning gardeners they had a 4 day window to prepare for the cold spell. Well I can confirm today that it is more than a little nippy outside. Cold enough for a woolly hat and gloves.

My franticness has been exacerbated by demands on the work front. Projects are starting to take off but rather like buses they seem to have all come along at once. Now I’m not complaining but it has all rather taken me by surprise. Blogging activity has been curtailed, so my apologies if I don’t get round to responding to comments or have a chance to leave them on your own posts. I just need to get organised and manage my time a little better and I’m sure normal activity will resume once again. A 26-hour day might help, too.

The weather this week hasn’t exactly been conducive to spending time in the garden. A dark grey, looming sky has hung over this part of Wales all week. Monday was wet and I started to worry I was never going to get the remainder of my daffs planted. We found a real bargain at a local garden centre a couple of months ago. You could fill a medium-sized plastic flower-pot with Narcissi bulbs for £2.99. Wellyman did see this as a bit of a challenge and quickly devised a strategy to place the bulbs in the pot to maximise the space. By placing the first layer of bulbs facing up and then the next facing down, and so on, he believes we got about ten more bulbs than the lady next to us!! Wellyman does love a good deal and 45 bulbs for £3 certainly fitted that bill. So much so, that we went back for a second visit at the weekend to stock up on some more.

Tuesday was drier so I took the plunge. The soil was a little claggy in places and ideally I wouldn’t have been doing anything with it but my bulbs needed planting. It’s surprising how time consuming bulb planting is and, as I think I may well have mentioned before, it is not one of my favourite gardening tasks. Well worth it come spring though. Wednesday was spent moving any tender plants into pots and bringing them indoors and potting up some of the herbs to overwinter in the cold frame. My succulents are tucked away under cover too as they hate a wet Welsh winter. Chairs and table were cleaned and squeezed into what remaining space I have in my shed. Hose pipes are stashed away protected from any frosts.

Rose pruning

Rose pruning

Wellyman helped me tame my climbing rose, ‘Shropshire Lad’. I normally prune roses in late winter but this climber had got a bit unruly this summer and was sprawling all over the place. As I was a little worried that any strong winds would damage the plants I thought I’d tackle it now. It was only meant to get to 8ft at the most but had stems at 10ft and more reaching for the sky. I guess it’s happy where it is. Wellyman is normally a little reticent when it comes to pruning. I’m a bit more gung-ho but, strangely it was hubby that was saying, ‘I think we might as well take that stem out too’. Although it can be a little worrying when you see the pile of plant debris on the ground and you wonder if you’ve been a bit too brutal.

I’ve still got jobs to do, of course. I’ll wait until the frosts have knocked back the herbaceous perennials before I tidy some of them up and I still have some flowers in the beds at the allotment which might well be gone completely by the start of next week. But, on the whole, the garden feels like it has been wrapped up for winter. Now it’s me that needs wrapping up.