Cherrie's Sept 28 Notes
One of the magical things about gardening is the fact that the seasons are interchangeable.
You can happily find yourself thinking about spring bulbs in the middle of autumn or planning a herbaceous border in the shivering depths of winter.
The shivering depths will have to wait their turn (thank goodness) as this week we’re autumn planting and pruning, harvesting summer bounty, choosing spring bulbs, and oh yes, saying congratulations to a primary school and a community garden for winning well-deserved awards.
Autumn planting, autumn pruning and “I think we’re all a wee bit tired of courgettes” featured first, when we paid a visit to Keith Crawford to see how the Crawford family’s newly evolving back garden is coming along.
Ready and waiting were coffee and scones (but of course) two soft pink and white hydrangeas waiting to be planted, a step ladder and secateurs and a crop of healthy and happy looking yellow and green courgettes, which have been challenging Keith, Thelma, Miranda and Abigail to come up with some new ways of cooking them as they have been eating them all summer.
The stylish Plane Tree, which sits at the top of the cool wide steps above the terrace was looking good, all it needed was a gentle haircut, so up the ladder went Keith while we helped by holding it steady and gathering up the prunings.
The two exquisite hydrangeas will find a new home on the bank overlooking the terrace and the courgettes below. They in turn will be joined by a fig to be grown espalier-style against the garage wall, facing the blueberry bushes and the Amelanchier or “Juneberry” tree.
While June may not have brought any berries this year, the bright autumn foliage and the tiny white flowers to come in spring will more than make up for it.
During the week we made a very welcome return visit to The Crossfire Trust in Darkley in County Armagh. We were last with Ian, Pauline and the team when they asked us along with the Roadshow last spring and on both occasions Averil Milligan came too.
This time it was Averil’s bulb planting expertise which we were after, ahead of a bulb planting extravaganza taking place at Darkley House this weekend.
After coffee and scones (I know !) and another mini master class in taking semi ripe wood cuttings from Euonymous, we made our way out to the front of the house where a cheery display of bulbs, trowels, shovels, gloves, wheelbarrows pots and compost were waiting.
They made an engaging display to attract the volunteers who will be helping to transform the already lovely gardens around the house, ready for spring.
Fifty people, 50 bulbs, 50 minutes…that’s the challenge and we look forward to our next visit to see the fruits of all this weekend’s labour.
Before I go this week, huge congratulations to the children of Loughview Integrated Primary School in Belfast and to The Friends of Grove Park Community Garden also in Belfast, for winning special awards for their gardens.
You can hear about both gardens and the awards on this week’s programme and see some pictures from all the gardens visited on the Gardeners' Corner Programme Page. Just go to the Radio Ulster homepage and follow the links.
Till next time, as all those glorious autumn colours begin to show themselves, I’m off to think about tidying and pruning and planting.
Top of my list another tree to remind me yet again, how much I love this time of the year.