Sliding into Autumn with Bugs and Sunshine

It's September already and there is more than a hint of autumn in the air and defiantly on the trees. Acers, Liquidamber and Cercidiphylum are all beginning to colour up and this is a good time to choose a plant to give you good autumn colour. I will hopefully write another blog on autumn colour soon. The nursery and gardens are looking their best with lots of late summer perennials in full flower. Persicarias, Rudbeckia and Astilbes fill the borders on either side of the track into the nursery. 

Cafe flowers this week

The weather was lovely on Wednesday with warm sunshine, making it a perfect day for doing the cafe flowers and then starting tidying the borders around the stream. It was wellies on and into the stream to weed the bankings. The plants I put in last year are really bulking up and doing well. I cut off the Primula seed heads of Primula chungensis and Primula pulverulenta to save for sowing next year. I scattered a few round about the parent plants in the hope they will self-seed in situ. After doing the bankings I weeded the borders around the edges and took some cuttings. It's important to try and keep on top of propagating at the right time, it doesn't always happen as there is so much to do, but I reckon I'm doing not too bad. After finishing weeding around the stream I did the long border up the right hand side of the track into the nursery. this is quick and easy as it has a thick mulch of bark to keep the weeds down. I dead-headed the hostas and cow parsely as it will have seeded by now.

A pretty corner to sit and enjoy the view and the scent of the
herbs in pots around the bench in the nursery

Wild flowers, zinc planters and vintage in the nursery

A few of the items in our wee shop

Pelargonium 'Copthorne' at home
Pelargonium 'Aztec' in the greenhouse
at home

Having got everything I planned to do done on Wednesday it didn't work out that way on Thursday. I got plenty done, just not what I planned and have spent the next few days catching up. I spent an hour or so in the tunnel sorting out the last of the seed trays then spent most of the rest of the day sorting through the delivery of herbs that had come in the post the day before. This is exciting because these plants will be planted in the next garden we are creating in the nursery. By potting the plants up now into bigger pots, they will be a good size next spring when they get planted out. We are creating a herb garden on the middle terrace in a traditional design using small brick edged borders. Watch this space for progress. I also managed to get some cuttings from some plants and rooted divisions to grow on for stock.

Succulents in the greenhouse at home

There was a distinct lack of motivation on Friday, I think the huge task list was having an effect. I started off doing lots of wee jobs that were definitely not on the task list but that I'd thought of on the way into work but all things that need done. I re-did the plant display in the hallway of the shop and cafe, had a mocha while chatting to Andrew and Linda and then took the old vintage barrow and it's Pelargoniums back up to the nursery to sort out, as they are now past their best. I spent the rest of the day working through the sales area, re-doing table displays, tidying the tables, re-stocking and re-doing the vintage crates of sales plants up the track. It's time to put away the last of the summer bedding and do good displays of late summer flowering perennials and grasses. We have lots of both in the gardens and for sale, making it easy for customers to buy the plants they see growing. By the end of the day I was really pleased with the changes, it refreshes the sales area and brings good looking seasonal plants more into focus and in the end I achieved an awful lot after a slow start. After tea Dan and I went to visit granny and take her birthday card and present to her. Her birthday is on Saturday, we had coffee and cake, a good blether and a catch up with eldest son who was visiting too. 

The sales area, lost of lovely late summer plants for your garden

Having made great progress in re-doing the sales area on Friday I got the rest done on Saturday and re-filled the vintage trolley with winter and spring bedding including Cyclamen which are just about to come into flower. The heavy rain which was forecast to start at noon didn't come on until 5pm which gave me all day to get on outside. I finished the day by getting some potting done, plants that have been waiting patiently for quite a few days now. Divided and potted to go to tunnel or stock beds on Sunday.

The eldest two

On Sunday night Dan and I drove the scenic route through to Kilmarnock where we were meeting my eldest two at Ben's flat. We had a loving evening out in a local restaurant with the boys hoovering up as much food as possible. It was great to spend time with them all together, especially as Jamie has been away all summer working so I haven't seen him in over two months. Having planned to go home the same way as I'm not familiar with that part of the country yet we ended up going via the motorway and Glasgow (in the end took the same time) as Jamie missed the last train. That didn't mean we were on a late night out on a school night but the last train is at 9pm on a Sunday! An easy journey home on an empty motorway with Dan the sat nav.

Bee on Echinops at home

I've been aware for a while that the Echinops flowers in the front garden are covered in bees but haven't had a chance to get some photos, so on Monday after I'd cleaned the hoose, I grabbed my camera. Knowing the flowers will soon be over I don't have much time left to get some decent shots. I put the macro lens on the camera, something else I haven't done for a while. Here are some of the photographs I took, I'm quite a bit pleased with them.

There's lots of buzzing going on 


Echinacea are always great for photographing with a macro lens

On our day off we headed south, it was David's turn to choose and he suggested we go to Penrith and two of our favourite places, excellent idea. It was hot and humid at home, it's been a bit of an Indian summer for the last day or so but as we passed through the borders it was wet, cloudy and misty. Thankfully it cleared as we reached Penrith and the rest of the day was glorious sunshine and hot, always nice on a day off. 

We had a good rummage around Brunswick yard, picking up a few things for the nursery

After we'd had a good look around the Brunswick yard reclamation yard and purchased a few items for the nursery, we headed to Larch Cottage Nursery. This place is just heaven. You can read previous blogs about our visits here and here. We had a lovely lunch on the terrace overlooking the nursery and gardens before having a wander around. I managed to get some plants on my list and we also bought a couple of metal flowers I had admired the last time we visited. It was lovely to have time off on a hot sunny day and once finished at Larch Cottage we found a river and ford for Bracken to paddle in. Desite Bracken's best efforts to pull David in he remained dry. All that was left was to drive home with a car full of plants, stuff and happy people. A lovely day out.

Astrantias, Anthemis and Salvias, Larch Cottage

A small corner of the gardens

The shade area

Great lunch, goats cheese salad, followed by coffee and cake

Larch Cottage Nursery

Walking down through the nursery

Sloes in Melkinthorpe

Bracken cooling off

Have a drink Bracken, no I don't want to

Oooh ducks, they're a bit like chickens, I'll have them

Another week been and gone,

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