The first two weeks of October were noticeably colder than the end of September with an east wind blowing. The weather was dry and sunny but cold, down to 12 C in the daytime and on a few nights we have had a frost resulting in the Cosmos starting to look very tatty.
We have moved the antirrhinums from the tubs on the patio and planted them in the garden freeing up some of the tubs to plant up with tulip and daffodil bulbs. Our lovely Salvia ‘hot lips’ which has grown so well from the little shrub we bought on a visit to Kinghtshayes this summer has been moved to the shelter of our back patio where hopefully it will survive the winter but just in case it doesn’t we have taken some cuttings and put them in the cold frame.
The cold frames are now full of little plants. The Sweet Williams ‘Sooty’ are still too small to be planted out into the cutting patch so they will have to stay in the cold frame for the winter. We also have a lot of Calendula, Cornflowers and Poppies that had self seeded in the cutting patch, so these have been dug up and planted in pots to over winter in the cold frame. If you don’t have a greenhouse then these little cold frames are ideal for keeping young plants until next spring.
It is time to tidy up the Delphiniums and Lupins again after they flowered for the second time in September and it’s also time to tidy up the herbs. The seed bed that we planted at the beginning of September is doing really well but needed a lot of weeding. Once again the Larkspur didn’t germinate but everything else is now established enough to survive the winter. Even though they are all hardy annuals I propose to cover them with fine netting cloches to give them a little bit of protection if we get any very hard frosts.
The Rudbeckia are still looking really lovely and we have some bright red Poppies that have self seeded and are now flowering in the veggie patch!