The Potting Bench Diaries – 14th September 2022

What I’m Doing This Week: Gosh, where to start hey? Its certainly been a week that we’ll all remember for a long time as we said goodbye the HRH Queen Elizabeth II. I think during this time its been such a mixture of emotions and thankfully I’d like to think we’ve all found solace in our gardens – I know I have! I’ve even seen some wonderful mentions of plants named after The Queen which has been wonderful – anyway, we must carry on and look forward…

Speaking of looking forward, our Hydrangea ‘Black Steel’ is firmly looking forward to the changing of the seasons. The flowerheads have gone the most wonderful shades of dusky pink, green and blue from the purple/pink they were over the height of summer.

Hydrangeas are such fantastic plants for longevity as this’ll likely keep its heads for weeks and weeks yet, only need a prune in very late summer or at the start of spring. This one has put on so much growth this year after being in a pot all of last year, and it’ll only continue to get bigger as the years go by. This one will be fine over winter but I’ll take cuttings anyway to either plant elsewhere or just in case of a particularly tough winter. Now is about the right time to take cuttings so why not give it a try if you haven’t before – have a search online for ‘how to take semi-ripe cuttings’ and give it a go!

Keeping on the longevity theme still with a quick mention of our alliums from this year. Alliums have to be some of the best value plants to grow – they’re easy bulbs to plant, they’ll flower in spring and summer AND they’ll still give you plenty of interest in the colder months with their fantastic seed heads.

We tend to grow a real variety of them but the tallest and biggest we have here are Summer Drummer. These will grow to over a metre and when planted en masse they really are a proper show! You can leave them as long as you want as they’ll dry up and you can then cut them off for decoration and even spray paint them for Christmas for the table – something to think about!

Staying with bulbs for a moment – I’ve finally planted the first of this year’s spring bulbs! The first to go in are a few Fritillaria imperialis, commonly known as crown imperial. These, quite strange looking plants and new to our garden but I’ve admired them for ages before finally giving them a try here!

They are quite exotic looking and they have such spectacular flower heads, which doesn’t exactly fit in with our general garden style but I thought sod it this year! If you don’t try something then you’ll never know if you like it…that’s what I think anyway!

That’s it from me this week – I hope you have a good week, whatever you may be upto and I’ll be back next week with more from our garden

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