The Potting Bench Diaries

The Potting Bench Diaries – 12th October 2022

This week… I’ve been trying my best to enjoy the last remaining flowers of summer. We may now officially be in Autumn but there are some things clinging on as the temperatures continue to drop. Speaking of temperatures, the little thermometer that I’ve got in the zippy greenhouse is saying that it got to 2 degrees last night…not far off a frost!

One the aforementioned last remaining flowers is the Babylon Bronze Dahlia. I only got this recently actually, as a last minute purchase from Dahlia Beach at the Malvern Autumn Show but there’s life in it yet before it’ll be time to dig up or mulch!

My love/hate relationship with dahlias is well documented but that’s very much become a love/love relationship this year! So much so that I’ve now got a list on my phone of ones that I already want to preorder when they become available…! I must have had a bad year last year because I’ve been totally amazed by them this year and the fact that the plants get so huge and the flowers just keep on coming…another reason to dread the pending frosts!


Elsewhere, operation Tulips for 2023 is underway! I’ve organised my many many bulbs by colour and over the weekend I realised I didn’t have enough pots so had to go out and get more….15 more to be precise! I thought I’d figured out how much space I had but I must have made a rather larger error when counting the pots!

Something else that I’ve done this week is some autumn sowing of sweet peas. I’ve carefully selected a few varieties this year based on a chat I had with someone on Instagram (the wonderful @cynefin_anglesey) – going with an orange, purple and white colour palette for next year.

The varieties I’ve gone for are Blue Velvet, Prince of Orange and High Scent – which should make for a wonderful show, but lets see! I’ve also thrown in some Painted Lady for the obelisk which sits elsewhere in the garden – I’ve got high hopes for sweet peas next year! Are you autumn sowing or spring sowing yours?

In Podcast news: Episode 3 is here and its a huge one as I’m joined by none other than Frances Tophill! Click here to listen now!

Frances is a Gardener, author and conservationist and of course, she can also be seen on our screens on Gardener’s World! I caught up with Frances at this years’ Malvern Autumn Show where we talked all about Frances’ inspirational garden at this year’s Gardener’s World Live and much more!

And that’s it from me for another week – lets hope for another week with no early frost….fingers crossed!

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