The Potting Bench Diaries

The Potting Bench Diaries – 2nd November 2022

This week… I’ve been very good…not only have I not bought any more bulbs, I’ve actually planted almost all of the ones for the pots that I already had! I say almost, because I’ve still got another load to go in the borders – a job I’ve definitely been putting off for as long as I can. Does anyone else love planting bulbs in pots but hate doing the borders? I know I do! Anyway, all the tulips have gone into their pots and each one is topped off with a variety of different crocus from Wilko. I’ve kept the pots fairly simple this year and I hope it’ll pay off with a simple yet beautiful display come spring.

Last week I mentioned that the trough in the front garden was going to be a little simpler than last year and I’ve stuck with what I planned – for once. I did end up popping some alliums in here for something a little different but I’ve gone for a real range of alliums to keep the interest going. There are some standard Purple Sensation in here but also some smaller Alliums in the form of a collection called Marisol, from Farmer Gracy. We’ll see how it turns out soon enough!

My obsession with pots continues and I’ve had terracotta on my mind all week! I bet you’ll share my love for these, especially the tiny ones – perfect for a wee bit of winter bedding, or more excitingly, succulents and other quirky plants. Sempervivums work really well in these because the nature of the material, terracotta, means that the pot never really stays very wet at all and therefore they thrive!

Moving away from pots for a second, I know – shock horror – and into the cutting garden! This year has been slightly more successful for some of the things I struggled with last year, namely Zinnia. Zinnia are notoriously stubborn when it comes to not liking their roots being disturbed and last year I have to admit that I didn’t know this. However, more consideration was given with them this year and the rewards have been reaped. How about you, have you grown them this year and have they been ok for you?

Something that I really have to recommend, for every garden – are salvias. If I were held at gunpoint and had to confess my favourite plant, it would be these. There are salvias for every garden and no matter whether in the ground or in pots, they’re fairly happy – as long as they’ve got a bit of sun. A favourite of mine is Amethyst Lips, the counterpart to the every popular Hot Lips. The blackcurrant scent is to die for and the purple and white flowers dance around in the breeze. Talking of flowers…

This week’s podcast is all about flowers and floristry…


…as I’m joined by the very first floristry guest in the form of florist to the stars, Simon Lycett.

Simon’s wide ranging career has seen him dress some of the most high profile events across the world, with beautiful blooms. In this conversation you’ll hear him talk about meeting the late Queen Elizabeth II and how his showpiece at this year’s Chelsea came to be.. Click here to listen to the episode now.

Simon has inspired me to go out and pick the last of the dahlias to enjoy in the house, as I think they’ll be coming out next weekend. More on that next week though…

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