The Potting Bench Diaries

The Potting Bench Diaries – 16th November 2022

This week… is all about enjoying what I’m finding in the garden at this time of year and fully embracing autumn and winter for the beautiful seasons that they are. Sure, summer and spring are stunning but I think we can sometimes overlook the darker and colder months and the joys that they bring…anyway, onto the autumn action!

This time of year can often be synonymous with cutting back, chopping down and tidying up but before you do that, do consider leaving some things…if you can. For example, the echinacea in our garden wont be cut back any time soon, for two reasons. The first being that they look great and add interest and some structure at a time when things are drooping and falling down, but also its great for birds and wildlife looking for sustenance during winter. Have a think before going crazy with your secateurs.

Talking of structure and interest, then look no further than alliums – I mention these because they’re quite unique in that they provide such a ridiculously long season of interest. Usually planted around now, they’ll then flower around May/June but once they’ve flowered, their large heads will dry up and retain their shape for months on end. Our Summer Drummers from this year are still standing now in November, albeit drier and crispier but they’re adding height and something interesting to look at.

During these dark months there can be a misconception that there isn’t much colour about, but Hellebores make sure that isn’t quite true. Not only are they evergreen, they also produce some of the most beautiful flowers around – in all sorts of pastel shades of white, pink and purple, often with a yellow tinge. Again, like Alliums, the season for these is long as they’ll flower from now right through until April if you’re lucky…what do you think, are you a fan of them?

The final mention on my autumn round up is the humble but sensational Hydrangea – not necessarily thought of as a plant for this time of year but I’ll tell you now why they are. Traditionally flowering between about April and October, this time of year is actually when I love them the most. Our biggest is called Black Steel and its gorgeous dark blue blooms in summer are wonderful but during autumn they turn into a softer, pastel blue that almost resembles an oil slick…just beautiful! Anyway, there’s lots of enjoy during autumn…the gardening doesn’t stop now!

In podcast news the latest episode is now live and this is one for the houseplant lovers out there…



…as I’m joined by The Plant Rescuer, Sarah Gerrard-Jones. Sarah has become known for her near miraculous resurrections of plants, long forgotten by their owners.

Listen to the episode now to get all the houseplant news, to find out how much light your plants really need and at the end Sarah shares some very exciting EXCLUSIVE news with me.

There’s something for everyone this week and I really do hope that this has shown you that autumn and winter are far from being the ‘dull months’!

See you again next week

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