The Potting Bench Diaries – 30th November 2022

This week… I don’t know why, but I’ve felt a little bit like I know what I’m doing! This time last year I don’t remember feeling quite like this and quite like I’d got some things organised…nothing everything, but some things. That said, there is always something that can be done, but it doesn’t always mean it should be done…but before I get into more about my week, its important to stand back and appreciate your garden for what its given you already this year and what is yet to come…

Speaking of what is yet to come – the odd bulb, here and there, has started to rear its head out the ground. The slight appearance of a daffodil poking its way through the earth and out into the light. A sure sign that spring is coming! But not so fast! We need a cold, hard winter yet before we get too excited. These bulbs need that coolness to slow them down before they get ahead of themselves, but before we know it, they’ll be here and I for one, cant wait.

We’ve all been speaking about the unseasonably strange weather we’ve had recently and how its making an impact on our gardens, for better or worse. One of the effects that this has is to create a slight bit of confusion among some plants and one plant that is confused in our garden is out Rosa ‘Iceberg’. At the end of November, its just starting to send out new buds – but instead of its usual pure white, these seem to be blushed with pink tinges. Not that I’m complaining, as its adding colour to the garden in winter.

I’ve mentioned about the joy of seeing a Hellebore in winter but I forgot to add just how enjoyable they are to cut and bring indoors. The nature of the droopy form of Hellebores means that we don’t get to really appreciate them fully as they nod their heads to the ground. To make the most of them, cut a few off from the plant – leaving about 1cm of the stem on the back, add a little slit down the stem and pop them, face up in a shallow bowl of water. They should last a week or two, making quite a unique display. Head over to my Instagram to watch a video on just how to do it.

And, in what has become Tales From The Potting Bench tradition – ending on a look to the future by checking in on the salvia cuttings. The Amistad cuttings taken earlier in the season have rooted well and I’ve potted them on into their own 9cm pots. These will stay in these and I’ll pop them in the coldframe to grow on over winter before potting on further and then planting out after the frosts next year. If you’ve not grown them before then please do next year, they’ll flower and flower their socks off right until the frosts of winter.

In podcast news the latest episode is now live and this one is all about the next generation of horticulture…



…as I talk to Young Designer of the year 2021 finalist and RHS Medalist, James Smith. Here we discuss just how we think schools can help create an interest in horticulture from a young age and much more…

James is still very early in his journey but it was fantastic to talk to a young voice in the bustling world of garden design and to hear a perspective of someone entering into what is bound to be an illustrious career.

One final note from me – this week it was brought to my attention that I reached the milestones of 20,000 followers on Instagram, which blows my mind! Thank you for hopefully being one of those 20k and to celebrate I’ve got a huge giveaway going on from Friday 2nd December….good luck!

See you again next week

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