The Potting Bench Diaries – 14th December 2022

This week… I’ll be starting with bulbs, and ending with bulbs – first with a look back on something from this year and then a look ahead to what we can expect in Spring. I think that I’ve just about finished planting them all up now and they’re safely tucked in the ground, ready to do their thing soon!

My little look back at the bulbs of this year, brings me back to alliums. Its crazy to think that I’ve still got three alliums, standing proud that I planted up around this time last year. The fantastic thing about alliums is their ridiculously long interest period – even after they’ve flowered, and these will just stay here unless I cut them back, which I will do soon. While I’ve been planting new bulbs around the base of these, I noticed that they’ve multiplied well, so hopefully next year we’ll have even more.

Talking of plants that give interest after flowering, look no further than Echinacea! Their seed heads will remain on the plant long after the flowers have died off and this is great- not only for how it looks, but it also provides some much needed additional food for birds. I don’t seem to have that much luck with echinacea, but I’m trying again with these, so I’m hoping that they’ll be back next year.

Last week I mentioned about Saliva Amistad and this week I wanted to mention one that’s new to the garden this year, Salvia Jezebel. Jezebel has bright crimson flowers that are still just about going in our garden, although the snow this last weekend will likely have put them to bed for the year. These are slightly more hardy than Amistad, but in unsheltered gardens or particularly high ground, you’ll want to protect them with fleece (if you have it) or move them into shelter for winter. Either way, it’s yet another Saliva that I highly recommend.

And now on to the ‘new’ bulbs that I’ve planted this year. The last remaining ones are in the ground (unless I somehow stumble across some more…) and that brings the total to an eyewatering amount – I still need to do a final tally of just how many, but its definitely over 2000 (and nearly to 3000) at a rough guess. It’s a lot, but these are the thing that bring me the most joy every year so why not go all in, I say. Have you finally got your bulbs in or are you holding out for a warmer spell?

In podcast news I just wanted to say a brief thank you to all of you.

This season has been the biggest yet and I hope you’ll join me in thanking each and every guest that has been on. It’s been a real range of people from those you may have heard of and some who might be new faces to you. Either way, the conversations have been intriguing, interesting and have also provoked some great debate.

BUT, I couldn’t go without saying thank you to you. Without you, this podcast wouldn’t be the success it has been! I’ll be back with more guests in 2023 – but do come and let me know who you’d like to hear…

I do hope the snow hasn’t caused you too many issues and that you make the most of the time between the hardest of the hard frosts.

See you again next week!

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