October’s when I start my autumn clear up with real gusto. First I empty my little greenhouse. This year it was brushed out, and any algae mould or moss removed from the wooden staging and brickwork. Then the floor was scrubbed with hot water with some Jeyes fluid in it. My very own ‘Mr Sheen’, partner Matt, cleaned all the glass inside and out. I even jetted out the guttering with fresh water, so now it’s back to super sparkling.
I like to kick things off by making this greenhouse a temporary storage space. It’s clean and dry so I can use it as a holding area for all sorts of garden implements and materials that have been washed down and are ready for using again or storing.
I’m incredibly lucky because I have two greenhouses. This smaller one will be my ‘cold and dry plant house’ over the winter. To keep things from getting too moist inside I like to use dampcatchers and a thick dessicating layer of cat litter all around the inside edge of the floor. It’s great as slugs and snails utterly hate it, and it generally keeps everything it touches dry.
If you want the root balls of some plants like Begonias, Cannas and Dahlias to gently dry throughout the winter so they withstand cold, then my top tip is to use cheap, basic, cat litter instead of grit or gravel in the bottom of plant trays. Add a few sheets of newspaper on top and your plants are good to go. The newspaper will keep the cat litter clean and any excess moisture will be slowly removed. It works for me a treat.
As I’ve been tidying up the back garden I’ve been cutting some of the final blooms of my #totalflowerfest and making mini arrangements for the kitchen table.
The dahlias, as ever, have been wonderful, but of all the plants I’ve grown really cheaply from seed this year, it’s the non-stop #MarvellousMarigolds that have been #GobsmackinglyGood.
Having said that the ultimate winner for #BloomingLikeThereIsNoTomorrow goes to my Cosmos ‘Dazzler’ plants.
I gave up dead-heading them, but they just didn’t seem to notice or care. These girls are going to party on, right until a sharp frost hits home.