Caution

Hosta

It is all about getting your timing right.  As gardeners we walk the dangerous spit between the first damaging frosts and the desire to admire the swansong of our tender plants.  Lord and Lady Mantle’s estate is protected from wind but prone to cold and in my wisdom I have introduced some delicates to their merry band of players.  These were not purchased to be canon fodder, we want them to survive the winter war to shine another day.  But still they flower, innocent of the enemy that lurks just around the corner.  What to do?  Dare we wait?  No.  Today we erred on the side of caution and, whilst the warm sun stripped our backs of jumper and fleece, we potted up gazanias, tuberous begonias, osteospermums and zantedeschia.  The new greenhouse will be fully glazed by the end of the week and its new tenants are forming an orderly queue outside.  Perfect timing.

This hosta’s albino leaves indicate it is sensibly preparing itself for autumn.  If you peep below these corrugated parchments you will find fresh green shoots.  It is not quite ready to slumber yet. Impetuous fool!

7 thoughts on “Caution

  1. I can root some offshoots of an exceptionally hardy (pink) osteospermum for you if you want (it’s been growing in a Grecian urn of the ghastly plastic variety for about 30 years and never brought indoors, nor compost replenished, nor fed with anything other than water). It seems so happy I don’t want to disturb it but it propagates easily. I gauge hostas going over by the sudden nibbling of leaves which means the nematodes have gone on strike for the winter.

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    • Yes please! We brought in a softie yellow one but left out the O. jucundum. Also some of the gazanias, enough for plenty of cuttings if need be! Do you have to reapply the nematodes or do they safely hibernate?

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  2. I have no idea what variety my Os are. They’re pink and that’s it 🙂 The slug-devouring nematodes die, unfortunately. I have thought about trying sugar; with around 20,000 teeth, giving a slug toothache should see it spending the season at the dentist.

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  3. Oh the dilemma here, too, put plants away in the greenhouse or leave the pots on the steps looking colourful and brightening the view while doing the washing up.

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