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!