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Lyn and Malcolms Garden Blog
October 2014


October 26th

The protection for the 'Musa basjoo' bananas is now in position. We have to cut most of the leaves off to get the protection over the top of the plant.
I have used this method for probably about 9 years, having tried straw which tends to get soggy against the trunks of the bananas. It is also is a vermin attractor, and makes a terrible mess when clearing it away in the spring.
I was sorry to cut away the leaves, the garden is looking a bit bare, but I guess with the forecast of gale force winds tomorrow, they would have looked a bit sorry for themselves.
One good thing is that there is a lot more room in our garage, all the structures are stored when not in use, flat on shelves above my car.

Number one banana shelter. The trunks of the bananas are not wrapped in fleece yet as they need to dry out a bit.

Banana shelter number 2 on the left of the picture.
The plants in the centre are drying out before storing, we had so much rain this month the soil in the pots is very wet.
On the right you can just see some of the plants in the covered passage between the house and the shed.

Another view of pretty much the same.

October 18th
It was time for the Brugmansias (Angels Trumpets) to be cut back yesterday. We also use the cut branches to make cuttings from.

They look a bit sad now don't they. We had to cut back quite hard this year, as the long summer had allowed a 
lot of growth. Bear in mind that we have to store 11 of these Brugmansias in a frost free place.
Our conservatory will be packed full of plants again.

Lyn taking one of the cuttings, these are from branches about 25mm in diameter.
You can see the white dots on the branches, that is where the new roots will form. If you don't have any of these 
dots on the new cuttings, then you are unlikely to get them to root.

Here are the cuttings from just one plant, they will root into the water which is about 20mm deep.

The conservatory beginning to fill up. Three large red banana plants and three Colocasias are to follow, and many 
other plants. They are all sat on individual plastic 'saucers' so the floor doesn't get too wet.
I had orders to clean the conservatory before bringing in the plants. I also cleaned the pots the plants are in, and 
we checked as much as we could that no slugs and snails were hiding under the pots. We also remove any leaves 
from the Brugmansias, this is to hopefully stop any Red Spider Mite or any other insects, from multiplying during 
their stay over the winter, in a cosy conservatory.

October 16th
The weather hasn't changed much since my last blog on the 9th October. Still very dull and rain on and off most days.
So far this month we have had about 85 mm of rain, or 3 1/4 inches.
Other than the bananas most plants are hating it. So I have started to cut back and store them away for the winter.
It happens near enough the same time each year. I would have liked it drier so the plants aren't put away wet, but no end in sight for the rain, and the nearer to the first week in November we get, the nearer to frost we are.
It normally takes me about 2 weeks to cut down the exotics, and move plants to sheltered positions.

The view from the bedroom window this morning. Yes it was sunshine to start with, but we had heavy rain about 7am

After moving a lot of plants out of the way, I could start to erect the 'Giraffe' house

The roof of the 'Giraffe' house is hinged at the apex so folds up easily, and is stored on the flat roof of my shed 
when not in use. When completely assembled there are sides and a door for access.

Notice now the shelf inside with the agave in pots. To give more room for the agarve, the leaves are brought 
together more upright with a 'Bungy' cord around them. Needless to say it can be a painful task moving the agave 
as they have sharp spikes.

The gravel bed where the agave came out of. Notice the plastic pots remaining in the ground. They enable 
the agave in clay pots to be placed back in again next spring. During the winter we can drop pots of hardy plants
 or bulbs in.

It was a sad time cutting the Dahlias in pots down today. They had more or less stopped flowering and had gone 
quite leggy due to the shortening of daylight. This was the last flower remaining till next year.

Musa basjoo (Banana) have put up a lot of new shoots recently, here are some, they are about 9 inches tall.
I dont want them all so will have to dig some out. Our garden is on the small size, so a large grove of them would 
take up too much room and would block the sun from other plants.

In Lyn's garden this morning, rain drops on a Thalictrum.

October 9th
Wet and windy with gusts up to 40mph today. 
I nearly cut down all the Dahlias in pots today, they looked terrible, after taking a battering. But in the end I decided not to, there are still a few flowers on them and more buds forming.

I normally bring undercover a lot of the Exotic plants by the end of this month. I have just ordered two rolls of 'Bubble' insulation to repair some of the insulation panels I use for the Bananas and the Aviary.

Begonia luxurians, one of the plants I bought while in Norfolk.

Iresine 'Blazing Rose' another plant I bought.

Ipomoea indica today between showers.

Nerine bowdenii in Lyn's garden

Fuchsia 'Coralle' in the Exotic garden

Chrysanthemum 'Cottage Lemon' in Lyn's garden.

October 6th
We have been away for a break in Norfolk and Suffolk, just for a week.
The weather was kind, with just a quarter of an hour of rain one evening.
We visited two gardens, East Rushton and Will Giles. We also went photographing birds, walking and buying plants at Wootens, Urban Jungle and Beeches.
We stayed at Colkirk for four days and Brockdish for three days.
We drove about 840 miles in total, and came back with 25 new plants !!

As soon as we had got the plants and cases out of the car I mowed the lawns and tidied the paths, surprising how much debris accumulates over seven days.
I have now potted up the plants I bought for the 'Exotic' garden. It will take a good while longer for Lyn's plants to be found homes in her garden.
We had a cold night on Saturday, temperature went down to +1.5, thankfully no sign of frost on the plants.

One of the bird pictures I took while on holiday.
I have never seen a Kingfisher stay in one place for so long, I took many pictures and a five minute video.
The bird was on the stick for about ten minutes.

At the rate the owners are building more different gardens you will need a GPS to find them all in the vast grounds.
It was the second time we have visited this garden at East Rushton, this time we were there for three hours !!

The first time we have visited this garden of Will Giles in Norwich.
I thought we had lots of plants !.