I am going to have a white Christmas this year. Not in the garden but in Mrs Next-door’s glass house. My Dahlia campanulata from the lovely Ed Bowan is in flower now, well yesterday the first one came out and a second has started. It is a bit like the hatching of chickens over there. I keep going back to see what stage the second one is at. I did move the plant back outside today because the weather is mild and is going to get more mild over the next week. By the time we get a frost I will be ready for it to be knocked back. Then I can cut it back and put it under a bench in the glass house.
It was a great day in the fruit cage, for some reason I am never a fan of digging the fruit cage. Maybe it is because you are in a cage for the job or maybe it is because the soil is so heavy, this makes it harder work. We can see how bad the state of the soil still is by the amount of clay I am still bringing up. I know that the soil will get better from all the organic matter that we have added but also because we have laid the hedge and so the sun will get in and how dry it out a bit. I have already seen more of a weed problem at the back of the cage because of this light
I am not the only one digging up in the vegetable garden. Miscanthus has dug a rather large hole in the compost heap looking for another nest of baby rats, she must still remember what she found last year. It seems that she was a little too early this year and only found the start of a nest but it has given her something to do for a number of days. Like me she does sleep well after a day of digging.
Miscanthus has found another crop that she likes to pick herself. I had to go up and lift some carrots for the photo shoot tomorrow and was walking away when Miscanthus ran past me with a carrot in her mouth. I have to say it was very funny to see her running with a carrot coming out her month, the green out one side and the orange root the other. I know they are good for her but I hope that she does not get more than one a day. The carrots are still great but have now started to develop soft white hair.
I have a new tool. Today I got a cropping knife if that is what it is called. It is a very interesting shape and by the look of it I think it is going to be very useful for the salad crop in the summer when there is a lot to crop. I am going to give it a try on the salad that we still have in the garden tomorrow. Tomorrow is Thursday and I have lunch with Louise on a Thursday so it will be salad and somthing. This is another great new tool that Joe found for our on line shop.
I have put some Tulip’s and Narcissus bulbs in pots today that will bring joy to the kitchen yard in the spring but I am already feeling the joy that a pot of bulbs can bring. Narcissus ‘Cedric Morris’ is in flower. It is one of the first winter bulbs to come out and will last through the worst weather into early Spring. Beth Chatto was a great friend of Cedric’s so it is a great honor to have bulbs from her that she in turn got from Cedric. This little flower has the most sweet little frilled trumpets. I had no flowers last year and two this year, maybe four next year.
I’m happy. Hope you’re happy, too. It was one of those good days today where I got a lot done and could switch off from life and just relax. I find this very easy to do while I am digging. The weather is still very mild and I am getting on very well with the digging. It does help that Thomas has put down a lot of compost. I dug next to the Swiss chard today and really enjoyed looking at the pink stems with the low light on them. I will grow this crop again because it is a useful vegetable that keeps giving. I used the stems in a fish curry on the weekend and the green in a pie. Today’s photo is a little dark because I did not remember that I had not taken a photo today, sorry.
The digging has moved to the High Garden now, not that all the other areas are ready for winter but I was ready to give another area some love and also Andrew is here next week to take more photos for the book, I want it all look as good as it can not just one area. I have two days next week before Andrew is here so I had better rest well this weekend ready for two long days of digging. There is still a lot of green out there because of this mid weather.
Our Christmas tree has had its second layer of decorations now added to it. We put the first layer up before the fair and then the second layer on after the fair. I worry that things could happen with the decorations at the fair when people move around the hall. We started to put the second layer on before the staff event today and then while I was at the gym tonight Thomas and Lisa got on with it and then Emma joined in, I kept the wine glasses full when I got back. The Christmas tree is a bit like the boarders here at Great Dixter, it has a few layers added over the season.