With a day of dry weather and our borders cut back, we found time to plant the tulip bulbs that had been awaiting this moment for over a month. Robust ‘Orange Emperor’ and ‘Ballerina’ with her fluted petals were planted in two broad groups followed by the white Fosteriana tulip ‘Purissima’ and lily flowered ‘White Triumphator’. Fiery flowered Erysimum that were sown in August were now stocky little plants and we bedded them out over the top.
While in the planting mood we spent some time in the vegetable garden - onion sets Radar, Electric, and Snowball were all planted out along with garlic ‘Solent Wight’. Broad bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ was also sown, nice and deep, in a separate bed.
We followed this up by mulching all of the beds with compost directly from the adjacent heap; over 18 months old it was easily spread and beautifully friable. A barrow load of compost was wheeled around to the flower garden. With not enough time to mulch all of the beds, and with the threat of colder weather on its way, we heaped a bucketful of compost over each dahlia that we’d previously marked with a label. Just a degree or two of protection can make all the difference to dahlias saving the tubers from frost, and guaranteeing us a beautiful display next summer.