It’s not that I don’t like autumn; I do, particularly this seemingly neverending summer of an autumn. But at this time of year most of the jobs that the team is doing will help make a better, more floriferous 2015.
Now that we have gotten the chillies out of the glasshouse there is room to begin potting up all of our tender perennial cuttings that have rooted. These cuttings were taken in the last two weeks of August and many already have good root systems on them.
Argyranthemum 'Ulyssis' is one we are planning to use quite a lot of next year and so we took 120 cuttings of this I need about 30 for containers in the garden and the Hilltop team plan on using 60 to fill in gaps in the garden. It’s a really useful plant as it forms a lovely mound, smothered with yellow daisy flowers that start well before we plant them out in May, and keep going until we have a hard frost. It roots very easily and we have to be ruthless when it comes to potting up.
We may have had space for 120 cuttings but when we pot them up into 1 litre pots space becomes very precious. Only a few more than the 90 we need for the garden get to continue growing as we have to squeeze over 2,000 tender perennials into the glasshouse.
Bulbs are also arriving now; there will be more than 13,000 bulbs to plant this year at Hyde Hall and this is quite a small number for us. I am most excited about the tulip bulbs for our containers. Every year we plant up seven very large terracotta pots with loads of tulip bulbs, up to 150 per pot. This year we will be planting the intriguing, fringed Tulipa ‘Barbados’ and the deep red Tulipa ‘Cassini’.
I’m not a fan of pots of layered bulbs or the “bulb lasagne” and plant the tulips all at the same depth. This means a shorter display with flowering only being at its best for about two weeks, but what a blast of colour those two weeks will be.