The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

This is the time for taking stock..


By anget


I was looking out at the garden from the kitchen window this morning and thinking how relieved I am that it is all dying down. This end of the year is often muddy, miserable and melancholy, the mood not helped at all by watching the news… And I was thinking about what has been a success out there and what has been an abject failure. I should be interested to hear what has and hasn’t worked for you, too.

The garden today:

I’ve been trying to aim for more structure and hope that this year the addition of more evergreens will help with that. I have discarded a large number of roses with which I have a love-hate relationship, but I have still managed to acquire the ‘Buttercup’ rose from D.A. So much for willpower!
Lots of perennials have been discarded, too.
I am particularly pleased with the autumn colour this season. I bought a number of (very) small acers from the supermarkets over the last 2 seasons and have been growing them on in pots to plant out next year. These should alter the ‘feel’ of the garden, too. At least that strategy makes them more affordable and I have enjoyed watching them grow and change over the seasons:

Inherited acer (‘Orange Dream’?). Not my favourite in the spring – rather garish mix of shades- but lovely now.

‘Going Green’ – now going gold.

Another attractive pair of babies, Liqidamber (Thank you, Janey, for putting me on to these!). They are all tucked up in the greenhouse ready for their winter sleep.

So one thing that has been a succes has been buying cheap and small and growing on. I have had success with ferns for the first time this way, too. It means I am willing to take risks with plants that would probably too expensive to chance in my garden otherwise.

Mislabelled plants. Lots of them! Really noticeable this year. And very frustrating! Also, one thing I have learned is not to rely on the pics. supplied when choosing plants. I bought a few chrysanths, thinking I had different shades. These are what I ended up with:

‘In the flesh’ there are subtle differences but not much! Pretty, anyway.
I am going to risk more conifers next season. These have been growing on, too.

I didn’t think I was much of a fan, but their subtle differences now appeal. I’m hoping that they will help to cut down on the amount of work needed next year, but it will take some effort to plant them all!
So, what is your review of successes and failures as you take stock this autumn? Any major changes ahead?

More blog posts by anget

Previous post: RHS garden, Harlow Carr.

Next post: My houseplants.



Oh Ange, I don't think your garden looks dull and miserable!
It is a good time of year to look round the garden though and change things or do new projects!
This is one of the times I like , so that I have new plans in my head for next year! Unfortunately, my head does the thinking at the moment, not my body! Haha!
I intend to get a couple of acers and just outside our fence is the Liquid Amber. It's beautiful!
I could never be like you and remove any of my roses though!
Although your Chrysanths are the same shade, they are a lovely colour!
You have all winter to enjoy looking through garden books and planning!

13 Nov, 2021


I know exactly what you mean about taking stock.
I have 2 clematis to remove as they are definitely in the wrong place. One will probably go buy the beech hedge as it is the native 'Travellers Joy'. The other is a lovely pink C tenexis 'Ladybird Johnson', just too vigourous for where I have it. Not sure where else to put it though.

Already started taking out thugish asters and I have my eye on a daylily that is orange and not particularly pretty.

14 Nov, 2021


Well my main success has been getting well enough to get some weeding done! Broad beans very good, peas disappointing and kale a write off (thank you dicky birds)
I had a grand display of tulips in the Spring as OH had given me £80 to celebrate a depressing 80th birthday and I spent nearly all of it in Sarah Raven's catalogue! (I think he got tired of me oohing and ahhing over it every year)
I should have bought a beautiful shrub really but it was nice while it lasted and some of them should come again .

I bought some wallflowers the old fashioned way (in bunches, for those of you who don't remember!) but left them rather too long before planting so fingers crossed that they pick up in the end.

Best surprise was that all my Acidantheras did flower in the end and are only just going over now. They didn't enjoy the strong winds and rain though!
Plans (or rather thinking it would be a good idea) include trying to make the garden easier to manage and possibly grassing over the main veg plot. Not very inspiring, sorry!

Plans for next year depend on the results of my recent MRI!

I took lots of photos for blogs (honest!) but never downloaded them.

14 Nov, 2021


Rose, I think the garden looks better this year than last, so all is not lost! I am managing to harden my heart with my plants. I am discarding some without a pang or backward glance - no space for any which need to pull their socks up! The green bin had a number of fuchsias in it this week which I decided I wasn't prepared to spend time on nannying them for overwintering! It's like decluttering your house (and I've been doing that with a vengeance, too...).

Glad I'm not alone, SBG. I made the mistake of planting clematis on the fence behind shrubs which have now grown large (the shrubs, that is). It looked a real mess this year with the tangles so I hope I can persuade oh that they need to come out. I read about your asters. I find once you start to remove one plant it's much easier to take out those you have been 'eyeing up' as well..

Well, Stera, I'm glad your many tulips helped you celebrate your birthday. I bet they looked lovely. My wallflowers got picked off by the ?birds as I put them out when too small.
We are trying to make the borders easier to manage, too. Decreasing energy and enthusiasm were obvious this year. A time for adjustments, I think.

14 Nov, 2021


I was surprised that you had the strength of mind to dig up your perennials. I can't do it. Even if split one I feel the need to find it a new home - can't just leave it do die after its flowered for me for years! This is probably why my garden tends to degenerate into a bit of a mess. There seem to be two sorts of gardeners, those with a gift for design and those who just have to find somewhere to put a wanted plant. I'm the second sort which explains the general messiness...Have to admit your garden looks more attractive!

14 Nov, 2021


You will be pleased to know I haven't binned all my perennials, Stera, just a good number of them! I started out with a lot of 'wanted' plants, like you, but I fell out of love with many of them. I hven't missed any which I threw out. Sometimes you have to live with a plant for a year or two to decide whether it is true love or just a passing fancy.

14 Nov, 2021


Your garden is very colourful, I enjoyed your blog, and I hope your plans for next year are successful :)
I must say autumn is my least favourite season, the days are so short and getting shorter all the time, the weather is always dreary ... and a very materialistic version of 'Christmas' is constantly rammed down one's throat :(
I always feel better in January :)

I have lots of things to do next year because my garden has got into a mess over the past several years, too much to explain here. I'll be posting some blogs on my progress (if any) in the spring :)

15 Nov, 2021


Stera,I asked my GC if they sold the wallflowers in a bucket and they looked at me with surprise!..

Hywel, I do agree with you about Pre Xmas build up...the GC is awash with sparkling lights.
Must buy Acidenthera in the Spring...this year they didn't flower.Wonder if a pot is better for them.

15 Nov, 2021


Thank you, Hywel. Yes, I agree with you about our commercialised Christmas. I'm very "Bah Humbug!" about lots of it, too. I shall look forward to seeing your revitalised garden next year.

Meadow, I grew accidanthera last year. I was very surprised to see some of them return this year too. I've been surprised (not) at the number of commercial Christmas trees on show in shops already, and despairing that they're also blaring out jolly jingles. Aaargh.....

15 Nov, 2021


Acidanthera ! I've added it to my next year's list of buys. Haven't grown them for years ...
Oh dear, that list is getting longer all the time and what can I do about it.
Not having a 'to buy' list is unfortunately not an option :D

15 Nov, 2021


I read that Acidanthera need feeding through the summer but I didn't do it. Also think they need digging up and overwintering rather dry, I had enough this year to try different ways and see if any work - I did manage it once a few years ago! But if I don't get on with it it will be too late to do anything...

Lol Hywel,You aren't alone there...

Meadowland the other time I was successful I grew them in a plastic trough - a bit infra dig for such beauty!
Wallflowers in buckets are rare these days . I got mine from Suttons.

Agree with the Christmas comments - makes you want to forget all about it, apart from the pudding, lol...

16 Nov, 2021


In July and August I had cataract surgery in both eyes which meant no gardening at all in order to ensure a successful outcome. In several weeks smartweed obliterated my garden which had not up to then disappointed me. My hands were tied and I could not take the usual measures to control it. It became a point of embarrassment when from time to time neighbors would notice the developing catastrophe. Instead of a year’s satisfaction of a job well done when the killing frosts arrived I am instead feeling relief that the change season is wiping the slate clean.

17 Nov, 2021


Ange, if I was in your garden, I would be ducking out of your way! lol

17 Nov, 2021


Oh, Loosestrife, that must be so disheartening, but next year will be better and it's good to have got the op. out of the way. I, too, am happy to see the garden dying down this year.

Oh Rose, I'm not sure the OH feels safe, either! We cleared 4 large boxes of books out to the Oxfam Bookshop yesterday - most satisfactory!!

17 Nov, 2021


Haha! Ange! I can just hear the plants saying "save me save me!"

19 Nov, 2021


I’m loving all your glorious autumn colour, Ange! A lovely colourful view from your window!
I have orange dream, but, I do like it in spring, summer and autumn..I’m a big acer fan!
I’ve lots of ferns in the garden, plus two tree ferns. I’m -leased you’re growing them and succeeding. They are great in amongst the colourful blooms - good companions.
I love the colouring on your chrysanthemums!!!! Gorgeous!
We are planning to replace the long rockery wood wall and back patio next year. Exciting project ahead.
For me, I’ve added more ornamental grasses this year. Also, I think I’ll remove some of the wishy washy rockery plants that become a bit sparse and boring. I think I’ll look at adding more shrubs there. I’ve already planted a pieris, a hebe and a lavender, this late summer.
I’m looking forward to Christmas, but, yes, I feel it’s so commercialised now too..such a pity.

19 Nov, 2021


Kate, exciting plans for your garden. We are thinking of replacing our patio, too, next year. The difficulty is we have a real problem with ants underneath the one we have, whose work has managed to completely undermine the levels. I don't want to pay for replacements and find we have the same problem. And the moles have been burrowing underneath, too. They have surfaced in the gravel section round our dining room window!
Thanks for your nice comments. I have just put up (many) photos in my plants section so I can tell my chrysanths. apart when it comes to planting next year!

20 Nov, 2021


Hi Anget I've been fairly pleased with mine this year, after we reshaped the lawn edging. I was disappointed with my Rosa Peace as it only gave me 2 blooms I thought it would flourish being planted in the ground, not sure if I've crowded it out, any tips? The plant that seemed to stand out this year is Persicaria Red Dragon the foliage has been lovely and still looking good. As ever we have got lots to do, our 2 north facing corners (next to patio) need revamping :-))

21 Nov, 2021


Glad your garden has pleased you this year, D'lily. There's always something to tweak, isn't there? Our persicaria has been so good that I bought 2 more this year. I don't have any of the foliage types but that may change!

21 Nov, 2021

Add a comment

Recent posts by anget

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Apr, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Nov, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    31 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    21 Nov, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    2 Feb, 2019

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Jul, 2012

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 May, 2010