NO ... this is not the new nursery gnome!! It's Philip tackling the job we all love to hate - the big autumn clean up. It's dank, gloomy, getting colder, on-site customers (except the very keen and brave) have gone into hibernation - oh dear!. Never mind, put on a smile, on with the layers, out we go and time to get the vulnerable. more tender plants cleaned up and put under cover for the winter.
(The glorious red haze in the background btw is Cornus alba 'Sibirica').
The greenhouse has been scrubbed clean both outside and in and is already filling up with plants that need some frost protection - dahlias, cannas, some of the S African bulbs etc. In a few days time every available space will be taken up in here.
Meanwhile the crated plants below, and many more yet to be sorted, will be overwintered in well ventilated polytunnels mainly as a precaution not knowing what the next few months will throw at us!. These can withstand frosts but can suffer from winter wet when in pots of water retaining compost. In the garden situation with reasonably drained soil they will be fine. Come the spring they will be back in their outside beds, looking good and saying 'buy me'!
And finally the toughest (plants not staff) will be left to overwinter in situ (as above) once the beds have been sterilized, shingle replaced where necessary. If all goes to plan before the end of November after which we start the same process with the shrubs!
And you thought we spent the these quieter months sitting in the office playing cards ... ha !!