I've had a busy day in the garden today, weeding and planting. I put in a globe artichoke, which I bought a few months ago, but had put in a bigger pot until I could get round to planting it. This is to keep my other globe artichoke company, one I grew myself last year, which is to the left of the picture. Maybe they will both flower next year. I can but hope.
A couple of weeks ago I put in the chrysanthemums, fuchsia and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), the latter to benefit the bees and butterflies.
I'd noticed one of those was growing in the bee-friendly garden at Ryton Organic Garden when we visited it last month, so I thought that would add a splash of colour as well as feeding the bees as Autumn approaches. When I looked today it was surrounded by a cluster of hover flies.
Next Spring I expect I'll put in some perennials once the bedding plants have finished flowering, but there's not a lot of choice at the moment. Bedding plants have their uses, but it's less work if your flower beds have mostly perennials.
I also bought some lollo rosso lettuces when I was in the garden centre, which I was pleased about as I haven't started any new lettuce plants myself. I like Geoff Hamilton's idea of an Ornamental Kitchen Garden with vegetables planted among the flowers, and as lollo rosso are attractive lettuces, I've put some in a flower bed by the back garden along with some more pansies. I'm hoping my husband will like it as he's not so sure about the concept.
There were a dozen in the pack so I've planted the rest in tubs.
This meant a lot more digging and weeding as this bed was also fairly overgrown. I noticed the soil was quite dry, so I added some compost from our third compost bin, which is the oldest and fairly well rotted down.
copper rings around the lettuces to protect them from slugs. I've found these to be quite effective so long as the leaves don't droop over the edge of the ring. I've had them a few years now and they don't show signs of deterioration, just discolouration, which happens very quickly with copper.
I've also put some grit down to deter slugs and snails, but probably should add some more. It was a long day in the garden and in the end I was very tired. I also sprinkled a few Growing Success slug pellets around. These are available from the organic gardening catalogue as well as garden centres.