The soft days of Indian Summer mean that we have not yet had a hard frost in Chester and the new beds of annuals in the Cove Garden, which were awash with colour all summer, were still blooming in the second week of October. Thus it seemed a trifle ungrateful to think of up-rooting them and consigning them to the compost. Still, like gardeners everywhere, members of Chester Garden Club track the seasons and they know that Mother Nature will not be denied. Jack Frost will find his way here eventually, and it’s much easier to dig in new plantings before the ground is frozen. Therefore, to complete Phase 2 of the renovation of the Cove Garden, a dozen volunteers recently converged on the property to weed the beds, edge the paths, and lift all the annuals in order to replace them with more permanent plantings.
In sum, the club volunteers planted three pink azaleas (Northern Lights) in each triangular bed, along with a large number of day lilies (burgundy and apricot colours) and rudbeckias. These were under-planted with daffodils, yellow alyssum, ajuga and allium moly. The healthy ornamental cabbages were left in place as an attempt to appease the eye; their soft mauve spheres serve to outline the rather bare earth beds. The small circular bed around the Ginko tree was filled with over 100 crocuses. Another proposed bed, which will be developed under the ornamental fruit trees, will be done as part of the next phase. Now, with all the plantings in place, there’s nothing to be done in this garden but wait for Spring.