Around this time of year we conduct a review of the Hot! Border to assess what might need to be done over the winter months and for the next year’s season. We ask if we still like all the species we’re growing? Are they in the right place, still? Will there be room for everything? Do we need to propagate anything else for the next season? The border team did this during their last session.

This year’s border workshop team have had a relatively light year as there has been little editing to do, nothing was lifted for propagation last year. Changing the banana species has been the biggest task to date. But the consensus of the review was that several areas of the border are getting congested and there will be more editing for the next season.

Starting from the East side, after two years persisting with the Eupatorium and three with the Rubeckia occidentalis we’ve decided that these will be edited out next year. We are also going to lift all the Canna “Panache” from the rear of the East bed for propagation over the winter and next spring. This will give us the chance to rearrange the rear border.

In front of these the  Red Hot Pokers need to be lifted and divided as they are now too congested. We need to do this whilst the weather is still warm so we’ll probably do it next month. Some of the Beschorneria clumps also need tidying up after spring flowering this year. Beschornerias are monocarpic so those that flowered will die off now and could do with removing.

Moving to the West side, we are finally retiring the lovely Cuphea ignea as they are too easily trodden down. These will be replaced by divisions of the Tradescantia virginiana on the other side as these are now big enough to be divided.

The centre of the lower west bed also needs thinning as the Dahlias are running into the Eucomis and Beonias. There will be editing all along this bed as we regroup the various drifts.

On both side of the border it’s time to rethink the Aroids. They are so late to emerge of take an age to attain the height of the species further forward. We probably need to choose other species for these positions.

This winter only the Brugmania will be lifted. The remaining bananas will be fleeced and everything else will be mulched with rotted manure that we will extract from the lower greenhouse hotbed in October.