The garden is still full of colour thanks to the late flowering asters, and salvias that have flowered the whole summer long. Roses have suddenly flowered again, showing their liking for the cooler rainy weather. But autumn is definitely here with lots of autumnal colours in the trees and shrubs. I have also been pleased with two little hardy geraniums I bought last year Little Gem and Light Dilys. They are very obliging plants, low growing and neatly scrambling around, and flowering nonstop, I just love plants that have a long season and behave, without taking over the world.
A wildlife moment this week was to watch a kingfisher on the stream quite close to the road!
There's lots to do. In the garden at this time of year here are a few jobs to do!
- Plant drifts of spring bulbs informally in a lawn, including crocuses, and small daffodils, like pseudo narcissus – the wild daffodil.
- Lift and pot up tender perennials to avoid frost damage, and protect overwinter in a greenhouse, conservatory, windowsill.
- Plant up containers for winter colour using winter pansies and evergreen plants / small shrubs.
- Plant evergreen shrubs and conifer hedges while the soil is still warm
- Transplant deciduous shrubs that are in the wrong place or have outgrown their current position.
- Collect seeds from hardy perennials, such as astrantia, achillea and red valerian, and sow straight away.
- Take hardwood cuttings from ornamental trees and shrubs.
- Reduce the height of shrub roses to avoid windrock damage over winter.
- Reuse spent compost from annual containers as a mulch on the garden.
- Build a compost bin.
- Collect leaves for making leaf mould as a soil conditioner. Oak, alder and hornbeam will rot down in a year, but beech, sycamore, & horse chestnut take a couple of years to compost.
- Clean out water butts and let the autumn rains refill them.
- Build a cold frame to protect young plants from extreme winter weather.
- Make time to give evergreen hedges a final trim before the bad weather sets in, so they look neat and tidy for the winter.
- Once plants are dormant, it's a good time to lift and relocate any that you want to move.
- Take stock of this year's garden and make a few notes or sketches for next spring. You'll be surprised how useful these are when you start ordering seeds and plants for next year.
- Take snapshots with your camera or phone of where herbaceous plants are located before they die back so you don't damage their roots during a winter dig.