According to our kitchen calendar, British Summer-time finishes at the end of the month. I’m not one for mourning the end of summer though. Autumn has been glorious here, I’d forgotten how much I like its’ soft light, fiery foliage & vivid blue skies.
Gardening is a real pleasure in this weather, just as well because there’s plenty to do in our garden before winter sets in.The weeding has been done & soil dug over ready for shrub planting over the next few weeks, the soil is still warm making the conditions ideal for new plants.
Where possible I’ll buy bare-root trees & shrubs. Roses, peonies & fruit bushes have to be my favourite bare-root plants. They’re much cheaper than ones bought in plant-pots & are available from October.
Our lawn was laid 6 weeks & is looking green & lush. It still needs a weekly trim, with the blades set high for autumn/winter cuts.
Drainage was a major factor in the design of our garden, so I included shingle paths rather than paved ones, not only are shingle paths better for drainage, they’re much cheaper too. Fallen leaves take a lot of time to clear up, especially from shingle paths. The big compromise was to buy a leaf-blower – possibly my most disliked piece of gardening equipment – but it does a good job of removing leaves while keeping the shingle in place.
The geraniums have been dug up out of the pots of summer plants, cut back & stored in the cold-frame out of harms way before the frosts come. I’m not sure what to replace them with yet, but small Narcissus tete a tete will definitely be included.
My dahlias have done so badly this year, I don’t have the allotment anymore, so I planted them in the garden in what turned out to be the most slug-infested bed in the garden. I usually dig them up & store them in the greenhouse over winter, but I may leave them in the ground. Frankly I’m a bit fed-up with their lack of performance.
They can be left in the garden over winter with a generous layer of mulch over them for protection. But they flower earlier when they’ve spent winter in a greenhouse or cold-frame.
Enjoy the rest of the month.
all photos: Jill Anderson