We’re right in the middle of that time between summer & autumn, when a shift in the garden is poised & ready to happen. It’s a time when a few simple tasks will make all the difference to the garden next year.
What happens in the garden this month depends on the weather, mild sunshine keeps lots of plants going, but given cooler, wetter weather, the change will happen more quickly.
It’s a good time to trim conifer hedges, they’ll stay neat until next year & new growth will have time to toughen up & won’t turn brown withe first frosts. Can I inspire you with beautifully trimmed hedges & topiary from our stay here a couple of weeks ago. It’s the home of garden designer Arne Maynard. I’ll pot a blog with even more delicious photos later this month.
September is very much a planning ahead month, there are all sorts of good things to look forward to & time to make changes where things didn’t work out. Somehow, photos are more revealing about the state of a garden. I look back at them to remind myself of where the gaps are & where more shape or colour is needed.
As early autumn is just the best time to plant trees & shrubs, while the soil is warm & welcoming, it’s a good time to plan & order them. November is when bare-root trees & shrubs become available, & they’re much better value than potted ones too.
One of the less glamorous things happening here will be the transferring of home-made compost into the empty bin next to it. It’s one of those satisfying jobs, seeing all the waste turned into rich, dark crumbly compost. The bottom layer will already have decomposed & be ready to be layered over bare soil, the rest of it will be ready next spring.
A thick layer of compost is especially good for vegetable beds, roses & perennial plants, they always perform better & stay healthier in good soil. Buy some in if you haven’t made any or got enough. Local councils often sell recycled garden waste, it’s usually made locally so is better for the environment. It’s piled into great heaps that have high temperatures to kill off weed seedlings, but maybe ask & check?
I’m always excited about spring bulbs, especially tulips, for next year. I’m being organised & ordering them this month, I often leave it too late & have a much reduced choice. I’m doing the same with dahlias, order online & they’re delivered at the right time for planting, so you don’t have to nurse them until they’re ready.
R.H.S. Shows here are a great opportunity to buy bulbs straight from the suppliers.
Have a good month in the garden.
all photos: Jill Anderson.