Lots Of Gardening Jobs To Do This Autumn
October is a great month for gardeners because its one of the best times to plant most herbaceous perennials, trees, fruit and shrubs, carry on planting spring bulbs, plant your wall flowers, spring pansies or violas and take care of your problematic lawn. It’s even the best time to lay new turf. All gardeners should be busy. Work you do now will give you the best return. It’s an investment in next year’s garden.
Aster frikartii 'Monoch'
It makes sense to use the good weather this Autumn and get maintenance jobs done and plants establishing before we are into the cold frosts and frozen ground of a typical cold English winter.
Prepare Your Soil
Things thrive best when planted in well-prepared soil. It’s time to get cultivating your soil whether you're planning a border a fruit garden or a new hedge. Add soil conditioner to your beds and the organic matter content will both aid moisture retention in a sandy soil and it will help to crumble the structure in a heavy soil. A good sprinkling of bone meal benefits establishment of all but the lime hating plants. Looking after your soil is an investment but it will save significant money in the long run and your garden will bring you a lot more pleasure.
Plan Your Garden
I would recommend you take a good look at the vistas in your garden. Where does it delight and where does it lack interest. It might be worth taking a snap so you remember before its cut back. If some plants have thrived and given you joyful amounts of colour then its simply time to add some more or perhaps some areas need a little contrasting colour, texture possibly with grasses or do you need some height. Look at the picture in front of you as if it were a painting and then let your imagination make the improvements you would like to see next year, then plant!!!
Flowers to Plant for Autumn Interest
If you need more late summer and Autumn flower colour I would recommend you plant Asters. I am enjoying a large clump of Aster frikartii ‘Monch’, classic blue star like daisies that stand about 3ft tall.
The vivid blue blends seamlessly with my Rozanne cranesbill geraniums that edge my border and are still in flower. Plant penstemons for lots of flowers.
There is a huge variety of colours, ‘Blackbird’ is particularly lovely. Sturdy sedums always perform spectacularly well displaying big bold pinky red flower heads and the bright oranges, yellows and red crocosmias are stunning and definitely a good choice for late summer to Autumn. Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ (white) highlights my border, but all anemones are gorgeously floriferous.
Other perennials you might like to add might be Liriope which looks like a short grass with small hyacinth like spikes in blue or white, providing clumps of ground cover and lots of flower, ceratostigma forms a carpet of blue flowers and is excellent ground cover. Perovskia ‘Little Spire’ has spindly frosted grey stems and these cover in bright steely blue flowers mixing well in most well drained borders.
We largely think of Autumn shrubs as those with magnificent displays of foliage like Euonymus Alatus or fantastic roses with beautiful hips such as Rosa moyesii and Rosa rugosa. Autumn is about acers, liquidamber, parrotia and crab apples trees but we also have some wonderful flowering shrubs. Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’ which is heavenly blue and hypericums which have the most unusual yellow flowers and lovely seed heads.
Lastly beautiful colourful berried shrubs we can plant. The incredible purple berries on a Callicarpa and the prickly evergreen pyracanthas which are excellent against walls for security with a choice of yellow orange or red.