GARDENS FOR NATURE AND YOU
Jody’s Garden Services
As mentioned in the August Diary, now is the time to look at your garden and see what needs to be changed for next year: which plants to move around and to plan different colour schemes. The next couple of months are ideal to be carrying out all these changes.
Sep/Oct is the time for clearing all the dead and dying growth, you will have a massive amount of top growth to get rid off, (this is when I fill my compost bin to overflowing).
In the spaces left you can put in all biennials:
Wallflowers, Bellis Perennis (daisy), Myosotis (forget me not), Dianthus Barbatus (sweet william), Foxgloves, Canterbury Bells.
Wallflowers and sweet williams will be happy where building work has been going on among rubble, mortar and cement as they enjoy a limey soil.
Bulbs: Daffodils, narcissus, fritillaria, iris - Dutch, Spanish & English. Iris unguicularis is scented and can flower from November through to March, it prefers a dry, sunny aspect and will tolerate poor soil. The Dutch iris comes, next in early June with colours of blue, yellow and white. These will flourish in any type of soil and look good planted in groups of half a dozen or more.
There are many more bulbs to choose from in the shops.
Primula family: Primrose, polyanthus etc, can make lovely winter bedding displays, these will take shade or part shade. If left after flowering primula will grow through the summer and be big enough to be divided into more plants
Tidying up the rock garden, clearing away dead leaves and foliage will discourage slugs and pests from over wintering and causing damage to plants.
If absolutely necessary, planting & moving peonies can be done now. be careful not to plant too deep. Other shrubs and trees planted now will get off to a good start while the soil is still warm. Established trees and shrubs will be starting to show off their autumn colours as the leaves turn with the reduced light conditions. Rake up fallen leaves and mix well into the compost.
Roses showing signs of black spot will need to have the leaves removed, but don’t put them on the compost pile. Spraying against this disease can still be done, spray at ground level as well and pick up any fallen leaves. Keep dead heading and you may get more buds, if large enough, cut stems and bring indoors to open if frosts are expected.
Take some time to look after your lawn now. Raise the mower blades up a notch to leave the grass longer. Rake or scarify the lawn to remove the thatch of dead grass and spike the lawn with a garden fork to let the air into the roots and allow better drainage. Then go over with an organic slow-acting fertiliser such as bonemeal mixed with sand, or a ready made ‘Autumn Mix’ fertiliser and follow the makers instructions.
From now until spring, hedges can be trimmed or layered.
This is an exciting time of the year. It’s time to plant up your Spring displays now the shops and garden centres are full of bulbs and plants promising colour from Autumn through to Spring. Autumn flowering Chrysanthemums and Asters are coming into their own now.