The end of a very challenging gardening year
By Sarah Wilson
A sure sign that Autumn is here is the ever-increasing sound of the leaf blowers around Kingswood! It has been a strange gardening year – a long, cold and wet winter, a warm spell followed by the “Beast from the East” and then months of really hot and dry weather with record high temperatures.
By now the lawns are green again and the leaves are turning red and yellow and trees and shrubs heavy with berries. In my garden the cheerful orange and yellow trailing Nasturtium were in flower in May and then produced seeds, which have now germinated, and I have a second show of them at this late stage of the year
Similarly the self sown Cosmos have grown up to a metre tall this year – covered with purple and white flowers, loved by the bees and still flowering!
This year trees and shrubs have a very heavy load of berries and already there are too many for the birds to eat yet – look out for the fleshy red berries of the yew, red and yellow holly berries, clusters of red and orange berries on the Cotoneaster and Rowan trees and masses of orange and red berries on the Pyracantha. All these berries are favourites of the birds and they disperse the seeds all over your garden where you may find small seedlings.
As the weather gets colder make sure your tender plants such as succulents and Pelargonium are brought inside the greenhouse or conservatory.
Its not too late to plant bulbs of tulips or Crocus – try a mixture of tulips in a large terracotta pot or a swathe of purple Crocus in your lawn.
Finally you should try and keep the fallen leaves off your lawn and paths – a leaf blower is perfect for this job but if you fancy a good workout try using a leaf rake!! Don’t make the garden too tidy as a few corners with some old logs and leaves will provide a hideout for small animals and insects.
Dr Sarah Wilson, a long time resident in The Warren, regularly opens her garden in the summer months with the National Garden Scheme.
To contact Sarah please click here