The end of the gardening year.
By Sarah Wilson
As the days shorten and the temperatures drop you can probably leave your garden in peace until next spring. However before you do here are a few final tasks:
- Finish pruning your wisteria – now pruning back to two or three buds
- Keep cutting grass whilst it is still growing and if you need to, cut and repair the lawn edges
- Sow sweet peas -if you want early flowers next year
- Put tender plants in the green house or conservatory – if very tender, take cuttings now to overwinter in the warmth
- Keep collecting fallen leaves, if possible putting them in a leaf cage or black plastic bag, for leaf mould in the future
- Start putting out food for the birds and keep your birdbaths full of fresh water
- Don’t cut back hydrangeas, grasses or perennials with attractive seed heads – they are good for insects and birds
- Cut off the brown fronds of evergreen ferns and the leaves of Hellebores
- Plant your tulip and Allium bulbs over the next month
- Clean your tools and sharpen shears and secateurs
There are few plants in my garden which are still flowering and providing a last burst of colour. There are also lots of berries and fruits this year – as well as the red berries of holly, yew and Skimmia, there are the purple berries of Viburnum tinus, and the red and orange berries of Cotoneaster, Pyracantha and Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree), red and orange rose hips and the lovely scented fruits of the Japanese quince and the real Quince – Cydonia oblonga.
Still in flower are the Passionflower, Cyclamen hederifolium, Erigeron Karvinskianus, Hydrangea tricolor, Crocosmia, Inula magnifica and Morina longifolia. Maybe next year you might plant some of these as they don’t only provide late colour but provide pollen and nectar for the remaining bees and butterflies.
My next newsletter will be in December when we can start to plan for your garden in 2018. Meanwhile enjoy putting your feet up in front of the fire!
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