Autumn is a busy time in the garden as you tidy up after summer and prepare for winter.
Along with leaf falls, final lawn cuts and tidying the borders, it's also time to think ahead to next year. Here are our top tips for things to do (and not) this autumn.
It can be tempting to whip out your secateurs and start cutting everything back but I'd urge you to wait a little while. Some shrubs look amazing even when they might be considered 'past their best'.
Things like ornamental grasses often have some wonderful colours at the time of year and will add structure and movement to your garden through winter. Grasses can also offer great a hidey-hole for hedgehogs in the colder months.
Or rather, harvest some of them! I like to leave some for the wildlife to feast on too.
If you have certain plants that thrive in your garden, harvesting their seeds in a great way of increasing the ratio of plants that love and excel in your garden.
Do spare a thought for the birds though and leave some seeds in-situ for them to enjoy.
Now is a great time to plant your pots with bulbs that will be bursting with colour in the spring. If you have spaces and like to, you can also plant bulbs in your borders and under trees to achieve a glorious country-garden display.
Plant a mix of bulbs including tulips and the different varieties of daffodils and look forward to a stunning show next year.
While you are thinking ahead to spring, spare a thought for the hard-working pollinators like butterflies. Butterflies and their counterparts don't just look lovely, they are a really useful indication of how healthy the eco-system of your garden is.
It's time to start thinking about the less hardy plants in your garden that need a little more TLC to make it through winter.
You can mulch the beds with straw, additional compost or other mulch materials. If you have pots that need to be kept warm, group them together in a sheltered spot and wrap them in garden fleece, newspaper or bubble wrap to keep them warm. Do take care to protect the roots too by wrapping the pots up, not just the plants.
It can feel like groundhog day when the leaves are falling as quickly as you are clearing them, but this is a really important job. If fallen leaves are left in place they'll compost down, can lead to disease in some plants (like roses) and can end up causing other problems like blocked drains.
If you have a greenhouse it's important not to forget about it until next year! Insulate the rook and walls using bubble wrap and give the whole structure a good clean down. Clean any unused pots and trays and stack them away ready to use next year.
Watch the temperature - if it gets too cold for any plants that are sheltering there you may need to arrange some gentle heating. If you do need to use heating then remember to create some additional humidity to prevent the air from becoming too dry.
Take care when you are watering any plants not to splash just in case the slow drying due to low temperatures causes fungus to set in.
....and water features. Or indeed any outdoor water sources like taps. Refer to manufacturer guidance for things like pond pumps and filters to avoid frost damage and remember to insulate outdoor taps to prevent the water freezing and bursting the pipe. Alternatively, if the tap can be isolated from inside, do so and then turn the tap to open to allow any water to escape.
Whilst autumn goes often mean preparing for winter, it is still a beautiful time in the garden. Many of your shrubs and hedges will be turning the most beautiful oranges and reds, berries will be enticing birds into the garden and there is still so much to enjoy. As the summer blooms fade, take note of where you could plant new shrubs that will peak at different times of the year so that you develop a garden that has something amazing to show you all year round.
If you need some help to tackle the leaves, tidy the borders, trim the hedges and cut the grass before winter sets in, get in touch. Our expert and reliable team will be happy to help and save you the hassle of removing the waste yourself. Just call Claire on 023 8063 2600 and we can get you booked in.