With winter right around the corner, take advantage of the perfect autumn days and tend to your garden.
We share our top autumn planting tips:
1. Mass-plant primulas for a blaze of soft and sensual winter colour
There are many varieties in a vast array of colours, but one of the best is the ‘Lollipops’ mix from Oasis, with its bright pink, lavender, warm pink, burgundy and white blooms. Growing to 30-40cm high, they’ll flower prolifically through to the start of spring and look fabulous in pots.
2. Check out the beguiling sasanqua camellias appearing in nurseries this month
The hardiest of the camellias and the easiest to grow, they make excellent flowering hedges. One of the best for a white-flowered hedge is the glossy-leafed Japanese ‘Mine-no-yuki’.
3. Add flavour to meals with garlic cloves from a homegrown crop
You will need seed cloves (best bought from a reputable local source) and a full-sun position. In spring, treat them to a dressing of blood and bone. You’ll be digging them up any time from summer to next autumn.
4. Inject cottage-garden charm with a display of hollyhocks
You can buy seedlings, but the cheapest way is to sow seeds in a seed tray and raise your own. They like a rich soil, protection from wind and good sun exposure.
5. Plant spring-flowering bulbs for a happy show of post-winter colour in non-tropical areas
Mix a little bulb food into the soil prior to planting and follow the planting-depth guide on the packet.
6. Bring lawns back to their best after the long summer with an aerating regime
This is as simple as plunging a garden forkhalfway into the soil and wriggling it from side to side a little. Do this all over the lawn, to open things up and allow water to better penetrate when it rains. While you’re at it, sprinkle a little fertiliser and water in well.
7. Check out the autumn foliage
If rich dark pinks and reds do it for you, consider the Japanese maple Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’. It starts off dull green in spring before transforming into a blaze of colour in mid to late autumn.