Summer is fading and autumn is just around the corner. Transitional periods can be tricky for us gardeners, but after the productive summer months I personally see it as a good time to sit back and take stock and see how you can enhance the garden for the season ahead.
Here are some of the things I think about when preparing for autumn.
Every season brings fresh challenges – Autumn brings chilly temperatures, falling leaves and reduced hours of sunshine, to name a few. As with any other season, it’s always best to keep on top of maintenance jobs. If you devote an hour or so every few days, you’ll save time and effort in the long-run.
As the colder climes approach, keep an eye out for flowers and plants that are passed their best and look and what you need to do with them. Tender plants such as begonias and dahlias should be brought iinside for the winter. Cut them back part way down the stem, and lift the roots gently then place them in a tray filled with sand, and keep them in warm, dry place until spring. When the days are lighter and warmer, you can replant outside.
Most of us love the sight of richly coloured leaves swirling to the ground in the wind. But dead leaves can be a nightmare for gardeners – so make sure you collect them up and store them in bin bags, or in an open chicken wire frame to make leaf mould. This will be ready in a year or so and will be an excellent source of nutrients for your soil. If you have a pond, place a net over it before the leaves start to tumble.
Often, the weather conditions are unpredictable as we move from summer to autumn. Continue watering plants and tending to the lawn, even on days when there have been showers. If you have a large garden, it may be worth looking into irrigation systems or creating a private borehole. You can find out more by contacting firms like Nicholls Bore Holes. Keep an eye on grass regrowth, and avoid mowing on wet days.
Summer is all about colour in the garden, and there’s no reason why this can’t continue into the autumn by incorporating herbaceous perennials such as helenium, japanese anenome, rudbeckia and hellebores. If herbaceous perennials aren’t for you, inject interest into your beds by planting evergreens, or, if you’re looking to add texture and create eye-catching features in the cooler months, why not make a rockery?
Image credit http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4491764
Most importantly, enjoy watching the changes of the seasons and how they affect your outdoor space. Take a moment to enjoy the crunch of the autumn leaves under your foot or to watch the different birds that may come to your feeder at this time of year. Happy gardening!