September brings a wind of change to our garden spaces and regardless whether you are a newcomer to gardening or a seasoned ‘old hand’, there is always something that needs to be attended to and prepare for the next part of the gardening cycle.
Your garden may resemble a colour palette like the dolly mixtures in an old fashioned sweet jar with pots, hanging baskets and borders awash with an array of higgledy piggledy colours throughout the warm summer months, but as the cooler days and nights creep in, the garden begins to take on different shapes and colours, shedding leaves and flowers, preparing itself for the longer months ahead.
Designing a garden to suit your lifestyle and interests and look aesthetically pleasing all year round takes some planning. For the new gardeners wondering what tasks for the winter might be after all the summer blooms begin to fade, it may be worth you thinking now about how you want your garden to look next spring and plan from there.
If you are looking to have a plethora of brightly coloured spring flowering plants then consider planting out a mixture of Spring bulbs. How would Springtime look or smell without the colours and scents of the golden cheery Daffodil, brightly coloured Tulips, a magical coloured carpet of Crocus or the beautiful white with a hint of blue, star shaped flowers of Puschkinia (Russian Snowdrops)? And, by planting woodland favourites such as the glorious English Bluebells (not the Spanish variety as they will invade other varieties of plant), the soft yellow hue of the Winter Aconite and the gorgeous scented Lily of the Valley, they will thrive in damp, shady areas of your garden, rooftop garden or balcony garden and create a visual carpet of colour from early spring. Importantly, these plants will also attract bees and other pollinating insects to your garden too.
It is always a good idea to save some seeds from the seed heads of your summer plants and sow them ready for planting out in the spring. It is a great time to think about sowing spring seeds now either in a greenhouse, portable garden greenhouse or coldframe or simply on your window sills if you don’t have access to a greenhouse.
If your garden space has a bit of a dark, shady corner or area that looks like it needs a bit of brightening up, then consider planting a spring flowering Clematis that will be able to withstand cool and windy conditions and you will benefit from a beautiful array of foliage and flowers.
Since we invest so much time (and hard earned cash!) into our gardens it is really worth considering how we protect some of our more vulnerable plants from succumbing to the early winter frosts and by using a horticultural fleece or even recycling old newspapers can help protect the more vulnerable plants in your garden from the cold snaps.
So as the colours around us begin to change from the effervescent summer shades to the glowing reds and golden browns, there is plenty of preparation to be done for the season ahead ready to look forward to a spring fiesta of flowers.