Autumn gardening, lately, begins with planting subsequent summer season’s perennials, timber and shrubs.
I’ve interviewed some fantastic head gardeners this yr, resembling Asa Gregors-Warg on the Beth Chatto Gardens, Stephen Herrington from Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens and Neil Miller of Hever Castle & Gardens.
They have all mentioned that though each spring and autumn had been as soon as thought of equally good occasions for planting perennials, shrubs and timber, we now have just lately had very dry spring climate. This signifies that autumn, which has extra rainfall, is a greater time for planting.
And for the opposite autumn gardening ideas, I’ve simply talked to award-winning head gardener, Jane Moore, of the Bath Priory Hotel. As effectively as operating a city backyard that should look good 365 days a yr for resort friends, she can also be the writer of Planting for Butterflies, reviewed right here.
Autumn gardening priorities
The very first thing to do in autumn, says Jane, is to carry again on the secateurs. ‘Do nothing. It’s so tempting to start out slicing issues again, however issues usually look so good as we go into autumn. I actually love vegetation that die effectively, so I attempt to decide vegetation that go over actually properly.’
These embrace verbena bonariensis, which makes a phenomenal define for the winter backyard.
And additionally hydrangeas, that are ‘unsung heroes of the garden,’ says Jane. ‘They’re really easy going. And though I really like them once they’re in flower, they’re virtually higher as they go over. They usually flip from white or inexperienced into some actually stunning rusty pink shades.’
There’s a publish right here about what you could learn about rising hydrangeas.
You can nonetheless take cuttings…
As Jane begins a little bit of light slicing again, she takes cuttings. ‘It’s not a super time of yr to be taking cuttings, however you may nonetheless get vegetation to take root.’ You can take cuttings from vegetation, resembling salvias or pelargoniums ‘as you’re taking them in.’
Leave decorative grasses for wildlife and winter curiosity
‘I always leave the ornamental grasses. I never cut them back until the spring. That’s partly as a result of they give the impression of being good in winter, however it’s additionally as a result of it does give loads of small creatures a small little bit of nesting materials for hibernating.
As I used to be tidying up a Stipa tenuissima in autumn as soon as, I discovered a lump of grass, so I assumed I should tidy that up. I lifted it and there was a stunning hedgehog all curled up asleep beneath it. So I put it down once more.’
Collect seed and depart some for the birds
‘I collect a lot of seeds,’ says Jane. ‘There’s one thing particular about seeds from vegetation which have grown effectively in your backyard. They’re more likely to stick with it doing effectively.’
‘And if you go on picking out the best of the best every year and taking seed from them, then you’re honing these vegetation to be the very best number of what you need to your backyard.’ For instance, Jane at all times marks out the deepest burnt orange calendula and gathers their seed to make sure she will get the shade she loves greatest.
She has some vegetation within the backyard that may hint their origins again to 1 packet of seeds in 2007.
However, in case your plant is an F1 hybrid – and it’ll say F1 in its title on the packet – then don’t attempt to acquire its seeds. F1 hybrids are developed by seed firms and infrequently breed true from their very own seed.
‘It doesn’t take any time to gather seed,’ says Jane. And if it doesn’t work out – effectively, gardening’s all about making an attempt and failing, isn’t it?
Jane additionally loves to go away seed on some vegetation for the birds. ‘You can see birds enjoying lavender seeds, for example, quite late into the winter.’ (I’ve one forgotten lavender plant that I hold that means to chop again, however I shall depart it now.)
Autumn gardening slicing again
As autumn turns to winter, Jane begins to chop again extra vigorously. I notably love the best way the Bath Priory Hotel has left a variety of fallen timber and logs within the backyard. They look love fashionable sculpture and supply a habitat for wildlife.
Plant spring bulbs to naturalise beneath timber
Planting bulbs is a key a part of Jane’s autumn gardening. ‘We always plant pots of tulips for a real spring show. Our first NGS tours are in the spring so I get the pots ready for that.’
‘We also naturalise quite a lot of bulbs. I really like using the wild daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus and anemone blanda. Anemone blanda is so easy to naturalise, and really doesn’t value very a lot.’
Jane actually enjoys to create small spring glades beneath decidous timber. ‘There’s one thing about timber coming to life within the spring. And for those who’ve acquired a carpet of bulbs beneath, the entire thing creates a phenomenal situation.
For instance, there may be an Amelanchier lamarckii within the backyard which has fantastic white spring flowers earlier than it will get any leaves. ‘It looked so beautiful at the top level that it needed something to balance it out at ground level. So that’s the place we planted wild daffodils and anemone blanda.
For extra spring bulb planting concepts for the backyard, see this publish about bulbs at Doddington Place Gardens in Kent.
More about Planting For Butterflies
Butterflies are indicator of a wholesome eco-system in a backyard, says Jane. They’re pollinators and, love most bugs, they’re the primary rung on the meals chain. So they’re environmentally essential in addition to stunning to have fluttering round your backyard.
Planting for Butterflies helps you establish the butterflies you’re most certainly to see in your backyard. It lists the vegetation these butterflies want, both for the nectar they dwell on or as ‘host plants’, the place they lay their eggs.
The ebook isn’t just for these with bigger gardens. It has recommendation for butterfly-friendly pots, window packing containers and petite courtyards.
Note that Amazon hyperlinks are affiliate, which implies I’ll get a little charge for those who purchase. But I solely advocate issues I personally use or books I like to recommend.
The Bath Priory Hotel
The Bath Priory Hotel has an award successful restaurant (we had a scrumptious meal!) and can also be open for lunches and teas in addition to resort stays. The gardens are additionally open for the NGS a number of occasions a yr.
You can at all times see extra of a backyard in video, so do take a tour of the Bath Priory Hotel gardens right here:
Disclosure: we paid as regular friends – this wasn’t gifted or sponsored.
Shop my favorite gardening instruments, books and merchandise
I’m usually requested for suggestions so I’ve made lists of my favorite gardening instruments, books and merchandise on the Middlesized Garden Amazon retailer. For instance, there’s a listing of wildlife friendly gardening books and merchandise right here.
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