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October in the Garden

The nights are drawing in, and October will see the clocks going back and the first frosts in colder parts of the country. Gardening time might feel curtailed by the shorter sunlight, but the days are often glorious, with the autumn colour a counterpoint to the light tipping away.


I still have some colourful roses

October rose


Grey goose

And a sneaky goose

In My Garden

My roses, grown in the terracotta pots from the Yorkshire Flower Pot Company, have not been really happy despite their sunny and sheltered spot. So I am donating them to a forever home, where they can spread their roots to their hearts content.

I have recently planted up those pots with small shrubs, some winter colour and spring flowering bulbs.

Mahonia pot

This one is layered with narcissus Minnow, a multi-headed miniature that will flower in March, and dwarf flowering scillia that will also appear in March, topped off with a Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’. Tucked in are white cyclamen and ivy….a good idea from Monty Don!!

Midwinter Fire

I layered the second pot again with Minnow bulbs, surrounding a dogwood ‘ Midwinter Fire’, which has bright coloured stems in winter, and for winter flowering I found some blood red pansies.

New clematisAnother addition to my garden is a Clematis Cirrhosa, a winter flowering variety, it has fine foliage and creamy, pointed bells, splashed and spotted with maroon from November to March.

And now it’s turned windy, leaf sweeping begins and maybe I’ll start a bag of leaf mould.

The tang of autumn is in the air and there’s a certain urgency creeping in this month, as you’ve only a few weeks to get the harvest in and settle the garden down for its long winter rest.

In Your Garden

Collect seeds from summer flowering plants for planting next year.

Sow your sweet peas now.

Continue to plant spring bulbs in the still warm ground.

This is a good moment to create your winter ornamental tubs.

Plant forced bulbs for Christmas.

Continue deadheading, and prune climbing roses.

Plant evergreen shrubs and new climbers.

Pot up less hardy herbs such as parsley, chives and French tarragon and bring inside into a sunny, frost-free spot.

Hang up stems of lemon verbena to dry before they shed their leaves. Cut good bunches, tie them together and put them somewhere well ventilated but warm.

Top up bird feeders and put out food on the ground and bird tables. All feeds, including peanuts, are safe, as the breeding season is now over.

On a dry day, mow the grass quite tightly, particularly where you have bulbs. They will then show clearly through the grass next spring. Crocus and snowdrops on the lawn edge are a huge addition, and you’ll see them so much more clearly if the grass is well cut.

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