The heat is on. Allow the blades of lawn plants to grow a little longer to protect the roots from searing hot days. Raise the level of your lawnmower and mow in different directions to keep growth even and prevent ridges forming. Water once a week, especially during hot, dry weeks. Fertilise every six weeks with a lawn fertiliser, watering well after application.
The wet season has benefited roses, and some of the best blooms of the decade were seen in late October. However, the heat has arrived and roses are thirsty plants which need deep watering twice a week. To help retain moisture in the soil, spread a layer of mulch, keeping away from the stem. Leaves are the pantry of the rose, so leave as many as possible when cutting stems for the vase.
Nicotianas have pink, salmon, white or lime green flowers suitable for the front of a border. Tall-growing cleome with narrow petals of white, pink and lavender pink is an elegant choice for the back of a border.
Canna cultivars are useful dot plants in the border, their bold foliage giving strength to more delicate plantings. Incorporate manure and compost when planting, and keep well watered in dry weather. Once a month scatter a general fertiliser around the plants, and water in well. Remove old flower and seed heads regularly to encourage reblooming.
Make part of your garden a moonlight garden. Fill flowerbeds and pots with white and pale-coloured flowers and silver-grey foliage. Scented plants to add to this garden’s enjoyment are Mexican orange blossom, Choisya ternata, with glossy green leaves and clusters of white flowers, and star jasmine ( Trachelospermum jasminoides), an evergreen twining climber with fragrant white blooms. Both respond well to clipping. Add a bench and a small pool to reflect moonlight.