This week:

Gar­den de­signer Kathy Vi­vian sug­gests the key jobs to do in the gar­den now

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

BRIGHT au­tumn leaves and berries add colour to our sur­round­ings as the weather turns gloomier. If you don’t have au­tumn colour in your own gar­den and you have enough space, look at gar­dens in your neigh­bour­hood for ideas of trees and shrubs you could grow.

Cot­i­nus (smoke bush) has good au­tumn colour and there are many ac­ers look­ing good now. Trees and shrubs with berries, such as co­toneaster and pyra­can­tha, can also pro­vide food for birds.

Rowans and crab ap­ples are rea­son­ably small trees that pro­duce at­trac­tive fruit, but do check the fi­nal height and spread of a tree be­fore choos­ing a va­ri­ety for your gar­den.

This is a good time to plant con­tainer-grown shrubs and trees while the soil is still warm. Other things to think about: Fin­ish plant­ing out your win­ter/ spring bed­ding.

If you didn’t plant spring bulbs last month, there is still time. They may flower a lit­tle later dur­ing the first year, but will be un­harmed. Tulip bulbs can also be planted from the end of Oc­to­ber.

Cut down any peren­ni­als that have fin­ished flow­er­ing to keep the gar­den tidy.

If you need to move any ever­green shrubs, now is the best time to do it.

Lawns can be mown less fre­quently now. Any bare patches can be re­seeded while the soil is still warm.

Fun­gal dis­eases such as mildew and blackspot are a prob­lem now. Put dis­eased ma­te­rial in your lo­cal au­thor­ity green waste re­cy­cling bin rather than your home com­post bin. Lo­cal au­thor­ity com­post­ing reaches higher tem­per­a­tures than can be achieved in our gar­dens, killing the dis­ease spores.

Rake up fallen leaves from lawns and ei­ther add to your com­post heap or store sep­a­rately in a heap or bags.

Leaves take about two years to rot down but will pro­duce crumbly leaf mould, which makes great mulch for your gar­den.

Kathy Vi­vian is a lo­cal gar­den de­signer with an in­ter­est in gar­den­ing to at­tract ben­e­fi­cial wildlife.

See www.kathy­vi­vian­gar­den de­ or KathyViv­gar­den on Face­book and Twit­ter. Kathy also writes a reg­u­lar blog on her web­site.

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