Make your own autumn hot spots with bedding plants
A few neat tricks will help you get the most from the last of the bedding plants
As the nights draw in and we’re greeted each morning by thick dew and a chill in the air, I tend to develop a ‘circle the wagons’ approach to my bedding display! Essentials such as fuchsias,
rudbeckias and dahlias are still going strong in beds and borders, so I move containers nearby to raise the temperature up a notch or two. If you’re short of colour, the likes of dwarf chrysanths and Michaelmas
daisies, bud heathers and gentians are beaming out seductively from the sales benches at garden centres right now.
Experienced gardeners will recognise that some of the choicest ‘bedders’ aren’t really annuals at all and will get bigger and better each year if planted out. Bud-blooming heathers, such as the ‘Garden Girls’ series’ are varieties of our native, bone hardy
Calluna vulgaris, whereas the South African Erica gracilis is nowhere near as hardy. Both are show-stoppers in their own right, but gathered together where they can eat the scenery near doors, windows and seats, they’ll have twice the impact.
If you can raise up your display, so much
the better. A trio of tree trunk sections sawn at different heights works well, but my favourite stand is a flat-topped farm cart that gets wheeled out of the barn in September to play host to the season’s finest, including fruits and vegetables. Good props include old lanterns, straw bales, wooden barrows and nicely weathered metal watering cans.
Elevate your autumn showpiece
Add containers near border displays
Erica gracilis is showy but not hardy