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

Garden News (UK) - - News -

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

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