Black Country Bugle
How to refresh your garden for autumn
Now is the time to give your containers and borders a little TLC, says SAM WYLIE-HARRIS
With autumn almost upon us, there couldn’t be a better time to capitalise on the change of seasons.
A few clever moves now will brighten things up and reward your garden tenfold come springtime.
Here’s what Marcus Eyles, horticultural director at Dobbies (dobbies.com), recommends you do to refresh your containers and borders this autumn...
Whether you have a large garden, compact patio or city balcony, Marcus says it’s easy to give your outdoor space an instant seasonal refresh with colourful containers.
“Enhance your garden for the new season by refreshing pots and hanging baskets with plants like pansies, violas and wallflowers,” he says. “These beautiful flowers will last through winter and brighten up your garden with colour through the colder months – then burst into full bloom in the spring.”
He says the autumn flowering saffron crocus is a fantastic choice for those looking to add colour and interest to their containers, and this striking flower should be planted with a good quality peat-free compost.
“Spring flowering bulbs such as snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and tulips should also be planted now for a colourful display that will start to bloom in early spring next year,” suggests Eyles.
To protect your container plants from the elements as we get into colder months, make sure you position pots near your doorway – and this will also allow you to appreciate the plants up close.
Beds and borders
One of the most important seasons in the gardening world, early
autumn is the ideal time to refresh your beds and borders – perhaps by introducing some warm colours.
“Bring signature autumnal colours, such as ochre and orange, to your outdoor space by planting chrysanthemums, crocosmia and rudbeckia,” encourages Marcus.
“Seasonal plants like echinacea, anemone and hebe will bring in tones of purple, pink and white to really catch the eye – and create a showstopping display that will last you throughout the autumn.”
Meanwhile, he says ornamental grasses and hydrangea flowers should be left on plants to protect them over the winter – plus, they look great laced with frost on a winter’s morning.
“Leaving your borders with foliage and flower stems will also encourage wildlife to thrive and give them a space to shelter during the colder months,” he says.
When working on your beds and borders in autumn, he suggests mulching well with peat-free compost or Bloomin Amazing – an organic peat-free mulch – to ensure good soil health, and help keep weeds at bay.
Ornamental trees and shrubs
Autumn is also a great time to take stock of your garden and look at its overall look and feel. If you’re not sure where to start or are in need of some inspiration, Marcus says ornamental trees are the perfect way to add height and interest.
“Evergreen shrubs like viburnum tinus and skimmia will add charming flowers and a wonderful fragrance and structure to your garden,” suggests Marcus. “They work well planted both in borders and containers. These trees will complement shrubs such as acers, cotinus and parthenocissus climbers, which bring fiery shades of autumn foliage at this time of year.”