Wel­come

Garden Answers (UK) - - Contents - Liz Pot­ter Ed­i­tor

Au­tumn is the sea­son for dra­matic seed­heads. If you haven’t chopped yours down yet, in an ef­fort to be tidy, there’s ev­ery chance you’re look­ing at a ma­jes­tic dis­play of dif­fer­ent seed dis­per­sal mech­a­nisms in all shapes and sizes. Some are feath­ery and wispy, pro­duc­ing this­tle­down that floats on the light­est breeze; oth­ers are more shake, rat­tle and pop, scat­ter­ing their con­tents in a joy­ous ex­plo­sion. My favourites are prob­a­bly the translu­cent discs of hon­esty, Lu­naria an­nua; af­ter hang­ing them up­side down to dry out­doors last year (and then for­get­ting about them), new plants have popped up ev­ery­where. On page 20 this is­sue, Val Bourne has some good ad­vice about keep­ing on top of naughty lit­tle self-seed­ers such as hon­esty and aqui­le­gias. “It’s my 2-in-10-rule,” she says. “Keep two seed­heads and cull the next eight, to pre­vent them run­ning amok.” Some hardy an­nu­als are par­tic­u­larly good at re­pro­duc­ing. Of­ten packed with hun­dreds of tiny seeds, their prog­eny can sur­vive winter out­doors and are ready to romp away in early spring. For­tu­nately most of them are a bless­ing rather than a curse! Else­where in this is­sue you’ll find lots of colour­ful ideas to keep the au­tumn drama un­fold­ing. Asters, se­dums and Ja­panese anemones are three must-haves for this time of year, and we’ve got lots of new ways to plant them. Don’t for­get to share your au­tumn gar­den photos with us, see p101!

A lit­tle bit of hon­esty goes a long way

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