Month by month in the gar­den

The Simple Things - - GARDENS -

Start a bril­liant and wild gar­den at any time of year (when the ground’s not frozen). Here’s what to ex­pect…

Spring MARCH—MAY

Spring can be a mix­ture of cold, win­try days and warm sunny ones. In early spring, shoots will ap­pear around the crowns of plants mark­ing their spots in the soil. Be­low ground, as the soil tem­per­a­ture in­creases, plants will start to spread their roots. The first bulbs push up fol­lowed by the ear­li­est peren­nial flow­ers. At the end of spring the whole gar­den soars.

Sum­mer JUNE—AU­GUST

In sum­mer, the gar­den is full of shapes, with plants in flower and jostling for space, weav­ing to­gether and reach­ing for the skies. Bum­ble­bees, hov­er­flies and la­dy­birds fly from bloom to bloom. The first grasses ap­pear with pin­prick flow­ers while oth­ers are leaf­ing up.

Au­tumn SEPTEM­BER—NOVEM­BER

As the weather cools, the colours in the gar­den be­come more muted. Petals drop and the flow­ers trans­form to sharply de­fined seed­heads.

Win­ter DE­CEM­BER—JAN­UARY

Grasses bleach, seed­heads blacken in a gar­den turned mono­chrome. Frosty weather makes ev­ery­thing sparkle. De­spite the short dark days and freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, win­ter is the sea­son of re­newal with the chilly weather pre­par­ing the gar­den for a new cy­cle of growth. As the first green shoots ap­pear at the end of win­ter, it’s time to cut ev­ery plant back to soil level to grow again.

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