Well, the nights are drawing in and there’s a distinct chill in the air - autumn is with us and the summer seems to have been so short, who knows what’s in store this month? But there is often a nice spell of weather during late September and early October and I’ve got my fingers crossed for an Indian Summer.
Keep feeding and dead heading your baskets and containers and they will continue to bloom until the first frosts. If, however, they have dried out whilst you were away on holiday, or are looking tired, then plant them up with winter Pansies and Evergreens for a splash of winter colour. Many of our customers now have two sets of hanging baskets and that enables us to have baskets planted up ready to replace those at the end of their season.
On the garden planning front, I thought we would look at the ‘Ups and Downs’ of gardens beginning with the need for height. Clearly one level is never particularly attractive and to erect trellis or a pergola will immediately create a focal point within the garden, and has the advantage of providing shade or privacy. A patio can be transformed into a '‘second room’, or a secondary seating area can be hidden in another part of the garden. Unsightly objects can be hidden, whether it’s a neighbours’ boat or shed, or your own dustbins and greenhouse, and, if planted with climbers, the raised feature becomes a blaze of colour and interest.
Looking ‘down’ if your garden is on a slope, building areas at different levels and steps is a most attractive way of making the best use of the space. If not, and you have the room, a sunken patio looks good and gives extra shelter and privacy.
The other obvious ‘down’ is a pond and as I have previously mentioned, a water feature is one of my favourite garden essentials. Whether it’s a simple wildlife pond or is constructed with a rockery and cascade, it can provide endless enjoyment and relaxation. Think carefully about where to site it to obtain the best effect and ensure that it is away from deciduous trees and shade, and, of course, if small children are present, consider their safety. A useful type of feature in this situation is a pebble pool which can be as involved or as simple as you wish, is quite safe and still gives the relaxing sound of running water.
I have been asked about brown patches in lawns and spots on Rose leaves and curiously both are connected. The wet, warm weather that has been prevalent this summer has been ideal for the spread of fungal diseases, and the disease spores are often spread by rain splash. Few people realise how much grass can be affected by disease and insects, and the application of an approved fungicide and insecticide can make an enormous difference. Oh, before you spray the roses, pick off severely diseased leaves and burn them, then dead head and you may well be rewarded with more flowers if we get that Indian Summer!