As autumn’s whisper reverberates through our landscape, many plants are now fading, as they respond to the changing season and become rapidly aged by the ever lengthening nights’ embrace. This is a season of salvage, protection, and celebration; it’s time to bring tender plants inside our homes, conservatories, and glasshouses, and to gather in our harvest.
Summer’s golden sunshine warms our gardens and gladdens our hearts, it’s sublime! Make time to sow seeds now to enjoy stunning flowers next spring and delicious vegetables over the coming months.
Cornflowers (also known by their botanical name, Centaurea cyanus) attract a wide range of bees and butterflies; these rosette shaped blooms make great cut flowers, too. If you’re not a fan of the traditional blue cornflower, take your pick from the white, pink, cerise, lilac, purple, and (almost) black flowered forms available.
Would you like some free plants? If you’ve got a gloriously healthy evergreen shrub or a magnificent tree growing in your garden, then why not take semi-ripe cuttings to increase your stock and share the joy of these beautiful plants with your neighbours, friends, and family?Ivy (also known by its botanical name of Hedera)
Many plants can be propagated using semi-ripe cuttings, including ivy (Hedera).
For me, deliciously scented flowers are a delightfully uplifting feature of the garden. A beautiful moment spent enjoying garden flowers and their fragrances is utter bliss! Time spent with delectably fragrant flowers eases life’s worries and stresses, brings joy to our day and makes everything feel better. I have a particular fondness for scented daffodils or Narcissus. Narcissus is the botanical name for this genus, while daffodil is the common name we use, but both names refer to the same group of plants.
I am sorry to say that 2018 was a terrible year for many of the daffodils grown in the UK. The daffodils that were grown for my 2018 Scented Daffodil Trial experienced snow at the end of March, at a time when many of my trialled daffodil cultivars were grown, some of my daffodils stood poised and ready, just thinking about blossoming and coming into flower.
A great many daffodil cultivars are listed as being scented, but daffodil flowers’ fragrances vary greatly, with some daffodil fragrances being more powerful than others, and some scents being more desirable and more pleasing.
Through my Daffodil Trials I have encountered a number of daffodils, which were listed as being fragrant, but when I grew the bulbs myself, I was disappointed to find that I was unable to detect any scent from their flowers however close I got to their blooms, and however many times I examined them.
I am particularly fond of scented daffodils; last year I conducted a Scented Daffodil Trial, to showcase beautiful and enchanting daffodil cultivars, which produce exquisitely fragrant, long lasting flowers.
I’ve been looking forward to sharing the finest performing daffodil cultivars from my Scented Daffodil Trial with you, and as September is a great month to plant daffodil bulbs, this column offered me the perfect opportunity.
For many gardeners, the slug and snail population seemed to explode last year, with many fraught and distressed gardeners asking for my advice on the best way to protect their plants from slugs and snails. I am strongly opposed to slug pellets. I wouldn’t wish to kill any of the slugs or snails in my garden, as I believe a healthy eco system is important.
I love hedgehogs! Hedgehogs are so endearing and entertaining. Every time I have encountered a hedgehog has been such a special and uplifting moment; each hedgehog I have seen shuffling along or snuffling about has touched my heart, lifted my spirits and brightened my day.
Sadly, nowadays there are many threats to hedgehogs – hedgehogs are in danger as they try to cross our busy roads, but even away from the roads, hedgehogs face many dangers in our own gardens, because of these dangers, hedgehogs are becoming more scarce.
The abundance of flowers, fruit and scent in the garden makes this time of year feel rather decadent. Take in the sights and sounds of summer, and enjoy the fruits of your labour in the garden, or at your allotment this month.
It’s important to prune figs now, to let in more light and allow for a better harvest of delicious figs next year.
The end of summer is often a magical time, bathed in golden light and sunshine. There’s certainly a lots of lovely things you could do in the garden, or at your allotment during the month ahead!
Vine weevils are a real pain, especially if you’ve got lots of container grown plants. The adult vine weevils damage plant leaves, leaving a notch-shaped, irregular edge to the leaves, resulting in a rather ragged looking, tatty plant.