The September Garden

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The garden at this time of year has a lot to offer. The ground still holds the warmth of the summer and the weather can be hotter and drier than in June or July. There are many later summer flowering perennials to add a splash of colour and these contrast well with the natural hues of seedheads that are starting to “go over”.

Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane)

Fruit trees

Pop down to the nursery to explore our orchard range. We have an array of fruit trees from the usual finds like apples and pears to the more unusual Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) and Quince (Cydonia oblonga). September through to early May is the perfect time to plant fruit trees.

It’s always easier to select a new tree whilst it’s still in leaf. If you need some help deciding what plants or trees to use, we’ll be delighted to offer some ideas and advice. There are lots of options and we can also deliver and plant for you.

Plants for an autumn garden

As days begin to shorten, we start to think of berries and autumn foliage colour – but this is also the season when an unexpectedly wide range of autumn-flowering hardy perennials start to come into their own.

Herbaceous Perennials

Japanese anemone

September brings the delightful late summer Hydrangea, which start to show a pinky green tinge on the petals.

Hydrangea ‘Wim’s Red’

Deciduous grasses are the way to go in terms of colour progression with their autumnal toasted golden – brown hues. There are several that lose their verdant colour in the autumn but keep their foliage and therefore perfect for providing good coverage and winter interest. Stipa gigantea (Golden Oats) and Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ are good examples.

When planning your autumn garden, foliage is the real star but don’t forget to incorporate berries as well for an additional splash of colour. Not only do they look great, they also provide food for wildlife. Autumnal tones of natural ochres, vibrant maroons and vivid reds from shrubs and trees can been combined with late flowering perennials for an added accent.

Orange autumn berries of Pyracantha

Planting tips

• When planning your borders always choose a selection of plants that flower at different times through the year so there’s always something colourful to enjoy.
• Plant taller growing autumn flowering varieties behind low growing summer ones so they’ll grow up above them once summer displays fade away.
• A small group of, say, three plants of one variety often looks more impressive than choosing three different things.
• Repetition works well in garden design. If you have a favourite plant then include several groups of it to help link different areas of the garden together.

Acers (Japanese Maples) are renowned for their seasonal shades and come in many shapes and sizes. We have a vast selection of Acers available that would compliment any garden. Changing colour week by week, some of our favourites are: Sango Kaku, Fireglow, and Extravaganza.

Acer ‘Sango Kaku’

Top gardening jobs for September

• Divide summer-flowering herbaceous perennials like hardy Geraniums, Salvias and Hostas
• Keep on deadheading summer bedding and it’ll carry on flowering until the first frosts.
• Water Camellias and Rhododendrons regularly – next year’s flower buds are developing now.
• Net ponds before the leaves start to fall.
• Get started on autumn lawn care – scarify, aerate, top-dress and feed your lawn, and cut it on a higher blade setting as growth slows down for the winter.
• Raise pots on pot feet to stop them getting waterlogged and frozen over winter.
• Clean out greenhouses and remove shading to make the most of lower light levels.

Planting spring bulbs is the perfect antidote to the pre-winter blues, with the promise of dazzling displays in a few months’ time. Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocus and Snowdrops can all be planted in September. As the days start getting shorter and the leaves blaze red and gold, enjoy the last of the good weather as you wind down the garden for winter.