As Winter fast approaches its easy to forget that there is still so much to see and do in the garden. Now is the time to make plans for next year and start getting prepared for the following year. If you are well prepared then the busy period in Spring will be a more relaxed affair, enabling you to enjoy the fruits of your labour and appreciate the wonder of Spring in all its glory. However don’t forget to appreciate the magnificence of Autumn too, the fiery colours produced by the deciduous trees create the perfect crescendo to the gardening year.
Plant of the Month – October
As the winter fast approaches we can often feel that October is time to pack up tools and retreat into the warmth of our homes, leaving the garden until spring when we feel the warmth of the sun on our backs again. It doesn’t have to be this way, there are plenty of jobs that could be done through the autumn and winter that will make your life easier the following spring. There is plenty still going on in the garden too. October doesn’t have to be all about autumn colour on our trees and shrubs, there are plenty of flowering plants that will provide blasts of colour until the first frosts arrive and knock them back down to the ground for the winter.
Plant of the Month – September
Some gardeners despair as September approaches, as it can often mean the decline of their borders as the autumn nears and their flowers start to fade. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. September could and should be the climax of the summer season with our gardens bulging with colour and texture. By Including some late flowering herbaceous perennials, mixed with a few ornamental grasses, you can create the crescendo that everyone will be envious of.
Plant of the month – August
August, the last of the summer months, is a time for reflection, for a gardener anyway. It’s time to stand back, admire all your hard work and take a breath. If your gardening year has been anything like mine so far, there has not been much time for anything else other than pruning and weeding. With all the rain we have had in spring and early summer, it enabled the plants and weeds to romp away almost unchecked. Everytime I turned my back I swear I would see another foot of growth that needed to be tamed. While rain can sometimes be good for the garden, it’s certainly not good for the gardener! Here’s hoping August will bring some dry sunny days which will enable us all to enjoy the fruits of our labour. It is also the month that one of the gardens I help to look after opens its gates to the public. Please see NGS Yellow book for more details – Malthouse Farm, Nr Ditchling. If you like tea, cake and plants then come along and say hello.
Plant of the Month – July
July – the height of the summer but also a funny time in the gardening calender – especially towards the end of month. As the first flush of summer flowers fades, there can often be a lull in our planting schemes before the riot of the late summer perennials and grasses really start to take off. Don’t be disheartened there are plenty of choices to help to fill this gap and one way to help inspire you would be to get out and see what other green fingered types have been up to. July is a great time to get out and see what other people have been up to in their own gardens. This month one of our own gardens in Steyning opens its doors to the public. Check out Saffrons, Holland Rd on the NGS website: http://www.ngs.org.uk/
Plant of the Month – june – Philadelphus
The heady scents that appear in our gardens in June are what tempt a lot of people into a life devoted to their gardens. Flowers are in abundance and there is normally still enough moisture in the soil to ensure that all plants are looking heathy and happy. Fragrance is very important in any garden scheme as it can tempt you to explore further to find out where exactly that sweet smell is coming from. It’s only appropriate that this month’s plant of the month is a fantastic little shrub that will be guaranteed to fill your garden with one of the most striking and delicious scents to come from any of our garden plants.
Plant of the Month – May
When May finally arrives in all its Spring Glory, that feeling of trudging through the garden in the depths of winter seems like a distant memory. May is more about drifting through the garden, taking in all the pleasure of spring as the plants continue to sprout flower and leaf while the birdsong floats through the air. It’s a great time of year with lengthening daylight and everything looking and smelling so fantastic, it’s easy to get lost in life outside. However, it’s easy to be distracted too. We quickly forget how the days can run away with us and it’s still a busy time in the gardening year too.
Plant of the Month – April
By April our gardens should be well and truly out of its winter slumber. It’s got to be my favourite time of year, I love to see the bulbs flowering and the leaves emerging from the bare branches of the deciduous trees and shrubs. If you are lucky enough to have the room for trees, then the bonus of spring blossom completes the perfect spring picture. As the weather warms up my enthusiasm also grows as its always more pleasant out in the garden when the sun is shining. Spring is a great time for planting as the soils are also warming up while still retaining some of that winter moisture. Any newly planted schemes have a much better chance of establishing well before the summer months. It’s a very busy time in the gardening year, so get on top of things now and you will reap the rewards as the seasons start to pass us by.
Plant of the Month – March
At the time of writing the winter is still well and truly with us, however in recent weeks there has been the slightest hint of spring. March, the first of the spring months, is one of my favourite times of year. The garden almost seems to wake up from its winter hibernation with the flowering bulbs providing blasts of colour to provide a much welcome cheer after the gloomy winter days. It’s definitely time to root out the spade and gloves and get out there and make the most of the better spring days, plenty to do especially if you haven’t been out in the garden all winter.
Plant of the Month – February
The last of the winter months. February often shows us glimpses of spring but can also be one of the coldest months of the year. By the end of the month there should be signs of life emerging from the winter soils. These provide hints of what’s to come in the following spring and summer months. It’s a good time of year to get yourself prepared for the next growing seasons, so make the most of the good days and get out in the garden and make a start now. This way you will be ready for whatever spring throws at you.