‘I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers’ says LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables but clearly, despite the green in her name, Anne had never truly been acquainted with gardening.
For the gardener October can be a gloomy time as the leaves fall from the trees and autumn stifles what’s left of the beautiful summer evenings and the realisation comes that the flowers that we’ve worked so hard on throughout the year must finally retreat and leave our gardens bare once again.
However while October may spell the beginning of the barren times, it should certainly not be a time for relaxation for the serious gardener.
• Firstly, think flowers! It’s vital to get out the garden tools and get planting, foxgloves, forget-me-nots and polyanthus should all go down now to assure they’re looking great for next summer.
• Secondly, think even more flowers! It’s also the best time to finally think about dividing all those established perennials, a job that should be done every three years to ensure that the roots are energetic enough for the coming year’s summer showing.
• Next, a bit boring of course, but weed paths to keep them tidy and clean during the winter, and raking is an essential part of a gardener’s autumn as fallen leaves can spread disease, the resulting compost heap can also help to feed your plants over the coming year.
It’s not all work though because autumn’s a great time to finally get that birdhouse up and give a little bit back to nature. It can be an immensely rewarding feeling when the chicks start to hatch.
Finally, make absolutely sure that the sheer beauty of the season isn’t lost on you. It’s the perfect time to make a trip to your local stately home and take in the stunning autumn shades in a truly magnificent setting.