October in the Garden
The nights are drawing in, and October will see the clocks going back and the first frosts in colder parts of the country. Gardening time might feel curtailed by the shorter sunlight, but we have had some glorious and warm days, with the autumn colour a counterpoint to the light tipping away.
In My Garden
I have recently planted up small pots with miniature white pansies, blue and yellow pansies (still in Swedish zone!) and red cyclamen for some winter colour and spring flowering bulbs.
A couple of these pots are layered with narcissus Minnow, a multi-headed miniature that will flower in March, and dwarf flowering scillia that will also appear in March, topped off with horticultural grit. Just another good idea from Monty Don!!
I still have some colourful roses.
And now it’s turned windy, leaf sweeping begins and maybe I’ll start a bag of leaf mould.
The tang of autumn is in the air and there's a certain urgency creeping in this month, as you've only a few weeks to get the harvest in and settle the garden down for its long winter rest.
In Your Garden
Collect seeds from summer flowering plants for planting next year.
Sow your sweet peas now.
Continue to plant spring bulbs in the still warm ground.
This is a good moment to create your winter ornamental tubs.
Plant forced bulbs for Christmas.
Continue deadheading, and prune climbing roses.
Plant evergreen shrubs and new climbers.
Pot up less hardy herbs such as parsley, chives and French tarragon and bring inside into a sunny, frost-free spot.
Hang up stems of lemon verbena to dry before they shed their leaves. Cut good bunches, tie them together and put them somewhere well ventilated but warm.
Top up bird feeders and put out food on the ground and bird tables. All feeds, including peanuts, are safe, as the breeding season is now over.
On a dry day, mow the grass quite tightly, particularly where you have bulbs. They will then show clearly through the grass next spring. Crocus and snowdrops on the lawn edge are a huge addition, and you’ll see them so much more clearly if the grass is well cut.