Planning for the Spring

I love the garden in September. Although there is still plenty of colour around (I can’t dismiss the showtime of dazzling dahlias, delicate willowy Japanese anemones and magnificent Hydrangea pompoms), I’m itching to start planning for next year, reviewing which plants have galloped everywhere, and others which might need trying out in a another place or replacing with something new. It coincides with the beginning of the academic year; new pencils, clean books and a fresh start allowing us to breath some creativity.

The journalist and author, Caitlin Moran described gardening as the ultimate time travel – and she’s right – living in the here and now, feasting our senses with what’s around us but also always thinking into the future and dreaming up ideal planting plans and gardens we can enjoy in a few months’ time.

This year, more than any other, has forced us to concentrate on our immediate surroundings, making them work better and for everyone in the household to enjoy. This doesn’t necessarily mean a complete make-over for a picture-perfect photoshoot but a few tweaks and adjustments to create a garden that is manageable, inviting and able to cope with multi-tasking. I share mine with football fanatics and free-range chickens, while growing a few vegetables and cut-flowers, and also needing somewhere quiet and relaxing to sit and share some lunch. Above all your garden needs to be a place you want to be and now is the time to plan for that.

A few jobs for your September flower borders:

Sow hardy annual flower, such as Sweet Rocket, Cornflowers, Ammi majus and Nigella.

Continue to deadhead Dahlias to prolong flowering until the first frosts.

Deadhead repeat-flowering roses for an October flush of flowers (unless you want to enjoy the rosehips!).

Buy and plant bulbs for your spring borders and containers. Narcissus, Alliums and other bulbs can be planted now, while Tulip bulbs should be planted in November once the soil temperature has cooled down.

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