Rockvale Stone & Garden
Rockvale Stone & Garden
Rockvale Stone & Garden

It’s all on now – shorter days, sticky ground, compost to be emptied to make room for all the leaves and pea straw ready to go on.
Autumn weather is usually more predictable than Spring or Summer – but not this year with overcast drizzly days instead of the ripening sunshine. However it is the time to reap and sow before the frosts.
I have been viewing the light situation around our garden, before all the leaves fall – trees and shrubs get taller and wider every year, blocking out light. Sometimes one tree or shrub will do the job of the two or three in one spot. Sacrifice a tree that gives little interest, for a tree close by that offers more, and shrubs grown too big in the front of a garden, hiding what is behind need to be cut back or maybe wrenched for shifting later, or cut out. I have at times changed the whole look of gardens by removing a few front shrubs / trees, letting more sun in, then planting out sun loving plants.
Here on the coast, keep cutting back large Daisy and Lavatera bushes to encourage new buds that will flower over the next two months. Also get all hedges cut back now before frosts start – this will be the last cut until the new growth in Spring – especially Photinia bushes / hedges – a trim now will encourage vivid red leaves to brighten dull Winter days.
Easter is known to be a good clean up time in the garden and a visit to garden centres. Here on the coast ,new plants planted while the ground is still warm, will get roots going and with the right amount of Winter sun, will carry on and bloom.
Plant: Viola, Snapdragon, Pansy, Polyanthus, Stock, calendula, Wallflowers, Sweet William and good old Primula malacoidies.
New evergreen shrub plantings will not put on any growth once the frosts arrive, but will settle in getting roots established to push out growth in Spring, Keep getting Spring bulbs in the warm ground and Hybrid Cematis are still on offer – they are the lovely huge bloom deciduous type which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. They are not as invasive as the Montana variety. These clematis love being planted into warm Autumn ground and are so pretty growing in with other climbers and climbing Roses. All Clematis like manure and lime.
Lawns: Spray lawn weeds and apply sifted compost with some gypsum added to lawns if they are compacted ( a bucket to the square metre) – the compost will improve the humus content and the gypsum will soften clay soils.
Veg: I have dug the last of my Potatoes and stored them with a covering of Herbs. Peas put in are up and making growth, Pumpkins can be left growing until the threat of frosts. Time to dig up and divide Rhubarb crowns, mixing in compost before replanting.
Sow: Spinach, Snap Peas, Brussel sprouts, Broad beans and Spring Onions. Fill the top of a shallow pot with Spring Onion seed to have handy by the back door and start thinning and using when plants are still small.
Cheers, Linda

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