September is a month with many surprises – mostly good! While a new season is beckoning on the horizon, don’t bid your farewells to summer in the garden just yet…
Many people see September as the spiritual end to summer, with autumn just around the corner. But summer – even a largely wet one like we’ve experienced – still has bundles to offer, in both your own garden and elsewhere. This month I’m bringing you my usual round-up of ‘jobs for the month’, plus I’ve got a garden that I think you’ll quite like to visit – but more on that later..
The end of the season and the beginning of another…
Summer is closing its doors for another year, but if your garden is anything like mine, it feels as though it’s really at its peak right now as we head through September. Right now, you can be doing a few things to keep it looking fresh while casting a careful eye here and there to prepare for your summer garden for next year. There are some plants that will be really at their peak, such as dahlias and if you continue to cut them, they’ll keep rewarding you with blooms until the first frosts later in the year.
You’ll likely be seeing a second flush about now with other favourites; roses in particular will have another hurrah before bowing out until next year. While there is still much to enjoy, other parts will undoubtedly be fading – this is the ideal time to get the notebook out and take stock of the garden you’ve produced this year and what, if anything, you’d like to change for next year. First, start with the things you’ve loved and want to keep and note those down – it’s also worth labelling these up too so you know where they are. But at the same time, be strict and take out anything you don’t want to come back – you can either dig up and put into pots to go somewhere else or pass on to a friend; plants are always a welcome gift (but I would say that!)
Fill the gaps – but how?
Now, if you’ve followed my advice above, it’s likely that you’ve got a few gaps to contend with, or quite possibly, you’ve got some gaps in your garden already (I know I have!) If either are the case, then all hope is not lost as this is the perfect time for a trip to the garden centre to grab yourself some perennials.
While the rest of your plants are at their best and essentially at their full height and growing size, you’ll be able to see exactly what space you have between them and buy new plants accordingly. We are approaching the end of the season so you’re unlikely to see much more growth, or many more blooms, on anything you buy now, but if you buy perennials then they’ll come back next year with more growth.
When you go to the garden centre, you’ll still see some plants with flowers on them, but they’re likely to lose these quite soon. You might even be lucky enough to see some that are ‘past their best’ that have been reduced. All this is likely to mean is that they’ve had their flowering period for the year and aren’t looking at good as the garden centre want them to – but they’re still fantastic plants, worthy of a home. If you’re still in need of some inspiration after all of this, then I’ve got the perfect place for you to visit.
The Garden of Dreams…
Slightly out of our area, but worth the short drive anyway are the beautiful gardens of Wollerton Old Hall in Market Drayton. Set around a 16th century hall (which isn’t open to the public) are four acres of stunning modern formal gardens that will leave you speechless, trust me.
Even right now in September they’re looking at their best, with some of the richest colours and deepest borders you’ll ever see. You’re bound to want to take photos and ideas home to fill your borders and even if you’ve got a smaller space with just pots, you’ll be left with ideas for those too! Luckily, there is also a plant shop which sells varieties you’ll have seen from all around the garden itself. I’ll say no more, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise!