Article by Matthew Peck (Plant Area Manager)
Well, this is the month I celebrate becoming a year older, so a month I love so very much. As the nights start to draw in, the days seem so much shorter and I find myself appreciating the time I have in the garden even more.
Now is the time I sit and write my wish list of bulbs I want to buy or order. Thinking about what worked really well and the colours I enjoyed or thought I was missing. Thinking about areas that looked a bit sparse or dull through spring this year. I’ll also think about what tubs and pots I want to use for more spring colour.
I like to plant a few smaller terracotta pots with tete a tete and muscari to bring into the house as they emerge and have a splash of wonderful spring colour. I can then plant them out in the garden after they have finished flowering to provide perennial colour for years to come. Be careful with muscari though, as this has a very invasive nature, so only plant in borders if you have a very difficult and large space to add colour, otherwise just keep them in check by leaving in pots and containers.
Hints & Tips for September
The perennial and bedding borders will need to be kept tidy, not forgetting to make sure that floppy or weaker plants are staked and supported with herbaceous rings and plant supports, as September can be a blustery month.
Regular dead-heading will help prolong flowering so that you get the most from your beds and borders. Again, this can be a time to reflect on how much colour you have and whether you need to think about planting later flowering perennials or shrubs to provide a longer period of interest and colour in the garden.
As the beds and borders start to slow in their show and display, the vegetable patch will still be providing a good yield, so keep harvesting regularly to reap the benefits of all your hard work and preparation. Remember to harvest all the summer flowering raspberries, as they will be heavy with crops, becoming ripe daily now.
Ideally you will start buying and planting bulbs over September and October. You might want to think about layering or bulb recipes as they are a great way of planting for maximum effect. Layering is as simple as choosing three flowering bulb types and planting at appropriate depths. i.e. tulip, daffodil and crocus.