Although September sees the beginning of autumn, more often than not the days remain warm and in reality we enjoy an extension of summer, so why not extend your summer garden. Attention to detail will keep the garden fresh and interesting in the weeks ahead. Continue dead heading to encourage more flowers. Cut back summer perennials which have finished flowering, lightly fork through the borders and remove weeds as you go.
Create a warm welcome.
Group an arrangement of planted up pots beside an entrance for late summer colour. Choose from architectural plants like Phormiums (New Zealand flax), planted with Lobelia ‘Russion Princess’, Dazzling Dahlias and New Guinea Impatiens.
Collect together an arrangement of pots and plant them up with some architectural, hot, sizzling late summer colour. Try Catalpa x erubescens ‘Purpurea’, Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ and New Guinea Impatiens. Or Fatsia japonica, Crocosmia ‘Jackanapes’, Carex ‘Frosted Curls’ or Heucherella ‘Buttered Rum’ and Hypericum x inodorum ‘Magical Pumpkin’ with their coral berries.
- Put a layer of clinker (broken terracotta pot, stones or polystyrene) in the bottom of the pots to help with drainage and stop the holes in the bottom of the pots blocking up with compost. Lifting the pots up and putting them on pot feet also helps.
- Fill the pots about two thirds deep with multi purpose compost with added John Innes. Place the plants still in their pots until you are happy with your arrangement.
- Make sure all the plants are well watered before planting, soak them in a bucket of water until all the air bubbles have risen to the top to ensure even watering then stand them on the floor to drain.
- When planting up spread your fingers between the stems of the base of the plant, turn the plant upside down and squeeze the pot to release the root ball from the pot. Make a space in the compost in the pot you are planting up to accommodate the root ball, plant it so that the top of the root ball is about an inch below the rim of the pot and firm in well. Add more compost if you need to adjust the level. The 1” space left at the top of the pot is left to accommodate watering.
- Plant up all your plants then fill in any gaps with more compost and firm in well. If the pots are very heavy put them in place before potting up or watering.
- Water well once a week making sure the water drains out of the bottom of the pot to ensure all the compost is wet, dead head regularly.