JOHN’S JOURNAL

It’s the Perfect Time to Plant

Over the years in the gardening world it’s always amazing how the seasons pass you by, and here we are in Autumn, we’ve just returned from The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show and my word, what a success! Gold medal and Best in Show for our largest garden to date, the public loved it as well, you really couldn’t miss it! Now many of you think that the Autumn is time to sit back, let it pass by and then begin gardening again in the Spring, however the Autumn months are some of the best in the year for planting and getting ahead in the garden.

The Spring can be so volatile, from cold and wet saturated soils one minute to next minute a hosepipe ban, and any plants planted then can struggle to keep up! Planting at this time of year is perfect because there’s still a great amount of daylight, the soil is still nice and warm after the summer months meaning the plants get off to a running start, also any tweaks and amends to your planting are all still fresh in your mind, you can also start lifting, dividing and replanting existing plants in your borders. So the perfect time for a reshuffle and also looking at what to include to fill in any green gaps.

At the nursery you will find a wide array of Autumn and WInter shrubs along with lots of late flowering perennials, there’s some plants that are still yet to flower like the Asters, Nerines and some of the late varieties of other perennials, there’s also berries appearing on the shrubs and some beautiful coloured foliage on the way from some of the deciduous plants.

The key when planting is always the preparation and that’s simple, you just need to mix in some rotted organic matter into the planting hole and the surrounding soil, this helps bring old soil back to life and it also gives the roots no excuse but to grow into the surrounding matter, this can be either rotted compost off the compost heap or some old manure, mushroom compost is also great as this is rotted straw.

So with the forecast looking fine fo the weekend it’s the perfect time to get out in your garden and make yourself a little to do list, then if you need any inspiration for what’s looking good at this time of year and what plants to combine with each other to get a beautiful Autumn garden then pop across to the nursery, it’s also the time to think about Autumn bedding with the frosts making a little return the other day, and the frost is never anything to worry about in the Autumn as all the plants we sell are hardy and they are used to it! To help get you going there’s a free plant voucher at the bottom of the page to spend at Holden Clough, and when you visit you’ll be surprised as to just how many plants are in flower now!

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

Is now the time to change my bedding plants?

Yes, it’s the perfect time to remove any summer bedding plants and then repot your pots and containers with Autumn bedding which will take you all the way through until the end of May. There’s lots of plants with flowers, berries and also interesting evergreen foliage to include, at the nursery we have a mix and match selection of small shrubs in a 9cm pot which are perfect for including, also don’t forget to put new compost in the pots as this makes a big difference and is full or nutrients to get them off to a running start.

Can I cut back perennials now?

If the leaves are turning yellow to brown then yes you can, you will often find new shoots at the base though and these will reshoot before the year is out as plants are far from stopping growing and going to bed,, some perennials also have attractive seed heads like Astilbes and Heleniums and these look great in the frost so leave these on, you can also cut some and dry them for use in an Autumn wreath.

Are Violas good for Winter flowers?

Yes and they stand up to the weather a lot better than pansies, however Pansies have the bigger flower they don’t produce half as many as Violas, and the bigger flower just gets knocked about in the wind and rain and when you see Violas flowering en mass once they get settled they are just a sea of colour, at the nursery we have them available in six packs and there’s lots of different colours to choose from.

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Japanese Anemones

These are a delightful group of perennials and they are just starting to flower now, with every shade of pink and also white blooms they are perfect in a sunny position and also in dry shade, they combine beautifully with any other Autumn plants and really help give a lift of colour in the Autumn months.