Autumn planting for year round colour

Posted on 28th Sep, 2012

Although September is the start of the year’s decline towards autumn, for gardeners, garden designers and their clients, it is the beginning of an exciting new season of planting.

This year autumn planting is the focus of two campaigns by the RHS to encourage gardeners that this is the best time for putting new plants in the ground. http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Features/Autumn-planting . Partly driven by garden centres stocking plants seasonally, ie when they are in full bloom, and autumn/winter retail being turned over to Christmas decorations, the perception has shifted amongst the general public to believe that spring is the best season for planting. In fact, the majority of plants, especially trees and shrubs, establish better if planted between now and the end of the year, whilst the earth retains some warmth and roots have a chance to grow.

To help us prepare for peak planting times between October – December, this month we are invited to wholesale nurseries to look at the stock. This is a good opportunity to check on the quality of the usual good ‘doers’, plants that can be relied on to perform well in a new planting scheme. It’s also a great excuse to spend time in the autumn sun, looking for exciting new plants to add to our palette – I was enchanted by Heliopsis ‘Summer Nights’, a golden daisy with tan centres and burgundy stems, a stunning statement for late summer borders.

It was great to see Leonotis leonurus (see left) at Orchard Dene Nurseries. The first time I saw this statuesque perennial was at http://www.denmans-garden.co.uk/garden.asp, the tall spikes bearing whorls of velvety orange flowers were a dramatic sight against a blue sky. Looking forward to finding the perfect spot to include these varieties – the future’s orange!

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