September has a reputation for fine weather, affording gardeners plenty of opportunities to keep on top of their gardening chores as well as making preparations for floriferous displays to come.
Take inspiration from the world’s most famous gardening event, The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is taking place this month. For the first time in its 108-year history it has been moved from May to September and will therefore focus on autumnal horticulture, giving exhibitors the chance to showcase a wide range of plants not normally seen at the spring show.
In our own gardens, it’s the ideal time to sow seeds of hardy annuals outside, for flowering next spring. Unlike tender annuals, plants in this group are able to cope with harsh, wintry conditions – try cornflowers, pot marigolds and borage.
Plant your spring flowering bulbs, including daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths, before the end of the month. Leave tulips until the cooler weather in November.
Deadhead repeat-flowering plants such as dahlias and cosmos, as these will continue to develop new buds until they are knocked back by the first frosts.
Now is the time to bring in any houseplants that have been outside over the summer months before the night-time temperatures fall. Remove any dead leaves and give them a check-over for pests.
Houseplants that are positioned in poorly lit corners of a room will struggle to stay healthy if they don’t get enough light to help them photosynthesise – the process within a plant that converts light, oxygen and water into energy. You can give them a helping hand by popping an Elho Leaf Light Care lamp into the pot, which has a specially developed LED light to help promote healthy growth.
Six of the best: plants with seeds and berries
Include some flamboyant plants in your garden that will put on a dazzling display of brightly coloured berries and seed pods, adding colour and interest to your outdoor space
1.Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ Clusters of purple, bead-like berries smother this deciduous shrub after it has produced small, pink blooms in midsummer. Its foliage changes from bronze-purple in spring to a rich, deep green in summer and finally plumpurple in autumn.
2.Sorbus Hupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ Big bunches of long lasting, rose-pink berries adorn this Mountain Ash through autumn and well into winter when they eventually get eaten by the birds. In late spring, the tree is covered in large clusters of white flowers that are popular with bees.
3.Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’ A wonderful shrub that puts on a dazzling autumnal display of two-tone bright pink and orange winged fruits, as well as deep scarlet leaves. Red Cascade is an improved form of our native spindle tree that may be found in hedgerows on country walks.
4.Arbutus unedo This beautiful evergreen shrub or small tree gets its common name ‘Strawberry tree’ from its clusters of fruit, which form in late summer and last well into autumn. Before turning a crimson red, the berries go through various colourations including tones of yellow and orange.
5.Clerodendrum trichotomum A rarely seen but easy-to-grow deciduous shrub which needs a position in full sun. It is prized for its profusion of white fragrant flowers in summer, followed by the most intriguing small, bright blue fruits positioned in the middle of pink/red, star-shaped calyces.
6.Ampelopsis brevipedunculata ‘Elegans’ As a member of the grape vine family, this hardy deciduous climber is clothed in green leaves mottled with cream and pink tones, attached to attractive pink stems. It produces a colourful selection of blue, pink and purple fruits in autumn.
This is a digital version of a feature that originally appeared in Your Home magazine. For more inspirational home ideas, why not subscribe today?