COLUMN: There’s still a chance to bring colour to the garden

Longdendale Nursery, Sheila Ranson
Longdendale Nursery, Sheila Ranson

Autumn is upon us now, but it has not been up to now a colourful one.

Trees etc haven’t provided the colour like in the past few years.

Longdendale Nursery, Blackbrook

Longdendale Nursery, Blackbrook

When the leaves do drop, collect them and put them on a compost heap as they make good compost once rotted down.

People say ‘what a rotten summer we have had’, but I have to disagree as it has been very dry up until the school holidays - August being particularly wet. Other than that it was very dry.

The weather is watched very carefully by us growers especially at certain times of the season.

Give your garden a general tidy up, cutting dead flowers off, but leave foliage on plants until the spring to give protection during the winter months.

Dahlia have been particularly good this time, leave in the ground until the first frosts have blackened the foliage, dig up , shake as much soil off as you can, letting them dry out under cover, repeat them store in newspaper somewhere frost-free until you can pot them up, planting out in the garden not before the end of May.

Planting can still be done now, people seem to lose interest in gardening now, but it shouldn’t be the case.

There are still some lovely late flowering perennials to have like rudbeckia, still in flower, schizostylis, (mini gladioli) just in flower and the best of all this autumn is sedum, ‘autumn joy’ - it has great big heads of flowers, that lasts two to three months and the butterflies absolutely go mad for the flowers,

Also, pansies give you colour now, but will fade, only to start again in the spring, giving you even more colour, right the way through until summer bedding can safely be planted, remember not before at least mid to end of May around here.

Hope the winter is fairly kind to us all, we will see what turns up, no one knows will be thrown at us in the High Peak.

My plant of the month is sedum, ‘autumn joy’.

For further information on Longdendale Nursery, in Blackbrook, visit the website