Planning & Planting For The Future

10th September 2010

Tips for August gardening from National Garden Gift Vouchers

It’s around this time of year that we get that first smell of Autumn in the mornings and realise that the Summer is over. The kids are back at school, and wearing winter uniform, and for them another academic year has started. For the gardener it’s also ‘back to school’ in a way. September is a great planning month – a time to reflect on any gardening successes and to think about what to do in the coming year.

It’s always a good idea to draw up a long-term garden plan. You can only achieve so much in the garden if you go at it piecemeal, with no overall plan. It is far better to design in long-term goals. You can call in professional help or do it yourself, but whichever route you choose, an accurate assessment is an important starting point. Also, don’t let your current budget restrain your wish list – phasing your progress is often far more satisfying than doing it all in one go.

Think about colour and make it a key element of your garden design… amazingly a massive 76% of people don’t think about the colours they are planting, according to the Colour Me, Colour My Garden PlantforLife Look Book, even though 80% acknowledge that their moods are positively affected when they’re surrounded by colourful plants. Colour can liven up any outdoor space and create wonderful atmosphere. Planting hot colours creates an exciting and intense mood, whilst opting to plant cooler colours can radiate feelings of restfulness and calm. Whether you have a simple window box, courtyard or lawn garden there are colour options and shades for everyone.

Keeping colour in the borders for as long as possible is top of the ‘to do’ list for September, so you may like to consider incorporating late Summer or Autumn flowering plants such as dusky red or purple Sedum into next year’s planting plan. With a reputation for producing a really attractive display in the garden during the Autumn, the starry nectar-rich flowers of Sedums are also very popular with butterflies and hoverflies. As the latter are important predators of greenfly, planting Sedums also acts as an eco-friendly pest control. Sedums are undemanding and very easy to grow. Their fleshy leaves store water and they do well in drought conditions, making them an ideal choice for sunny positions in well-drained soil.

In addition to being a great time for garden planning, September is the best month to create or patch a lawn using turf. This will establish very quickly, but keep an eye on it during the winter and firm down any areas that may have been lifted by frosts. You can also sow grass seed now for a new lawn or patch a worn area. Divide the area into yard-wide strips or squares as a guide to sowing, and lightly rake the seeds into the surface.

From September to October plant as many daffodil and crocus bulbs as you can get into the ground. Your efforts will be rewarded with a great show in Spring, and once they’re planted you need do nothing else to them. A bulb planter is essential for planting large quantities of bulbs in grass, making the task easier and helping to stop backache. Simply insert it into the ground, lift out the clod of earth, pop your bulb into the hole, then replace the soil. If you’ve got some National Garden Gift Vouchers then get down to your local garden centre or nursery and see if they’ve got this great garden gadget… and you can then get planning and planting for the future.

National Garden Gift Vouchers can be bought/redeemed at over 2,000 outlets in the UK, with more than 90,000 garden plants and products on offer. Visit for details of outlets that sell and accept them, and to buy online, or call 0870 2408237 for more info.

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