In The Garden: September

26th August 2011

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Tips for this month's gardening from National Garden Gift Vouchers

The smell of Autumn is already in the air so it’s time to sit down in a quiet corner of your garden, patio or outside space and reflect on the things that have worked, and haven’t worked, this year. September is a great planning-and-planting month, so start ordering those new roses, shrubs and other plants that you need. Autumn really is the best time for planting… the soil is still warm and the seasonal rains will help to get plants established before winter sets in.

A simple but effective ‘new look’ for the patio is to take up one of the slabs and fill it with thyme. It not only acts as an additional garden feature, but thyme also releases a lovely pungent scent when the tiny oval leaves are crushed and helps attract both bees and butterflies into the garden. Including thyme in your diet is said to help ease aches and pains, and smelling the plant can ease tiredness and lift your mood. In fact, the Romans used thyme both as a medicine and before battle as they believed in encouraged bravery. Ideal for the new school term, perhaps.

The Romans also thought that the sap of daffodils had healing properties, and took the flowers along with them on their conquests. The daffodil has since become a well-loved flower everywhere, with its early blooming and bright colours celebrating the arrival of Spring. With over 50 species to choose from there is a size for every garden or yard, and while the most common colour for daffodils is yellow, they also come in pink, white, orange, lime-green and in some bi-colours. They are easy to grow from bulbs: just plant in a sunny or mostly sunny location with well-drained soil and see that they have at least 25mm of water during the growing season. After flowering, once the foliage begins to wilt and die, they can be mowed over with no harm to the plant. They can be planted in borders, or naturalised in grass, or put in containers for spring flowering alongside Wallflowers and Sweet William.

Now is also the perfect time to move or plant evergreen and coniferous plants. When moving evergreens do make sure that you retain a good ball of undisturbed soil around their roots and plant them no deeper than the original depth. Firm them in well and water well.

It’s also the best time to lay a new turf lawn. It will establish very quickly, but do keep an eye on it during the winter. You can sow grass seed now, too, for a new lawn or to patch a worn area.

As the weather turns autumnal, bring houseplants back inside, and if you are planning ahead for the end of the year celebrations then it’s time to plant hyacinth bulbs in pots – your local garden centre has a great selection (which you can purchase with your National Garden Gift Vouchers). Once planted ,put in a dark place for 10-12 weeks after which time you can bring them into the light to ensure you have them ready for a fragrant Christmas flowering.

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