Autumn is a time when it's important to understand the true nature of how plants work. Although we perceive that it is the time of the year when mother nature is slowing down, nevertheless this is a good time to plant. 

Here are a few good reasons why:

  • The temperature is not too hot, that often causes stress to the plants and stress to the gardener when there is often not enough time to get around and water new plants.
  • It’s not too cold yet to stop root growth, for although apparent growth of plants seems halted (no further leaf or flowers produced) this is a good time for root systems to become consolidated, and to become strengthened.
  • It's a good time for plants to become established, ready for a showy spurt of growth when spring comes along.
What to plant?


It’s good to bear in mind if you have any space for tree planting (or hedge planting for that matter) it's good to plant them during autumn for many reasons:
  • They get established better than in summer with no associated watering problems. ( "What watering problems?” I here you ask!)
  • It is much cheaper to buy bare-rooted stock during this ‘bare root’ season from October to March (dependent on the species of tree).
  • As mentioned above the soil is still relatively warm, giving the tree a good start in its new position.
It’s an excellent time to plant shrubs and you may find that some bare-rooted shrubs are inexpensive, especially many wildlife varieties: hollies, yew, lonicera (the climbing one), as well as many buxus if you are planning a box hedge.

Quite a variety of things can be sown in your vegetable plot at this time: Beetroot, chard, kohlrabi, oriental greens, calabrese, turnips, spinach, spring cabbage, endive, carrots (if fast growing varieties). You could also put in strawberry plants.

Recommended bulb plantings include: grape hyacinths, hyacinths, daffodils, jonquils, ixia, freesia, ranunculus, sparaxis.

Image on the right: Acer palmatum atropurpureum just starting to turn to it's magnificent autumn shades.

Here you can see the stages of surveying a steeply sloping back garden, creating a terraced design to brake up the space into outside rooms and then the process of building the new garden.

The original garden was quite small, but even so had a differential of over three metres from house to back boundary. We created dramatic levels using rendered walling (and the upper wall was actually created using timber sleepers stacked and bolted together, since the upper part of the garden was made of freshly added ground and therefore could not be constructed on with mortar).


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