Autumn is a great time to operate in the borders. The soil is still warm so its great for planting and it matters less what gets trampled on. It is an ideal time to take stock of the borders, move plants around and divide up herbaceous perennials.
I have simply removed a number of senior (5 years plus) perennials which didn’t flower very well this season. These were generally Hemerocallis, and Crocosmia showed left. Herbaceous perennials frequently get crowded over time, especially in the centre of the plant. The very best thing is to dig them up, carefully seperate a part of the plant however with some it maybe required to cut up the plant. Replant a brand-new healthy piece with more area and it need to do better next year. I am trying to dig up anything which didn’t do well last year and divide or change. Some plants do well with time, some need dividing and others require changing.
Perennials appropriate for dividing: Agapanthus, Hemerocallis (Day Lily,) Salvia, Sedum, Verbena, Astilbe, Hosta, Crocosmia, Delphinium, and Aster. The tell tale indication that the plant requires to be divided is an overloaded centre and blooming less each year.
I seem to invest most of October weeding attempting to clear up the borders to put down a mulch for the winter. Mulching assists the plants over winter and come the spring will help to reduce the weeds. As plants die back more of the border is exposed which helps you find the weeds and clear them out.
Beyond that I am not a fantastic fan of too neat borders; the garden is home to a lot of creatures they need someplace to invest the winter season. In amongst the shrubs are log stacks and leaves, stones and protected corners.
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Bees emerge from the winter season hibernation actually starving and have an extremely short time in which to discover food or pass away. Early blooming plants are vital for the singular bees and some of the very best bee friendly plants for this time of year are Pulmonaria showed initially left, a low growing Woodland plant which is shade tolerant and simple to grow. Numerous Hellebores flower for weeks from winter season through to spring and offer both a charming garden screen and food for the bees.
The Forget me not resembles by bees, as is Rosemary (in common with many herbs) which although it has small flowers, is really appealing to bees.
Viburnum × carlcephalum is a shrub well worth growing for it’s wonderfully sweet fragrant flowers, which are likewise like by bees as are Bluebells and Blossom flowers.
Simply yesterday I chanced to take a look at the outside wall of your home adjacent to garden. Extremely still, shining, heating up in the sun was a singular bee which appear like it was on its very first outing. I kept my eye on it for a few minutes and later it was gone. I hope in the direction of the Pulmonarias.
About now the simple Aubretia is entering into flower. It’s a fairly typical location plant, really easy to grow and it looks especially efficient routing down walls. Aubretia forms a thick mat of blue and with it come the bees. It is a great source of food and as we understand, bees love blue. Simply to advise us of what is to come later on in the year here is a short, less than 2 minute video of the bees drawn to blue flowers, in this case durable Geraniums and Chives, on a warm day, with lots of birdsong.
I love the sound of the early bees, low flying hovering over the ground foraging for food. The sound of the start of spring.
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Hosta are a lovely garden plant with rich green foliage in lots of tones of green from lime to blue. They are perfect for growing in shady areas, look extremely appealing set around a pond, and with ferns however they are slug and snail magnets.
Some gardens suffer more from slugs and snails than others, in which case choose the varieties of Hosta which is most resistant and not the centre one. The best resistant Hosta are those with difficult ribbed leaves, and these types stand finest. The Hosta which appear to suffer the most have the thinner leaves, frequently green and cream variations.
To try and keep Hostas looking great you do require to watch on them as not much can be provided for the one in the centre image, well past redemption. But if it is simply a case of a few chewed up leaves, cut them off.
Later in the growing season, the plant still looks good although about a lot leaves have actually been cut off and the new ones will come through. Hosta do form a great deal of leaves so by August it is safe to get rid of a couple of if they are terribly chewed.
By later on in the season the flowers on many Hostas look tatty and it is very tempting to cut them off, however inexplicably, the bees continue to like them and as I walk past the plants several bees are arriving on the sad looking flowers so best to leave them there.
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One of the reasons I am not a fan of too tidy borders is to include garden wildlife, and at this time of year for Hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs hibernate from November to March and requires somewhere safe and warm. Ideal spots are stacks which they can get into to hibernate such as logs, leaves or compost.
Hedgehogs are a gardeners good friend as their natural diet consists of slugs. With all the slugs in my garden I would have anticipated to be overrun with Hedgehogs, unfortunately not. More with Badgers, Foxes and Moles.
Because I want to motivate the Hedgehogs to make their hibernation nest in the garden, in the weedy, wilder littles the garden I have left stacks of leaves and compost. The Hedgehog is a forest animal, which adjusts well to our garden habitat particularly if it has trees and shrubs. There are specially made Hedgehog homes retailed now, however honestly the compost pile is better, and will also supply a source of food.
It is stated that an adult Hedgehog can consume 200gms of insects a night which ought to consist of some slugs; well worth attracting them into the garden.
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