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Parthenocissus Veitchii

Parthenocissus Veitchii

GARDEN LOVE FOR OCTOBER
By James The Gardener


October can be a beautiful month, as autumn begins to close in and nights get cooler, many plants are still showing a riot of yellows, russets and reds.

Climbing wall plants, such as Virginia Creeper, can give outstanding colour before they lose their leaves for winter - whilst many shrubs and trees are covered with berries and bright leaves. Now is the time to watch out for the plants with the most spectacular autumn textures and colours, so you can make sure you have them in your own garden ready for next year.

Cut back or prune any established September flowering shrubs by one third, once they have finished flowering, as they will then flower on new growth next year. It is also a good idea to prune roses by about a third as well, to help prevent winter wind damage. Make sure all young trees and leggy shrubs are supported with stakes, but not tied too tightly or this could cause stem damage.

Abutilon Megapotanicum

Evergreen - Skimmia Rubella

Plant up hanging baskets and tubs with winter flowering plants such as pansies and heathers that can nestle amongst variegated ivies or grasses. This type of planting works very well when mixed with spring flowering bulbs such as dwarf Iris, Narcissi or Crocus. There are many winter flowering plants like Skimmia, which has deep red buds all winter, opening to pale pinky-white, scented flowers in spring.

Rake up and clear all leaves as they fall (to prevent a build-up of pests and diseases). These can be collected in plastic bags with air holes in them and turned into leaf-mould, to use as mulch after they have composted down (this will take about 12 months).

Dormant roses will be available now and they are very good value for money. Mix some good quality compost in the planting hole, and make sure they are watered well once planted. This is also a good time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials, as the soil still has some warmth to help them get established. Plant any evergreen shrubs, conifers and hedging plants by the end of the month, incorporating some good garden compost or fertiliser to give them a boost.





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