The Gardening Experts Guide To Autumn Planting

The Gardening Experts Guide To Autumn Planting With Autumn officially here, it’s time to think about how to keep your plants flourishing until the sunny weather comes back around. No matter whether it’s indoor or outdoor greenery, there are many ways to keep your plants looking modern and vibrant in the surroundings they are in. As the green specialists ourselves, we understand how plants can be used to create innovative landscapes but we wanted to find out what some of the best gardening experts in the world of blogging have to share about planting for Autumn. Todd Heft Big Blog of Gardening We spoke to Todd Heft of the ‘Big Blog of Gardening’. Todd regularly shares advice on flower and vegetable gardens that are all natural using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. We asked him a few questions on his gardening methods for the Autumn months. How do you keep your garden vibrant in the Autumn months? “I've planted my garden to create 3 seasons of interest, so there's little I need to do to keep the garden vibrant in fall. Right now (mid-September), asters are in full bloom in my part of the U.S. and native chrysanthemums are about to bloom. Plus, the native trees and shrubs planted around the garden are just starting to turn orange, yellow and red and their foliage show will last from October through the first hard frost.” Have you got a special gardening hack/secret/trick you can share? “Invite as many birds as possible into your garden to reduce pests. Since I've done that, I've noted a remarkable decrease in damage to plants from insects. The key here is to keep feeders heavily stocked throughout winter and into spring when migrating birds are returning and looking for nesting areas. Just like humans, they stay where the food is plentiful and don't venture too far from their nests for a meal. In summer, leave the feeders empty and the birds will seek protein in the form of caterpillars and insects which live on your plants, shrubs and trees. The greatest number of insects and caterpillars will live on native plantings, once again providing lots of food for our avian friends.   And the other gardening secret is compost. No fertilizers are needed other than this.” So with the pesky plant-eaters taken care of, we wanted to find out which plant species were some of the bloggers’ favourite to plant this Autumn. Gardener Sarah Raven We got in touch with award-winning gardener and writer Sarah Raven to get her top tips on how to make the most of your spaces with plants. She shared with us her recommendations: “I'd say plant annuals and dahlias to give guaranteed colour through summer and autumn with minimal tlc. Go for my favourite cosmos 'Rubenza' and one of the all-time great dahlias such as 'Totally Tangerine' or 'Cafe au Lait'.” [caption id="attachment_2968" align="alignnone" width="247"]Cosmos bipinnatus 'Rubenza' Cosmos bipinnatus 'Rubenza'[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2969" align="alignnone" width="295"]Dahlia 'Café au Lait' Dahlia 'Café au Lait'[/caption]
Photography © Jonathan Buckley - available to purchase from www.sarahraven.com
These stunning flowers are sure to make for an eye-catching display in any indoor or outdoor area. Plus they are also easy to maintain! Visit www.sarahraven.com to view the full range. Also make sure to keep an eye out for more of Sarah’s fantastic gardening advice in ‘The Telegraph’. Helen Patient Gardener Blog We also spoke to Helen who writes the award-winning ‘Patient Gardener’ blog. She describes herself as a “plant obsessive” and is an expert on how to create amazing garden spaces and landscapes. So, with similar interests to ourselves, we wanted to discover Helen’s tips and tricks for planting in Autumn. How do you keep your garden vibrant in the Autumn months? “The Autumn garden has a certain wistful quality with grasses, daisies and changing autumn foliage; but if you want something dramatic and colourful I would really recommend Nerine bowdenii. They come in shades of pink from soft pale pink to the vibrant almost garish pink of 'Isabel' which Dame Barbara Cartland would have been proud to sport. Nerines are easy if, like all plants, you give them the right conditions. They need a position where they will be undisturbed and can bake in the sun during the summer with good drainage. They do particularly well planted against a south facing wall, especially if the ground is full of builders rubble, if not add gravel when planting.” What would you recommend planting indoors this Autumn? “For a bit of colour indoors as the nights draw in I would go for a basket of cyclamen the type you will find in any garden centre now sold as bedding. Choose a nice basket or dish and plant in groups of odd numbers - 3 or 5 - they won’t bulk up so you don’t need to allow space just cram them in and enjoy.” Have you got a special gardening hack/secret/trick you can share? “The best tip I have had for keeping the garden looking good when you are busy is to edge your lawn even if you don’t have time to cut the lawn - it’s amazing the difference it can make.” Catherine Growing Family Blog We also chatted to Catherine who writes the ‘Growing Family’ blog. This is great for discovering tips to make the most of busy family life, whether that be in the garden or in the home. We asked Catherine about her easy tricks to keep the garden looking vibrant. We particularly like the leaf mould trick! How do you keep your garden vibrant in the Autumn months? In my garden most of the plants are entering their dormant phase at this time of year, so I really rely on trees to provide the interest. I’ve got an Amelanchier Lamarckii and a Chinese Dogwood, both of which I chose because they offer year-round interest; in autumn they both put on a fantastic display as their leaves change from green to orange, then fiery red. I also focus my efforts on containers of seasonal plants, which I position in parts of the garden that we use the most or can see from the house. What would you recommend planting indoors this Autumn? Autumn is the perfect time of year to ‘force’ some spring flowering bulbs to flower early for an indoor display in the depths of winter. All you need to do is plant your bulbs in a pot as you normally would, then place them in a cool, dark place (a cellar, shed or garage are perfect) until you see green tips poking through the soil. When this happens you can move the pot into a warm room, and you’ll have flowers within 2-3 weeks. They make a lovely homemade Christmas gift too. Have you got a special gardening hack/secret/trick you can share? I think one of the best hacks I’ve ever learned is how to make my own leaf mould. As well as providing a use for all those fallen leaves, it’s a fantastic soil improver that you can’t buy in the shops. All you have to do is gather your leaves into an open-topped bay, or if space is tight simply a black bin liner with holes in the bottom. You need the leaves to be wet, so if you’re using a bin liner give them a water before tying up the top. After that you just leave them alone until next year, when you’ll have some lovely garden mulch for free! So, as the leaves turn orange outside, there are many ways to keep the garden and indoor greenery looking as vivid as ever. Make sure to check out these gardening blogs and if you would like to incorporate any of the plants mentioned into your interior or exterior landscape for the Autumn season, get in touch with the team here at Plant Plan.