5 ways to transform your garden this autumn

Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Too often, autumn can feel like the time that your garden goes into hibernation, leaving your outdoor space rather lacking in colour compared to what you are accustomed to seeing in summer.

However, the fundamental culprit for this situation might be what you have chosen for that outdoor space’s foliage. On the other hand, perhaps there are particular maintenance routines which you should follow but have somehow fallen by the wayside. Here are tips for getting back on course.

Prune and protect autumn-unfriendly plants

As the autumn mood has descended upon your garden, some of your perennials might have reacted by dying down. You should cut back those particular plants and prune the roses, which may have become diseased – in which case, it might be necessary for you to spray them with a fungicide.

Certain plants could be overly tender to autumn’s touch, but you can preserve their warmth with bubble wrap or – by our admission, a more aesthetically elegant solution – horticultural fleece.

Plant evergreens in abundance

If you are concerned that some of your garden’s current plants could rapidly shed their leaves in the cold, consider replacing those plants with evergreens. They will flower in a visually pleasing way and keep their leaves – whether you opt for skimmias, viburnums or other evergreen varieties.

It is certainly reassuring that, as House & Garden attests, evergreen shrubs look great on display and will endure right through to early spring.

Turn swept-up leaves into leaf mould

If crispy brown leaves are scattered in large clumps around your outdoor space, it makes sense to sweep them up. However, after you fill a bag with wet leaves, you should subsequently not discard those leaves, but instead follow The English Garden‘s instructions to make them leaf mould.

Only about a year later, that mould will be effective for suppressing weeds and, after a further year, primed for use in compost making and soil conditioning.

Plant Michaelmas daisies along your borders

An autumn garden can often lack vibrancy in its colour, but you can inject vivid hues back into your garden through several means – including planting Michaelmas daisies halfway back in your borders.

These flowers come recommended in an Express article penned by celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh, who concedes that you should choose the relatively short and modern New England asters. He warns against you settling for the lankier daisies featuring dull blue-grey flowers.

Plant the “ice plants”, sedums

Other plants recommended by Alan Titchmarsh for autumn gardens include sedums – or, as you might have heard them called, “ice plants”. Their succulent leaves and white, pale or dusky pink flat flower heads make sedums true sights to behold – and bees and butterflies would agree, too.

Whether you choose the traditional favourite of Sedum spectabile or something more modern like ‘Matrona’, the flowers will produce nectar on which insects can feast in the run-up to winter. Of course, bees and butterflies can complement colour that blossoms elsewhere in your autumn garden.