This must surely be the best time of the year to be a gardener, with the vegetable plot in full production giving us so much produce from courgettes to carrots and beans to beetroot. It also looks as if this is going to be a bumper year for brambles, which are just starting to turn colour.
However we seem to be moving swiftly into that season is mists and mellow fruitfulness with the first apples, Discovery, starting to ripen and that slight scent of autumn in the air.
1. We are starting the job of planting up winter hanging baskets. There are so many wonderful plants to choose from – crocus corms, tiny tête a tête narcissus bulbs, ivies, pansies, violas, purple leaved sage, heucheras, the tiny iris reticulatas and carex, the ornamental sedge.
2. There is a fabulous choice of spring flowering bulbs available right now, and you can plant them all straight into the garden or pots and tubs – apart from Tulips which do better if planted in November.
3. This is also the perfect time of the year to force flower bulbs for Christmas, such as paper white daffs, and Hyacinths.
4. As Lavenders finish flowering, we love giving them a little bit of love and attention, removing the spent flower heads and an inch or two (no more) of the growth.
5. We are also giving our tomatoes a helping hand by removing the odd lower leaf to let the late summer sun in on the ripening fruit, we are also keeping up with regular feeds of tomato fertiliser to keep the plants growing and productive.
6. We are also getting out the secateurs, small fruit trees benefit from a summer pruning, which helps to manage their size, and wisterias flower better when the curly growth is cut back to about 5 leaves.
7. Finally, one of our favourite jobs is to harvest summer herbs and dry them in small bunches for winter use, that way we can sprinkle a little summer sunshine into our winter soups and casseroles.