Autumn Planting...

There’s no excuse!

An article by our feature writer Christine Walkden

I think autumn is one of the nicest times of the year but I get frustrated by gardeners who remove their summer bedding once it starts to finish flowering and do not plant anything else until the following April or May.  They are really missing out on a lot of colour and pleasure.

The range of plants that are available for autumn planting has grown widely over the past few years resulting in a good choice of plants with varying forms along with colour in both flowering and foliage.  There is really no excuse not to plant up containers, hanging baskets and window boxes along with your flower borders.

I just love using both flowers and foliage and we are offering for the first time a range of foliage plants to complement your autumn plantings. Take a look at page 15 to inspire you to mix the fantastic wine red foliage of Ajuga Black Scallop with the red, rose and white flowers of Bellis Belle, either in the border or even in hanging baskets.

Helichrysum Icicles will contrast well with a range of colours such as the scarlet flowers of Carnation Can Can, one of the only truly hardy bedding carnations in the world.  Imagine them in the border or planted in containers – what a classic colour combination - red and silver.

Salvia Tricolour in the autumn foliage collection is a marvellous mix of cream, pink and sage green and works really well when planted in the border along with Primrose Sunshine. The latter, with its lime and yellow flowers, picking up the cream on the Salvia’s foliage.

Mini Cyclamen last for months right through the autumn and winter if planted in a sheltered window box or even grown as a houseplant or in a conservatory.  Keep them dead headed by removing the flowers at the very base of the plants and they will reward you with lots of colours.

Sweet Williams is an old established favourite, and what a joy they are, making great displays in a border or in containers.  I always plant some by my kitchen door in containers containing bay trees.  I just adore their fragrance in the spring and I also appreciate the dark foliage they produce.  Take a look at the variety Fragrant Fever.  This is an F1 Hybrid and not only looks great in the garden but, cut and brought indoors, will fill your home with that old fragrance that floats you back in time.

Another old timer is the Wallflower which would look great planted among the Ajuga, or you can go for a scented mixture of traditional colours in Wallflower Wizard.  Plant these near your doors so on a spring morning you can enjoy their fragrance.

Pansies offer great value for money and flower from the autumn through to the spring.  I am not normally taken by ruffled flowers but the mixture of colours offered in the Can Can mix is just great.  I grew them last autumn in flower pouches and they did fantastically.  I am ordering them again.

Trailing Pansies have really come of age and look sensational cascading out of hanging baskets or flower pouches. With a wide selection of colours there is something for everyone.  They will grow in either full sun or partial shade.

Take advantage of the wonderful selection of autumn plants now available and enjoy your garden to the full this autumn.


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