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Autumn is upon us!

by Kathryn Cronin – 19th September 2018 @ 5:05pm
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garden musings sept 2018garden musings2 sept 2018

We have arrived at the season of harvest and chutney making, although I have to say the wildlife have had more of my plums than I have this year! It occurs to me that the obvious solution is to plant more fruit trees. Top of my list is quince which has fruit the colour of pale straw. It may take a few years but eventually I will be able to make my absolute favourite scented chutney.

Needless to say, it has already got to the time for bulb planting. "What already?" I hear you cry! Naturally I have ordered mine already. In all honesty it was a slightly rushed call after I realised that bulb supplies are going to be an issue this year with the weather we have had. And learning from that spring we had this year, I have opted for a greater range of narcissi with wonderful names like Ice follies, Minnow, Pueblo and Yellow Cheerfulness.

Like everyone's tulips, I had one glorious floriferous weekend. The idea was to plant early and late varieties to achieve a succession of blooms over April and May. Of course, no spring would be spring without the odd tulip but in this year's planting they are being far more cosseted than they were last year. My 'la belle époque' won't be left out in the cold and neither will Charming Lady.

The dahlia's are flowering better than they have all Summer now that we have had some rain. I always wait for the first frosts when their foliage has turned black before I lift them, and I always lift them. It is too cold but mainly too wet in the North to leave them in. My dinner plate labyrinth would never forgive me.

Red Lucifer is also my new found favourite flower for this time of year. Not everyone is a fan of monbretia (or crocosmia) but for a splash of glorious colour now, they are definitely the ones to go for (I must mention a very generous fellow neighbour who was kind enough to give me many of his corms.)

You know the growing season is nearing it's end when you hear the thud of seed catalogues arriving at your door. You can sow hardy annuals right now for an early flowering next year. I love browsing through the new varieties that the clever breeders are always inventing and dreaming of where I could grow them. I am growing much more honesty in all it's wonderful shades of purple to white, but mainly for those iridescent seed heads that we will see appear now.

So before our gardens turn into an inhospitable muddy cold zone that we look at from our roaring fires, seize the day on those gorgeous bright Autumn days to plant something that in the spring you wish you had.

Learn more about Kathryn's wild garden style floristry at

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