That said, there are still bright, sunny days when, if we wrap up warm, the garden is the most joyful place to be. It’s been a difficult year for so many and it’s more important than ever to reap the benefits that outdoor activity and gardening bring to our mental wellbeing. Grasp any opportunity you can to get out there and enjoy your late autumn garden.
Routine jobs are winding down now but there are still things to be getting on with. Plant tulip bulbs this month, making sure each bulb is planted at three times its own depth, so it is covered with soil two times its depth. Being planted too shallow is the most common reason for tulips failing to flower so, if in doubt, plant deeper.
If you haven’t already done so, plant up seasonal containers with bright winter bedding, placing them in positions that can be seen from indoors. Pop the containers on small bricks or pot feet to prevent them getting waterlogged.
Finish tidying your borders, cutting back any remaining perennials which you’re not keeping intact for their decorative seed heads. As you do this, remove any remaining weeds and move plants if you feel the need. With borders cut back and deciduous shrubs and trees losing their leaves, you’ll start to really appreciate the other plants in your garden.
Evergreens are the backbone of a garden, providing year-round interest and colour, and conifers are particularly invaluable. Pinus mugo ‘Winter Gold’ will brighten up a corner with its golden-yellow winter foliage, and the amazing Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’ is one of the most eye-catching conifers you can find. Topiary plants add architectural interest, with clipped box spheres, striking conifer corkscrews and evergreen standards all perfect additions to the winter garden.
There’s still time to aerate your lawn before winter. Rake up and remove the last of the fallen leaves, then insert a garden fork at regular intervals and push forward slightly to let air in. If you’re giving the lawn a last cut before winter, keep mower blades high, and take time to neaten lawn edges whilst borders are clear.