Into autumn with a firm jaw – GrowHow tips for October

Right, so our gardens and outdoor spaces have comforted us through March, April, May, June, July, August and September of this ghastly year, and now they HAVE to help us through the cold, damp months as well. Stop watching the news for a while and immerse yourself in tasks like compost-turning, planting garlic or taking grapevine-cuttings………………. Caring for compost Regular readers will know that I do like my compost! We have been talking about the R-word since March – well, making compost is one of the ultimate expressions of another R word (one of the most important of the...

Continue reading

Preparing for the Chilly Season – Grow-How Tips for Early October

A real change in the air now as the garden takes on its autumn colours. There’s plenty to do as you pack away the outdoor furniture and make sure that your plants are ready to face the winter. Here are some ideas for tasks such as sowing Hardy Annuals and broad beans, laying a soil mulch, and taking hardwood cuttings – all the sorts of jobs that are usually done in the company of an inquisitive robin round here at this time of year…….. HARDY ANNUAL SEED-SOWING Plants from annual seeds can complete their life-cycle in one summer and...

Continue reading

Halloween horrors

The end of October,  and the shops are full of skeletons and pumpkins as Halloween approaches. Don’t think that the horticultural world can’t join in the spooky fun though; there are plenty of botanical nightmares out there worthy of The Little Shop of Horrors. The carnivorous plants hold a special fascination –  monkey cups (Nepenthes), cobra plants (Darlingtonia), Venus fly-traps  (Dionaea) and the like. These lure innocent insects to their doom with their gaudy shapes and colours and scents. Horrified but intrigued, we watch as the fly buzzes nonchalantly towards mortal danger, like a young woman in a skimpy nightie walking through...

Continue reading

Grow-How Tips for Early October

Oh dear! Summer’s definitely over now and we must bravely face the oncoming winter weather. The urgency has seeped out of the garden tasks, but there are still some jobs that can be done now, while we plan how to make our gardens EVEN better next year!… LOVE ME TENDER Those tender perennials that have been performing so well in our pots and containers all summer can yield us some easy cutting material now, which will provide us with lots of free strong plants for next year. And what’s more, they will take up a lot less space on your...

Continue reading