My favourite time of year. When you start still see the red and yellow hues appear in the trees that can make even a drab strip of motorway more beautiful.

Plants

Some stand out plants for me in this season include Hamamelis. More commonly known as which hazel which gets fantastic leaf colour while the buds get ready for their winter show. Its close relative Parrotia persica is looking fantastic at this time of year also. There is of course you’re Acers that are in abundance and for good reason with their array of autumn colour. For something a little bit different you could try Liquidambar styraciflua which has a similar shaped leaf and seems to show many shades at once.

Some other plants to look out for in this season include,

  • Prunus amanogawa,
  • Viburnums,
  • Grape vines,
  • parthenocissus quinquefolia,
  • parthenocissus tricuspidata,
  • Ginkgo biloba,
  • Various crab apples
  • Euonymus europaeus

There are other plants with different characteristics that come in to there own now. Grasses which will carry through there winter structure, Plants that hold to to berries that will feed the birds when there is limited other food source and a late show of flowering herbaceous perennials.

What to do now

The current leaf fall represents the onset of winter which comes as a welcome relief.  It’s time we get ahead with the gardens rather than just trying to keep up.  Although for a while yet garden maintenance will be dominated by collecting fallen leaves.

Other October jobs

  • Possible Final grass cut
  • Lawn repair
  • Cutting back herbaceous perennials
  • dividing plants
  • Preparing to move tender plants into cover
  • Final plantings

Leaf Mould

For any that haven’t as yet, I would strongly recommend installation of leaf mould bays. Its makes for a fantastic mulch, while not much nutrient value it has great water retention and greatly improves the soil structure. A great way to make use of what many can only see a nuisance

Happy gardening!