The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.
John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
Is September to be considered late summer or early autumn? In meteorological terms autumn officially begins on the 1st of September. The garden observes no such rule and whilst the mainly dry August and summer colours of fading herbaceous borders make way for the more mellow tones following harvest time, there is still much colour to be enjoyed and many trees and shrubs are at their peak.
Observe the coming autumn shades of reds, orange russets and burgundy, plants and leaves that change colour with spectacular effect, complemented by late-flowering perennials and you can build a palette of autumn colour for your own garden. As it’s time for new plants to go into borders so there is the opportunity to build next year’s display of colour, planting out shrubs, climbers, hardy perennials and spring-flowering bulbs.
Hot colours draw the eye and appear nearer while cool colours have a calming effect and appear more distant. Splash some bold colours into a muted colour scheme for sparkle and create cool areas with pale hues and blues to contrast a fiery area. Be as bold or as subtle as you like with whatever colour schemes please you most. It is, after all, your garden.
- Prune deciduous trees, shrubs and evergreen hedges
- Take cuttings of tender perennials grown as summer annuals such as pelargoniums, osteospermums and marguerites to bring indoors before the frosts
- Divide perennials and herbs
- Sow new lawn if you prepared last month
- Take hardwood cuttings, transplant any trees and perennials you want to move
- Hoe out weeds
- Rotovate or dig borders and work in manure
- Stake dahlias
- Plant spring bulbs, daffodils, crocus, Anemone but wait until November to plant tulips