by Carolyn Pickering
How quickly the summer has passed and we are now in one of the most thought provoking times of the year for a gardener. We often think we should wait until spring to make necessary changes to the garden plan but one of the advantages of fall gardening is that you are able to see the size, shape and texture of the foliage which is often absent in the spring.
My particular delight in the garden at Burt’s is the wonderful selection of grasses and the fall is a perfect season to appreciate them. The Miscanthus Giaganticus is in its glory at present towering way above the other grasses with its elegant plumes supported by other grasses with varied stem colours. Bright spots of colour are provided by the flowering Kale poking their heads through the snow with a bright blast of purple. A much underrated plant, the flowering kale, provides colour in the garden up until the very cold temperatures destroy everything.
Fall in the garden is also a reminder of the cycle of gardening. A successful perennial garden is of course about timing flowering to give you constant interest. I like to make a plan and then highlight plants the different seasons to make sure there is a balanced flowering pattern to the garden.
Normally I leave the pruning to the spring unless a specific plant requires fall pruning. In this way you still have interest through the winter with seed pods and brightly coloured stems giving a new dimension to the garden. Watching the birds enjoy the seeds and find nesting material from the remains of last year’s garden can be a source of great interest and amusement in the spring.
We have been lucky with moderate temperatures this year. It is now November and I am still working in the garden. This week will see completion of the final job which is the mulching of the more delicate plants. The crisp Maple leaves covering the ground have served us well over the last few years as our final mulch. What a shame so many people throw away such a valuable resource.
The active gardening season is almost over for us all and time for me to content myself with indoor pursuits. I have come to the awful realisation that all I can do now is keep my fingers crossed for a mild winter and say “see you in the garden in the spring!”.
.please note; Burt’s Greenhouses will make every effort to remove Carolyn from her beloved Miscanthus and make sure that she is well looked after this winter.