Fall at your feet: five easy and affordable autumn gardening tasks | Gardens

A year into developing our new little garden as sustainably and cost-effectively as possible, things are gradually taking shape. The woody potentillas, viburnums and Parthenocissus I rooted as cuttings and layers last year have doubled – and in some cases quadrupled – in size, climbers are inching up the fences and, remarkably, the formerly shoulder-high almond tree now peeps over at the neighbour’s garden.

A vibrant accumulation of annual, biennial and herbaceous flowers filled out the beds this summer – all grown from seed, plugs or pilfered divisions. Among them are hardy perennials fattened by June’s heat and July’s relentless rain to the point of needing splitting again. There have been crops of salad leaves, rocket, dill and parsley, a few tomatoes, raspberries and growbag potatoes, though the shifting sunlight across the seasons has been something to get acquainted with: an area I’d assumed would be bathed in summer sunshine proved inadequately bright for the bronze fennels and blue salvia I’d planted; in other areas a topping of mulch was needed to combat overexposure.

So, autumn is the time for pause, to take stock of the spring and summer growth and note the gaps, failures, thrivers and space invaders for next year. That said, tasks loom for the months ahead. These are the five jobs I’ve prioritised for autumn that offer a break from the mundanity of weatherproofing fence panels and hoicking toy cars out of the catmint …

Sow hardy annuals

Autumn sowings placed in a cold-frame to over-winter; an unheated greenhouse, cool windowsill or upturned plastic storage container make good cold-frame alternatives
Autumn sowings placed in a cold-frame to over-winter; an unheated greenhouse, cool windowsill or upturned plastic storage container make good cold-frame alternatives

Strip away the annuals – the tumbling California poppies, lemony cosmos and tall, vivid orange Mexican sunflowers that have brought the garden to life this summer – and you’ll be left with a paltry lot: scattered

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10 climbing plants for the front of your house

Training roses to grow around your door or adding a froth of wisteria blooms to your porch is the dream when it comes to adding a touch of beauty to your front yard. The good news is that if you would like to enhance the front of your house or apartment with flowers and foliage there are many more shrubs to choose from besides roses and wisteria that will do the trick in style.

First take into account one or two practicalities when choosing the best climbing plants for your modern front yard. Think about the dimensions of the wall to be covered, the height a mature plant will reach, and how flower color works with the exterior of your house. You also need to consider whether your plant of choice likes a sunny or shady aspect, and what sort of soil it requires to thrive.

Next, think about how best to support the plant if it’s not a self-clinging variety. Choose a trellis or wires that complement your existing scheme and the rest of your landscaping, as well as supporting the weight of the foliage as it grows. Now for the best part. Take your pick from our expert suggestions for best climbing plants for front of house.

Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)

Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)

10 best climbing plants to beautify your exterior

Climbers are a brilliant way to liven up dull front walls, especially when planting space is limited, such as in urban areas. There are many different types of plants to choose from and you can be sure to find something to suit all locations.

1. Wisteria

wisteria on house

wisteria on house

Beautiful wisteria is a must-have for dressing up the front of house. It’s fast growing with dreamy blooms in May and June cascading from the vine, and some varieties

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I’m a gardening expert – here’s the plant you must grow if you want your newbuild house to look more homely

A GARDENING expert has revealed the plant all newbuild homeowners should be growing.

Author and Instagram influencer Arthur Parkinson has offered essential advice for people, especially those in built-up towns and cities, struggling to add colour and novelty to new properties.

Honeysuckle has been suggested as an essential for newbuild homes and gardens


Honeysuckle has been suggested as an essential for newbuild homes and gardensCredit: Corbis – Getty

He says climbing plants are must-haves – growing upwards as well as along the ground.

And sweet-smelling honeysuckle is his top tip, he told plants-new-build-garden_uk_64b52d9ee4b08cd259d7770e”the Huffington Post, in a bid to improve people’s exposure to nature.

Newbuild gardens can be difficult to sow and grow in, it has been suggested – with shallow, compacted soil blamed.

And modern developments’ fences and lawns can often look “samey”, prompting Arthur to intervene to help combat the “cardboard box”-like look of newbuild gardens.

Shoppers are hurrying to B&M to nab 20p bargain to transform their gardens
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He said climbers were best to help give new gardens a more established look.

He said: “If you don’t dress the fences, no matter what you do it will always look like a fairly new garden because those fence panels are just there – very bare-looking.

“It’s all about making the garden feel established in a shorter time frame as possible.”

He recommended honeysuckle as “one of the best plants for pollinators – moths can smell it from miles away at night-time”.

He added: “It’s very fragrant, so it’s lovely for us as well – and then it gives a berry in the autumn for birds.”

Honeysuckle has also been described as easy to grow by the Royal Horticultural Society – helped if it has suitable space and shade.

They say the best results come from planting deciduous honeysuckle in winter and evergreens in autumn or spring.

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