September Gardening Tips 2023
It may not have been the best weather for the school summer holidays, but if our garden is anything to go by, the plants have enjoyed the mix of warm and wet weather we have seen in August. The weather has certainly extended the flowering season of a number of plants. Our Roses are in full second flush, perhaps helped by the unexpected prune they received when some deer got into the garden, uninvited, in June. The Phlox have flowered later and better for the same reason. Only the lawn is proving a bit of a challenge because it is growing so fast, when last year it was pretty dry and brown at this point. Achillea, Scabious and Gaura have proved particular stars this year. Bedding Fuchsias and hardy Fuchsias are also doing well. Cosmos and other sun worshipers have not enjoyed the weather quite so much.
September is a great month to plan for autumn planting. New stocks of trees and all sorts of hardy plants and climbers will start to arrive in the garden centres. Autumn is definitely the best time to plant, so do get writing lists and plotting what to plant where. I already have my wish list of roses prepared and waiting for new stocks to come in later in the autumn – but more on that in another month or so.
If you need to fill a few gaps in your pots and borders now Chrysanthemums are full of bud in autumnal yellows, oranges and reds or more muted pinks and white. New season’s Pansies and Violas will flower well into the autumn. While Cyclamen will give a burst of colour as the weather gets cooler.
Spring flowering bulbs are also available now. Look for large, firm bulbs. When you plant, be generous and plant in clumps for the most vibrant displays next spring. Make sure you plant bulbs deep enough or they will look great the first year but may be disappointing thereafter. Check the packet for the relevant planting depth. For more information on bulbs, take a look in the advice section of our website.
I don’t have the largest collection of houseplants in our house. That accolade has to go to my son, who isn’t even living at home at the moment. His room looks more like a jungle every time I open the door. He is clearly more on trend than I am with his collection. I think it is fantastic that a whole cohort of younger people are starting to enjoy plants, with houseplants providing their entry point into horticulture and growing. The benefits of houseplants to air quality and wellbeing are well documented. So, if there is a student or young adult you know, there is probably a houseplant to suit them – at home or away.
So, I hope you have a colourful September and this column comes with a sincere thank you and good luck to those of our weekend colleagues who are heading off to university. We wish you a wonderful university experience and great success.