As late October approaches and the weather becomes ever more autumnal, now is the perfect time to get your garden ready for the new season. While the idea of clearing away your garden party decorations and the last of the summer’s flowers and plants may leave you feeling uninspired, don’t despair! There are lots of ways to get the most out of your garden this autumn, as well as helping to prepare it for when spring comes around again.
Where plants and flowers are concerned, there are many ways to keep your garden looking colourful well into the new season. Instead of relying on summer flowers, make the most of plants with beautifully coloured foliage such as the Japanese maple.
Similarly, there are a number of plants and trees that produce fruits during late summer and early autumn; apple trees and blackberry bushes are two low-maintenance options that will grow happily in most gardens.
If you have any trees around your garden then you will know how their leaves fall thick and fast when autumn arrives. Instead of raking them up and throwing them away though, consider compacting them into compost – in around a year leaves provide a rich, good quality compost which is perfect for a range of plants. Another thing to consider is the wildlife around your garden; at this time of year many creatures will be starting to look for spots in which to hibernate. Leaving piles of leaves and twigs is perfect for hedgehogs, and if you have a pond then stones and rocks will be good for amphibians like frogs and toads; all of these will eat garden pests such as slugs – so they are good to have around come springtime!
Staying with the idea of wildlife, now is the best time to think about cleaning bird boxes, ponds and water features as they will not be in use during the colder months – although bat boxes may be still be occupied at this time of year.
Garden sheds are extremely useful for storing away your summer accessories, or even for using as an alternative to outdoor seating if they are large enough! If your garden is still looking bare, try including some weather-proof accessories such as metal sculptures, artistic statues or heavy wooden furniture, all of which can be left outside even in harsh winter weather.
Another idea is to experiment with outdoor lighting. Not only can this be a great way to brighten up your garden on dreary days, but can be practical too as the nights draw in.
Finally, don’t forget that now is the perfect time to start thinking about next season! Plant bulbs now so that you will be able to enjoy flowers such as daffodils and tulips when spring returns.