Gardening: The dying days of summer still have much to offer in the garden

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves - Credit: Archant

True to form, the Bank Holiday weather was terrible. If you listen to most people - that’s what they’ll be saying. For the majority, rain spells bad news - the majority - but not for me. Not only is rain my favourite type of weather, it does untold good for our gardens. The changing of the seasons has well and truly started.

I’m writing cuddled up on my sofa. I’m wearing a huge cardigan, and the kettle is whistling away in the kitchen - it’s a stark contrast to last month - when I was sitting in my garden writing in the warmth of the summer’s evening.

The rain is lashing against the window, and as I look out at the garden, I can see that some of the rose blooms have withstood the weather, but most of them are looking fairly forlorn.

The lavender has completely gone over now, but there is a lush green that has crept across the whole view. The lawn looks healthier than it has for weeks, and the leaves look full on all of the trees. I know that this view won’t last long - it is a snapshot in time which will soon be fading.

I don’t doubt that there will be some unseasonably warm days between now, and when autumn is truly with us, but with the evenings getting shorter, and the heating being turned on for the first time in many houses, it feels as though the summer is fading fast.

It is easy to sit and ponder how the summer has gone so fast, and to moan about the cold weather returning - as is our British duty to do, but we should remember that we’ve actually had a really good summer - the long days of sunshine seemed to far outweigh those we complained about.

The gardens thrived - the roses drank in the warmth of the sun, and flourished - their scent which will linger long into the winter in my mind, and which will now be falling back to sleep to overwinter.

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It would be easy to drift towards winter, closing the doors into the garden behind me and not paying it much attention over the coming months.

It’s very easy to tell yourself that there isn’t anything to do, or that the weather is too bad to be spending it in the garden - but that simply isn’t the case - there are always plenty of things to do, and any time that you spend in your garden over the coming few months will be paid back ten-fold when the spring comes.

Keeping on top of the weeding, pruning back the shrubs, cutting back the lavender - will not only help the garden to look really tidy over the winter months, but will also help the plants to thrive in the future.

As I look into the garden, I can see that there are some plants - the acer for example, where the leaves are already starting to tinge to a different colour at the edges - it won’t be long before the leaves on the trees are all changing, and as I look into the leaves of the horse chestnut tree at the back of the garden - the conkers are well and truly preparing to fall! Autumn is coming...

Things to do in the garden this month...

* Find an apple festival to attend!

These will be starting to crop up around locally, and are always great fun - a fabulous way to spend a day outside, and a good way to celebrate one of the nation’s favourite fruits!

* Order your spring bulbs if you are placing an order from online or a catalogue - although the spring feels a long time off, these will need planting in October, so will need to be ordered soon - that’s if you haven’t already ordered them!

* Tidy up any shrubs such as lavender - once they’ve finally gone over, it will make them look much smarter for the autumn/winter

* Keep mowing your lawn! It will soon be time to put the mower away for the winter - but there are a few cuts left to go yet.