The gilding of the Indian summer mellowed the pastures far and wide. 

The russet woods stood ripe to be stripped, but were yet full of leaf. 

The purple of heath-bloom, faded but not withered, tinged the hills…  

Fieldhead gardens bore the seal of gentle decay; … its time of 

flowers and even of fruit was over.”

–   Charlotte Brontë  

By Gordon the Gardener

It’s as well to be ahead of the game when thinking of spring flowering plants. It’s a good move to plant Wallflowers and Violas early whilst there is a bit of heat left in the land and warmth in the sun. Plants will get off to a better start than when the soil has grown cold.

With this in mind I got my spring flowering Stocks, which I grew in cells, off to an early start in September. But there is still time to do this before the cold weather sets in. Bulbs can be set any time up to December.

It’s the final stages of tomatoes which, unless heated, will be finishing fruiting. Still save the green fruits and place on a warm windowsill to finish ripening.

Start planning for next season’s crops and winter flower displays. Local garden centres are full of winter bedding and maybe try some bulbs to compliment them.

If you have space in the veg garden try Senshui Yellow autumn planted onion sets. They are a great addition for early onions in June/July.

Dahlias, I prefer to lift early – before they are blackened by the frosts. It’s less of a soggy mess then. Stems can be cut down.

They can then be washed off, dried and turned upside down to drain off for a few days. Dust with flowers of sulphur to prevent any diseases. They can then be kept over winter in vermiculite. Some choose to wrap them in newspaper.

Treat Cannas likewise. Best to remove stakes and, after they have dried out, soak them in a wood preservative. This will prolong their life and save you money.

A double award for the Yorkshire Pelargonium & Geranium Society

It’s a good move to bring all your tender plants under the protection of a frost-free greenhouse. Do this now, don’t wait until the frost is here, and you will be able to do it in an orderly manner instead of a mad rush as I have done many a time!

The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show was a great success. Newby Hall near Ripon is an excellent venue.

The Yorkshire Pelargonium & Geranium Society exhibit featured a shop which had a path which looked so real you could almost have gone up the steps and walked down it. They were not only rewarded with the Premier Gold award but best exhibit in show.

Well done to everyone involved.

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