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Creating a beautiful autumn garden

As high-end decorators in London, we decorate some of the most expensive homes in the capital with some of the most stunning gardens, which you don’t need to be a millionaire to have. Creating a beautiful autumn garden is all to do with the type of plants you have in your garden.

While the falling of leaves from deciduous trees might indicate to some that the blooming season is over, those who are well informed will know that there are actually several beautiful plants that will flourish through a good part of this season. 

By using some of these plants, you will be well on your way to creating a beautiful autumn garden, and what’s more, all you keen gardeners can start right away, as September is the optimum time of year to begin the process. Besides, the importance of clearing the space of last years debris should also not be underestimated.

Continue reading this guide on creating a beautiful autumn garden to get a sense of what is possible to produce at this time of year, as well as the best ways to clear out your garden ready for another growing year.

Damson ‘Farleigh’

This is a lovely, evergreen plant that produces a fruit called a Damson, a sweet, drupaceous fruit that is a plum family subspecies. In comparison to plums, however, the damson is a lot tougher, so is more likely to survive the winter and produce strong, deep-set roots, that will allow it to flourish for generations. This is a brilliant choice of the plant if you’re creating a beautiful autumn garden, for as well as producing their colourful fruit well into September, their leaves will also add a splash of colour all year round.

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The Damson’s themselves should be planted as bare-rooted trees in early autumn, but the soil should also be prepared beforehand, ideally in early spring to ensure its fertility. To do this, scatter 75 grams per square yard of general-purpose fertiliser such as blood, fish & bone or Growmore around the tree to the edge of the branch cover.

This should be followed up with a 50mm mulch of compost and/or well-rotted manure. Damson also prefers to be in an environment with a high pH, so before you plant them, test the pH and ensure that it is around 6. If it is too low, sprinkle a bit of lime to make the soil more acidic.

The damsons should be ready to harvest in late August/early September the following year, meaning that you will have colour and fruit flourishing in your garden into the Autumn season.

Damson ‘Farleigh’

If you are looking for another plant that fruits in the Autumn season, look no further than the Raspberry ‘All Gold’, a bright and beautiful cousin of the traditional red berry, that fruits from early August well into the middle of October. Like the Damson, they too need to be planted in their dormant season, so are perfect to consider at this time of year, and will really help you begin creating a beautiful autumn garden for next year.

Raspberry’s need a lot of sun exposure, so before you prep, the soil, make sure you choose a well-lit spot to achieve the best results. They also require a good draining system as they hate waterlogging, but mulch them well to make sure they do not dry out in summer. 

It may also be beneficial to dress the soil in sulphate of potash and a good organic mulch. However this should be done in spring, so don’t worry too much if you have missed the time slot. Alternatively, you can also use a general, balanced fertiliser such as Growmore. Autumn Raspberries should also be completely replanted every 10 years or so

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Garlic

Garlic is a brilliant and incredibly healthy plant to grow, and as well as creating a beautiful autumn garden, they could also help you save some money in the long term if you cook with them often.

It doesn’t matter too much where you decide to grow your Garlic as long as there is a moderate amount of sunlight, though more is preferable, and as long as the soil is fertile. You should add 50g (2oz) of general-purpose fertiliser before planting for every square metre. As the plants grow, they shouldn’t need additional watering, except during particularly dry spells in the summer months. However, Garlic is vulnerable to being smothered by weeds, so you should keep an eye out for this. Any flowers produced should also be removed.

Broad Beans

Broad Beans are another nice, healthy plant that you can grow easily and help create a beautiful autumn garden. All they require is a well-drained site and improved with compost or well-rotted manure.

The seeds should be sown 5-7.5cm (2-3in) deep and 15-23cm (6-9in) apart, depending on the cultivar. In open ground, sow in single rows 45cm (18in) apart or double rows 23cm (9in) apart with 60cm (2ft) between each double row.

In raised beds, where you do not require extra space between each row for picking, all rows can be spaced 23cm (9in). Unless there is a lot of rainfall, Broad Beans require a regular soaking and need to be regularly de-weeded.

Climbing Rose ‘Gloriana’

As well as fruiting plants, some wonderful flowers will continue to flourish into the autumn season. One of our favourites has to be the Gloriana Rose. The flowers that it produces are truly stunning, so are the perfect choice for creating a beautiful autumn garden because it is also a climbing plant, so can easily fill your garden with a burst of colour. Like most climbing plants, it will require some support and must be tied as near horizontal as possible on to wires, trellis or something similar.

Gloriana’s require many nutrients; when planting them, you should dig a hold about the size of a spade in-depth and mix in either Blended Farmyard Manure or Rose, Tree and Shrub compost. You should also avoid planting them in areas where roses have already grown, as this may cause a replanting disease.

If you have no other choice, you will have to replace the soil in this area completely. If you are planting in either Autumn and Winter, it may also be good to use a mug full of Bonemeal.

To ensure success, you could even sprinkle some root grow on the root to help them develop, ensuring that the efforts that you put into creating a beautiful autumn garden are not in vain. Using a rose fertiliser such as Toprose will also help you produce the best results during the growing season.

The best tools for the job

Creating a beautiful autumn garden is clearly a lot of work, so it is important to have the right tools for the job. This does not simply mean going for the cheapest option, as although you might have a budget to stick to, buying cheaper tools may turn out to be more expensive in the long run as they will break and need to be replaced.

Ensure that the tools you do buy last for as long as possible, make sure you clean them all after each use. You can do this by removing the sap and resin from shears and secateurs by using a drop of white spirit on a rag and scraping any stubborn stains with the nail of your thumb.

Give the blades a squirt of WD-40 for good measure before stowing away safely in your shed, which you may also want to consider maintaining using our guide of how to paint a garden shed. Once a year, you should also give any wooden handled tools a rub down with linseed oil.

This will keep the wood supple, help prevent cracks and ensure years of faithful gardening service.

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