September is the month we say goodbye to summer and prepare for autumn and winter.

Planting spree 

Now is a good time to plant shrubs, perennials and trees. Liquidambar styraciflua is a nice and colourful ornamental tree with glossy leaves that are green all summer before bursting into glorious golden shades in autumn. Another vibrant choice is Cotoneaster which bears masses of vivid red berries throughout winter.

Autumn colour

Containers are a great way to add some much-needed seasonal colour. Try refreshing your pots with some autumn flowering heathers. The Calluna Garden Girls Series is a collection of compact heathers with dark green foliage and flower buds in shades of red, pink and white. Add some pansies and violas for cheerful blooms all winter and maybe even into next spring.

Mulching orders

It makes sense to mulch and enrich your borders with manure now to give your plants a little more insulation before the cold weather arrives. The soil is warm so you’ll trap in all that heat and moisture.

Spring display

Carry on planting spring bulbs including crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells in pots and borders. Think about an array of different colours and heights for maximum impact and make sure you plant the bulbs deep enough according to the instructions given.

Second bloom

Keep on top of deadheading throughout the month. If you’re feeling brave chop back tired looking salvias and verbenas quite hard and you may be rewarded with a second flush of blooms.

Super grass 

Get the prairie look by planting some ornamental grasses. Reliable, easy to grow and low-maintenance, there’s a lot to love about grasses. Some of my favourites include Miscanthus, Panicums and Festuca which is a really good medium grass that just grows and grows.

READ MORE: What are the best ornamental grasses to add to a garden?

Clean up

A summer garden will usually need a bit of a clear up. Remove any dying leaves, stems and weeds from your borders and if you have a greenhouse, empty any unused pots or containers, as compost or decaying plant material can attract pests over the winter months.

Lawn feed

Now is a good time to give your lawn a good spread of autumn fertiliser. This will help to strengthen the roots, kill off the moss and help your lawn look nice and lush.

Autumn divide

Once perennials have finished flowering you can lift well-established clumps or any plants that are starting to go bare and divide them. It’s best to do this with perennials that flower in early summer.

Indian summer

If it turns out to be a warm September, keep on watering. It’s sometimes easy to forget when we think summer is over.



Great British Life: Calluna vulgaris. Photo: Getty ImagesCalluna vulgaris. Photo: Getty Images

Calluna vulgaris (Garden Girls Series)

Calluna vulgaris is a bushy, dwarf heather that enjoys full sun and acidic soil. The stems are packed with tiny green leaves and flowering spikes. Trim off old spikes when they start to fade to maintain the very best growth and colour. The Garden Girls series come in a wide and bright range of reds, pinks and whites. Once the flowers appear they don't fully open, providing a long-lasting display of colour.