October Gardening Newsletter


It’s the season  when summer flowers start to fade and the weather can turn wet and windy at the drop of a hat with a real chill in the air, but it’s also the time when tree fruits and berries are at their best, with Autumn colours starting to glow. October is the month when all the preparation, planning and planting can ready the garden for new beginnings next Spring, and it’s also a great time to plant trees and shrubs because the ground still retains some warmth from the summer and all the rain we have had recently will help new roots and plants become established before the cold winter weather sets in.



We’re a nation of tree-lovers

Even the smallest garden has room for a small patio fruit tree, which can be grown in a large pot if space is really limited.  Trees provide us with myriad benefits:  flowers, berries, and fruits at this time of year, like apples, pears, and fruiting crab apples, good for making  jams and jellies and there are the many-coloured fruits of Sorbus or the berries of Viburnum Opulus and Crataegus (or Common Hawthorn) which provide interest and colour in Autumn, as do the leaves when they turn golden yellow or orange.  

Berry interesting!

Shrubs like Cotoneaster or Pyracantha will show yellow, red or orange berries in Autumn and there is a stunning shrub called Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’ bearing irridiscent purple berries right through to December, whose leaves turn yellow, tinged with purple. Other shrubs providing interest at this time of year include Abelia, blue-flowered Caryopteris, and Nandinia Domestica, with evergreen leaves that turn orangey-red about now – to name just a few!

Loving your lawn? Now’s the time for some essential maintenance!

First, mow the lawn then rake out any moss, weeds and thatch (which is basically the accumulation of dead grass and old creeping stems) using a flexible, wire-toothed rake.

Next, spike the lawn with a fork, which creates air holes in the turf that alleviate compaction and help with drainage.

Then, apply an autumn lawn feed high in potash to help with root establishment over the winter period.

Finally, top dress the lawn using a bagged topsoil.

While carrying out your autumn lawn maintenance, you could plant some daffodils or crocus bulbs in the lawn in groups or in drifts, and their cheerful flowers will reward you next Spring.

On a badly drained lawn use a mixture of topsoil, compost and horticultural sand, and brush this mix into the surface.  These five simple steps will be hugely beneficial to your lawn, but you can go one step further and repair any broken lawn edges and fill in any bald patches, bumps and hollows by sowing some new lawn seed which will germinate in 7-10 days at this time of year.
While carrying out your autumn lawn maintenance, you could plant some daffodils or crocus bulbs in the lawn in groups or in drifts, and their cheerful flowers will reward you next Spring.

Patios and Containers for Autumn and Winter Colour

Now’s the time to replace all your faded summer bedding with plants which will give plenty of colour and interest over the winter, such as  plants with colourful leaves or shiny evergreen foliage and scented flowers such as Skimmia, Nandinia, or grasses such as the bronze Sedge grass or the golden variegated or blue leaved Carex. You could surround these with cyclamen, which love the shelter provided by the taller plants, or try winter-flowering Pansies or small-flowered Violas, which look just like cheery smiling faces in a wide range of colours and will  flower right through to next June! Other plants to try include Wallflowers, Polyanthus, Primrose and Bellis, with their double daisy-like flowers. You could interplant with Narcissus and Tulips to give a burst of colour next Spring, and use fresh compost when replanting containers.

Healthy Herbs

Put up some herbs for winter use such as chives, mint, basil, coriander and parsley and plant garlic cloves towards the end of October

Houseplants between now and Christmas

Indoor plants really come into their own once the weather turns cold and damp outside. Growth is slowing down by now, so reduce watering until the Spring, and also stop feeding to prevent the plants becoming leggy. Cymbidium orchids are looking gorgeous at the moment as are the Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid), the most readily available and easy-care of all the orchids. They come in a huge range of colours, flower prolifically, and are ideal for the centrally heated home. If you’re looking for a gift for someone and are stuck for inspiration, an orchid makes a stunning present.
 If you need any advice on plants, both indoor and outdoor, remember the Van Hage team is here to help with any gardening advice and ideas, we’re here to help.
If you need any advice on plants, both indoor and outdoor, remember the Van Hage team is here to help with any gardening advice and ideas, we’re here to help.
Our social distancing measures are still in place so you can shop safely and in perfect confidence that we are complying with all the recent government guidelines.
We wish all our customers a safe and healthy autumn and look forward to welcoming you soon!
Best wishes,
The Van Hage Team
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