Forward planning is key when it comes to brightening up your garden with colourful and blooming flowers and plants. It might seem a little early to be planting bulbs and sowing spring and summer flowering plants in autumn but you are guaranteed to be rewarded by a wonderful early display if you do.
Autumn sowing is great for plants which are sown and then flower and die in one year. These type of plants are known as annuals. There are also plenty of bulbs that can be planted in autumn time that deliver a beautiful display come spring and summer.
Sowing Hardy Annuals
Hardy annuals are annuals which are tough enough to withstand the winter weather conditions. They should however be planted in September ideally while the soil is still warm and they may need a little protection over the winter months if the weather is particularly harsh. Cloches or horticultural fleece will do the job in this case.
Take a look at the list below to see what plants we recommend you to sow in autumn time:-
- Ammi majus
- Centaurea cyanus (cornflower)
- Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant)
- Linum grandiflorum (flax)
- Hordeum jubatum (squirrel tail grass)
- Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist)
- Lunaria annua (honesty)
- Papaver commutatum, P. rhoeas, P. somniferum (corn and opium poppies)
- Briza (quaking grass)
- Consolida (larkspur)
The good news is that Autumn is bulb planting season and you can fill up your garden or window sill with beautifully fragrant flowers without very little effort at all.
A few handy tips should help however when it comes to planting your bulbs:-
- Generally you should plant bulbs with the pointed end or ‘nose’ at the top and the flat bit or ‘basal plate’ at the bottom.
- Where there are just a few bulbs being planted, make the hole with a strong trowel or cylindrical bulb planters. Where there are larger groups of bulbs, use a spade to dig out a planting block to the correct depth and replace the excavated soil once the bulbs have been positioned.
- If you are planting bulbs in in your lawn, peel back the turf carefully, dig out the soil and plant your bulbs. You can replace the turf once the soil has been replaced and trod on lightly.
- Cover the planting area with a layer of chicken wire that is buried just below the surface if you think rodents will be a nuisance to your bulbs.
Good bulbs to plant by the end of September are daffodils, hyacinths and crocus, which will all flower in spring. Summer flowering bulbs such as lilies, crocosmia and alliums should be planted in September and October whereas November is the best time to plant tulips.
Presenting your Flowers
When all the work is complete, you will want to see your flowers bloom in a well presented and structured garden. You can organise where you want your flowers to grow and what to pair them with when they are contained and well organised in flower beds and behind stylish edging.
Railway sleepers are a great option for edging your flower displays and adding an extra dimension. With a range of sleepers to choose from, including oak, rustic and softwood, as well as our variety of garden edging products, you can find the perfect edging to complement your plants.
Another idea is to use your railway sleepers to build a raised flower bed which you can fill with soil and grow your plants in.
If you have any favourite flowers you like to plant in autumn, let us know! It’s always great to swap and share ideas.