Plants may be fading and you may be itching to pull out old annuals and cut back the perennials and start the big tidy up, but let’s take a moment to appreciate the here and now.
I’d like to savour the early days of Autumn when the greens turn to orange, the apples, pears and berries ripen and glow and the seed heads rattle in the breeze
The spiders are busy spinning their webs which glisten in the early morning dew like pearl necklaces.
The late summer flowers of Dahlias and Alstroemerias crash and burn with the failing support of the other plants around them and the ornamental grasses, chinese lanterns and Red Hot Pokers are just coming into their own.
There’s still so much to enjoy. Cut and bring into the home a few simple daily reminders of the world outside.
The head-liners of the border right now are the Dahlias. They will flower their little hearts out until the first frost. We still have at least a month down here in the south of England, to enjoy them, providing we keep on top of the dead-heading. We tend to do this twice a week but can get away with once a week.
We cut them when the outer petals are looking scruffy, as Emma demonstrates in the following video. However if you leave the flowers longer and the petals drop off, sometimes it is difficult to identify which are new buds coming and which are over. There is a simple method of identifying the new buds from those that have gone over:
Between the 2 flowers of Dahlia Honka above, there is a new bud coming which is round.
And here you can see (top left) a flower on the same plant that is over and is slightly longer and more pointed. So off with its head!