I am a fair weather gardener. During the spring I am chomping at the bit to get out there to tidy things up and see what’s starting to push up. In the summer I am out there most days, tending to this and that or just meandering about and enjoying all the new buds. Then in the autumn I go into organised mode to get a few tasks completed out there ready for my winter hibernation. So as I have a list of jobs I want to get done in the garden over the next week or so, I thought it would be handy to share with you 7 simple ways to improve your garden this autumn, easy ways for you to tidy up your garden with very little effort.
1. Prune it back
Do not be afraid of cutting things back out there. Most shrubs and plants can handle being pruned down and tidied up. That said, I’d suggest leaving hydrangeas as they are as they will fare better over the colder months with their existing foliage. But the things that have gone wild, like buddleias and roses, will be fine if you cut them down.
Bonus idea: if you do have roses, try taking a cutting as you are pruning them down this autumn. If you are cutting a stem of around 30cm or more off, keep it, remove the leaves from it (just keep the top one so you will know which way is up), remove the prickles from the bottom and pop it into a pot or even easier, straight into the ground. It might well take and surprise you next year, and if not, what’s to lose? You might then be able to create a rose garden – every garden should have one of these.
2. Give it a splash of colour
There are some beautiful plants that flower through winter and I’d suggest Callicarpa as that’s one of my favourites for the colder months. Or add some ornaments, wind-chimes or decorations, either bought or made with the kids.
3. Plant some bulbs
Think spring bulbs, so daffodils, tulips and crocuses, which are all easy to get hold of and are inexpensive. I would also recommend denticulata as these are my favourites and it’s worth checking out these spring bulb ideas for further inspiration.
4. Mow the lawn
It is time for that last mow of the grass. Get it done now and then your garden should stay looking neat over the winter into next spring. This is such a quick win, as every garden looks so much better after the lawn has been mown. It will also make that first mow of next year that much easier if you get one more in now. If you want to keep it looking tidy with no maintenance all year round, then you might want to look into getting some fake grass.
5. Repaint the decking
We do this around every other year, to spruce it up and to protect it. I always buy this anti-slip decking stain as it looks good and it really does make it less slippy out there. Until I found this, it was a treacherous task to go out and put things into the bin over the winter! I really need to get onto this one as soon as possible, before it’s too wet to do or too cold for me to stand being out there for too long.
6. Add a few pots
If you don’t already have any, pots are such an easy way to brighten a garden. Pots are brilliantly flexible as you can move and rearrange them as the sun’s position changes and as different things bloom. You can also change up your pots as and when you want to. You can add perennials to them or perhaps pop some of your new bulbs in there. I tend to do both as I have a mixture of bulbs and shrubs in mine and I normally rearrange them throughout the seasons. They can really brighten up a dull area or an unused corner, as an instant mini garden can be created.
7. Top up any gravel paths and steps
Grab a bag or two of gravel as needed and neaten up any pathways, steps or beds with it. I top ours up from time to time as somehow, the kids seem to displace ours over the summer and it looks a bit of a mess. I’m not sure where it actually goes, but it definitely benefits from an extra bag or two. You can also use gravel to top your pots to prevent weeds pushing up and frosts getting in.
So there you have it. These are such simple ways to give your garden a bit of a makeover and brighten it up. Even just doing one or two of these should make a real difference, and you know the ones that you’ll have the patience to see through! It’s also about choosing the tasks that you think you’ll enjoy the most and reap the rewards from.
What will you be tackling out in your garden this month?
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