Gardening with Jim Saul – September

Although September sees the start of autumn (where have all the children gone?), Pembrokeshire can say very mild and a lot of plants should still be looking their best. Keep dead-heading and feeding bedding plants. Perennials should still be in fine display with verbena bonarunsis, asters, rudbeckia, japanese anemones and helianthus all at their peak right now.

Also look out for  the Boston ivy Parthenocissus veitchi that will start to change colour on walls from green to claret-red and for the guilder rose – viburnum poius – often found in hedgerows with large maple-like leaves which colour up with vivid red-current like berries. It is also good for damp conditions.

All the vegetables, you should now be picking and giving away if you have a glut! Runner beans, courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, chillies, cucumbers and sweetcorn should all be ready to harvest. If you sweetcorn has failed, it may be because it needs to be grown in a block, say 2m by 2m in order for the flowers to fertilise – if you try to grow it in a line, your may get poor rewards.

Jobs to do

Clear away dead foliage to keep disease down – check apples, pears and plums and take off any bad fruits. Birds create such a feel-good factor in the garden, maybe leave some berries alone for them. Or these plants have berries that the birds leave alone :

Holly Ilex j.c. vantol which has heavy red berries and evergreen shining foliage.

holly ilex

Sorbus vilmorinii – this has pink and white berries, which is  a little different from the norm and the leaves purple up in the autumn.

sorbus vilmorinii

Yew taxus baccata makes a good contrast with red berries, but is poisonous.

yew taxus baccata

Sorbus joseph rock has yellow fruits

sorbus jospeh rock

Plants of the month

Abelia grandiflora

This is a fine late summer flowering plant it has small lilac pink flowers with the leaves turning bronze when young – it thrives on a south or west wall or a hot bed.

abelia grandiflora

Leycesteria formosa

This shrub has no end of common names. I’ve always known it as the “flowering nutmeg” – it has hollow green stems. Some are purple bamboo-like, thin chains of white flowers with purple bracts followed by purple black fruits, which the birds love. Prune back hard in Spring every few years or so.

leycesteria formosa

Jim Saul – Pembrokeshire Gardens

Gardener Jim Saul

 Jim Saul Pembrokeshire Gardening – available for garden maintenance or professional advice

                                                                                             

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