A rich and splendid autumn beckons

The extra layers are out of the wardrobe and the thicker socks are already keeping the feet warm – that nip in the air means autumn is here.

But what a beautiful season it is. We can already see the lush reds and golds forming in the trees, ready to start carpeting the lawns later in the month.

Before we get on to the task of sweeping up all the fallen leaves, the gardening team will be busy lifting the cacti and other succulents from the Loudon Terrace. Don’t worry if you’re visiting the Birmingham Cactus and Succulent Annual Show on October 2, though, as you’ll still be able to admire them.

The cacti have really enjoyed the long, hot summer, as well as the recent rainfall, but they’re ready to be brought in to the nursery for the winter months, before we get the first frosts.

We’ll also be lifting some of the tender plants in the grass garden, including ensete (false banana), cannas, colocasia (taro) and brugmansia (angel’s trumpet), to make sure they survive the colder months.

There’s plenty of planting to do, too. We’ve hundreds of spring bulbs to get in around the gardens, including daffodils, dwarf Iris and alliums, so expect a riot of colour in early 2023.

Talking of colour, we’ll also be planting plenty of polyanthus on the Terrace, on the car park and around the bandstand, which will provide bright pops of colour in the coming autumn and winter days.

If your garden has some space where a new shrub would fit nicely, now is the time to plant it. It’s also a good time to move any established shrubs to a new spot as the ground is still warm and there’s usually plenty of rain to water them in. You may well see us planting a variety of perennials and shrubs around the gardens to plug some gaps.

Another good task for this month is to divide any herbaceous perennials – it gives you additional plants for no cost and helps to fill your borders with reinvigorated specimens – and if you still have any, collect the some of the seeds from your summer flowers to give you a head start for next summer’s borders.

When do you sow your sweetpeas? While many people stick to March, they can also be sown into pots in October – just keep them somewhere frost free for the winter and they should be ready to plant out in spring next year.

With half-term holidays on the horizon, why not enjoy the beauty of the Gardens with your young ones? We have children’s trails and activity packs that can help you while away a few hours, plus a wonderful playground and the super Pavilion Tea Room, where you can sit down with a well-earned hot drink and a piece of delicious cake.

You may not realise it, but the Gardens is an independent educational charity that receives no regular public funding. Instead, our income comes from generous public donations, grants as well as conferences, weddings and other events – plus entry fees and memberships. By supporting us, you are helping to preserve this fantastic Grade II listed space in Birmingham.

We also love to see your photos and videos. If you pay us a visit, please keep posting them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and let us know what you have enjoyed in particular on your visit here. We look forward to seeing you all this month.