Gardener’s Blog – September 2015

After an action-packed summer, our gardeners are preparing the gardens for the cooler conditions and shorter days that autumn and winter bring. The soil will still be warm from the summer sun. This mixed with the odd rainfall makes the perfect planting conditions.

Chris and her fellow gardeners are busy changing the summer displays for winter bedding. Polyanthus and Bellis are currently being grown in the nursery ready to brighten up the gardens.

New bulbs will also be planted, ready to spring into action next year and tender plants will be taken to the nursery for the winter to ensure they survive for next year.

Nothing in our gardens goes to waste and as autumn comes we will use the fallen leaves to make next year’s compost. Last year’s leaves will return to our beds this month as compost to help our plants grow.

The team will certainly be keeping fit as there are four miles worth of hedge cutting if you count the front back and top of the hedgerow. This will be the last time they need trimming this year.

The Memory Pool, a new feature that gives visitors a place to remember their loved ones, will be planted with vibrant white flowers to maintain a reflective and meditative atmosphere. The plants will also fit in nicely with the woodland area where the pool is located.

The refurbishment of the Children’s Discovery Garden will also continue this month as Chris and the gardeners will sow new areas of grass ready for children to enjoy while they’re happily playing.

September highlights include the Dahlias, as they will still be as bold and colourful as they were in the summer. See them in the Story of Horticulture Garden. Cyclamen hederifolium will also be adding a spot of colour as they start appearing around the garden this month.

We also can’t forget about the changing colour of the trees, which is a beautiful sight in September. Try to catch the Cercidiphyllum japonicum in the Rhododendron Walk as it ends in a blaze of rich orange, yellow and red. It also has a strong (and surprising!) smell of candyfloss. This is Chris’ favourite plant for the month.

As for Wayne – who specialises in indoor plants – his personal favourite is the Tapeinochilos ananassae. This plant is a relative of the spice ginger and is native to Indonesia. Its common name is wax ginger, which refers to the glossy wax-red of the inflorescence, which contains many individual flowers. Make sure you see this in our Tropical House.

As for your own gardens, now is the perfect time to take cuttings of your favourite tender plants. Pelargoniums (geranium), Fuchsia, Solenostemon (Coleus) and Salvia are all examples of plants which would not usually survive the British winters if left outside.

Tender perennials will also need lifting now to avoid the cold temperatures but hold off lifting cannas and dahlias until there has been a frost. If you have any gardening tips of your own, remember to share them on Twitter and tag @BhamBotanicalGd.