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Autumn colour_5
British flower hour on Twitter last week was all about seasonality. Rather approriate when the year has most definitely turned and darker evenings and colder temperatures seem here to stay. British flower growers, like gardeners everywhere always have a foot in two camps – enjoying the here and now and planning for the future. Such was this week’s Twitter discussion.
Many of us are thrilled that we are still cutting buckets of flowers despite the weekend winds and heavy rain. In terms of what’s looking good well into October the following are favourites….
Japanese Anemone
Clary sage
Guelder rose and Spindleberry foliage
Hydrangea Limelight/Annabelle
Cotinus Royal Red (looks good with Sage)
Physocarpus ‘Diabolo’
Dill, Fennel (bronze particularly good), Hyssop
Elder (strip all leaves except for those at tip for good vase life)
Leycestaria formosa
Red curly kale & Ruby Chard
Choisya ternata
Chocolate Cosmos
Russian vine/Bindweed/Wild clematis/Virginia creeper – for making into wreaths (add pine cones and feathers)
Seedheads from libertia, crocosmia, phormium, astilbe (sprayed)
Carex ‘frosted curls’, Pampas grass

If you’re not growing many of these beauties this year they should surely be on the ‘to do’ list for next. Frankly my kids were thrilled when I started using chard in vases rather than on their dinner plates. (I’m just biding my time!) And look again at that list! That’s right. You can use bindweed to make a wreath. Who knew? I’ll see if I can find out a bit more about this as there’s plenty up for grabs.

Having enjoyed the fruits of last year’s labours picking buckets of blooms, it’s time to check out the seasonal tasks for your ‘to do now’ list courtesy of #britishflowers Twitterati.

Insulating greenhouse
Seed head collecting/preserving for wreaths (Use 1 part glycerine:2 parts hot water – leave until all taken up)
Wreath making (see plant material ideas above)
Feather collecting (ask local game dealer), twig collecting
Bulb planting – including paperwhites at 10-day intervals for longer flower season. Remember wait until frosts before planting out tulips
Cleaning workrooms
Making leaf mould – collect in hessian sacks or black bags or wire bin (stab plastic bags with fork to allow air to circulate)
Pot washing
Path clearing (weeds and moss)
Remove worm casts from lawn (good for potting soil, as are molehills)

For school gardeners everywhere this is oh so useful. At a time when most gardeners are winding down and you’ve just got your class or gardening club for this school year enthusiastic, this provides hours of healthy, outdoor (and indoor) activity. I’ll be trying it post Half Term this week.

So there you have it what to do now to reap a flowery harvest next year.
Good luck, my friends.