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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Enjoy this spare time by playing in your Autumn Garden

While we are all at home for at least another few weeks, it might be time to give your garden some love. There is great solace for us as humans in being in a garden and closer to nature.  Our little patch of the earth might really appreciate the care and attention that we could give it right now and we will definitely benefit. I have always thought the joy of gardens is about creativity and hope, as much as anything else.  We plan and plant in anticipation of growth and renewal, we understand it takes time and are prepared to wait for the miracle of flowers or autumn leaves. It is a truly inspirational pastime.

Autumn Garden Tips

Time to harvest the last of summers bounty, turn a basil crop into a delicious pesto.

Unless you were one of the clever, forward thinking people that got to the garden centres before they closed, we may not have fresh plants or potting mix available but there is still plenty that we can do.

A garden shed is like most people’s pantries, filled with forgotten and unused bounty. There are usually leftover fertiliser bags, unplanted seed packets, compost or half used bags of soil.  You might be surprised at how much you find!!  Now is the time to use all these up and give your garden and yourself some care, sunshine and fresh air.

Autumn Gardens NZ

Last of the summer flowers.  Cosmos, Salvia leucanthe and even a Hydrangea Raspberry Crush make an Autumn splash.  Keep dead heading and they will last through until May.

What to do in your Autumn Garden

  • Trim back any spent flower heads on shrubs or roses and trim back perennials, many of which will be lanky and unsightly by now. This is a perfect time to remove any deadwood from woody perennials such as lavenders and trim them ready for a spring flush;
  • Some bulbous perennials such as dahlias might almost be ready for lifting and storing. If not, cut them back ready to lift later. Other plants such as Star jasmine will be sending up wild new lanky growth. This could normally be trimmed back right now;
  • It is a perfect time to divide plants and/or transplant them, while the soil is still slightly warm and there are more regular rain showers. Some plants may not have survived the drought. Now is the time to take them out and plan for their replacement;
  • Take a good look at the garden, are there crowded plants, could they be transplanted, some removed completely to make room for others? This is the perfect time to plan for the perfect garden next spring;
  • Fertilize and compost most plants now, giving them that extra boost to get through winter. You may even get a final flush of roses still to brighten your days. Camellias and azaleas would especially love the help from a feed before they flower;
  • Weeds would have started in full force with the autumn rain. This is the best time to get on top of them and then when you can, you will be ready for your winter mulching and composting programme;
  • March/April is the perfect time to fertilize if you can dig out those unused bags in your garden shed;
  • If you have seed available, check your lawn for bare patches and re-sow along with a liquid fertilizer if you have it. Aerate any compacted areas of the lawn with a garden fork, making sure these autumn rains sink in;
  • Check the irrigation system now so that you discover any problem areas, ready for winter maintenance;
  • Pick up autumn leaves and make your own compost. Use some leaves for fun projects for your children there are some great ideas on-line for this.
Trim lavenders lightly in Autumn ready for the spring flush of growth.  Keep water on your citrus through a dry Autumn.

Trim lavenders lightly in Autumn ready for the spring flush of growth.  Keep water on your citrus through a dry Autumn.

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Please do feel free to get in touch, we would love to hear what you’re doing to keep yourself busy during lockdown.

Phone: (09) 421 1412
Email: contact@shaferdesign.co.nz

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