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How to Plan an Autumn Border
Whether you agree that autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness or you find it melancholy, it's a time of firework colours in the garden. You don't need acres of woodland to have a blaze of autumn colour. There are plants that will give good autumn colour of every type and size range suitable for an average sized garden. Autumn colours come from foliage and fruit, but there are also some flowerers in brilliant reds and oranges. Many autumn performers have given a good display earlier in the year - Amelanchier for example. It's easy to get diverted by flower colour, but for good seasonal effects look at how, when, and where plants deliver colour and interest. Think about plants in terms of their height - aim for interest at each level - tall, middle, low and ground. Even in small gardens, make more impact with seasonal planting by grouping it in borders or areas rather than having it dotted about your garden. This workshop gives you some tips on plants to use to warm up your autumn border while the rest of your garden cools down. The following other Workshops will be helpful. How to plant and stake a tree, How to plant a shrub, How to plant a bulb in earth, How to plant a bulb in grass, How to plant a climber, How to move a tree or shrub, How to plant a container, How to do a container with mixed planting, How to do simple topiary, How to take advantage of microclimates.
you will need
Space in your garden or a border; autumn interest plants of all types; spade; fork; trowel; Optional: bark, cocoa shells or gravel to mulch the area.
Prepare the area. You may want to regroup some existing plants. Move the plants out that produce effects in later seasons. Make a sketch of the effect you are trying to create with your plants. If you need to, move the remaining plants to new positions. Plan your planting.
Start at the back of the area and move forward. Plant climbers, trees and large ERRORshrubs first. This will establish a backbone for your new autumn border. Water each individual plant as you plant it. Then move on to filling in the spaces with medium size and lower growing plants. Underplant low growing herbaceous plants with groups of autumn flowering bulbs. Remember to label these so that you can remember what's where.
When you have finished, water the border well. Then add a 5 cm layer of decorative bark mulch or cocoa shells to the area. Although this will get covered as the plants grow, it will help to retain moisture around their roots and also suppress annual weeds.
Go to the Superstore and check out the plant database for suggestions.
Prepare your site keeping only autumn plants
Make a rough plan of your planting
Concentrate on seasonal colour
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