October in the Garden 2019

Friday, 27 September 2019  |  Alison

October in the Garden

Much as we may not want to see summer days slipping away for another year, there is something special about the sunlight during October, especially on warm days, that makes it a pleasure to walk around the garden and appreciate the last vestiges of late summer flowers and watch the long shadows spread across the lawn.  The gradual sweep into autumn means that it is time to start to put the garden in some sort of order for the coming colder months so with this in mind:-

Here are the Brookside Nursery Timely Tips for October –

Time to Aerate and Scarify the Lawn – October is a good month to give your lawn some TLC. It may have had heavy footfall over the last few months and be compacted.  Aerate particularly trodden areas with a garden fork pushed in and wiggle the prongs about to make air holes.  If the area is really thread bare then sow some grass seed now.  Scarify to clear patches of moss and thatching caught in the lawn which can accumulate over time which can starve the grass of oxygen, fertiliser and water. Just rake over the area vigorously and you may well be amazed at the mass of debris you rake up.  The lawn may look a little ruffled and messy afterwards but it will soon recover and in the long term will look much more healthy.

Time to dig over the Veg Patch - In readiness for winter, and next spring, it is a good idea to dig over any bare areas of your veg patch whilst the soil is still warm. Turning the soil will loosen it and also get rid of most of unwanted weeds and plants that have either set seed or sent runners or roots out that have grown in the wrong spot.    

Time to tidy strawberry plants -   I always seem to end up with hundreds of alpine strawberries and their runners each autumn and apart from keeping a few every year, I thin them out to just a few. But, there they are the following year, a myriad criss-cross of dainty strawberries and their many runners! Thankfully I love alpine strawberries and if I can beat the birds to a few handfuls of tasty, tiny strawberries then I am happy.

Time to sow some Hardy Annuals – In a spare bit of cleared earth try sowing a few hardy annual flowers in the first week of October at the latest. If you sow a few seeds now they will germinate before the cold weather sets in and be stronger more robust plants, flowering earlier next summer giving vital pollen to bees and other pollinating insects.  

Time to Pick Your Pumpkins - October is traditionally pumpkin time, so if you have been growing any for eating, lift them before the first frosts so that they store well.  With Halloween celebrated on the last day of the month make sure that you pick your pumpkin a week or so before to give the skin a chance to harden and then start designing your pumpkin face!

Time to plant Spring Bulbs - Order spring bulbs now, especially tulips, so that you can get the varieties that you like.  Narcissus and other bulbs can be planted now but leave the tulip planting until November when the ground has become colder.  This helps reduce any diseases rotting the bulbs and depleting your displays.

Time to think about Christmas Gifts for Gardeners - We have increased our range of Gardening Gifts this season, so take a look at the website to get a few ideas for the gardener in your life! If you can’t decide then we have Gift Vouchers that may be redeemed on anything on our website.

October is a month that flies by, especially when Half Term is thrown into the equation, so the more tasks you can get on top of during the earlier part of the month, when temperatures are still warm, the better.

So on that note, I am hoping to dodge the next rain ‘drop’ and get into the garden whilst the sun is still shining.

Happy Gardening!


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Thursday, 5 September 2019  |  Alison
September in the Garden

I hope that your gardens, vegetable plots, hanging baskets, allotments, balconies, pots or window boxes have brought you joy this summer. My garden has been very green this summer and I have loved it.  What a difference from last year’s drought, unbearably hot temperatures making plants go into hibernation and the rather unbecoming straw-like lawn that miraculously recovered as soon as the rain touched it.  That’s is one of the things I love about gardening – you know what you are hoping for from plants, but nature may have other plans, and you have to go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

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Wednesday, 31 July 2019  |  Alison
High Summer in the garden 2019

What a summer of contrasts we are having this year; one day it is scorching hot and railway cables are melting and the next day we have thousands of lightning strikes and thunderstorms sweeping across the UK causing flooding; this all keeps us gardeners on our toes whatever the weather.

July and August are generally our hottest months of the year and it is also holiday time for many of us, so with this in mind I have put together a reminder of small tasks that may need doing in your garden over the high summer months.

Brookside Nursery Top Tips for the summer months:-

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1 CommentWednesday, 24 July 2019  |  Alison
Madeira in May

With the annual spring Flower Festival taking place in Madeira, usually during May, it is arguably one of the best times to visit the island of Madeira, especially if you are a garden and flower lover.  Spring is celebrated Madeiran style, when communities and families come together and the streets alongside the wide sea facing promenade are brimming with a sumptuous procession of floats adorned with colourful and exotic flower displays.  Troupes of children and adults are equally adorned in bright and imaginative floral costumes, each bearing a flower tiara, corsage or bouquet. There are pavement flower carpets, floral street murals, competitions for best dressed shop windows and many flower stalls, all making a hugely vibrant and scented spectacle.  So, with a tourist book of gardens to visit, I flew to sub-tropical Madeira in May with a fellow gardening friend, both of us keen to enjoy a week visiting some gardens, take in the ambience of Madeira and generally relax by the hotel pool and catch up.

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