What to grow in autumn
As the summer months draw to a close, you might be surprised by the variety of shrubs and flowers still available at your local garden centre, as well as seeds and bulbs that you can plant in the coming months, ready to flower a year from now.
Gardening takes some planning, but with a few smart selections, you can still add colour and life to your garden this winter, while also looking ahead to an even more vibrant shrubbery in the run-up to Christmas next year.
Here’s our pick of just a few plants and flowers to grow in autumn, which should keep your flowerbeds looking fantastic well into the new year.
Also called Red Hot Poker for their long stems and bright colours, Kniphofia is hardy, easy to grow and perennial, with a huge flowering season that can last from March right through to November.
Best of all, if you don’t like dead-heading at the end of the flowering season, just leave the heads on – they’ll help to protect the plant against frost until early spring.
Kniphofia is best planted in March and April but can also be planted in early autumn, as long as there’s still time for it to develop its hardiness in its new home.
Snowdrops, known also as Galanthus since the 1750s, are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in the new year and love shady spots around tree trunks.
They’re best planted either from bulbs in early spring or ‘in the green’ just after they finish flowering, and they should need little to no attention to thrive over many years.
While they’re not really an autumn plant, they herald the winter months and the start of the new year, making them a valuable way to keep your garden in bloom until spring arrives.
Sedum, also known as stonecrops, offers plenty of variety and long-lasting flowers and foliage, in some cases blooming right through the autumn months and well into winter.
Their frosty-looking foliage is bang on-trend for the autumn-winter season, so whether you choose a variety that’s rich with flowers or a hardy evergreen stonecrop, sedum should see you through to the new year in style.
Pretty little asters take their name from their star-shaped flowers – think asteroid or asterisk – and are always a welcome late arrival to the party, blooming in colourful bursts in late summer and autumn.
They’re a popular choice among purple-lovers, as you can get asters in almost every shade of purple, as well as pink, blue and other colours too.
Depending on the variety, lavender will usually bloom in mid to late summer, but the grey-green foliage stays all year round and is a perfect match for the muted, frosty colours of winter.
Once the plant has finished flowering, it’s also a good time to prune it back quite heavily, to prevent the shoots from becoming woody.
This way, you get a well-shaped lavender plant to enjoy through the autumn and winter, while ensuring a good amount of fresh growth and flowers the following spring and summer.