Autumn seems to come later and later, and though I write this in the glaring heat of a normal English summer, I hope by the time you read this an Indian summer is in full swing. Let us assume a traditional autumn, this is the time for preparing most of your garden for bed, not unlike bears your average plant hibernates through winter and this is the time to help it on its way. I prefer to think that I am getting ready for spring.
First the weak and the sadly departed; pull out those annuals and cut back any perennials that are too fragile to make it though winter. Fill those holes with spring flowering plants (tulips, daffodils etc…) As time catches up with me, I have taken to making notes of what I have planted, nothing worse than not remembering the name of that fantastic tulip or even worse that hideous daffodil; the chances are you’ll choose it again next year. This is also a great time for hardy perennials, shrubs and even trees. If you have any plants that can be divided, now is the time to do it as well.
If you want late plants, chrysanthemums, impatiens, and pansies will do nicely.
Use all those beautiful leaves in your compost, but keep an eagle eye for any signs of disease. You do have to shred them and a lawn mower set on high seems to do the trick
Whilst you are at it pull out any remaining weeds and mulch the lot to keep things under control (ready for spring)
After you have finished all this, give your tools a good clean and oil them down to avoid rusting; nothing worse than heading to the garden in spring and finding nasty rusty tools. One last thing, if you have not insulated the outside tap, do it now, you will regret it if you don’t.
All in all a lot of work, but your garden needs all the care it can get, not just to survive the cold but much much more importantly, to get a head start in spring.