Getting Muddy in your Autumn garden

The garden at Muddy Herts HQ is a bit of a mish-mash, if I’m honest.  We’ve worked hard on the front garden this summer – but there’s still loads to do, not least of which is wrestling with the whomping wisteria before it invades the loft.  And the back is an intoxicating cocktail of veg patch, compost heap, slugs, trampoline, football goal and what we optimistically refer to as ‘the lawn’ — right now, covered with a layer of fallen leaves.


And when there’s the occasional  sunny day, I do want to get out there – or supervise Mr C getting out there – but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do.  Should I be bedding everything down for the Winter?  Seems a bit early, really.  Or are there bits I can be doing now that will help it all look a bit more like I want it to?

Cercis canadensis

Not being an expert, I asked Helen Reeley, of Berkhamsted’s Reeley Landscapes, what I could get out there and do.  She’s always good for some cracking – and very practical – advice.  So, get your gardening gloves on – here are Helen’s top tips for Autumn…

1.  Plant one very special tree.   Want to make a statement? Check out Cercis canadensis (or, for us mere mortals, the ‘Forest Pansy’) and I dare you not to be totally smitten.


2. Plant bulbs in containers. Compost the summer display in your pots & plant bulbs topped with violas.  Voila!  Instant colour and the promise of more to come.


3. Plant bulbs in the lawn.  It’s unbelievably easy.  Just dig and lift a spade-sized chunk out of the lawn, chuck ‘em in, replace the sod firmly, water – and then  watch them grow year after year.  And they will breed & spread without you having to do anything else at all.


4. Do nothing.  Well, ok, to be more specific, leave annual flowering seed heads well alone.  The seeds will either fall and germinate for next year – or they’ll feed the birds over the winter.


Let me know which tree you choose!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire