tulip flower

What to do in your garden in September

September is a month when many gardeners look not at the passing of summer but at the rejuvenation of their garden for the next year…

It is an unavoidable fact that some perennials start to look past their best after a few years – most often seen in them flopping outwards from the centre. To improve their look and fill in any gaps that have appeared elsewhere though is easy. Dig up the plant and with a sharp spade chop it into a few pieces (usually 2-4 depending on the side of the roots). Then trim the plant back (leaving a few leaves for photosynthesis to help the re-growth of the roots) and re-plant the pieces. 

It really is that simple. Just don’t cut the pieces too small and remember that if you’re unsure whether a plant can be divided, and want to double check, you can Google it!

Another way to fill in some gaps and provide additional spring interest is to get your spring bulbs ordered and planted – you just need to select the type of bulb and colour scheme. When it comes to planting, I find it best to plant in clumps (rather than neat rows). 

For a naturalistic effect you can fill an old pot with bulbs, cast them across the surface of the bed, and plant them where they fall. Also, the general rule of thumb is to plant at a depth so that the layer of soil over the bulb is equal in depth the the height of the bulb (i.e. small bulbs are planted more shallowly than larger bulbs), and in clay soil you may want to sit them on a layer of horticultural grit. 

Maybe try some interesting colour combinations – for tulips the light and dark of ‘Queen of Night’ and ‘Clearwater’, to name just one example of thousands, or perhaps Fritillaria imperialis and a yellow Narcissus.