How to have the perfect autumn garden

We asked our green-fingered experts how to fulfil your autumn bloom while preparing for the winter months

autumn garden
fall colour, rudbeckia flowers in autumn garden

What should we be doing in the garden now

Summer is synonymous with gardening, and it seems even people who avoid the outdoors still can’t help but feel green-fingered during sunshine season. You’d be right in thinking the majority of gardening successes happen in the warmer months, but winter time is actually a great opportunity to start laying down the foundations for your garden to bloom all year round and create a beautiful autumn bloom. David Jessop, Marshalls plc’s landscaping expert, shares some handy tips on how to prepare your garden for winter, while still maintaining your autumn bloom.

Low maintenance landscaping

Sculpting your garden landscape needn’t be something reserved for the warmer months, as there are plenty of simple ways to create some interest in winter. Segment your outdoor space with an area of colour and consider adding railway sleepers. Robust and beautiful, introducing sleepers add both form and function into your garden, and imparts more height and texture in the colder months.

Protection from the elements

Plant positioning: With winters here in the UK appearing to get wetter and wetter, flooding and water-logging could have a damaging impact to your garden. Help protect your plants and switch your foliage to raised beds – the added height helps keep the frost at bay.

Pave the way: Choosing the right paving for your garden is an important factor to consider at all times of year, but when winter hits, the right paving can also act as a tool to protect your lovingly crafted outdoor space. You can help prevent flooding in your garden by installing permeable paving, allowing rain water to drain away quickly without the worry of it pooling or collecting on the surface.

No-fuss plants

Planting slow-growing foliage and hardy perennials which flower in winter will help give your garden the luscious look every gardener wants to achieve. If you carefully select plants with a slow grow rate, it means you benefit from a year-round flash of colour, creating a fantastic autumn garden.

Here are some examples of the best slow-growing plants:

Buxus – With the ability to be shaped and cut into any form you desire, these shrubs offer the ultimate in flexibility. Whether you choose a contemporary finish with buxus planted in a uniformed style, or sporadically planted for a country chic style, this versatile plant can be the finishing touch to your garden.

Heather – Perfect for adding height and a touch of colour, winter-flowering heather gives a fantastic texture to both pots and planters, and comes in a variety of different shades, including pink, white and purple.

Pansies – Considered to be the gardener’s staple, winter-flowering pansies add flashes of individual colour to hanging baskets, beds, and containers.

Lavender – Beautiful in both colour and smell, lavender returns year after year and provides colour in all seasons. Perfect for the lazy gardener, lavender is incredibly low maintenance and only requires watering a couple of times a week.

Colourful containers

Bright hues and lively prints don’t have to just be reserved for the summer months – there are simple ways of adding bursts of colour without tonnes of summertime perennials. Plant pots with a pop of colour help to keep your autumn garden vibrant. Plastic planters with a bright hue will add immediate interest to your outdoor space if you’re looking to add green foliage. If neutral plant pots are more your thing, consider adding some winter flowering plants such as pansies and heather in there to give an extra pop of colour.

For more low maintenance garden ideas, head over to the Marshalls ‘Inspire Me’ section.

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Read more: The complete guide to gardening in spring
Read more: Tips to tidy the garden for autumn