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SeptemberIn the Garden This Month
September is a month of change in the garden as the temperature begins to dip giving us misty mornings and cooler nights. Plants react to this change and begin to ‘harden up’ for the winter months. Growth slows and evergreens begin to take on a richer hue, whilst deciduous plants prepare for natures firework display of autumn colours.
Late borders are aglow with members of the daisy family - the rich shades of gold and orange Rudbeckias and Heleniums, whilst Michaelmas Daisies add their cushions of colour ranging from searing magenta pink to cool blues and mauves. Japanese Wind Flowers (Anemone) add height and elegance to the late border with their floaty flowers in soft pinks and white.
Some plants, including Virginia Creepers and ornamental Vines have already heeded the drop in temperature and coloured richly to orange and red. The falling leaves catch your eye with their bright colours. Spider’s webs are picked out on dewy mornings, glistening in the sun whilst the flower heads of grasses, attractive at any time, add a new dimension when wet.
The vegetable garden gives up the last of the summer crops and autumn fruits including apples, pears and autumn raspberries ripen for use and storing. Fruit also ripens in the hedgerows; Sloes, Rose hips and Elderberries all provide food for birds and mammals starting their pre winter feast.
Chainsaws echo in woods as we humans prepare for winter warmth and birds begin to flock together in larger numbers. Swallows leave for warmer climes after a final mass gathering on wires, chatting excitedly to each other. Many winter visitors begin to arrive on estuaries and wetlands.
Late butterflies still clatter around on sunny days but will soon hibernate for the winter in dry sheds and spare rooms. Craneflies (Daddy Long Legs) emerge from their Leather jacket larvae and take to the air, tempted into houses at night by lights. Fungi appear in woodlands, including many that are edible but make sure that you are certain of the varieties before trying anything new!