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  • Debi Holland

Garden News Magazine October


Our ‘Indian Summer’ was exceedingly welcomed before nature flicked the switch on autumn. Warm, still evenings once more greeted us, the watering routine resumed, tomatoes were picked and the relaxing sound of snips deadheading filled the last hours of daylight. Bliss.

The harvest continues to roll in. Apples have been plentiful as were carrots, kale and beetroot. The Belfast sink and VW wheel planters have both been very productive this year but it is time to turf out the last remnants of crops and re-sow and re-grow.


The VW planters are destined for some autumn crops of spinach ‘Samish,’ kale ‘Candy Floss’ and another sowing of ‘Scarlet’ which has been fabulous!

The Belfast sink is going to have a change of purpose for autumn and be transformed into a mini perennial herb garden. After propagating herbs over the summer, many need potting on now so it will be good to move them to a new home. Cuttings of purple sage, lemon balm and rosemary will fill the space nicely alongside golden oregano and red veined sorrel. My Moroccan mint has a raised bed to itself – it didn’t start out like that but anyone who grows mint knows how it travels. Just as well I love mint tea!

In September I took part in the Horticulture Trade Association ‘Keep Britain Growing’ campaign ‘Million Planting Moments,’ which was to encourage people to get gardening this autumn. Gardening can help tremendously with mental health so the more we get outside, the better we feel. ‘Healthy Plants, Healthy Planet, Healthy People.’ I was sent some beautiful Allium ‘Rosy Dream’ bulbs to plant and will share their progress.

Wildlife is still out in full force as I write. Bees have been going ballistic on our ivy-clad silver birch and small white butterflies (a.k.a. the Cabbage White) Pieris rapae are happily enjoying the last throws of sunshine and their floral feasts.

The front garden has been a wash with shocking pink hues! After a cut back of red valerian which had gone to seed, it revealed the autumn stars: florescent blooms of Salvia ‘Day Glow,’ Gaura ‘RosyJane’ bought as a tiny plant from Hardy Plants at Gardener’s World Live many moons ago, daintily dances through the border intermingling with Hylotelephium (Sedum) ‘Autumn Joy’ grown from cuttings.

The back garden has been bathed in shades of green. Our potted Umbrella bamboo, Fargesia murieliae, was radiant in the early autumn light and carried us all through last winter with a beautiful show of lime green leaves, coupled with the gentle rustling sound as they move in the breeze. I treasure these quiet moments to collect my thoughts as I sit drinking a coffee in fire pit corner before the hectic day gets under way.

The bamboo sits alongside my prized Gingko biloba, Maindenhair tree. Both were kind gifts from a friend. Plants are wonderful at reminding you of people and times gone by – nearly every plant has a story. The exquisite shape of the living fossil leaves shining acid green with the sun streaming through them certainly stops you in your tracks.

Sorry to mention the ‘C’ word but I been growing cuttings of Pilea peperomiodes, Chinese Money Plant all year ready to reach a robust size for Christmas presents. Happy to have 25 healthy Pilea’s propagated awaiting their future homes.

My highlight:

Tiny sunflowers’ making a late appearance, grown from last year’s collected seed. So cute!


All photos © Debi Holland 2020