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Well what strange weather we’re having at the moment, one minute torrential rain, then glorious sunshine and time to put on your shorts again. But don’t be fooled as when the cold weather does come it will hit your tender plants hard, so like the Boy Scouts’ motto, ‘be prepared’. Lift up all your bedding geraniums, and tender perennials, and get them into a frost free greenhouse or garden shed. If you have some tender plants that are either too big or heavy to move, then get out your fleece or plant cosies as it only takes one snap of frost to do the damage.

If you are lucky enough to grow tree ferns, plug up the crown in the top with either scrunched up fleece or moss as this will protect the new crosiers or fronds that will eventually push it out when the weather warms up in the spring. But whatever you do don’t use bubble wrap on your plants as this will sweat and cause condensation that will eventually rot your plants, so save it for your greenhouse.

Looking around at the trees and shrubs there is the first glimpse of autumn colour. This is usually activated by the so called drop in temperature at this time of year. The chlorophyll in the leaves starts to break down and then the less dominant pigments like carotene start to come to the foreground. Carotene is shown off by the colour orange as in carrots. It’s all clever stuff this plant naming thing you know. If that’s the case what was Trachycarpus Wagnerianus named after?
Plants I have noticed looking rather lovely at the minute are Nandina domestica ‘Fire Power’ with its striking evergreen leaves turning a beautiful hue of red. It’s a great all round plant but needs to be kept away from the hottest part of the day, as the leaves can show signs of scorching, but is easy to grow and is predominantly pest free. Also the witch hazels are again coming into their own with a massive array of beautiful autumn colours. At the Garden Centre we have an old parrotia persica which has just started to turn colour and will be a real picture in a week or two.

One plant which is a total must that I always have to grow is Vaccinium corymbosum or the Blue Berry which is showing no signs of any autumn colour at the minute but soon will turn and have nearly all the colours of the rainbow in its autumnal leaves. Blueberries are very easy to grow in the ground or in containers. They like an acidic soil and plenty of sunshine to ripen those lovely and rather expensive berries. A punnet of blueberries never goes very far so why not try and grow your own as the plants will soon pay for themselves. There are many different varieties on the market and by choosing the right ones will not only help increase pollination, thus more fruit, it will also increase the harvesting period. It’s a great all round plant and it has something for every season, beautiful white umbel flowers in spring producing lovely vitamin C laden berries and stunning autumn colour. What else could you ask for?

 
Devon Garden Centre
Sidmouth, Devon
Tel.   01395 516142
 
Garden Centre Devon
Totnes, Devon
Tel.   01803 863098
Trees, Shrubs and Bedding Plants
 
Devon Garden Centres
Hand Made Terracota Pots and Pithoi
Devon, Cornwall & Somerset
Tel: 01600 780416
 
Garden Centres Devon
Garden Sheds • Chalets
Pavilions • Summer Houses
Honiton, Devon
Tel.   01404 891499



 
Devon Garden Centres
 

• Garden Centres • Garden Products. • Garden Furniture. • Plants. • Leisure Furniture. • Shrubs. • Specialising in Hedging. • Glazed & Terracotta Pots. • Bedding Plants Hanging Baskets. • Rhododendrons & Azaleas. • Magnolias, Acers, Perennials. • For a Knowledgeable Service. • Garden Centres Devon •

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