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October Woodland Garden Tips


Grass Cutting

Second grass cutclick for larger image

Now that the growing season is over it is sensible to complete a quick second grass cut in woodland areas. This means that any re-growth of brambles, nettles and other invasive weeds is kept in check.  More importantly, you will have a neat well mown lawn around your woodland plants which will allow daffodils, bluebells, primroses and violets to stand out next spring.  If lumpy grass tussocks are left this effect will be nowhere near as good.



Pruning Campsisclick for larger image

Campsis will have just about finished flowering now and can be pruned back hard to encourage more flowers next August/September.  Campsis flower on the new growth and, without pruning, flowers can be sparse.

Magnolia Seeds

Magnolia seedsclick for larger image

Magnolia seeds are ready to collect when the seed pods start to turn purple or pink and start to split open to show individual orange seeds. Collect individual seeds and over-winter them in dry (but not damp or heated) conditions where they are safe from mice ready for planting in the spring.
For more information on storing a propagating Magnolia seeds see our care article or our article on how to collect and store seeds.

Drying hydrangea

Drying hydrangeas

Some varieties of hydrangea make excellent dried flowers and will retain their colour if dried slowly in a dry but unheated shed.
See our care article for more detailed pictures and instructions on dead heading hydrangeas.

Collecting Camellia Seeds

Collecting Rhododendron Seeds

Collecting rhododendron seedsclick for larger image
Rhododendron seed pods splittingclick for larger image

Collect Rhododendron seeds when the seed pods turn brown and start to split open.  Store the seed in dry conditions ready for sowing in the spring.

For further instructions on collecting and storing rhododendron seeds see our rhododendron care article or article on how to collect and store seeds.

Scented Camellias

Sasanqua camellias will start to flower now.  Most have good scent from quite a distance on still days.  Woodland Gardens without a sasanqua miss out on a great opportunity to extend the flowering season. Unlike the vast majority of trees Tilia henryana also flowers now

Camellia sasanqua pinkCamellia narumigataParadise GlowCamellia Sparkling BurgundyCamellia Jean May


The taller stems of many bamboos make excellent autumn colour. To improve the overall effect remove side shoots from the bottom of the colourful canes. Many may be dead at this time of year anyway.


pruning & tidying bambooclick for larger image
pruning & tidying bambooclick for larger image
pruning & tidying bambooclick for larger image
pruning & tidying bambooclick for larger image
pruning & tidying bambooclick for larger image

Hedge Trimming