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October Amateur Gardener Tips


Self-sown seedlings

Free plants, what could be better!



Time to think about evergreens which can and will provide colour and interest right through the coming Winter months:-




Several smaller growing Podocarpus take on startling colours in Autumn.    Podocarpus ‘County Park Fire’ which had salmon-pink new growth now changes to a rich reddish-orange.    Podocarpus nivalis ‘Kilworth Cream’ develops a pronounced creamy-white hue in Autumn.

Click here to view cultural information and advice on growing Podocarpus

Podocarpus 'Blaze'Podocarpus 'County Park Fire'Podocarpus nivilis 'Kilworth Cream'


Phormium 'Crimson Devil'Phormium 'Evening Glow'Another plant to provide Winter cheer are Phormiums.    The colour range available ranges from yellow to pink, red, purple and black.    Once the rest of the herbaceous border has been cut down and tidied away your phormiums take centre stage.

Click here to view cultural information and advice on growing Phormium


Pittosporum 'Frencfh Lace' Pittosporum 'Tiki'Pittosporum 'Warnham Gold'If it is a large evergreen variegated shrub you need to brighten up the garden as the leaves brown off why not try a Pittosporum.    Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘French Lace’ (plum coloured in Autumn), Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Warnham Gold’ (bright yellow) or Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tiki’ (pale greenish-blue) are all recommended and perfectly hardy in a normal Winter.

Cytisus Seed Collection

Do not leave it too late to collect seeds from your garden as plants die down.    Not just the annual plants which you can so easily re-grow next Spring (e.g. Nasturtium, Sweet William).    Why not be more adventurous and branch out into collecting seed from some of your choice shrubs?    Cytisus, Leycesteria and Tree Paonies, to mention just a tiny few, seed profusely and are easy to germinate.

We have a full article on collecting, storing and germinating seeds.
Make sure all the pots and tubs of patio plants are safely back inside the greenhouse.
Collecting Cytisus seeds 1click for larger image
Collecting Cytisus seeds 2click for larger image
Collecting Cytisus seeds 3click for larger image
Collecting Cytisus seeds 4click for larger image
Collecting Cytisus seeds 5click for larger image

Echinops for winter display

October is a good time to collect the heads of Echinops, they make a wonderful winter or christmas displays when sprayed.

Hand weeding around trees