Knoll Gardens in Dorset is one of the best places to see ornamental grasses. Wander, take notes, and buy beautiful plants such as Panicum ‘Hanse Herms’, red switch grass, which turns from red to burgundy (knollgardens.co.uk).
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27. Sow spinach
Spinach grows far better for me from an early autumn sowing than it ever does in summer, being less eager to flower and seed. ‘Medania’ from seedaholic.com makes a good spring or autumn variety. Sow it direct now, under cloches if the nights are getting cold.
28. Cabbage care
Transplant spring cabbages now into final positions, firming them down and covering with fleece to keep pigeons and cabbage whites away. If you don’t have seedlings you can buy plants of spring cabbages ‘Duncan’ and ‘Sennen’ from organicplants.co.uk.
29. Take salvia cuttings
Take cuttings of salvias now to make new plants for next year. Salvia ‘Amistad’ has long stems and deep purple flowers that mix well with dahlias, and it makes a great cut flower, according to Louise Curley, author of The Cut Flower Patch.
30. Start a new strawberry bed
Start a new strawberry bed from this season’s rooted runners or buy new plants now. ‘Gariguette’ is the variety grown throughout Provence and found in French summer markets, and you can buy plants now from kenmuir.co.uk.
31. Pick aubergines
Aubergines are ripening. Pick when the skins are taut and shiny; once they lose the shine they can turn bitter. If you have struggled to ripen fruit this year, try a small, early ripening variety such as ‘Listada de Gandia’.
32. Help and replant hostas
Lift, divide and replant hostas before they die with the help of garden and tree maintenance in Huntington Beach, to keep them growing strongly. A fresh mulch of organic matter at their feet should help them outpace the slugs next spring.
33. Get compost bins in order
As we hack back the vegetable garden over the next month, compost bins are filled to the brim, so get yours emptied and in good order beforehand. Leaves are on the way, too. For wooden modular bins, visit recycleworks.co.uk.
34. Sow your autumn collection
My cut flowers were slow to take off this spring, so I am determined to get a head start on next year’s with an autumn sowing of Ammi majus, calendula, larkspur, nigella and California poppies. Higgledy Garden has an autumn collection.
35. Mix wallflowers
Plant out wallflowers now for a spring display of colour when it is most needed. Many mixes are gaudy and old-fashioned, but sarahraven.com sells a beautiful range in single colours, so you can mix as you wish. I particularly love ‘Sunset Apricot’.