A last-minute spurt of action is often needed at this time of year, to get the garden ready for winter and ensure protection for plants that need it. In many areas the cold will already have taken its grip, but in warmer climates there are still mild days to be enjoyed.
Besides tackling the many jobs described here, the fall is also a good time of year to think of redesigning the garden. While most plants are dormant you can put up pergolas and arches, build walls, design new beds, lay paths (avoiding areas where they will get covered by leaves which become mushy and slippery in wet weather) and dig ponds. It is better that new ponds are left to be filled by rainwater over winter, thus avoiding the chemicals in tap water, which can lead to the growth of quick-spreading algae.
Many persons hold out for the weather to become warmer prior to planting their vegetable garden. Nonetheless, there are a number of dedicated individuals who will be starting their herb gardens indoors this year. One consideration that must be made, when choosing what herbs to plant, is to be aware of which herbs grow effectively indoors. One good choice is basil.
Only a few herbs can be cultivated with success inside. This is generally either on account that there is not an adequate amount of light or the indoor temperature is not suitable for that specific plant. Basil is a great choice since it is fairly flexible when it comes to sunshine. It may not perform as well inside as outdoors but it is possible to grow.
Calliandra is a popular plant in the U.S. but rarely grown in Great Britain. The leaves are made up of a large number of segments and the flowers are made up entirely of stamens. It blooms in winter and the ‘powder-puffs’ last for 6-8 weeks.
Calliandra inaequilatera has bright red flowers and dark green foliage. A better choice is the hardier Calliandra tweedii – the flowers are smaller and the leaves are feathery. Calliandra surinamensis has perfumed pink powder-puff and tiny, fine leaves. It’s hardy, compact rounded bush. Calliandra haematocephala has vivid pink, big powder-puff flowers from October to May. Native to Bolivia, this plant becomes a small tree with many-segmented, eight-inch leaves. Calliandra californica gets 6 ft. x 6 ft. in an open, vase-shaped shrub and red puffball flowers. Its dark green leaves are like tight miniature ferns, overshadowed by red spikey flowers.
Stephanotis (also known as Madagascar jasmine) is usually associated with bridal bouquets, but it can also be grown as a free-flowering house plant. The word “stephanotis” comes originally from two Greek words, ‘stephanos’, meaning ‘crown’. In the language of flowers, stephanotis signifies ‘marital bliss’.
Stephanotis grows as a tropical evergreen vine that bears white flowers. It can be grown inside if certain conditions are met. It is a beautiful but difficult plant – it hates sudden changes in temperature, needs constant cool conditions in winter and is attractive to scale and mealy bug. For best flowering, it should be kept free of drafts in a location that remains at about 70 °F during the day and about 55 °F at night.
Once the summer flowers are over, conifers come into their own, both as a contrast to the colors of deciduous trees and shrubs, and later as welcome green features through the winter. There is a conifer for every size garden; they vary from neat, mounded dwarf forms, slow-growing, slim-line vertical trees which eventually reach 3m (10ft) high, to others with beautiful grey-blue foliage to monsters which grow 30m (100ft) high.
They can be used to provide a wide range of effects including windbreaks on the garden boundary, ornamentals for their shape and colored foliage, and architectural features adding extra interest from fall to spring. They can be very effective in formal Italian or Eastern-style gardens.
This article will help you identify and treat the most common ailments that might befall your roses. They fall into two categories: insect pests and microbial diseases.
Some insects are beneficial to your roses, but many like to chow down on the leaves and buds. In most circumstances, it’s best to treat the plants with insecticides only when you see the pests or their effects; otherwise, you can weaken the plant by killing the good insects as well as the bad. The following section discusses how to identify and treat infestations of common rose-attacking insects.