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.
The late fall is also an excellent time to start ordering new seed catalogues. With everything still fresh in the mind, you’ll know what needs to be grown where next year, what is not worth trying a second time, and which areas of the garden need to be spruced up.