Autumn is here! September has seen the change in season and with that a change in temperature. It’s certainly feeling much cooler over the last few weeks and the beautiful burnt orange colours are starting to appear again.
There are so many exciting things about Autumn but before we go into that let’s just do a quick round up of the month.
As ever Elmtree’s Ground Maintenance team has continued to be hard at work, keeping on top of grass cutting on our many sites. We have also commenced construction of planters on the roof areas at Factory Number 1, in Bedminster for City and Country. The planters are being constructed using solid Oak sleepers. Our skilled landscapers have had a busy September working on these and we are excited to get some photos showing completion as early as next week! Factory No.1 is a new and exciting residential development located at the gateway to Bedminster, formerly the first tobacco factory. The newly built apartments are set around a beautiful terraced landscaped central courtyard together with a range of restored retail units and workspaces.
Keeping Bristol in mind, this month Elmtree’s very own Woody the Bear joined in with #brizzleweek. We took him to our favourite Bristol landmark to show him the sights of his home town. Brizzle week was a celebration of all things Bristol, hosted by the M Shed.
The week was filled with online talks exploring the identity, local lingo, and what Brizzle is known for. Have a look for yourself at https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/.
Elmtree was also invited to and is very much looking forward to attending #futurescapevirtual2020 event this year. The best landscaping trade show. It will be different to attend the show virtually but we are confident that the Pro Landscaper team will ensure it’s a success.
The RHS launched ‘Grow at home this Autumn’ which provided some excellent resources. They started off with a ‘bulb’ themed week which aimed to help over a half of UK adults (61%) who don’t know you should plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in autumn.
Sue Biggs, RHS director general, said: “Helping people to the garden is core to the RHS’ being, especially for the environment and their health, happiness and wellbeing. With the recent growth in gardening, many don’t know that autumn is arguably the most important gardening season, which is something we’re committed to changing by promoting and sharing the benefits of gardening now.’
October is a real month of transition and one of the most spectacular months in terms of nature’s display. Autumn colours are at their best and the leaves on trees begin to fall. Mornings often bring the first front and dew while there are still days of bright sunshine making it the perfect time to enjoy being outdoors. There is still plenty to do in the garden this month.
As we move into October it is an ideal month for planting large shrubs and trees, giving them plenty of time to get roots out before the next growing season. It’s also a good time to plant spring-flowering bulbs like allium and tulip varieties.
Things to do:
- Sow outdoors – Sow over-wintered broad beans, garlic, autumn-planting onions / shallots – including spring onion, spinach, winter lettuces (try oriental mustard leaves, or ‘Winter Gem’), winter-hardy peas.
- Harvest crops – Harvest beetroot, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chilli peppers, cucumber, kale, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, pumpkin, radishes, rocket, spinach, squash, swede.
- Prune perennials
- Protect plants not growing in pots once the temperature drops
- Collect and compost fallen leaves
- Tidy borders
- Dig up annuals and add to your compost heap.
- Replant with winter bedding plants, like pansies and violas
- Accelerate your compost production.
Autumn Wildlife Tips: Hedgehogs: the hedgehog is the UK’s most familiar wild animal. They love long grass full of insects to feast on once the sun has set. Hedgehogs hibernate over winter from around November to April, usually choosing to nest in piles of leaves or logs. Towards the end of autumn, hedgehogs consider the best places to build nests.
An autumn juvenile is a hedgehog that has recently left its mother in the autumn and is too small to hibernate. Autumn juveniles are very vulnerable. As the weather turns colder and their natural food supply becomes scarce they often struggle to reach the hibernation weight of 650 grams. They are picked up by members of the public who come across them during the day foraging for food, they quite often have a heavy intestinal worm infestation and lung worm. These little hogs need to be picked up, kept in the warm and passed to a local hedgehog carer, as soon as possible to maximise their chances of survival. Rescues can administer the specialised care they require and these hedgehogs are then treated and supported all the way through the winter by carers and released in the spring when the weather is mild and their natural food supply is in abundance. Any hedgehog under 450 grams in October will need to be rescued and overwintered. These hedgehogs are kept warm through the winter and released (usually where they were found) when the weather warms up in the spring and their natural food supply is plentiful.
- Keep a continuous supply of drinking water in your garden in shallow saucers.
- Provide escape routes from garden ponds – chicken wire at one end and steps the other.
- Keep rubbish sacks tied during the week. Hedgehogs often climb in a get taken away with the rubbish.
- Check sheds/garages and greenhouses for hedgehogs before closing the door.
- Move garden refuse a few feet before burning or forking. A pile of dead leaves etc. may well have a sleeping hedgehog inside.
- Cover all drains – this will protect your drainage system as well as hedgehogs.
- Cutaway or roll up the bottom of any netting in the garden. Climbing plants don’t need this but hedgehogs can easily get caught up and badly injured in it.
- Ever give cow’s milk or bread – it can cause illness and death in hedgehogs.
- Use slug pellets – hedgehogs will take care of the slugs.
- Move hedgehogs unnecessarily or take them home for your garden if there is nothing wrong with them. There is a risk that if a female she may well have a litter somewhere.
- Remove netting from a hedgehog that has been caught up. Phone a vet immediately.
- Worry about hedgehog fleas. They are a different variety from dog or cat fleas and will not live on family pets.
- Attempt to care for a wild hedgehog yourself, these little mammals require specialist care when injured, poorly, or orphaned.
October is one of our favourite months for many reasons; the beautiful colours, crispy leaves, autumn walks, pumpkins, the start of cosy jumpers and scarf season, cosy nights and of course Halloween. October brings a richness of colour to the garden, there are many gardens open to the public that are famous for their autumn show, such as Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloustershire. We even took a trip there to have a look and plan to go back over the next few weeks once the leaves have really started to change colour. Its also pumpkin season so a visit to a pumpkin patch may also be on the cards!