Seasonal September

The year is certainly moving on and fast at that! Autumn is just beginning, crops ripening, trees changing colour, colder weather and a shortening of days.

Some forecasts say it will be a harsh winter, but we of course are hoping not as it could affect our work. It has been a great summer weather wise for us, plenty of rain as well as sun which means everything has been growing. Last year (2018) was a difficult summer for the industry as it was very hot with little rain so 2019 has definitely seen an improvement!

September had some warmer days, luscious sunshine with the air feeling fresher. The clear sunny days have also seen us have some colder nights and with heavy dew in the morning on the lawn, it really is the start of the season of mists and early frosts.

So, what have we been doing this month?  We have had two new apprentices start with us within our Grounds Maintenance Division. We will be catching up with them soon to see how their first few weeks have been.


We have sponsored Portishead Town Girls U10’s Rangers. Portishead Town Junior Youth are a not-for-profit grassroots football club who offer junior football to around 800 boys and girls aged between 5 and 16 and also have both men and women’s senior teams.

This sponsorship has provided new training tops for the squad of 17 girls which they will use for training, tournaments and also as an away kit. The girls will be playing regular games in the Bristol Girls league for their second season following a really successful first season last year. The squad has grown from 8-17 in the last 18 months alone. We are extremely glad to be able to sponsor the team and are looking forward to seeing their new kit on the pitch and how their season goes.

We promoted ‘FSC Friday’. An annual event hosted by Forest Stewardship Council designed to raise awareness about responsible forest management; the best way to keep using forest products and keep our forests too.

The aim is to increase awareness of FSC so that more people choose FSC certified products more of the time. These choices can be personal, like choosing garden furniture, greeting cards or even toilet paper.

As a company Elmtree only use FSC timber. We buy a large amount of timber for fencing, decking, planter construction, sheds and other outdoor buildings. We also plant thousands of trees per year which helps to offset our carbon footprint further.

Looking at photos of the courtyard garden for the Multifaith Room at the RUH Bath, a year on from completion, we can see it is thriving. Elmtree installed the topsoil, planting, composite decking and benches.

We will also be getting Woody, our bear back very soon. We will have him positioned on our own decking area outside our new office. The decking is exactly like the Wild Place Bear Walk decking, which we built so Woody would feel at home. We will also be sending him around to a couple of local schools to meet the children.

So, what about October? The garden still has much to keep us occupied!


Essential check list for October:

  • Time for planting; start planting trees and shrubs
  • Rake up fallen leaves and make leafmount regularly
  • Lay turf to make new lawns
  • Collect berries from trees and shrubs for sowing
  • Give conifer hedges a last trim
  • Plant climbers, lily and tulip bulbs
  • Protect alpines from wet winter weather
  • Insulate greenhouses
  • Lift and store dahlias, gladioli and other summer flowering bulbs
  • Lift and divide rhubarb

Last chance to:

  • Sow grass seed in milder areas
  • Finish planting spring bedding
  • Harvest apples and pears
  • Lift and store potatoes and carrots
  • Finish planting autumn onion sets and garlic


October Garden Tips: Clear leaves. The simplest method of clearing leaves off the lawn is to run over them with a lawn mower. The cutting action of the mower blades will help to shred the leaves and make them quicker to rot down. Collect leaves this way once a week – any longer and the grass will start to grow long and get harder to cut.  For clearing patios, paths and other surfaces, a leaf blower is a better bet. Either blow the leaves onto the lawn for the mower to pick up or blast them on to a tarpaulin and drag them to the compost heap.

Bring tender plants under protection. If you’ve got tender plants, such as canna, now’s the time to bring them indoors before they get killed by the frost. Choose a light, frost-free place such as a greenhouse or coldframe. Then keep them on the dry side during the winter, so they don’t put on much growth. The plants can then be brought back into growth in spring by gradually increasing the amount of water they receive

Turn the compost heap. As the garden is tidied in preparation for winter, lots of material is generated for composting. To encourage it to rot down quickly, turn the contents regularly to stir it up and allow in lots of air. In the colder weather, the rate of decomposition will naturally decrease, but it will soon speed up during warmer spells.

Don’t forget we love seeing your garden work too and especially love seeing autumn photos of the beautiful colours this season has to offer. Share your photos with us via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.