The days are getting shorter and colder, and yes, the summer is truly over. Yet the heralding of Autumn does not have to dampen our moods, as much as many of us would like to enter hibernation around about now. Instead, we are advocating that you embrace the Autumn, for all the opportunities it brings us as gardeners. When else do you have such a gorgeous, rich colour palate of yellows, oranges, reds and browns in nature to provide such inspiration for our gardens and homes? Take a walk in the countryside or park this weekend and take a moment to look around you and appreciate the wealth of colour. Then, compare this palette to that which you see in your own garden and home. Are you perhaps missing a few shades? If so, now is the time to visit the garden centre to include some Autumn interest to your garden. Maples have such stunning leaves this time of year, they really are a must have plant. Blueberries also have stunning, colourful leaves this time of year, so they a really are an all-rounder having produced such sumptuous fruits earlier in the season. Stag’s horn sumach, euonymus, cotoneaster and viburnum varieties look particularly well this time of year. Don’t forget those plants whose branches provide pops of colour, such as Cornus varieties. You can congratulate yourself now if you planted nerine bulbs earlier in the season, for they will be stunning now. But if you are looking for an instant splash of colour for pots and containers, some pansy and cyclamen bedding will work really well.
And why should all this lovely colour be just for outside the home? Our stylist has been busy at work in our stores in Cork and Wexford, and there are so many ideas for adding that autumnal touch indoors. Why not copy a few of these ideas? Add a variety of pumpkins around the front door. It doesn’t have to be Halloween-like or kitsch, some well-placed and subtle touches can create an elegant Autumnal display. Mantlepieces and coffee tables are ideal spots to add extra houseplants, candles, pumpkins, and ornaments. And don’t forget to add interest to your bookcase or whatever shelving is behind you, for during those Zoom calls or for that Instagram moment.
Lastly, Autumn is not just about now – it’s about preparation for the seasons ahead. Tidy up those paths to have clear walkways around your garden and safe paths for the darker, wetter months ahead. And, though it seems so long away, think about Spring! We’ve so many bulbs in store now, which, with a small bit of effort on your part now, will reward you with those exciting first shoots and splashes of colour in the Spring.
But for now, enjoy the cosy feeling of the crisp, clear days; the colour; the satisfaction of tidying up around the garden; and appreciate this Autumnal feeling and this colourful time of year.