Autumn colours

Seweby Hall & Gardens have been given the Yorkshire in Bloom Golden Rose award'PA1139-10a'Head Gardener Richard Spalding
Seweby Hall & Gardens have been given the Yorkshire in Bloom Golden Rose award'PA1139-10a'Head Gardener Richard Spalding

AS I write this it’s been 25c during the day. Talk about weird weather – the temperature is usually 16-18c this time of year.

Autumn is a lovely time to admire plants like Cotoneasters, the berries of which look spectacular this time of the year.

Cotoneaster horizontalis are covered with scarlet berries and usually last well into winter.

Cotinus coggygria (Smoke Bush) is stunning this time of the year for a foliage plant, it’s so attractive.

The purple foliage stands out, you cannot help but look and admire this beautiful shrub.

A tree we have in the gardens at Sewerby and looking good now is Robinia Frisia it’s a medium sized tree with rich golden leaves in autumn.

The advantage of this tree is that you can grow it as a shrub if you want. Cut it back hard in spring and this will keep it more compact.

If you do this and you have a small garden you can grow the Robinia Frisia as a shrub.

Spring bulbs make a stunning display in the greenhouse or conservatory, whether it’s the completely unheated or you keep it frost-free.

They flower several weeks earlier than bulbs outdoors when there’s not a lot of colour under glass, besides giving you something to tinker with in the winter when little else is growing.

The big benefit of having them under cover, apart from earliness, is that as they are up on the greenhouse staging where you can see them, they won’t be bashed about by bad weather and you can enjoy them in comfort yourself.

It’s a good time to sow seed or lay turf if you need a new lawn; the soil is still warm enough and there’s moisture in the soil, but not enough to make the soil unworkable.

I will always go for turf over seed because you get an instant lawn.

With seed it is very hit or miss and the birds usually eat a lot of the seed. But seed is cheaper than turf.

Get some lovely organic matter on your plots and borders now, but make sure it is well rotted manure because if it isn’t it will scorch the plants in the border.

By adding manure to your soil will help your soil by adding nutrients, and making it more water retentive, and break up compacted masses so that air can circulate.

All these factors encourage plants’ roots to grow deeply and spread without restriction. So get digging?

I had an interesting chat to local writer Chris Bonnet, who has recently written the book Great War Heroes of Bridlington.

I have known Chris for years but he was telling me that some of the war heroes were actually gardeners.

Arthur Allison worked for JW Pitt at the Belverde estate, and Private Sidney Arksey worked for Mr Lloyd Graham at Sewerby, where the Outreach project is now.

Gunner Herbert Burrell was employed as a gardener by AW Dookes, as a florist on church walk. If you want a copy of the book it’s for sale at Garlands.

Gardening Tip – Keep Dead-heading Dahlias they will flower till the first frosts.