When water lilies die down, clean out the pond and remove any old rotted leaves and stems to discourage algae.
It’s also time to start thinking about planting lilium bulbs next month. Choose a sunny, sheltered position in light, free-draining, humus-rich soil. Liliums like the sun, but their roots must be cool and should never dry out.
Time to start thinking about planting lilium bulbs ...
Succulents prefer to dry out between waterings, and terracotta pots make the perfect choice as containers. Feed sparingly in spring and autumn with an all-purpose liquid plant food.
Two very decorative succulents are jelly beans and string of pearls.
Jelly beans is a sedum with leaves that look just like jelly beans especially when they take on extra pigmentation in colder weather. These plants are excellent hanging basket subjects, but they don’t like the cold so grow in sheltered or frost-free areas.
String of pearls with its bead-like covered stems also makes an interesting plant for a hanging basket.
Autumn leaves are beginning to fall, so get busy turning them into valuable compost. The simple method I use is to rake the leaves into long strips then run over them with the lawnmower. If you have a shredder all the better.
Next, add two cups of blood and bone meal to each wheelbarrow of leaves.
Turn the heap every couple of days and you should have compost after a few weeks.
Ornamental rhubarb, Rheum palmatum, is a striking plant with large, shiny leaves that form into round clumps. The tall spikes carry sprays of bead-like flowers.
Plant in late autumn to late winter in a sunny border or around a water garden where the soil is rich and moist.
A similar looking plant is Rodgersia podophylla grown for its outstanding foliage that is bronze when young, turning mid-green then a brilliant copper shade with age.
The flower plumes are cream set on slender stems that rise up to 1.5 metres high. These plants like a moist, semi-shaded position in a wild garden or beside a water feature.
White flowered camellias can suffer badly from dampness caused by rain, dewy nights or frosts.
This causes the buds to tarnish, making it very difficult, except under ideal growing conditions, to have clean, perfect flowers.