Take advantage of the cooler days to give the garden a tidy up before winter arrives.
Michaelmas daisies, or as they are commonly known, Easter daisies and sometimes Asters, are synonymous with this time of year when they present a pretty picture with their white, blue, purple or pink flowers in the warming autumn sun.
Great attractors for pollinating bees and butterflies these very hardy plants make great fillers in mixed borders where their subtle colours blend in beautifully with other flowers.
Best of friends
With careful selection of companion plants you can grow more in a small space while helping to control pests.
It is believed that brassicas gain protection from the white cabbage butterfly when celery, sage or rosemary are grown nearby and nasturtiums are said to ward off aphids when grown with peas.
Tomatoes tend to be more flavoursome when enjoying the company of basil and a few marigold plants will increase their vigour.
The ideal time to plant potted azaleas and rhododendrons into the garden is during autumn although it can be done at other times of the year providing the weather is not too hot.
Prune after flowering, but only if the plants have become woody due to a lack of light or from being too crowded.
Old, established rose bushes can be moved in winter but you need to have prepared the new location beforehand by digging in plenty of organic matter.
Then in spring, when they begin to put out new growth, cut back hard as they will have lost many feeder roots in the move.
Keep bushes well watered during the growing season and wait until October, at the earliest, to apply a fertiliser.
Loving lemon verbena
Lemon verbena is a small deciduous shrub renowned for its citrus scented, long pointy foliage and clusters of mauve flowerets borne in small plumes at the end of leafy branches.
As winter approaches the leaves will begin to turn a pretty yellow before dropping to the ground and by mid-winter the branches will be leafless.
Propagation is from 15cm-long, thin hardwood cuttings taken in winter.
An easy way to clean cacti with cobweb-like hairs is to lay the plant on its side, cover the potting mix with plastic then spray the plant with diluted dishwashing liquid and leave for a few minutes before rinsing off with fresh water.
This is best done on a warm day.