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What to do in your garden - October 2018

Now the weather has turned cooler and the nights are drawing in, it’s an ideal time to continue planting trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs, whilst the soil is still warm and we’ve had some rain. We have plenty of inspiration in store and online to help you get your garden in shape before winter! Here are some hints and tips for what to do in your garden in October:

  • Autumn is the best time to plant a tree. Containerised trees can be planted at any time of the year unless the ground is frozen or waterlogged, but in the cooler and usually wetter conditions at this time of year the tree roots will start to establish over the autumn and winter months so that in the spring it will burst into growth. Longacres have the best selection of locally grown trees to choose from. Most of them are small enough to be taken home in your car. Alternatively, you can arrange for delivery (additional charge applies). We even sell trees via our website (currently available for collection from our Bagshot centre, or for local delivery).
  • Come and see our extensive range of fabulous spring flowering bulbs. A mouth-watering array of colourful varieties to plant now. In store we have excellent value “cram-a pot” or “fill-a-bag” crocus, narcissi and tulips, and also large sacks of mixed narcissi which are ideal for bulk planting or naturalising bulbs in large areas of lawn to come up year on year. Tulips are one of the best loved bulbs. Here’s our handy planting guide for tulips. October or November is the best time to plant tulips –allowing twice the bulb’s width between each bulb and plant at a depth of three times the bulb height. Water in after planting and feed with a general fertiliser once foliage appears next spring. Most varieties of tulips are best replaced each year as often won’t flower in the ground the following year. Alternatively, they can be lifted once the foliage has completely died back (around 6 weeks after flowering) and stored in a warm, dry place over the summer and replanted in the autumn. Some small species tulip varieties can be left in the ground to naturalise
  • Heathers are looking colourful and will brighten any planting scheme – in the autumn we have “bud bloomers” whose buds don’t open but sit in colour for many months. Beauty Ladies series which are Calluna vulgaris (Scottish heather) - sometimes we have spray painted plant (all the colours of the rainbow!) and Erica gracilis available in pink and white. This plant won’t survive our winter but will keep its colour and pretty bell flowers for decoration. The heathers listed above need an ericaceous (acid) soil. Erica carnea (mountain heath) is lime (chalk) tolerant and varieties can be found that flower from early winter to late spring. Also able to withstand chalky conditions are Erica x darleyensis flowers from late autumn to late spring. Heather flowers attract bees so are fabulous for bees on sunny spring days. Come and see what we’ve got in store. Stock changes constantly so buy it when you see it at Longacres.

  • Foliage interest over the winter months is important in the garden, and shrubs such as leucothoe, aucuba (spotted laurel), nandina (sacred bamboo), elaeagnus, pittosporum and the golden choisya are very useful with their colourful leaves. Evergreen clematis are very useful climbers for a sheltered position. We also have plenty of small pots of evergreens which make handy fillers for your autumn/winter planting schemes.

  • We have a superb selection of locally grown bedding plants to keep your containers and hanging baskets looking good throughout autumn and winter, including cyclamen in an array of colours. They flower for months indoors or outdoors in a cool bright position. Chrysanthemums are also grown for late autumn colour – dead head to promote continued flowering. Pansy and viola are the mainstay hardy flowering plants which go right through the winter, flowering in all but the worst winter weather. Available in many colours, these plants really keep on giving. We have all sorts of other bedding plants including primrose, ornamental cabbage, wallflowers and more, plus ready planted containers and hanging baskets for instant impact.

  • Our fabulous range of 9cm pot perennials is back in stock for a limited time only – the perfect way to bulk up your borders. From grasses to ground cover plants, a great selection of “little gems” for planting now! Plant in groups of three or five for maximum impact in your garden beds and borders.

  • Our suggestions for the best evergreen bedding plants to give your hanging baskets and containers structure and colour over the winter: mini conifers, grasses such as yellow carex or silver Festuca ‘Intense Blue’, euonymus with colourful variegated leaves, pieris, choiysa and skimmia. The hardy plants can be potted on into larger containers or planted in the garden next spring. We also have mixed packs of evergreens, to give foliage colour and enhance your winter plantings.

  • Fruit trees are in stock and now is the perfect time to plant them: apple, cherry, greengage, quince, pears and plums. Come and see what we have in store.

  • You may have re-seeded bare patches in your lawn last month when conditions were ideal for grass seed to grow. Now temperatures are dropping, turfing the lawn is the best option. We sell a variety of Autumn Lawn Care and turf including Tiller’s turf which can be ordered online and delivered in our local area or collected at our Bagshot, Shepperton and Bybrook stores. Further details on preparation, laying and aftercare of turf can be found here. The turf we supply is Tiller's 'Arena'. This is a hardwearing, easy to maintain turf. It is medium-fine leaved and slow growing. It should be mown at a height of 10-30mm.It's very versatile, and the suppliers say it's suitable for use on lawns, parks, public gardens, business/retail parks, golf tees and golf fairways. Please note that the rolls are 61cm x 165cm approximately for easy laying, giving a total size of 1 square metre.

  • Rhododendrons and azaleas are back in stock – come and pick from the best selection for spring flowering – plus pieris and camellia. All these wonderful hardy evergreen shrubs will flower next spring and are ideally planted now so they can settle in over winter.

  • We have a large range of hedging plants of all sizes at our flagship garden centre at Bagshot: laurels, yew, elaeagnus, privet, red robin and Leyland cypress conifers. Large specimen plants in limited availability – come and see what we have – when they’re gone, they’re gone!