Gardener’s Corner: September
September will be a very colourful month in the Palace gardens with many of the roses flowering again following the particularly fertile August. The abundant colour and interest will be created by Asters, Sedums, Dahlias, Astrantia, Japanese Anemones, Rudbeckia, Geraniums, purple loosestrife and Fuchsia to name a handful. Colour, interest and structure is also provided by foliage and seedheads and that becomes more important and noticeable into the autumn.
This month we enjoy the colourful berries of Viburnum opulus and xanthocarpum, grasses like Miscanthus and the purple leaved Cotinus (smoke bush). September can be one of the most diverse and colourful months of the year potentially even more so than July if the use of leaf colour and seedheads are taken into account. The colour is also more varied that at any other time of year from pastel shades of pink, purple and blue to bright reds, pinks, yellows and even oranges particularly from our Dahlia collection.
In the gardens we will start hedge cutting both the box substitute Euonymus ‘Jean Hughes’ and the yew topiary. I tend to cut the larger yew hedges in October and November so that they keep their crisp structure into next spring. Jo, our Community Gardener, and our volunteers have been very busy in the Community Garden which is very productive and there will be plenty to harvest from runner beans to potatoes, kale and squash.
Flowers for cutting are still plentiful in September but they will slow considerably towards the end of the month. It is also a good time of year to tidy the nursery area and remove pot plants that are weak and plan what new plants we need to propagate in October.
James Cross, Head Gardener