September in the Garden

6th - 30th September

September in the Garden

Head Gardener James Cross takes us through his plans for the month.

September is a great month in the garden with an abundance of flowers and foliage and lots more lovely warm sunny days ahead! The nights might be longer and cooler but too often we start thinking of winter when September and October are usually so good.

In the gardens there are Dahlias, Roses, Astrantia, Salvias, Rudbeckias, Asters, Sedums, grasses, seed heads and rose hips, not to mention all the flowers in the community garden.

2020 will I hope also be remembered for the fantastic growing conditions and bumper flowering season, with the exception of the far south east of England, which has had an incredibly dry year to date. Much of England has had great weather for gardens and gardeners!The crops in the community garden have done very well and we have recently sown more potatoes for Christmas, we will shortly start to plan for next spring and rotate all the crops and we will also assess our cut flowers and plan them for next year too. Some of the trees have struggled at times due to the early deficit of water between April and June, which at a tree root level is rarely made up until late the following autumn.

I do have concerns over the length of the cycles of weather that we now get; alternating between long periods of dry and wet, and as we plant new trees we will have to choose them with that in mind.

I think it will be an early autumn (in the garden) but I believe that the colours will be very good providing we do not get too much wind and rain before October!Our main project will be under the Holm Oak where we will plant the new stumpery garden which was somewhat delayed last spring for obvious reasons. The foxgloves, ferns, Hellebores, Euphorbias and tree ferns, to name a few, will look fantastic next spring, and I think the aeration of the soil under the tree has already had a very positive effect upon it.It will be a more natural planting within the more formal plantings of the east gardens. It is an area of the gardens that we have been cultivating and putting back to herbaceous for the last ten years and will complete the area, adding some diverse interest and contrast. 

It would be nice to just sit back and enjoy September but we have lots of jobs to do, which you might also need to do in your own gardens. Early autumn work includes hedge cutting of our Euonymus and Yews, new border schemes - both creating and planting, lots of weeding, mowing, planning for 2021, dead heading to keep roses flowering into November, and moving and splitting plants as well as propagating from them.

I hope that you will enjoy September not only in your gardens but with us here at the Palace too.

James Cross
Head Gardener