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Autumn plants

The Seasons > Seasonality calendar

This is a special section because Autumn plants are a very varied selection coming from all groups of plants. The easiest approach is to give a detailed description of them all, as many are less well known.

Heathers

Calluna vulgaris - (bud bloomers)

Garden Girls and Beauty Ladies. These are specially selected types of the wild heather. Their claim to fame is that their flowers never fully open and as a result never get pollinated. In heathers the flowers don't fade and die until they have been pollinated so the flowers of these varieties last for months, almost until Christmas. Known as 'bud bloomers' or 'bud flowering' heathers these are perfect for pots. They prefer Ericaceous compost.

Calluna vulgaris
This is the wild Heather that grows on the New Forest heaths. Over the years nurserymen have selected the best colours and size of flowers so that you get the very best flowers in the garden. They are fine for patio pots but the 'bud bloomers' will flower for longer.
They need ericaceous compost

Ericas
These are the winter flowerers - expect them to be in bloom somewhen between Christmas and April depending on variety. Include them in pots and baskets for flowers when the other types have finished. They'll be OK in a multipurpose compost.

Erica gracilis
A special heather originally from from S. Africa. Masses of colour and ideal for pots, baskets and borders. Thew flowers will last for several months if cared for - and that means don't allow it to dry out. This is not a hardy variety and rarely survives for a second winter but they are cheap and very cheerful and excellent value.

Calocephalus brownii
An unusual silver foliage plant commonly known as the wire netting plant - one look at it and you'll see why! Silver always looks good with pink flowers - try it with our lovely Cyclamen the leaf contrast is striking as well. It will stand some frost but don't expect it to last more than one winter.

Chrysanthemum (indicum)
These are the Houseplant Chrysanth. Enjoy them indoors if you like but we intend you to brighten up your Autumn containers with them, they'll last for weeks. It's worth deadheading them to keep the flowers coming.

Conifers (mixed)
These a simply young plants of ornamental conifers, selected to be good in patio pots and planters. They are evergreen of course amd when they have done their job you can take them out and plant them in the garden.

Cupressus Goldcrest
This is the best conifer to give height in containers. A lovely fresh golden green colour, very upright and fast growing. Goldcrest will do well in any compost and can be planted in the garden when it gets too big for your pot - but it does grow very quickly so give it space and be ready with the shears.

Euonymus
Little plants of popular evergreens, ideal to brighten pots and planters in the darker days of winter. They will cope with sun or some shade and are unfussy about soil type. Plant them out in the garden when they get too big.

Pernettya (Gaultheria)
Little shrubs that have pretty bell shaped flowers followed by large red berries. Excellent in pots and planters. They need ericaceous compost and can be planted in the garden when they out-grow their pot.

Hebe - Large leaved
Popular evergreens selected for good performance in patio pots. They will flower almost all year round in a sheltered spot. Bees and butterlies love them. We have green and variegated forms. They need plenty of water.

Hebe - small leaved mixed.
A mixture of various Hebes that are ideal for pots, baskets and planters. The foliage is of contrasting types so it's a good idea to use two or three in a large tub with other plants. These are grown more for their evergreen foliage than their flowers.

Photinia 'Little Red Robin'
A compact version of the popular evergreen shrub. New growth is rich glossy red and shows through most of the year. Another good shrub to plant out in the garden after use in a container. Sun or slight shade and unfussy about soil type.

Skimmia japonica 'Rubella'
Glossy leaved evergreen with clusters of pinkish red, very fragrant flowers at the end of the winter. Use in pots and planters that will be near the house so that you can enjoy the fragrance. Prefers ericaceous compost.

Ajuga (Bugle)
A British native plant that is at it's best in Spring and Autumn. Foliage can be purple, bronze, green or variegated depending on variety. It's a bit of a trailer so plant at the edge of a pot and it will dangle over the side. The flower is an upright spike of deep purple flowers in spring.

Hedera (Ivy)
The number one trailer for winter pots and planters. The variegated forms are best as they brighten up mixed plantings better than the plain green. With care you can use the same plants for several years, they propagate themselves by rooting from the stems. Good ground cover when no longer needed for containers.

Thymus (Thyme)
Versatile plants that can used as alpines, herbs and as patio-plants in pots. Mostly low growing with a tendency to trail These varieties can also be used in cooking. Give them full sun and make sure they have good drainage.

Cyclamen Mini
Our Cyclamen are a type bred specially for Autumn colour. Their hardiness is between the tough ones like Cyclamen coum and the not-at-all hardy ones that are used as houseplants.......in other words they are hardy enough that they usually survive up to around Christmas time. Their flowers last for ages and on a warm Autumn day you'll notice that they are fragrant. They are great for all kinds of pots, baskets and planters - but they also make good houseplants and they love conservatories.

Bellis (Daisy)
A cultivated form of the wild plant. The flowers are large and semi-double in shades of pink and white. Although they do flower in the Autumn you use them in containers mostly for their early spring flowers. They are tough little plants that will rgow most anywhere.

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