22 August 2019 by Dr Jane Bingham
A good time for planting
September is a great time of year for planting your new plants. The soil is still warm from the summer sun and is moist due to increased rainfall. What is more, plant roots will have plenty of time to grow and become established before the sap rises in spring and plants surge into growth again. September is also the perfect time for planting spring bulbs. Choose from our beautiful selection in our Sundries Department. There are cheery daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and numerous others in an array of jewel-like colours. Many have a delightful fragrance to enjoy as well.
The benefits of underplanting established trees and large shrubs:
- A tapestry or mosaic pattern of underplanting creates a beautiful scene with a long season of interest.
- Underplanting helps to keep weeds at bay.
- Plants are healthier when grown in mixed borders. Some plants repel pests whilst other plants attract beneficial insects like ladybirds that eat aphids.
- Mixed planting increases the abundance and diversity of wildlife in your garden.
Small plants that thrive in dappled to full shade are good for underplanting:
Ajuga (Bugle), Anemone, Bergenia, Bluebell, Brunnera, Convallaria (Lily of the Valley), Cotoneaster, Euonymus fortunei, Hardy fern, Heuchera, Hosta, Gaultheria, Geranium machorrhizum, Geranium phaeum, Lamium maculatum (Deadnettle), Pachysandra, Primula vulgaris (Primrose), Pulmonaria, Small-leaved ivy, Tellima, Tiarella and Vinca.
For something extra special choose:
Cornus canadensis (Creeping dogwood), Dicentra, Hellebore, Epimedium, Gallium odoratum (Sweet woodruff), Hakonechloa grass, Hylomecon japonicum, Liriope muscari (Lilyturf), Leucothoe or Trillium.
- Leave the soil bare beneath newly-planted and young trees and shrubs to allow the roots time to establish freely.
- Use a narrow trowel or bulb planter when planting small plants to reduce damage to tree and shrub roots.
- Allow plants room to spread into swathes. This looks better than a dotty effect. Buy 3 or 5 of each species and plant them together in groups to get a quicker result.
- Spring bulbs will flower beautifully under the leafless canopies of non-evergreen trees and shrubs.