Things to do in the garden:

May calendar

The colour scope of autumn is rich and vast and there is lots to plant: Nandina domestica will turn rusty red, Pentas lanceolata will supply perennial colour and, in the indigenous patch, you will have much eye candy with Leonotus leonurus.

If your shady areas look dull, brighten them up with Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ and perennial and bedding begonias.

Hellebores, those old stalwarts in cold gardens will be sprouting new foliage so you can remove the old, tatty leaves and give them a fresh layer of compost. They will soon be in flower.

Spruce up large patio containers with Calomondin (miniature orange) trees, with a herb like thyme planted underneath.

Plant a few hyacinth bulbs for indoor aroma and colour. Plant them in moist, quality potting soil in a shallow bowl and place in a dark cupboard until the flower spikes break.

Iceland Poppy
How to use a chainsaw to prune a tree.
Watch the ‘how to’ video.

Black spot on roses will be prevalent – keep on spraying to stop the plants from defoliating.

Take hardwood cuttings of trees, shrubs and climbers – root them in damp soil with hormone powder and keep in a protected place.

Plant Iceland poppies as companions for pansies, violas and calendulas as well as fillers in between pruned roses in winter.

Falling leaves can clog up ponds as they sink to the bottom, decompose and cause harmful by-products. Clean them up and to prevent them from falling in the water, you can place fine-mesh netting across the top and secure edges with bricks.

Neaten overgrown climbers and remove summer storm-damaged branches from trees.

If cannas are dying down or get frosted, cut off the leaves and leave them over the plants to protect the rhizomes. You can also give them a fresh layer of old kraal manure or compost as a mulch.

Sow broad beans, beetroot, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes and turnips.

Plant bare root trees, shrubs, hedges and roses. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour before planting and protect against frost or wind if exposed.

Rake up any fallen leaves on the lawn and cut with the lawnmower blades set on high when the grass is dry.

May calendar
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