In your Garden: October is the last chance to plant before winter sets in

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ALTHOUGH October is a busy time in the garden, there is something peaceful about autumn, almost serene. It’s the season when plants put on some of their most magnificent displays and, rather than thinking that winter is coming and it’s time for winding down, autumn can be a hive of activity for gardeners.

This is the best time of year for planting and, in fact, October is really your last chance before winter sets in. Plants are going into dormancy and therefore have the winter to get their roots down and become established. Their demand for water will not be so great throughout the winter and planting now means the soil is still warm before frosts begin to kick in. It’s a particularly good time of year for planting larger plants, trees, shrubs and conifers.

National Conifer Week, which takes place in October, highlights the many benefits of growing conifers in your garden. Overlooked in the past by gardeners, conifers are making a comeback, particularly in the urban garden. According to a Horticultural Trades Association survey, nearly a third of garden owners have a conifer in their garden, making them an integral part of any garden design. From a small balcony to acres of grounds with space, conifers can add something truly special to any garden. 
With just one £50 National Garden Gift Voucher, you can bring colour, structure and drama to your garden or doorstep as conifers are extremely versatile, coming in an amazingly diverse range of shades, textures, shapes and sizes. 

Another way to bring colour to the garden at this time of year is with autumn bedding plants. One of the most exciting group of plants to brighten up any part of the garden is Heuchera. Native to North America, where their roots, known as alumroot, have been used in traditional medicines for years, Heuchera were originally grown for their flowers – dainty spikes of red, pink and white bells. They carry their plumes like flowers, high above their crowns of leaves, but gardeners are now mainly interested in their foliage which comes in a variety of colours. 


• National Garden Gift Vouchers can be bought and redeemed at over 2000 outlets in the UK. Visit www.thevouchergarden.co.uk or call 0871 384 3237.