ANY gardening fan will tell you that there’s nothing better than looking out of your window to be greeted by the sight of beautiful plants and flowers.
But, as we move into Autumn, it’s almost time for a new season – and winter can create an extremely harsh climate for our garden to thrive.
What’s more, some budding gardeners have seen their plants and bushes totally destroyed due to the killer combination of plummeting temperatures, ice and even snow.
So what should we be doing to ensure that our outside spaces are protected from the upcoming bitter weather?
According to the experts, September is a crucial month when it comes to winter-proofing your plants – and there’s five key rules to follow.
In an exclusive chat with Fabulous, This Morning’s gardening guru Daisy Payne explained that she is currently getting her haven at her picturesque cottage ready.
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Daisy, 24 explained: “Autumn is such an awesome time in the garden.
“It’s peaceful outside and while the weather might be cooling a little, there’s so much still to enjoy and to get cracking with in the garden.
“From mulching, to planting out bulbs for spring and preparing your plants and lawn for winter – if you get these things right, you’ll reap the rewards!”
Here, the green-fingered pro, who shares her advice and tips and tricks on her Instagram account, tells us her plan of action – and how you can follow in her (welly-covered) footsteps too…
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Plant up containers with autumnal bedding flowers
Some flowers fare better in the winter months than others – and even better, they’re bargains.
Daisy explains: “There’s nothing better than seeing bursts of colour out in the garden as the season changes.
“Flowers such as cyclamen, heathers and violas are low cost, look great in pots and will last you much of the winter months.”
If you get these things right, you’ll reap the rewards
Mulch your pots and borders
For those who have just started out in the garden, mulching is the process of adding a layer of something to your soil to ensure it continues to do its job properly.
The gardening guru says: “Much like self-care for us is all about feeling cosy and getting all our vitamins, it’s the same for plants too.
“Mulching your borders and plants is a great way to give some self-care to your garden now ready for winter time.
“Get your hands on some peat-free organic matter (for example manure), and put a thick layer on your borders and around your plants.
“This will suppress weeds, help the soil maintain its moisture and will give your plants lots of goodness.”
Plant bulbs now for spring
It might seem like a long way off, but now is the time to properly prepare your garden for spring.
Daisy advises: “Put a little bit of time in now and you’ll be so smug in spring when tulips, daffodils, alliums all pop up in your pots.
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“Plant spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths, preferably by the end of September, plant lilies and alliums in September and October, and tulips in November.
“Plant deep into pots, make sure your bulbs are the right way up and water them well. Then place in a sheltered, sunny spot until the spring.”
September is the perfect time to prune – aka trim – your trees, shrubs and bushes, but it comes with a word of warning.
The expert explains: “Pruning is one of my favourite gardening jobs for autumn, to get the garden in shape for the winter months.
“Having said that, I like to leave some of my flowers at this time of the year to go over a little, (particularly things like stunning salvia) because they make a great haven for wildlife as we say goodbye to summer.
“Although it’s also really satisfying to have a good tidy up. So, when it comes to pruning, thin back any fruit bushes you have.
“Rosemary and lavender will also benefit from being pruned ahead of winter. Only cut back slightly, going too hard on it may mean it doesn’t recover.”
Mulching your borders and plants is a great way to give some self-care to your garden now ready for winter time
Don’t forget your lawn
While pretty plants might be front of mind for obvious reasons, it’s important to make sure you don’t neglect your grass.
Daisy concludes: “If you’re anything like me, your lawn will have taken a lot of wear and tear over the summer months.
“So if your lawn needs a bit of a boost, add an autumn lawn feed to give it some life.
“Autumn feed has all the nutrients your lawn needs to keep it healthy over winter.
“You could also rake and spike your lawn to help drainage and get it into even better shape for next year.”
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Catch Daisy on This Morning weekdays from 10am on ITV1
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