TO SOMEWHAT state the obvious, the autumn garden tends not to be as spectacular as its seasonal predecessor and therefore relies more on colourful foliage and texture, rather than bright, ostentatious blooms.
:: Plant new border perennials and water in well :: Prune deciduous autumn-flowering shrubs over three years old as they finish flowering :: Boost autumn green crops with a light dressing of general fertiliser :: Lift, divide and re-set large clumps of Lilium regale :: Fix greasebands around the stems of apple and pear trees to prevent crawling insects reaching fruit-bearing branches.
Things to do this week in the garden: :: Spring-clean the greenhouse if you've finished harvesting summer crops :: Keep brassicas covered to protect them from pigeons :: Buy a compost bin as so much autumn debris can be added to it this month :: Continue to plant spring bulbs including daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses :: Stop feeding permanent plants growing in containers :: If you're going to plant forced hyacinth bulbs for Christmas, do it now :: Carry out lawn repairs, mending bald patches or sorting out bumps and hollows :: Prune repeat or continuous-flowering old-fashioned shrub and species roses :: If the ground is soft enough, move evergreen shrubs and conifers which have outgrown their allotted space :: Sow overwintering onions in vacant rows in the veg plot.
AS GARDENING columns go it was rather unconventional and only ran for a relatively short time but the weekly exchanges between Whiteabbey-born Danae Kindness (nee Campbell) and Carlow-based Norah Burgess that appeared around a decade-and-a-half ago in the Limerick Leader have an enduring quality.
I’VE never been the to the US or Canada, never mind seen a real prairie but I did on many occasions in the 1970s watch the television show about the early life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and family, who lived some 100 years previous in their eponymous little house.