Welcome to October with a truly autumnal feel to the start of this month, which makes us realise that winter is not very far away.

            With Halloween looming followed by bonfire night shortly after, gardens are beginning to wind down after a prolonged period of good weather. Make the most of this fine days in October to get out into your garden - cutting back perennials, removing any finished summer bedding and of course raking those leaves up off lawns and borders. 

       •We are open again on Sundays starting on the 2nd of October and continuing up until Christmas. We open on Sundays at 11 am.

        •We have changed our selection of bedding plants to reflect the autumn and winter - cyclamen of different sizes and colours, winter pansies, primroses, hellebores and winter heathers are part of our varied selection of winter interest

       •We are stocking up a large and varied selection of evergreen shrubs and climbers - some with autumn colour and berry and others with the promise of spring flowering 

        •Our spring flowering bulbs have arrived with clever pre-pack selections to combine colour themes and textures. We also stock a range of loose bulbs for you to make your own choices

        •The box tree caterpillar continues to be a serious problem in this area. Check all your buxus plants and take action if necessary as soon as possible, because delay will result in you losing your favourite plants or topiary. Be aware that this problem will likely re-occur when the weather warms up again and that you should continue to monitor the situation. In addition buxus blight seems to have been exacerbated by the relatively mild winter - perhaps it is time to think of planting alternatives, such as ilex crenata

         •Our collection of tools from Spear & Jackson, the Kew Gardener collection, is one of the best available and has proved to be a great success with our landscapers and customers. Do not forget that a rake is a very useful tool throughout autumn and winter

        •Our cards from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection are both beautiful and inexpensive and provide a lovely way to send a message with a floral gift. We have added ten new designs from Blume editions to add choices to our range which are equally as charming

         •We stock all the necessary components for irrigation systems from both Hozelock and Gardena - time to check that your watering systems are working and renew parts where needed

         •Pumpkins, gourds and squashes will soon be available as we get closer to Halloween

          October will hopefully bring some bright but cooler weather - the garden will benefit from moisture going into next year so we also need some rain!

           Enjoy your garden

           Richard Hood