CERTAIN trees are never lovelier than at this time of
year, especially varieties of Japanese maple with their leaves
turning vivid gold or fiery red.
The hedgerows are full of
beauty in abundance, filled with birds feeding on ripe berries,
alder, hawthorn and blackberry, laden with fruit.
herbaceous borders are now beginning to look tired and the urge
to prune everything back to ground level is upon us. Try to
resist the temptation to cut back and tidy plants too much, as
herbaceous plants and shrubs can look lovely on a frosty morning
or evening sunlight.
The best time to lift and divide herbaceous perennials is
during their dormant period between mid-autumn and early spring.
Choose a day for lifting plants when the soil is not wet and
doesn't stick to your boots or spade.
once lifted are often difficult to split at the roots and the
crown may be congested. This may be overcome by inserting garden
forks back to back. By pulling the fork handles together, then
apart, the roots and crown will separate into pieces.
pot up the new pieces of plants in the border or pot them up for
planting out in spring.
Parrotia make excellent specimen plants for the lawn or mixed
border. They are grown for their flowers and spectacular autumn
Parrotia require a fertile moist but well-drained soil
and a sunny position to grow well. They may be propagated in the
late summer by soft wood cuttings or by seed in the autumn.