Clifton Nurseries - October in the Garden

Tips for the October Garden

Clifton Nurseries's picture
Posted Sep 25th, 2023
by Clifton Nurseries

One of my favourite quotes about plants is the beautiful quote by Albert Camus, "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower". This quotation describes perfectly this fabulous time of year when the garden is alive with shades of red, orange, rust, yellow, brown and green. And it's not just the leaves which provide interest and colour - there are also seed heads, late flowers, berries and fruits. The kaleidoscope of foliage, textures and colours combine to create a unique and stunning few months. 

Autumn and winter containers

One of the benefits of container gardening is that you can ring the changes to reflect the season, so now's the time to have some fun with dramatic autumn and winter schemes. Although there may be less choice of plants than in the spring and summer, those that are available are often striking and dramatic and can be combined to great effect. Clifton Nurseries also stocks a wide range of pots and containers in all colours and finishes, so think bold and have fun with your schemes!

Leaves, leaves and more leaves

Once the leaves have changed colour and autumn progresses, the leaves start to fall. Whether or not you believe that it's lucky to catch a falling leaf, fallen leaves do have uses other than bringing luck or being used by children for leaf prints! Leaves, once collected and shredded/broken up, create an ideal mulch for the garden so returning the goodness to the soil. Now's the time to check your garden rakes and if you need any new ones or different ones to add to the collection, you know where to come! 

Plant evergreen trees, shrubs and hedges

Containerised plants can be planted at any time of year (except if the ground is totally frozen or totally dry) but now is definitely a great time for planting them to ensure that these plants will thrive to their very best. 

Hedges, in particular, are commonly planted at this time of year. Hedges have many uses: they can be used for screening, for defining external and internal boundaries, for shelter, for security, for wildlife, or for a design feature such as partitioning off a section of the garden. Who needs a wall or a fence when you can have a living hedge? Here at Clifton Nurseries we offer a selection of pot grown hedging plants and rootballed hedging plants as well as instant hedging plants for those who require a hedge without the wait - and if you're looking for help with planting your hedge, our landscaping team will be happy to help. Read on for more information about hedging - All about Hedges

Pruning in October

For many plants, autumn is the best time for pruning but always check first to see if your plants require an autumn prune, or are best left until the early spring or after they've finished flowering. If in doubt please just ask our friendly team!  

There are, however, some general guidelines for what you should be pruning at this time of year:

  • Roses: When they've finished flowering, prune to about half their height. When spring arrives you can cut back harder if required.
  • Flowering shrubs: Prune shrubs that flower on wood formed the previous year.
  • Deciduous trees and hardy shrubs: Prune if required, with the exception of fruit trees which should be pruned at other times of year, according to the species.
  • Perennial flowering plants: Unless they have ornamental seed heads which provide winter structure and interest, cut perennial flowers back to the ground.

Clifton Nurseries are now stockists for the renowned Niwaki range of garden tools; a high quality range of Japanese precision tools including secateurs, shears and snips.

Preparing for Halloween & Bonfire Night

Toasting marshmallowsAs we near the end of the month of October there's always a certain spookiness in the air! For those of you near our London branch you'll be glad to know that we'll be running our popular Halloween Trail around the nursery again - so bring along the younger gardeners in your life and join in the fun! The Halloween Trail will run from 23rd to 31st October at our London nursery only. More details on social media nearer the time. 

Halloween and Bonfire Night are also a great excuse for lighting up the firepits and BBQs. Who can resist sitting by a live fire in the evening with friends and family ....... and who can resist toasting marshmallows?! Visit our Surrey nursery for our range of firepits and BBQs - as well as marshmallow toasting forks! 


Enjoy your garden or outdoor space this October, especially those beautiful sunny days - which hopefully we'll get lots of!

About the author

Clifton Nurseries - inspiring, designing, building and supplying the most beautiful gardens