In early autumn the colours change from pastels to hot colours and if you plan your garden scheme you can have a concentrated area filled with autumn colour.
Autumn flowering shrubs that are reliable and flowers for weeks are the varieties of Hibiscus syriacus. These shrubs will grow on most soil provided they retain moisture. They take a year or two to start to grow and also come into leaf later in spring than most shrubs. However, the show from the large flowers ranging from white with pink centres, to dark pink, blue and pure white is well worth it and once settled in, they can get to 2m tall. For drier soil, how about Abelia Frances Mason. This likes a slightly sheltered position if it is to keep some foliage in winter. The leaves are green and yellow with fragrant white flowers in autumn.
One photo is of Abbeywood gardens near Delamere with its prairie planting of grasses such as the tall golden Stipa gigantea and swathes of perennials in wide open spaces. They look stunning at this time of year. One of the plants featured are Sedum spectabile with flat heads of pink flowers loved by bees. In theory they like a well drained soil and their fleshy leaves do well in drier conditions but they also grow in damper soils. Plant next to Rudbekia fulgida Goldsturm with its yellow flowers for a striking colour combination.
Work to do in the garden includes starting to plant daffodils and crocuses for spring. Divide summer flowering perennials and replant them, watering in well to rejuvenate them for next season. Water and harvest runner beans and tomatoes regularly to extend the season. Tomatoes take time to ripen so don’t give up if they stay green, leave them on the plant to ripen. If you have grown pumpkins and squashes, remove leaves so that they ripen.
If you would like to visit gardens for ideas, I suggest you look out for gardens open under the National Gardens Scheme where all proceeds go to charities including Marie Cure Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support. Abbeywood Gardens Delamere is open under the NGS on 14th August but you can also visit from Sunday to Thursday. Mount Pleasant gardens near Kelsall are open on 3rd and 4th September with their Sculpture Exhibition so do go and see the many different themed borders, ponds, stumpery and ferns.