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Take action in April to get the right autumn colurs

Many shrubs bloom in August or at the latest in September. When the garden then slowly goes into its dormancy phase, there are hardly any bright colours to be found in the garden. Earthy tones such as green and brown dominate. To bring more colour to late autumn, winter-hardy flowers can now be planted.

Typical autumn flowers are, for example, asters. Various colours exist, for example dark red, lavender, purple, pink or white. Autumn asters need a sunny spot in the bed. Depending on the type and structure of the bed, they can be planted between bushy asters, heath asters and high shrub asters. The blossoms are particularly effective in combination with grasses. Bees and butterflies also enjoy these delicious sources of food, as few pollen alternatives are available at this time of year. Depending on the species and weather conditions, autumn asters flower up to the beginning of November.

Another autumn classic is the chrysanthemum. Depending on the species, it flowers from August to November. Chrysanthemums are often used to provide dabs of colour on terraces or in pots in front of the door. What many people do not know is that chrysanthemums can also be planted successfully in the garden. Note, however, that most chrysanthemum species are not winter-hardy, although they normally survive the first frosts unharmed. The winter-hardy variety ‘Poesie’, which has white petals, is most suitable for use in flower beds. The soil should be rich in nutrients, but not too loamy, as chrysanthemums do not tolerate waterlogged soil. The location is very important for growth of the plant: The sunnier their position in the garden, the more productive the chrysanthemum is in terms of the blossom. And the more protected it is against wind, the longer the flowering period lasts. Chrysanthemums should be protected in winter with brushwood or leaves.

For fans of exotic plants, we have a special autumn plant tip, which many hobby gardeners do not know: The saxifraga is a member of the saxifraga genus. The Latin word “saxifraga” literally means “stone-breaker”. The economical plant thrives in a rockery or in stony locations. Saxifraga cortusifolia ‘fortunei’ flowers late and is often referred to as “late October”. The basal leaves are lobed and leathery around the edges and look beautiful all year round. Towards the end of the gardening season, however, the leaves turn an ochre colour and are then particularly attractive. Areas which are shaded or semi-shaded provide the best conditions for saxifrage.

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