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Plan it, plant it this autumn4 September 2013
Plan it, plant it this autumn – it's by far the best time to get new trees, shrubs and perennials into the ground. The warmth from the summer still lingers to encourage them to grow plenty of roots and settle in well before the cold weather comes; and good root systems mean better drought resistance and strong, healthy growth which shrugs off pests and diseases more easily.
Fruit trees and bushes planted now produce bumper crops from their first year, and in the ornamental garden you can enjoy early displays from evergreen, sweetly-scented Choisya 'Aztec Pearl', handsome Viburnum davidii and pretty early-spring flowering hellebores if you plant them now.
The ideal window for planting is six weeks before the first hard frost – September in more northerly areas, to early October in the south. Plant into a hole around 5cm larger than the rootball, in soil that's been enriched with plenty of well-rotted organic matter. Back fill, firm gently and water in.
And don't forget to include some pretty spring bulbs around the feet of your newly-planted shrubs: cheery dwarf narcissi like 'Tete a Tete', delicate crocuses and hyacinths for a heady perfume are all on sale in our garden centre now.