It has been a very changeable Summer weather-wise, but crops, on the whole, have been early to ripen and reasonably heavy in my patch.  Summer flowers have put on a wonderful show and if you keep dead-heading, will go on for a few weeks more.  Day lilies in my garden have flowered very well despite hardly flowering at all last year

There are still the asters, chrysanthemums, Hederanthas (Schizostolis) and sedums to come into their own in September and October.

Here are some jobs you could do:

Harvest: Onions, main crop potatoes, sweetcorn, pumpkins and squashes. Apples and pears will mostly have been picked at the end of August this year. All apart from sweetcorn can be stored in a dark dry place. Sweetcorn cobs freeze well.

Autumn fruiting raspberries and beans will continue to need picking or they will stop producing more.

Collect seeds to share or keep for next year; store them in labelled paper bags or envelopes somewhere cool and dry. The garden Society runs a seed swap at their Spring Show and at the trading shed later.

Plant:  daffodils, crocus, hyacinth and Muscari (wait until November for tulips); start to plant overwintering onions and shallots

Divide:  herbaceous perennials that are overcrowded.

Take cuttings: of tender perennials like Fuchsia, Pelargonium, Salvias and penstemons and overwinter under cover.

Cut down: fruited canes of berries and tie in the new growth.

Lawns: scarify, aerate, top-dress and feed with a low nitrogen fertiliser …. or grow a wild flower meadow instead!

Dead-heading:  One wants to tidy things up at this time of year, but hydrangeas need their dead flower heads to protect next year’s buds; many other seed heads are a valuable resource for wildlife and the foliage is home for many invertebrates over winter.  Wildlife does not like tidy!

Most important:  Find time to enjoy your garden and perhaps visit someone else’s for ideas.

Dates for your diary – open gardens for NGS

1st and 29th September: Dipley Mill, Hartley Wintney, RG27 8JP

1st September: Old Thatch and Millennium Barn, Winchfield RG27 8DD