Hamamelis Arnold Promise 500 - Autumn Planting Blog - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland

Autumn planting

Autumn Planting: What to Plant Now?

Gardening is really a mixture of tasks that have to be repeated either weekly, monthly or yearly.

Nothing changed for hundreds of years now, if you start thinking about it.

With slight modification all the tasks are still the same, all jobs need completing, regardless. And one of those jobs is autumn planting  in order for your garden to experience colour in the spring.

We have touched on the matter already with my spring bulb collection, and even though I said the one lot this year should do me grand, I went and ordered some Ixia bulbs for myself also; there never is enough of those delicate and flowy little fairies in the borders.

But what we didn’t yet discuss is other spring plants, shrubs mostly, that will enhance the garden during the dull and grey reality of very early spring. No matter the space or type of soil, we have a plant for every situation to help and bring a little cheer.

Wintersweet or Chimonanthus Praecox

chimonanthus praecox Autumn Planting Blog - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland
Chimonanthus Praecox

Starting with Wintersweet or Chimonanthus praecox.

This deciduous shrub will be ideal for any size garden really, all it needs is a bit of shelter and sun. It is also slow growing, and average looking during the summer, so consider carefully what you pair it with.

It does however pull all the stops in January and February when its stunning, slightly waxy yellow blooms open and spread the most delicious and sweet scent.

This shrub should be planted in close proximity to a passageway or a door, so you can enjoy it when little else is around yet. A very simple and short guide to growing this stunner as it is easy, disease free and all it will need is a feed once a year.

Sounds perfect even for autumn planting beginners, don’t you think?

Eriostemon ‘White Star’

Eriostemon - Autumn Planting Blog - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland

Eriostemon ‘White Star’ will take off where your Wintersweet finishes as it starts flowering from late February right through to May.

This hardy, evergreen shrub looks stunning even without any flowers, but  flower it does and the display it puts on are fab.

White, highly scented, and star-shaped flowers cover the rigid, dark green, and glossy stems creating an almost artificial look.

And it wouldn’t be me really if I didn’t tell you that it is also a pollinator-friendly plant!


Edgeworthia chrysantha

Edgeworthia Chrysantha Autumn Planting Blog - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland
Edgeworthia Chrysantha

Now it’s time for another of my absolute best plants, one that I have mentioned at some stage before. If the scent is ever the most important factor in choosing a plant, please, trust me, and get yourself an Edgeworthia chrysantha. I can honestly tell you that I have never smelled anything more beautiful than this. Paperbush plant, as it is known commonly is a medium shrub growing to about five feet or so. It loses its leaves in the autumn, however, it still is a stunning feature due to its branches always creating the most unusual displays.

In the very early spring, Edgeworthia produces masses of buds that open up to look like miniature honeycombs. It looks amazing. And then there is the scent. Sweet, delicate but intense, mouth watering, and unbeatable in my humble opinion. If you decide on one, grow it best in semi-shade and away from strong coastal winds in well-draining but moist soil. And don’t overcrowd her. Even when the blooms are finished she still is a stunning shrub with large green and silver foliage that is lush all through the summer.

Witch Hazel

Hamamelis Arnold Promise - Autumn Planting Blog - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland
Hamamelis Arnold Promise

If I was to go for one more winter or early spring shrub I think I would have to go with Witch hazel. However,  it wouldn’t do if I didn’t tell you that I have “something different” at hand. ‘Arnold Promise’ is a slightly more unusual variety due to its bright butter-yellow flowers curling up more than any other Hamamelis, making it a bit more special. This large shrub needs very little attention, minimal pruning, and just a bit of good fertiliser.

The blooms are of course scented and they appear on the stems like spidery little creatures in late winter. This however is not the only time in the year when this plant supplies interest in your garden. Just about now, so late autumn, it transforms again when the leaves change colour from green to all caramel yellows and oranges providing you with a stunning display once more. So you could say that this Witch hazel is a bit of magic in the garden.

and finally…..

To squash in just a few more for our autumn planting session, we could talk Camelias, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Citisus, and Magnolias. And Viburnums! We should actually talk Viburnums I think all on their own. They are amazing, and so many varieties too. For now, we have this lot, reliable and available to cheer up your garden in the early stages of progress, before the colour sets in for another season. Same as it did every year for hundreds of years now, repeatedly, without a fail.

Thank you, Magda O’ Byrne

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