September is the month to enjoy the fruits if your labours. A lot of your product will be ready to harvest this month, but it’s also time to start thinking about preparing for the frost and planning for next year.
Complete pruning of soft fruit bushes – apple and pear trees, in particular, will benefit from this
Sow green manure, such as grazing rye – suppresses weeds over the winter
Feed all late crops with a general fertiliser – do this now for great crops when the time comes
Dig up and compost any plants that have finished their season – ensure you have great soil for next years planting
Cut back old canes of blackberries – do this after fruiting and tie in the new canes
Crimson clover and Italian ryegrass – they act as ground cover during the winter. When dug in, they conserve nutrients and improve soil texture.
Pests and Diseases
Watch tomatoes for blossom end rot, and other ripening problems. These are usually caused by irregular watering
Wasps are attracted this time of year due to the ripening of your fruit. protect any grapes or fruit from wasps with netting or mesh.
September is the time of the year where things start to cool down, the wind picks up and the days get shorter. This is the month to get started on your preparation for spring whilst enjoying your garden as much as you can before the frosts come in.
Net ponds – protect your pondbefore leaves begin to fall
Clean out water butts – keep your irrigation in the best condition in preparation for autumn rains
Clean ponds and water features of weeds – Remove duckweed, pondweed and algae from water features and ponds
Collect and bin brown apples and pears – reduce the spread of this fungi and protect your good crops
Order bare-root fruit trees – to plant later in autumn or winter
Divide herbaceous perennials – ensure healthy, vigorous plants in the spring
Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals – opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free
Plant spring-flowering bulbs – daffodils, crocus and hyacinths are a priority for the end of the month
Sowhardy annuals – cerinthes, ammi, scabiosa and cornflowers should be planted now for flowers early next summer
Deadhead container plants –encourage more blooms and keep your patio displays longer into the Autumn
Wash and disinfect bird feeders and tables – maintain good hygiene on your tables and you will see birds throughout the winter
Plant nectar-rich bulbs – crocus, snake’s head fritillary, alliums and grape hyacinths can be planted now to feed next year’s hungry emerging bees
Start putting out fat balls – help those birds staying for the winter
Leave garden borders intact – don’t cut these back in autumn. Try to leave at least one border intact where seedheads can provide food for birds and fallen stems can create shelter for amphibians, insects and small mammals
The best part about growing or foraging your own food is the delicious delights you can make with what you find. We’ve put together some easy recipes you can make with the top produce you can forage or harvest from September to November
Time: 30 mins
Makes: 3lb Jam
Note: you will need to sterilise your jars before you begin cooking your jam. You can do this by rinsing them in soapy water, then place on a baking tray in a low oven to dry completely. Keep them warm until you fill them
1kg raspberries, halved
juice of 1 lemon
1kg bag jam sugar
Put a plate in the fridge or freezer
Put your raspberries and lemon juice in a large saucepan over a low heat and mash with a potato masher. Leave to cook until just boiling
Put the raspberries through a fine sieve to separate the seeds
Put the pulp back into the pan and add the sugar
Bring to a rapid boil for about five minutes
Drop a bit of your jam onto your cold plate. If it solidifies and wrinkles when you run your finger through it, it is ready. If not boil for another two minutes and try again, keep doing this until its ready.
Fill your sterilized jars
Damson & Apple Crumble
Time: 60 mins
50g light soft brown sugar
knob of butter
1-2 tbsp sloe gin (optional)
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
For the crumble
250g plain flour
150g unsalted butter, cold
80g light soft brown sugar
80g demerara sugar
50g ground almonds
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6
Put the damsons into a pan with the sugar, butter and sloe gin if using (or a splash of water if not) and heat gently until the damsons start to give off their juices
Tip into the base of a large shallow gratin dish (about 25cm long) and stir through the apple slices
Rub the butter and flour together until the mixture goes crumbly. Add the rest of the crumble ingredients and mix together
Put the crumble over the damson mixture and put into the oven for 30-40 mins until golden brown and the mixture is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes
Serve with custard or ice cream
Aubergine and courgette bake
Time: 80 minutes
2 large aubergines cut into 1cm discs
2 courgettes, cut into 0.5cm strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2–3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 heaped tsp dried oregano
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
120g reduced-fat mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Grill the aubergines and courgettes until lightly browned on each side.
Meanwhile, add the oil to a pan with the onion, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until they go clear
Add the red pepper, stirring regularly for another 5 minutes
Mix in the garlic, oregano and tomatoes, and simmer for 5 minutes
Add some of the sauce to an ovenproof dish and layer the aubergine mixture and parmesan and top off with the mozzarella.
Bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes until golden brown
Nectarine puff tart
Time: 1 hour
1 sheet, ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
3 large nectarines, thinly sliced
3 tbsp runny honey
50ml dark rum or amaretto
large pinch ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 220C/200Fan/Gas 7
Lay the pastry sheet out on a sheet of baking paper and roll the pastry edges up to form a 1cm border and brush with beaten egg
Mix the nectarine, honey, rum and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well
Arrange the mixture in the middle of the pastry and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes
Sprinkle the lime zest on top and serve sliced
Pumpkin Bubble & Squeak
Time : 30 mins
700g mashed pumpkin
200g chopped cooked cabbage
6 rashers bacon
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp veg oil
Preheat the grill
Grill the bacon until crispy
In a bowl, mix the cabbage with the pumpkin and other veg. Season to taste
Form the potato mixture into round patties
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan
Fry your patties on both sides until just starting to crisp. Remove from the pan and put onto a metal tray. Grill until crispy
Meanwhile, fry or poach your egg
Remove the potato mixture from the tray and serve with the cut-up bacon and the egg
Makes: 20 portions
Time: 20 mins
Notes: You will need a rack or tray to put in the bottom of your pan for the last step to keep the jars off of the bottom of your pot
1.5kg beetroot, destemmed
130g caster sugar
1tsp pickling salt (can use sea salt if necessary)
330 ml white wine vinegar
8g whole cloves
Sterilise jars and lids by putting in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
Place the beetroots in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for around 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and reserve half of the beetroot water
Once the beetroot has cooled, peel.
Fill each jar with beetroots and add several whole cloves to each.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beetroot water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour over the beetroots in the jars and seal lids.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot leaving a 5cm space between the,. Pour in more boiling water until the water level is at least 2.5cm above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
Leave the jars to cool and store in a cool place
6 dark plums, halved and pitted
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
280g Greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons chopped roasted hazelnut
2 tsp honey
Heat oven to 160°c /140 fan / Gas 3
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place plums cut side up on the sheet
Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar
Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until soft and some juices run off
Divide among 4 bowls, top each with 2 tablespoons yoghurt, sprinkle with nuts and drizzle with honey
Time: 45 minutes
Notes: Can be frozen for up to 2 months
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1kg pumpkin ,peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
150ml double cream
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan
Gently cook the onions for 5 minutes until soft
Add pumpkin to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
Add the stock to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the veg is soft.
Add the cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender.
Apple Bread and Butter pudding
Time: 60 minutes
100ml cold tea
3 apples, cored
squeeze lemon juice
400ml full-fat milk
125g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
100g brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ large bread loaf
Grease a baking dish and preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 4
Put the raisins in a small bowl, add the cold tea and leave them to soak
Peel, core and slice the apples and keep them fresh in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice
Gently warm the milk in a saucepan, then add the butter and allow it to melt. Set the milk and butter aside to cool slightly
Put the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until well combined. Whisk in the milk
Tear the bread into pieces and layer in the greased baking dish. Strain the raisins, discarding the tea, and scatter them over the bread, then top with the sliced fruit. Pour in the batter and sprinkle with some extra brown sugar
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pudding has set and has a golden crust on top.
A well designed outdoor space can be just as satisfying as a new kitchen or cosy living room, but getting a complete look can be difficult when decorating outside. You can easily redesign a space with a few simple changes, without having to hard landscape or make changes to the structure of the garden. We’ve pulled together three classic garden designs to inspire you to recreate your space with minimal effort.
The Riad has been a feature of Moroccan architecture since the Roman era. Typically a Riad is a small tiled courtyard dotted with large plants with a pool of water or a fountain in the middle. It’s a space to relax and escape the trials of the day, and it’s an easy look to achieve in a few simple steps.
Choose the right colours – the backbone of the Riad is vibrant, but cool colour combinations .White, blue and terracotta should form the backbone of your space, with some splashes of yellow and turquoise to tie the look together
Keep it symmetrical – these gardens are a mixture of a personal oasis and formal garden, keep it as symmetrical as you can to achieve an authentic, and impressive look
Make use of rugs – this is a space to relax and entertain in comfort. Traditionally, soft furnishings like rugs or cushions are dotted around the space to soften it.
Pick the right plants – space-filling plants that give off strong perfumed scents are the key to getting this kind of space right, lavender and rose bushes mixed in with olive trees and ornamental grasses would be a great selection for the authentic feel. Shop the look :
We’ve put together a selection of accessories that we think would be the great jumping-off point to creating your own Riad garden. This combination of planter, water feature, rug, and chiminea all compliment each other well and could be enhanced with Moroccan style stool.
The tightly packed villages, stone facades and well-manicured gardens of the riviera were the inspiration for some of the finest artists of the renaissance and the ideals of the enlightenment still shine through in their design today. These gardens are refined, elegant and relaxing. They’re also deceptively easy to create:
Make the air smell of citrus – Sicily and the Italian coast are known for their lemons and oranges as much as they are for their tranquillity. Plant a few lemon trees in containers to get the look and smell of a summer on the shores of the coast of Genoa
Select tough plants – this area of Italy is known for the muted green colours of its plants. Rosemary, Cistus, and myrtle are great options to plant in containers alongside olive trees and pink climbing roses to get that refined look
Don’t overlook statues – evoke Italy’s romantic and classical history by adding some statuary to the garden. A few well-placed statues amongst your plants really create the look of a formal garden on the grounds of a large manor
Build the space around a pergola – shaded areas and canopies are a staple of Mediterranean garden design. If you can why not fill the centre of your garden with a pergola wrapped in wisteria that brings that grand touch to your design
Shop the look :
Our version of this classic garden design brings together all the classic elements of statuary, large planters, citrus trees and ornate wall decoration together to create that classic cool style. We’ve chosen to shade our garden with a sail shade rather than a pergola to make this design achievable in any space.
Spain is the number one holiday destination for the British, so why not bring that feel and style into your garden. A Spanish garden is a place to eat, entertain and relax with friends. The look is simple to achieve and can be made to work year-round if done correctly:
Plant to impress –flowering vines and climbing roses are must-haves for the authentic look. Train them to climb a wall, fence or pergola and you’re off to a great start. For added fragrance, plant jasmine, oranges and scented heirloom roses to complete the effect
Create a shaded space – the siesta is an important part of any day, and if you can it should always be done in the garden. Put a small shaded area into your space with a pergola or sail shade, hook up a hammock, and you’re ready for your midday nap.
Combine the old and the new – Spain has one of the oldest cultures in Europe, and the old country villages that dot its countryside are familiar to anyone who has visited. Capture this traditional look by adding aged or distressed pieces into your garden.
Make use of railings – small window boxes edged in cast-iron railings are a common sight
These are just a few ideas on simple ways to improve your outdoor space. If you like these designs and want to see more, check out our website to see the full range of products we have picked out. We’d love to see what you’ve done with your space on Instagram or Facebook
Images Courtesy of:
Ruth, S | Gill, L | Rosemary, B | Rachel, E | Diane, R | Trisha, S | MR Evans