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Alan Titchmarsh Column - October/November 21

Green Fingers…The Alan Titchmarsh Column

He’s a brilliant presenter, accomplished gardener, talented novelist and all-round horticultural inspiration; and this month, as autumn works its way into our outdoor spaces, Alan Titchmarsh explains why variety is the spice of life, even in the garden!

People tend to associate autumn with brown and orange tones, and a rustling underfoot; but it’s about much more than that. One of the most exciting times is when you wake up on a certain day and you can just smell the fact the season has arrived. It's something in the air - a kind of sourness, a tang that lingers. You can smell things just beginning to decay, but it’s in a way that is replenishing, stimulating and invigorating because it means new possibilities are around the corner.

So as autumn arrives I would offer the following bits of advice. Firstly, hold on to the last bits of colour and savour them. Next, enjoy what’s there - perhaps you have some raspberries or any number of the late-flowering varieties such as Cyclamens, Begonias, and of course, Crocuses.

Also see how your garden is evolving – sure, that asparagus bed is no longer cropping, but look at the lovely ferns it’s now growing.

Next, tidy up of borders, or clean out the greenhouse, or perhaps even renew a few tools. Also consider getting your compost boosted with all those leaves suddenly in abundance. And finally, invest in some evergreens to offer texture and volume in areas of the garden that might start looking a little sparser.

Mostly though, look forward to the coming change and admire nature’s versatility. And remember, anticipation is an underrated commodity!