It’s arrived! Yes it’s autumn and it’s hard to accept that summer has gone and that now we abruptly find ourselves in a new season. I never used to think of september as the start of autumn but I do now. I am a big fan of Countryfile and their weather reporter has clearly stated that based on weather statistics our British autumn begins with the month of september and ends in November.

If I think back to when I was a child and taking those first few september steps to school for the new year, I do remember cold wet knees because of socks that kept slipping down and bracing myself against the cold and damp september winds. As you can imagine I didn’t enjoy those walks to school at all and am very glad that I won’t ever have to bear my knees to the cold and wet of september days ever again.

Now some forty years later, I herald the start of autumn with warm dry knees and fizzle with delight for the onset of the abundance of autumn colours. Chomping at the bit for the opportunity to plant shrubs and trees in my home garden and for clients. Throughout this season I shall focus on plants that will bring great pleasure to your gardens by recommending plants that will give you coloured stems during the following seasons, berries for your garden birds to nosh on and beautiful leaf colour to captivate the eye.

I am a very big fan of Graham Stuart Thomas, OBE, an English horticulturalist, artist, author, poet and garden designer. Born in Cambridge and studied in the University Botanic Garden at Cambridge University, he died in 2003. Ever since I found his book ‘Colour in the winter garden’ I have been a disciple and can never ever go back to the impoverished view that the height of the garden’s interest happens in spring and summer. This comprehensive book shares the abundance of bulbs, perennial plants, shrubs and trees that give us a huge array of colour, form and fruits throughout the autumn and winter seasons.

During autumn and winter I shall write about a plant for autumn and winter interest and this week I am putting the spotlight on Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus in ‘Judi’s plant of the week‘. If you have a question about plants for your garden do please get in touch.

If you would like to talk with me about a new planting scheme for your garden or a Dingly Dell, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is For gardening development and maintenance enquiries (North-East London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Enfield) please telephone 07818 005773.

Happy gardening!