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Autumn garden shows

Fran Swaine

Fran Swaine

November 11, 2012

Garden shows don’t just stop at the end of summer; they’re now a year-long feature showcasing new trends. Garden lovers can discover seasonal plants that will keep their gardens in tip-top condition all year round.

Get along to your garden centre for autumn planting for year-round colour (Photo Jonathan Billinger)

Now that autumn is well and truly here you might be thinking about downing tools and packing up for winter, but autumn is the perfect time to start thinking about giving your garden a makeover. The Royal Horticultural Society recently surveyed 1,000 people.  68% bought plants in the spring or summer and over three quarters think that spring or summer are the best times for planting. The RHS says this is wrong and is urging gardeners to get thinking about their gardens six months in advance of spring by launching the ‘autumn planting for year-round colour’ campaign. Waiting until spring to buy potted plants could cost more in the long run, so get planning and planting now to save on the pennies!

Photo Paul Urquhart

One of the biggest trends seen at this year’s autumn garden shows was a focus on traditional gardening. Garden lovers learnt which plants are more likely to survive the winter as well as which ones will flower earlier, so when spring comes the garden will already be in full bloom. Bulbs such as snowdrops, tulips and daffodils are of course a timeless classic providing signs of new life as early as February.

Edible or kitchen gardens were another big trend, with people replicating the ‘dig for victory’ gardens seen during the Second World War. Growing your own is becoming even more innovative, with experts encouraging gardeners to get clever with their gardening by creating flower beds out of left over wood or metal rather than buying new.


This year there was a big focus on space saving techniques and making the most out of minimal space. City dwellers with no outside space can expect to be inspired by miniature gardens such as terrariums (a sealed transparent globe), tropical containers or fairy gardens. These mini landscapes can bring some of the outside world inside and are easy to display in the home or even at the office! Or why not try a vertical herb garden in your kitchen? A great idea to bring a little bit of green into your home as well as being extremely practical for cooking!

Bursts of colour from this season’s harvest will undoubtedly leave your mouth watering and your brain whirring with ideas. The autumn garden shows celebrated the best fruit and vegetables, usually with an array of giant pumpkins on show.

Adding your own personal style to your garden is another big trend this year. From repurposed materials to vintage garden furniture; applying the same tastes you have inside your home to your garden will give you a unique landscape that you are sure to love.

Attending garden shows and brainstorming ideas for your garden makeover is a lot of fun but can be expensive. One way to help you spread the initial cost of redesigning your garden could be by credit card, especially if you’ve got a card that offers a 0% period on purchases. It’s important to bear in mind though that if you don’t clear the balance within the introductory period, you will be charged interest.

This sponsored post was written by Fran Swaine on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog.

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Julie Thomson
11 years ago

Love the garden “bed”.

Alison S
Alison S
11 years ago

Hi Fran, I loved your post and agree that autumn is a great time for planting. The lower temperatures and higher likelihood of rain mean that newly planted shrubs or divided perennials should get a good start while the soil is still relatively warm. But this year in the west of Scotland they risk drowning! It has been so wet that the soil is saturated, and treading on the garden beds leaves a trail of deep, muddy footprints. I fear I may have to wait until next spring after all (when I will be sure to give my credit card some exercise!)