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The Autumn Garden

Autumn Gardens 020-231x153The Autumn Garden can be a most special finale to the warm growing season. Yet really good Autumn Gardens are still rarely seen. So many people overlook the remarkable potential of this vibrant season.  In the past, Gardeners of Asia traditionally relied on just a few seasonal flowers, flowering shrubs and small trees plus berries and vivid autumnal foliage for the Autumn Garden, as they had fewer Autumn-blooming native wildflowers with which to work. The major exception would be the classic Chrysanthemum which became the high art and emblem of Asian Autumn gardening.

Classic European/Northern Hemisphere/ Western Cultures certainly appreciate their vivid Autumn foliage plus native seasonal wildflowers and their glorious hybrids. In many places the fields are cloaked in great sweeps of bright colour right up to frost. But in those regions which so frequently experience such severe climatic extremes their attention was much more appropriately focused on advanced preparations for Winter and planting of bulbs for the Spring season ahead.

Autumn Gardens 001-231x153But now in our modern world, especially in those blessed regions of the Southern Hemisphere, the milder Mediterranean and moderate coastal and subtropical climatic regions, it is possible to add an entirely new glorious season to the gardening calendar: The Autumn Garden.

Autumn Gardens often feature bold and dramatic landscapes sometimes with an opulence of bloom. While there are sometimes fewer flower species to choose from these late-season flowers are often luxuriant, rich and warm in colourful hues. Many Annual and Perennial flowers linger in the moderate autumnal climate before being cut down by frost or wintry conditions.

In many good gardening locations around the world, Autumn weather is often Spring-like with bright, gentle and mild sunlight that maintains warm ground temperatures. There is still plenty of ultra violet energy in the rays to keep things blooming and growing strongly. Damper days further encourage new growth and increased flowering plus cooler nights prolong the longevity of those lovely Autumn blooms. This can often result in a glorious time of the year for colour in the garden.
 
Autumn Gardens 005-231x153Just like anything else of quality and style, an Autumn Garden takes some careful consideration and planning. This is especially true when creating a long-term classic Autumn Garden that will perform brilliantly for many years to come. Yet even the novice Gardener with just a small patch of land can produce a brilliant Autumn Garden display in as little as eight to ten weeks from seed!

Here are a few simple secrets that make an Autumn Garden both easy and successful.
 
When planning the Autumn Garden, especially whenever these displays will merge into Winter and Early Spring displays, remember that sunlight is shifting as the Sun moves further toward the Pole and so shines lower in the sky. This will create much longer shadows which will result in cooler, shady and wet areas where before there had been Summer sunshine. Anticipate this seasonal change. Study the landscape and be sure to plant well away from the shaded side of buildings, fences, tall trees and walls.
 
Rely on hardy Annual and Perennial flower species for the main colour displays. Choose those easy and reliable species and varieties, especially in climates that can prove extreme toward the middle or end of Autumn. By far the cheapest way to accomplish this is to sow them all from seed.

Some of the very easiest Annual Autumn flowers include:
Ageratum, Alyssum, Asters (Callistephus), Balsam, Begonias, Calendula, Calliopsis, Candytuft, Centaurea (Bachelor Buttons Chrysanthemum (Korean especially), Celosia and Cockscomb, Chamomile (Tanacetum), Cineraria, Cleome, Cosmos, Dahlia, Delphinium, Dianthus, Gomphrena, Helichrysum (Strawflower), Impatiens, Ipomoea (Morning Glories), Larkspur, Linaria, Linum (Annual Flax), Lobelia, Marigold, Matthiola (Stock), Myosotis (Forget-Me-Not),Nemesia, Nicotiana, Nigella (Love-in-A-Mist), Pansy and Viola, Petunia, Phlox, Poppies (almost all varieties), Primula, Rudbeckia, Salpiglossis, Salvia, Scabiosa, Schizanthus, Snapdragon, Statice, Sunflowers (Helianthus species), Verbena, Vinca major, Virginia Stock (Malcolmia), Zinnia and many more.
 
When starting these Annual flowers from seed, check how many week/months are required from seed sowing until flowering. Those that take 12 weeks or longer like most Perennials such as: Chrysanthemum, taller Dahlia, Delphinium, Dianthus, Rudbeckia and many others, can be sown in Mid Spring and transplanted by Early Summer so they will be ready for flowering by Late Summer/Early Autumn.
 
As early-planted Summer Annuals finish, clear them away or cut them back severely, re-feed and spray them. This will give them a whole new lease on life. Then replant around them with fresh Autumn colour.  Annuals that are cut back will usually reach their peak of regrowth and flowering in Early/Mid Autumn to create a truly memorable show. The later-planted Annuals will then take their place to finish off the flowering season.
 
Many easy, fast-growing and very hardy Annuals can be especially sown in Early/Mid Summer (Christmas-New Years in the Southern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice-Fourth of July in the Northern Hemisphere). Provided the seed can remain moist and protected, it will germinate very quickly in the summery heat, often in 4-7 days. Growth will be spectacular. Flowering will occur within 8-10 weeks onward right as Autumn weather arrives. These are by far the easiest, most rewarding and spectacular Annual Autumn Garden displays.
 
Wherever gardens are filled with Spring and Summer flowers or climate is extreme, sow into punnets and transplant later. This way there is much more control over the quality and results. Sow only a few seeds into each punnet or small pot. Grow these on until significant roots begin to show through the drainage holes. That indicates that they are ready for transplanting. By then each punnet should be filled with Annual flowers of a substantial size. Some might already be showing first buds or blooms.
 
Before planting is it always best to feed the soil generously in advance of the planting date. Healthy plants grow faster, bloom better and longer and withstand cool wet conditions much better when they are grown in well-enriched soils.
 
Wherever it is anticipated that the Autumn season might become wet; or whenever the Autumn Garden is combined with the Winter and Early Spring displays add extra drainage materials. This could be river gravel or sand, granulated bark, pumice, etc. Dig this in deeply so that soil remains aerated, light and porous. This will insure excellent drainage through cool, damp Autumn weather. Substantially more drainage materials are added to these cool season garden than for warm season displays. The idea in cool season gardens is to drain off excessive water to keep soil aerated and warmer; where warm season gardens are more about holding extra moisture to maximize flowering and growth.
 
When planning and preparing to transplant, choose a cloudy, damp or even rainy or stormy day preferably with a period of cloudy weather ahead of that. Remove the seedlings from each punnet with their root ball intact and plant as one unit. Usually it is unwise to attempt to divide and separate each seedling from the rest in the punnet; just plant the entire root ball taken from the punnet as one unit of plants. This will minimize root damage and insure that each punnet becomes established very quickly even in summery heat. In unusually cool, damp Summer weather, it is permissible to separate each seedling, especially on such hardy species as Cosmos and Marigolds. But be aware that just one hot and sunny afternoon is enough to result in their collapse until they establish a new root system. Annual seedlings transplanted as an entire punnet seldom wilt for long if at all and when they do, quickly recover with a good watering.
 
Allow plenty of space between plants, especially when transplanted as entire punnets. When planting as a group, each plant will flop and spread outward to create a large clump. As the weather cools and the Sun angle declines, shadows and shade will increase along with dampness. Plants will need plenty of air space around them to insure that they do not rot or become attacked by blight and fungus.
 
Irrigate frequently and thoroughly if weather is at all dry and hot. Once the new seedling plants and/or punnets are planted, water each root ball of seedling plants daily until any signs of wilting stops and the plants are obviously in active growth. Attempt to avoid any wilting if possible. And spray over the foliage frequently if they do, to keep the limp leaves from drying up and shrivelling. Wilted seedlings usually revive with no set-back, but shrivelled seedlings may collapse or never perform to their best. If weather becomes extremely dry and hot and seedlings continue to wilt, pinch out their growing tip and remove all or part of their soft top foliage. This will reduce evaporation through transpiration and the seedlings will usually quickly recover. Such plants often become much more bushy and floriferous when the central growing tip is removed but initial flowering will be set back at least one or two weeks.
 
It is also wise to spray the entire Autumn Garden soon after planting with a systemic fungicide/insecticide combined with a foliar feeding and a fixative like fish emulsion or liquid soap to ensure long-lasting impact. Make sure this is completed as soon as all plants become established and are obviously in active growth. This preventative spray helps to insure they all will make rapid growth and are not predated upon due to transplanting stress. Autumn is classically a time of predation where disease, fungus and insects strip back the fading garden in preparation for colder weather. Emerging young plants are often needlessly caught in this onslaught. This preventative spray gives everything the boost they need to insure spectacular results.
 
Anticipate predation on any newly planted seedlings or tender, young plants. Even after spraying, and in the many weeks that follow, the Autumn Garden can fall victim to Autumnal predators. Caterpillars and Beetles are often a problem early in the season while the weather remains hot or warm. As conditions cool off and become damper, an entirely new generation of Slugs and Snails will hatch. These can be very destructive, as they are often too small to eat poisonous baits but can quickly ruin the flowers and foliage of Autumn-flowering plants.

Place Slug and Snail baits early even before transplanting.  Add fresh baits every couple of weeks thereafter to kill off as many adults as possible. Once new young Slugs and Snails hatch, it is often best to find or introduce a ‘sacrificial’ plant, like Broccoli or Endive that they are naturally attracted to. Each day, pick off and crush any new arrivals. In a few weeks time these small predators will grow large enough to eat the commercial baits which should then stop the problem.

But remain diligent, as mature Slugs and Snails often hibernate through dry, hot Summer conditions, but as soon as damp weather returns, they come back to life and are ravenously hungry! This can often catch Gardeners unaware. One good Autumn rain after a long spell of dry, hot weather can result in a mass awakening of breeding large and mature Slugs and Snails that can seriously damage the Autumn Garden in a single evening. After that, their young quickly hatch to finish off the rest!
 
Many hardy and very reliable Perennial species naturally flower in Late Summer and Autumn and when pinched back and fertilized will sometimes flower into Winter, especially in mild climates with benevolent Winter seasons. Most of these can be planted any time from the previous Autumn through Winter (mild climates) or Spring to Early Summer. Because these take at least a year or longer when started from seed, many times these are transplanted from containers as advanced bedding plants or seedlings. That is if they are meant to bloom this year. Sometimes advanced container-grown Perennials will take a year or more to mature properly to reach flowering stage. Planting in Autumn gives them an opportunity to become established so that they will be ready to flower possibly the following Summer and Autumn. Their seed is usually very easy to sow in either Spring or Autumn and will usually start flowering the following year.

Because Perennials are most effective when planted in large groups, and because purchasing advanced seedlings or container-grown Perennials can be expensive, especially in the larger garden, consider growing many of the hardiest and most reliable species and varieties from cuttings and seed. Sometimes these will be ready to plant out this Autumn and sometimes they may need to be held over in a sheltered nursery or cold frame and transplanted into their flowering positions next Spring for flowering the following Autumn. This way it is possible to display hundreds of flowering Perennials for the cost of purchasing just a few mature plants.
 
Here is a partial list of the most hardy and reliable Autumn-flowering Perennials:
Achillea, Agapanthus (late-flowering species), Aloes, Alstroemaria, Anigozanthus (Kangaroo Paw), Anthemis, Arctotis, Asclepias (Butterfly Flower), Asters, Boltonia, Carnation, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Leadwort), Chrysanthemums, Convolvulus, Dahlia (large and tall hybrids), Delphinium hybrids, Dianthus (perennial species), Digitalis (Fox Glove),Dimorphotheca (Star of the Veldt), Erigeron Daisy, Eupatorium (Joe-Pye wed and Mist Flowers),  Felicia, Fuchsia, Gaillardia, Gerbera, Geranium, Geum, Gypsophila, Helianthus (Sunflower species),Helenium (Sneeze Weed species), Hedychium (ornamental Gingers), Hemerocallis, Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker),  Leonotis, Lobelia (Spiking species like L. cardinalis), Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife), Mirabilis, Monarda (Bee Balm) Pelargonium, Phlox (tall species), Physostegia (False Dragons Head), Platycodon (Balloon Flower),  Plectranthus, Polyanthus, Polygonum (Knot Weed), Salvia species, Solidago (Golden Rod), Tanacetum (Feverfew and species),Tradescantia (Day Flower),Tweedia (Heavenly Blue), Vernonia (Iron Weed Plant), Yarrow, Violets, Wallflower and many others.

Amongst the displays of annuals and perennials consider planting groups of Autumn-flowering bulbs. Some of these roots and tubers like Canna, Dahlia and Tuberose may flower for much of the Summer as well as into the Autumn. Various species of Arum and Zantedeschia species can flower in almost every season of the year. The rest are usually seen flowering in the Autumn.

The best Autumn-flowering bulbs, corms, roots and tubers include: Amaryllis belladonna, Anemone coronaria, Canna, Colchicum (Autumn Crocus), Crocus (Autumn flowering species like C. Sativus), Cyclamen, Dahlia, Fothergilla and Nerine,  Sternbergia (Autumn Crocus/Daffodil ), Tuberose, Arum and Zantedeschia.

In mild climates that experience only light freezing or limited periods of frosts and especially in ‘winterless’ (sub) tropical climates quite a few classic plants, shrubs and trees flower in the Autumn. Some of them continue to flower well into Winter and are then replaced with others that Winter-flower; sometimes into Spring.  Check for cold-hardiness within your climate growing zone. Some of these Autumn-flowering species are frost tender, like Bauhinia and Bougainvillea but many can withstand considerable cold and even short periods of snow like: Buddleia, Erica, Fatsia, Lavender, Prunus, Yucca and others.

Shrubs and Ornamental Small Trees: So many trees and shrubs either bloom in Autumn or produce ornamental berries and foliage. Almost all of these can be planted in Autumn as well as Late Winter through Spring. This is especially easy if they are being transplanted from established containers. Much more care is needed if they are being shifted or transplanted as bare-root specimens; but with care and benevolent weather conditions this should also be quite successful. If the weather remains dry, they will need irrigation until cool and damper conditions return. In subtropical climates experiencing dry Autumn and Winter conditions continue artificial irrigation until the plants are obviously established and/or all signs of wilting have stopped.

Here is a partial listing of the most popular and reliable Autumn-flowering shrubs and small trees:
Abelia, Abutilon, Aloe, Azalea, Beloporone (Shrimp Plant), Bauhinia (Orchid Tree/Vine), Bougainvillea, Brugmansia (Datura/Angel’s Trumpets), Buckinghamia (Ivory Curl Tree), Buddleia (Butterfly Bush),  Calliandra (Powder-Puff Plant), Callistemon (Bottle Brush), Calluna/Heather (few varieties), Camellia sasanqua, Cassia (several species), Carissa (Natal Plum), Caryopteris incana (Blue Spirea), Cassia (many species including Butter Cup Bush and Golden Shower Tree), Cestrum, Chorisia (Floss Tree), Choisya (Orange Blossom), Clerodendron, Cuphea (Cigarette Plant), Dombeya (Cape Wedding Flower), Duranta (Sky Flower), Erica/Heath (many varieties), Eucharis Lily (very warm positions),  Euryops Daisy, Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia), Gardenia, Hakea (Pincushion), Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Hebe, Hedychium (Ornamental Gingers), Heliconia (Shell Flowers, warm positions only), Hibiscus, Hoheria (Lace Bark), Lantana, Lavender, Leptospermum (Tea Tree),  Loquat, Marguerite Daisy, Medinilla (Rose Grape), Metrosideros “Tahiti’, Musseanda (Tropical Butterfly Bush), Nerium (Oleander), Osmanthus, Plumbago, Plumeria (Frangipani),  Poinsettia (late Autumn to Spring), Polygala, Protea (several species and varieties), Prunus subhirtella (Autumn Flowering Cherry), Rhododendron  Vireya (many species and varieties), Roses, Russelia (Firecracker Plant),Sapium (Tallow Tree, vivid Autumn foliage) Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise), Stenocarpus (Fire Wheel Tree), Tecomaria (Cape Honeysuckle), Tibouchina (Lasiandra), Vitex agnus (Chaste Tree), Yucca and much more locally.
 
Climbers and Vines for Autumn:  
These can also make a dramatic addition to the Autumn Garden. Some naturally flower in Autumn and/or Winter. This makes them ideal candidates for arbours, screens and trellis features. Other vines produce attractive berries like classic Bittersweet and various Roses with their colourful Rose hips. Other vines display remarkably flamboyant colourful foliage like Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper. Almost all vining plants can be shifted in Autumn as well as Late Winter through Spring. Almost all of these are especially easy to transplant from established containers. Take much more care if shifting or transplanting from bare-root plants. All the deciduous types will shift much more easily once all foliage has dropped. But with attention to regular irrigation and proper staking, they should shift quite easily.

Here is a partial listing of Autumn- flowering and colourful foliage Vines:
Bougainvillea, Celastrus (Climbing Bittersweet), Clematis, Cissus (ornamental Grape), Lapageria (Chilean Bell Flower), Mandevilla, Manettia, Parthenocissus (Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper), Passiflora (Passion Fruit), Pyrostegia (Flame Vine, Late Autumn and Winter), Solandra (Golden Chalice) Solanum (Potato Jasmine), Stephanotis, Roses (Cecil Brunner and others), Tecomanthe (Late Autumn and Winter), Thunbergia and more locally.

Berries and Fruit: Autumn is a classic time for the maturity of many types of berries and ornamental fruits. These are often very decorative and sometimes edible for Humans and often by birds. The attraction of birds feasting on ripening berries is often as decorative and interesting as the berries themselves. Often these berries last throughout the Autumn Garden season and well into Winter.

Once again, all these are quite easy to establish from advanced container-grown stock. When shifting and transplanting as bare-root specimens, take extra care to provide regular irrigation and proper staking until the plants appear to be well established. All deciduous species shifted from bare-root stock will re-establish much faster once all foliage has dropped in Late Autumn to Early Spring. But when transplanting from containers with little if any root disturbance, they should become established very quickly. In very cold climates, experiencing major ground freezing, many Gardeners elect to transplant in Early Spring.

Here is a partial list of plants, shrubs and small trees with decorative Autumn Berries:
Berberis (Barberry), Callicarpa (Beauty Berry), Celastrus (Climbing Bittersweet), Citrus, Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley), Cornus (Dogwood),Cotoneaster, Dianella (Blueberry), Duranta (Sky Flower), Eugenia (Acmena), Euonymous, Hawthorn  (Crataegus),  Heteromeles (California Holly), Ilex (Holly species), Idesia (Wonder Tree), Koelreuteria (Golden Rain Tree),  Mahonia (Grape Holly), Malus (Crab Apple species), Melia  (Bead Tree), Nandina, Pernettya, Persoonia (Australian Geebung), Pittosporum rhombifolium variety ‘Hollywood’, Pomegranate, Pyracantha, Raphiolepis (Indian Hawthorn),Ricinus (Castor Bean), Rhus (Sumac),  Roses (especially species Roses like R. rugosa), Sarcococca (Christmas Box), Schefflera, Schinus (Pepper Tree), Sorbus (Mountain Ash),  Symphoricarpos (Snow Berry), Viburnum (many species), Vitex (Puriri) and more locally.
 
Also plan and plant your Autumn Garden colour display to coordinate with nearby deciduous shrubs and trees plus vines in the landscape with distinctive autumnal foliage tones. These can be used as a colourful background to highlight the flower colours
 
Many bushy or taller flowering plants or shrubs can be under-planted with flowering groundcovers like Plectranthus or Polygonum (Patchwork). This unifies the display and allows a wide variety of different plants species to be tied together by the groundcover that surrounds them all. Sweeps of hardy Annuals like Calendula or Impatiens (mild positions) will create a similar effect.

Clumps of perennials and shrubs can be accented to provide extra interest when inter-planted with clumps of bulbs and tubers like early Anemone coronaria, impressive Colchicum (the Autumn Crocus), Cyclamen, late Dahlia and the first early Narcissus, as well as Nerines.

Nerines, produce large lilies with long, recurving, spidery petals and prominent stamens that arise quickly from the ground atop long stems. Nerine fothergillii produce vivid orange-red blooms that add a dramatic accent to bright autumnal foliage. Most other Nerines are somewhat more graceful and subdued in bright or pastel shades of apricot, cream, mauve, orange, pink, salmon, white and yellow. Nerine bowdenii is a classic fast spreading form for mild climates with graceful and spidery bright to soft pink blooms that flower very late in the season. Nerines are also excellent in large containers.

Dahlias will flower all Summer but really enjoy cooler, moist conditions for best flowering as this preserves the freshness of the blooms. There are Dahlia hybrids to suit every garden from very dwarf to giants that can tower to 5m/16.7ft or more! These occur in nearly every colour combination in the rainbow except true blue. Many are vivid autumnal shades that perfectly suit the Autumn Garden.

Other tubers like Canna should be giving a last bust of warm colour to remind us of the warm days of Summer. They will often continue flowering until cut down by frost. In very mild climates where they grow all year, cut the canes back severely to near the ground after several flower clusters have been produced and the leaves are beginning to look tattered. New robust shoots will quickly replace them and will begin flowering in about six weeks onward.

The brightly coloured and pastel Summer Arum/Zantedeschia begin to fade in Autumn. As the weather cools, the first gothic white Arum Lilies (Zantedeschia) begin to flower, reminding us that Winter days are near at hand. These prefer a sunny spot but the larger white species will tolerate partial shade somewhat better than the warm-season colourful forms.

Perennials can play a big part in the Autumn Garden.  Asters, the Michaelmas Daisies and New England Asters and Chrysanthemums are ablaze. Between them they cover every colour shade of the rainbow. They work in well with Solidago, the Goldenrod, along with the mauves and purples of Eupatorium and Ironweed. The delicate arching sprays of vanilla-scented Boltonia make a wonderful divider as their masses of small white daisies enhance and separate the other colour shades.

The Heleniums (Sneeze Weeds) and Helianthus, perennial Sunflowers add dramatic accents of near-volcanic colour. The best known of these is Helianthus ‘Autumn Glory’ which is literally smothered in Autumn with bright, large single or double daisy blooms in richest golden yellow. The glowing sunset shades of Helenium combined with the gold and yellow Helianthus Sunflowers make a perfect complement to a background of deciduous shrubs and trees cloaked in similar autumnal shadings. Heleniums and Heleniums come in medium to rather tall and often bushy varieties 1-2.5m/3-8.36ft. This links them nicely with autumnal foliage beyond in the back of the border or beyond.

It is easy to create vivid colour contrasts by planting clumps of the sunset shaded perennials with contrasting blue, mauve, pink and purple shades to create a breathtaking display that will reliably bloom year-after-year with very little care.

Such a classic display might be a deciduous shrub and tree border in the background complete with various autumnal foliage and berries like Crab Apple and Hawthorn. In front of that, would be the perennial border. At the back of this would be tall Helianthus Sunflowers and Jerusalem Artichoke alternated with mauve Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed and purple Iron Weed. Mixed just in front of that, plant dramatic clumps of Helenium Sneeze Weeds; each sunset shade separated from the rest. Add white sprays of Boltonia Daisy between these. In front of that plant bold clumps of pink-purple Lythrum and perennial Asters, especially the taller Novae angliae (New England Aster). Alternate this with handsome beds of taller Solidago. Just in front of that add more Asters in shorter stature like the beautiful Belgian-Michaelmas varieties and alternate these with shorter Solidago (Golden Rod) species. In between these and near the front of the border add a wide band of colourful Annuals in whatever rainbow shades you desire.
 
In the very best climates, the Autumnal Finale ends in what is known as the Fifth Season. Here flowers and plants of all four classic seasons combine in a few magical weeks of unified colour that slowly fades into the early days of Winter. Due to climatic and seasonal variations, not all gardens are blessed with this event and it occurs to a varying degree each year. But in a good year, the last Summer and (sub) tropical flowers blend with the great displays of Autumn flowering species which combine now with the occasional Early Spring-flowering bulbs and many Winter and Early Spring flowers that are just beginning to unfurl. All of these beautiful flowers are framed by the most vivid autumnal foliage now hanging like bright ornaments and gracefully drifting down amongst the final blooms. This creates a bright carpeted patchwork to highlight the flowers that seem to glow their very brightest as they say ‘good-bye’ on those final damp and grey near-wintry days.

Then just as Fifth Season ends and Winter descends upon the landscape, those in mild climates are surprised by the odd blossom that promises that all is not lost, just quietly sleeping. Soon there will be early Azalea, Camellia japonica and C. Reticulata to take the place of Camellia sasanqua; divinely fragrant Daphne odora, Luculia gratissima, Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) and the brave brilliant torches of Tritoma/Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker). And now the bulbs begin, Paper White Narcissus, early Hyacinths and those treasured Winter blooms that sustain us as the sunlight slowly returns to start yet another glorious season. Truly this is a never-ending story.

For a comprehensive listing of the many hundreds of potential species to include in your Autumn Garden please visit the April Gardening Handbook and search under the headings;
Autumn Foliage
Trees and Shrubs for Autumn Colour

Flower Garden section under heading:
Ground-covers, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees and Vines in Bloom in Mid Autumn
Annual, Biennial and Perennials Flowers that Bloom in Mid Autumn
Bulbs, Perennials, Roots and Tubers in Bloom
 
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About us

dale-john 01-100x66 Dale Harvey and John Newton met in Melbourne Australia in 1981. Since then they both have supported each others careers while also building and maintaining their own. Read about how they were able to turn their joint careers into one and creating a dream of a better world starting in their own local community.

Media & Publications

host daffodils-100x66The following articles are a small part of the many published editorials on or about both Dale Harvey and John Newton plus the property affectionately nick named by the people of New Zealand, as the
"Quarter Acre” Paradise gardens.

Awards & Credits

HOPE Trust-100x66This is a collection of Appreciation Certificates, Local and Overseas Awards with Acknowledgments presented to Dale Harvey and John Newton over the many years of their joint careers plus the Launch and Registration
of The H.O.P.E. Trust
The Healing of Planet Earth.

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