The Garden Coach – planting for spring

PUBLISHED: 14:14 30 September 2013 | UPDATED: 15:36 30 September 2013

Now is the time to plant daffs

Now is the time to plant daffs


Herts-based gardening coach Judy Shardlow gives a guide to autumn planting

Gardening can be tough. Last year it rained relentlessly through the summer and this year we’ve had full blown drought conditions. Whether it’s a result of climate change or just the vagaries of the British summer is difficult to tell. Either way, what we need are plants and trees that can withstand extreme cold, heat, flood and drought and still thrive. Quite a tall order!

The beautiful ornamental tree, Liquidamber styraciflua is that rare thing – extremely tough and exquisitely beautiful. It’s frequently praised for its stunning maple-like foliage, which in autumn turns from fresh green to oranges and wine reds. It looks delicate, but it can withstand the types of extreme wet and drought that we’ve experienced recently, with very good grace.

Its demands are few - it likes lime free soil, so is perfect for Hertfordshire’s heavy clay gardens, and it thrives in full sun. It also grows quickly. And while some types, such as Worpleston can become large, others such as Slender Sihouette provide a perfect feature for a smaller garden. More importantly it’s not the type of tree that you will need to worry over. If well planted, it will just get on with the serious business of growing and looking stunning. You can then sit back and enjoy your own ‘New England fall’ in the autumn.

Judy Shardlow is a Herts-based gardening coach

01438 833858

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