Autumn is the perfect time to plant autumn, winter and spring bedding plants into their flowering positions to take over when the summer colour fades. These plants can provide several months of great garden colour and although there may not be as much choice as there is with summer bedding plants, there are plants that will add colour to the garden to brighten up the colder and darker days.
October is the time to plan your winter bedding scheme for a good show of colour in pots, beds, borders and hanging baskets through the colder months and this video shows you some winter plants which will look great in any garden.
Plant spring-flowering bulbs now to flower from January to May, Anemone blanda is a wonderful infill plant or you could try dogtooth violet (Erythronium) for something more unusual.
Buy good-sized, firm bulbs from a reputable supplier for the best results.
Violas and winter pansies flower well in mild winter spells, stop in cold weather and then flower profusely in spring; polyanthus and primrose do likewise.
Choose compact plants, preferably not yet flowering, for the longest possible flower display.
Ornamental kale and cabbage provide foliage with purple hues; winter flowering heathers mix wonderfully with many bedding schemes.
Plan ahead by planting wallflowers and forget-me-nots and avoid growing them in the same place every year to reduce the risk of disease.
Evergreen grasses such as Festuca and Carex and more unusual shrubs such as Wintersweet (Gaultheria) make a change to accompany flowering plants.
In sheltered sites mini-cyclamen (not hardy) perform well from now until the coldest weather sets in, and should continue to flower until the New Year.
This video shows you how to plant out winter bedding plants.