The Gardening Year

The Gardening Year

Your garden never stops changing, and no garden is ever finished. Year-round gardening has its rewards as you can make sure that there is always something to cheer you up in the way of flowers, and always more things to plant and existing features to keep up to scratch. This video features professional gardening tips on how to care for a rose garden year round. It also includes great tips for uncovering your roses in the spring, mulching, pruning, dead heading, black spot, Japanese beetles, removing petals, and autumn / winter preparation.


Each season in the garden has a series of jobs to be done. The table below shows a general list of things to be done in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

The Gardening Year

The growing season for hardy plants is the time between spring and autumn when plants do all their growing and we gardeners do most of our work. The rest of the year is the dormant period when (most) plants and gardeners are resting.





It’s a joy to see the garden wake up after winter. The highlights are spring bulbs, tree blossom and flowering shrubs. Spring is also the busiest time in the garden, so try to get ahead before the weeds start growing. This is the time to sow seeds, indoors and outside, and to make weeding a priority.

Early Spring

  • Prune roses
  • Sow hardy annuals outdoors and half-hardy annuals in a heated propagator in the greenhouse or on a windowsill indoors
  • Tidy borders, weed and mulch with compost or manure
  • Lift and divide herbaceous perennials

Mid Spring

  • Start mowing the lawn regularly and apply lawn weed and feed
  • Plant new roses, trees, shrubs and perennials
  • Feed specimen trees, roses, shrubs and hedge and established beds and borders, with a general purpose organic fertilizer
  • Prick out half-hardy annual seedlings or pot them up as necessary

Late Spring

  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after flowering
  • Clip box hedges
  • After the last frost plant out half-hardy annuals in containers and outdoor beds
  • After the last frost plant out dahlias, bring out houseplants and plant any slightly tender shrubs
  • Take cuttings from new growth of shrubs and perennials



Summer is for flowers, whether it’s beds of colour co-ordinated perennials, multi-coloured eruptions of bedding plants from hanging baskets and containers, or the queen of summer shrubs – the rose.
Although you’re still busy, don’t forget to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labours. Believe me, it’s all too easy to spend the whole time pottering and not relaxing!

Early Summer

  • Begin to feed, water and deadhead bedding plants
  • Feed and deadhead roses after the first flush of flowers
  • Sow seeds of perennial plants, winter bedding and biennials outdoors
  • Make first trim of yew and leafy hedges, such as beech
  • Ensure any winter planted trees and shrubs are not suffering from dry periods, give them a good soak if necessary

Mid Summer

  • If you have a pool, keep it aerated and the water level topped up
  • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs, such as colchicums and sternbergias
  • In dry weather, raise the mower blades slightly as longer grass stays greener
  • Keep on top of the weeding, feeding, deadheading and watering

Late Summer

  • Feed and water rhododendrons if the weather is dry
  • Sow hardy annual seeds in pots for autumn planting
  • Deadhead and stake perennials to keep them flowering and looking neat
  • Take semi-ripe cuttings of shrubs



Autumn is the mellow season, all the hectic flowering and reproductive activity of the summer is over. Seed-heads and berries look their best; and the changing colour of leaves signals the beginning of the end of the growing season. For the gardener, this is the time to start putting the garden to bed.

Early Autumn

  • Bring in tender plants under cover before the first frosts
  • Plant or move evergreens and conifers, while the soil is still warm
  • Plant spring bedding, such as wallflowers and polyanthus
  • Plant spring bulbs

Mid Autumn

  • Tidy perennials, removing dead stems but leaving seed-heads for birds to eat
  • Plant deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers
  • Lay new lawns, so long as soil is not too wet
  • Batten down the hatches, ensuring nothing can blow about and cause damage on windy nights

Late Autumn

  • Plant shrubs, roses and hedging plants sold with bare roots
  • Clear up fallen leaves and compost them
  • Plant tulips and hyacinths
  • Move deciduous trees and shrubs once they have lost their leaves
  • Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and roses

autumn leaves860


Once the dormant season is well and truly upon us, this is the time to take stock of the year’s successes and failures, and to get on with planning for next year. It is also a great time to start construction jobs so that the new features will be ready for the start of next year’s season. It’s also time to enjoy displays of evergreens, winter flowers and attractive barks.

Key jobs for winter

  • If it’s a mild winter, continue to cut the lawn, so long as it’s growing, but raise the height of the mower blades
  • Prevent containers planted with winter bedding or all-year-round shrubs from freezing solid by wrapping them with bubblewrap or taking them into shelter
  • Get rid of slimy patches on the patio and paving by scrubbing with a broom or blasting with a pressure washer
  • Remember to feed indoor plants occasionally
  • Order seed catalogues and plan what you’re going to grow in the spring