Gardeners’ World – October 2023

Michaelmas DaisiesDahlias and michaelmas daisies are in full flower and have stood up well to recent storms. My favourite is the small flowered variety ‘Little Carlow’, a lovely shade of mauve with masses of flowers, bought from Old Court Nurseries in Worcestershire, who hold the National Collection of michaelmas daisies with over 400 varieties. My plant has been covered in bees and Red Admiral butterflies. Keep dahlias flowering for as long as possible by dead heading them. The buds and seed heads are similar, but the cone shaped head is the old flower, and the new bud is circular.

Tiny cyclamen hederifolium are also in full flower with masses of pink or white flowers above small marbled leaves, similar to ivy. Cyclamen prefer shaded areas with their corms just below the surface. When they set seed and are ripe, they burst open and scatter their seeds and you soon have many new, free plants!

If your potato leaves have brown patches and curl up quickly, it is a sign of Potato Blight, and the potatoes will not keep through the winter unless you cut the leaves to ground level to prevent the blight spreading down to the tubers.