The temperatures may be dropping, but there are still plenty of good reasons to get out in the garden. Now is the time to set your garden up for success during the months to come.

MAKE THE CUT

Autumn is the perfect time to take cuttings from your favourite hardwood shrubs. Ensure the parent plant is well watered before taking cuttings, and take stems long enough to bury 40-50mm into a sandy loam mix. Be sure to keep the roots watered.

autumnalGIVE ROSES SOME LOVE

Remove dead flower heads from roses and give them a light prune to encourage continued flowering. Don’t prune too harshly now, just enough to generate new growth. Remember, it will be around six weeks before the next flowers arrive.toa

MOVEMENT AND SOUND

To add tranquillity to an area, use moving water. A sealed pot or urn with a pump in the centre will form a small spout of water to break the surface and create this effect. Plants that move in the wind is an idea – bamboo is perfect to generate a soft rustle. Birds are also peaceful but use bird-attracting plants⁄flowers, not bird feeders and seeds, which can get messy with unwanted droppings.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TOOLS

Bare wooden handles benefit from boiled linseed oil. Rub the oil on with a rag and allow the wood to absorb the first coat before applying more oil. toThis prevents drying out and splintering.

THIS MONTH’S BEST BUY

I always carry a roll of Whites cloth plant tie, $10.25 for 40m, from Bunningsfor jobs where a plant needs tying safely back to a support stake, trellis or just be out of my way while I’m working on something underneath. It’s made of soft material that won’t damage a plant’s trunk under strain.