THINGS have been moving on at a pace in the garden redesign here at Driftwood. After struggling to carry all 50 railway sleepers up the steep drive they are now all in situ around the new sunken garden that has been created at the back of the house.

It is almost complete, with the new, Indian sandstone circle patio being laid in front of the sleepers. It is turning out so much better than I had expected and once the spring arrives and I can position my collection of succulents around the space, will look really magical.

A new, large, flower bed has been created, behind the sleepers, along with a small extension to the existing patio up there. I have now got to decide which of the many plants and shrubs I dug up before the project began, will be relocated in the new area. It is going to be a very tight fit. One of the overall aims of the redesign has been to allow me to reduce the number of containers in the garden. My age is beginning to tell and it becomes more difficult, year on year, for me to keep up with the watering. This new area will focus less on summer annuals and more on succulents and drought tolerant plants. Well, that’s the plan.

You can view all the changes and the creation of the sunken garden on the link at the top of the garden development page of my website.

If you fancy working in your own garden here is one task to get on with. Autumn is a beautiful season in the garden, with many perennials, shrubs and trees providing some stunning colour. But once the leaves have fallen, they will need clearing up, especially from lawns, where they will smother the grass, and from paths and patios, where they may become slippery. It’s also a good idea to remove leaves from gravel, otherwise it will become messy. You can make the sweeping and collection process a lot easier by using a combination of different tools and methods, but I favour doing it all by hand in my garden, due to its size and layout.

A couple of nice autumn plants you might want to add to your garden is a cotoneaster. They give beautiful displays of red berries in autumn. Cotoneaster horizontalis is popular for the characteristic herringbone pattern of its stems, which makes it useful trained across the ground or on a wall. Another really good plant is the chrysanthemum, it flowers well into autumn and they are excellent for cutting too. I’ve got several large containers of them at Driftwood.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at