THIS week has really been about final tidying up in my garden ready for the winter.

I’ve had my last collection of garden rubbish so have made sure I will not need to cut anything back now until the spring. Many of my fern fronds were looking quite tatty. While it is recommended to cut back in the spring, I have always done mine now.

They are located in full view of the kitchen French windows so by cutting back it allows me to display pots of bulbs with pansies on top, in amongst the area to brighten it up for the coming months.

Whenever you decide to do it, cutting off the old stems after the new ones emerge is fraught with danger and requires a patient hand; the risk of severing the new fronds is high, therefore it’s a lot easier to do before the new growth comes in.

This sort of maintenance of perennials can really make the difference between a garden that looks worn out and sad, or one that bursts with new vibrant growth. I like to think that mine sits in the latter.

Tomorrow will be the last longer day to work in the garden, as the clocks go back Saturday into Sunday, then it will really seem as if winter is on the way. For me, I think it will all be about “pottering” in the garden over the coming few months, weather permitting. It can be so easy to forget about your plants once the summer is over, so regular checks of containers and plants under cover or in the greenhouse is especially important.

Looking good in my garden this week is a small aster, Barbados, I’ve had for many years now.

This dwarf Michaelmas Daisy has vibrant purple-blue flowers with a yellow centre that smother the plants from August until September and beyond.

Ideally suited for a container or the front of a sunny border in moist soil. Barbados is part of the Island Series, a group of asters designed for their compact habit and flower power.

If you want a blast of some gorgeous autumn colour then why not venture to Sheffield Park?

This is the season the garden was planted for. Take in the natural beauty as it glows with brilliant displays of reds, oranges, purples and greens.

You will need to book your visit in advance (except for parkland) with tickets released every Friday for the following week. Full details on their website.

You will be turned away from the garden if you arrive without a booking. Their tearoom is open too.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at