With summer now officially at an end, October is the month of misty mornings and colder nights when plant growth slows down. Many of our native species enter a period of dormancy by shedding their foliage and survive the winter by holding their resting buds under the soil in preparation for the following spring. The numbers of Wildflowers still in bloom in October are few and far between with Autumn Crocus, Common Toadflax, Herb Robert and Autumn Hawkbit being notable exceptions.
Plenty of interest can still be found however in the wide variety of seasonal berries, nuts and seeds that are widespread and plentiful at this time of year and will help sustain our resident birds and hibernating mammals through the cold winter months ahead.
October also sees the last Swallows and other migrant birds leave our shores and by the end of the month, winter visitors such as Thrushes from Scandinavia will have replaced them. Wintering Thrushes and other birds such as Blackcaps and (if you are very lucky) Waxwings can often be attracted to Wildflower gardens in harsh weather by providing plenty of berry bearing trees and shrubs such as Mountain Ash, Crab Apple, Hawthorn etc.