A few jobs for the weekend
Tall deciduous shrubs like roses, tree mallow (lavatera) and butterfly bush (buddleia) that will be pruned in early spring are best cut back by about a third now (October) to prevent wind-rocking.
Herbs growing outside will mostly die back during the winter, but with a bit of forward planning you can keep using your own herbs right through the coldest months.
You can’t beat fresh-picked herbs for flavour. Favourites like mint, sage and parsley can be potted up and brought inside this month to provide you with fresh foliage all winter. Parsley growing outside can also be covered with cloches.
Dried herbs can be kept in the kitchen. Cut the fresh foliage early on a fine day, tie the sprigs in small bunches and hang them upside-down to dry in a cool airy room – not the bathroom or kitchen.