Spring’s daffodils
Spring’s daffodils are a long way off, but these simple yet attractive blooms are something that children can help to prepare for now

As the days begin to shorten and a bit of a nip creeps into the air, there’s no escaping the fact that the summer’s over and the garden is starting its long slow slide into autumn and winter.

There’s always a bit of a sad feeling about this time of year for any keen gardener – but children can feel it worse than most; after all, when you’re not so very old yourself, the six-month wait for spring seems like an eternity.

The good news is, the coming of colder weather doesn’t have to spell the end of fun times in the garden – there’s more than enough to do to make time fly by, and B&Q Ireland have some great tips to have an autumn ball among the leaves…

Towards the middle of autumn, there are plenty of jobs to do to prepare the garden for winter and, again, it’s something that children can help with.

Now’s the time to prune, as necessary; clean the tools and store them until spring and generally have a good tidy up – which means lots of leaves to rake up, prunings to collect and spent plants to add to the compost heap for willing little hands!

Bird tables and hibernation houses Autumn is also a good time to think about wildlife. If you’re planning on feeding the birds through the winter, or giving hedgehogs or toads a place to hibernate, it’s important to get organised before the worst of the weather, so they can find the facilities you’ve arranged for them and get used to the idea.

Planting bulbs is one of the traditional autumn jobs and it’s something that the whole family can have lots of fun doing together.

Autumn/winter is a great opportunity to think back over the past year and remember what worked and what didn’t, and then decide what you’d like to do in the months to come. Are you planning a new garden feature?

Will you pick some different varieties of plants, or go with something that’s proven itself successful?

These are the sorts of questions that any avid young gardener will want to talk about – and, of course, nothing will make a child feel more part of the whole thing than being able to say: “I did that.”

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