Posted: 25/09/2014 at 12:44
Hi Steve S
Generally agree with all the things said so far. For the next few weeks you will probably have your hands full with clearing leaves & clearing summer bedding. Do you have somewhere out of sight you can make a leaf bin? (very simple 4 poles & chicken wire walls). That way you'll have somewhere to put the leaves & you should have soil conditioner for this time next year. Hopefully you have a regular composting area already.
This is certainly the right time of year to be thinking about planting bulbs. If you have interested residents - what about letting them do their own pots to express some individuality? There's a lot of info abt at the moment showing how to layer bulbs in pots so you have a succession from early to late spring.
For the raised beds I would use bulbs for spring interest but I would also consider planting summer flowering perennials such as the hardy geraniums with them. The geraniums die right back in the winter and allow the smaller spring bulbs to sing - but then they start to produce foliage (at various times but usually early to mid spring). This conveniently starts to hide the rather untidy post-flowering bulb leaves which need to stay in place for several weeks to feed the bulbs for next year. Some small evergreens (small leaved ivy?) would help to tie things together throughout the year. Just shout for name suggestions.
Another job for now - if you want to improve the grassed areas this is the time for scarifying, autumn lawn treatments and not allowing a thick layer of leaves to accumulate.
If you have any areas of decking or shaded paving keep an eye on those for algae growth & treat as soon as you notice any - they can become lethally slippery for both young and old!