This is the penultimate garden wander for the year and what a colourful one it is. The weather has turned cold with daytime temperatures failing to reach double figures and night time temperatures only just above freezing. Some days though do please the camera, with deep blue skies in between storms.
This rich red oriental poppy never fails to impress even this late in the year.
Several of the plants that feature in the November garden seem to sport odd shaped flowers. The Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo has flowers that hang like pearly cream bells. Cyclamen hederifolium have curious fly away petals while Shystostylus flowers hang on gently curving stems.
Roses seem to be blooming away giving us brightness for most of the year. Many that started blooming in late May are still flowering now and they are producing buds in readiness to flower right through to the end of the year.
At the moment I pass the wonderfully colourful corner of the Shed Bed, where grasses have coloured up intermingled with the dries flower heads of Eryngium and Agastache. It has to be my favourite November patch in the garden.
Having passed my favourite corner I pass our trees as I go down to to the bottom of the garden to feed the chicks. Their bark textures and colours change every day. This birch’s chocolate coloured bark is peeling back to reveal snow white smooth bark below, like a white shirt beneath jacket collars.
It seems to be a special year for cotoneaster berries, with every variety covered thickly in readiness for arrival of the winter migrant thrushes.
There is something very special about the freshness of the flowers of the Fatsia, with their creamy, greeny whitish colours. They always look to me as if they should smell of vanilla and be edible!
There are difficult decisions to be made in the November garden. Which seed heads to cut down and which to leave for their looks and wildlife value is perhaps the most difficult. How could you possible cut this clematis down when it looks this good? We tend now to leave perennials standing unless or until they fall and become soggy. Once they do this they endanger the lives of the plants they may be smothering. To me the idea of “putting the garden to bed for winter” just doesn’t add up. A garden is for 12 months, all of them
Wrapping the greenhouse in its winter jacket of bubble-wrap is the least favourite of all of our gardening tasks. This Novenber we started on a cold day knowing that as we added the thermal layer to the greenhouse we would heat up as well. But the sun came out and we got too hot. We started off wearing fleece jackets over jumpers but by the time we had finished we had shed both these layers and were down to tee-shirts.
First we collected the rolls of wrap from their summer quarters – the woodshed, and piled them up outside
Next we attempted to begin hanging it inside the greenhouse over specially positioned strings and wires. The bubblewrap then attacked Jude, the Undergardener.
Eventually Jude managed to overcome the wrap and get on with the job in hand, lining the sides and then hanging it over strings tied across the roof. Soon the temperature increased.
I hope these plants appreciate it!
Let’s us finish our November wander with a couple of richly coloured beautifully lit views across borders, and a quick look across our borrowed landscape.