The penultimate visit to my garden journal for this year is here already, and I write this as November comes to a close. The strong winds of November howl around the house and roar down our chimneys. The rain has persisted for virtually every day of the month along with the strong winds.
My journal for the dreary month of November began “Our wonderful, heart warming Indian Summer lasts until the very last day of October, so we waited for the first day of November hoping for the continuation of warm, bright days. The eleventh month is usually a time of mists, fog and heavy dews.”
Jenny Joseph wrote of November, “Much of November belies the dread attached to its reputation, the shutting down, the gloom, the fog, the dark wet, the cold and the colds, autumn shrinking into winter.”
On November 1st we woke to a heavy dew, thick fog and the rest of the day was damp and dreary. The whole first week was the same. Oh dear!
Thank goodness for our garden which on the dreariest of days provided bright, colourful sparks. In every border there is a flower blooming its heart out to please us and of course any brave bees out on the wing in search of pollen and nectar.
All the photos below were taken on the same day in late November.
I next wrote about a real favourite plant of mine, a shrubby Buddleja rarely grown but oh so beautiful! Buddleja lindleyana.
“We grow an unusual Buddleja, which is still flowering this month. Buddleja lindleyana hails from china and boasts beautiful two-tone purple flowers. Racemes arch from the tip of every arching stem. Sadly it is rarely grown. I take cuttings every November to give to friends. They love it too!”
I enjoyed painting it too!
I took a couple of photos as well which you may like to see, as they illustrate the colour range found within the flowers.
On the opposite page from my Buddleja lindleyana painting I have featured another special plant again rarely grown. This one though is a tree, an Acer.
“A young Acer tree is growing in our front garden. At this time of the year its leaves turn into the colours of fire. Its leaf petioles glow red. Acer pectinatum – a very special tree!”
Turning the journal’s page over we have a mouth watering page about apples! and on the opposite page I look at our Viburnums.
“By this time of the year we have usually harvested our tree fruit and it is safely in store. This year we are still picking apples, some varieties should have been harvested by early September.”
I reveled in the chance to get out the watercolours and study two tasty and very colourful apples, Scrumptious and Red Falstaff which grow one either side of the green house door.
I moved on to consider the Viburnum shrubs putting on performances in our garden this month. “Various Viburnums give Winter interest and start their show now in mid-November. Their show is a profusion of gently coloured flowers, scent and shining red and black berries.”
More shrubs graced the next few pages too, deciduous Euonymus and a Hydrangea.
“Our deciduous Euonymus give us so many shades of pink as they metamorphose into their Autumn personas.”
At the bottom of this page beneath the Euonymus I just found room for a pic of the thistle-like Silybum maritimum.
“The teal-green and silver foliage rosette will give us these colours through the winter. In Spring flowering shoots will creep upwards full of promise.”
Another all time great of the shrub world is featured on my next page in the journal, A Hydrangea that gives us flowers that change colour, foliage that changes colour and a most unusual shaped leaf for a Hydrangea. It is Hydrangea quercifolia.
I wrote of it, “Hydrangea quercifolia is giving its all in the garden with white flowers turning pink and then finally rust. Autumn turns its leaves from bright apple green through to ruby red.”
Its name gives a clue to its leaf shape as quercifolia means simply “oak leaved”. Our specimen has an extra attribute in that in Summer on humid days it emits a sweet honeyed scent. As far as I know they are not supposed to be graced with scent of any kind let alone one so special.
My last double page spread is all about Persicarias, a really useful perennial for any garden with hints of the new perennial movement or a nod towards the Prairie style planting. We love both these styles so we grow several different ones.
“A plant that gives us great pleasure in the Autumn is the Persicaria. We grow one type for its flowers and seed heads and another for its incredibly coloured and marked foliage. Persicaria amplexicaulis have poker-like flowers in various shades of red, pink and white followed by chocolate coloured seed heads.”
“Persicaria virginata gives us wonderfully coloured and unusual marked foliage with the addition of tiny white flowers.”
So that is the November visit to my journal. Next month will see me fill up my lovely little “Moleskine” note book as my December thoughts, photos and paintings bring the journal to an end for 2015.