I began a new journal for November as I had filled up the second one of the year. The cover illustration is a watercolour and ink drawing of our house and front garden by our artist friend Dick Skilton.
This journal will take me well into 2021. I began by writing, “November is the month when days become far too short, when light values change and winds get an ice cold edginess. The greenhouse is now full of our less hardy plants, succulents, fuchsias, gingers and cannas. There is colour to be found in there.”
This page is illustrated with photos of some greenhouse highlights.
The second page for November was all about my foliage plant of the month, Hedera the ivies. The photographs show just a few of our many varieties. I wrote, “My foliage plant of the month for November is the ivy, of which we grow twenty or thirty cultivars. We grow them up fences and to cover concrete fence posts.”
Opposite ivies I featured foliage colour, where I wrote,“Autumn is a time to study leaves, to watch as they change colours and drop from the trees and shrubs. Some leaves are so special in November, their colours and patterns.”
I chose one leaf to paint for the next page, a changing leaf of Tetrapanax papyrifera ‘Rex’, using watercolours and Japanese brush pens together to get the desired effect.
Over the page and we find salvias featured. I wrote, “My flowering plant of the month for November is the salvia family. We grow about a dozen varieties and this year they are flowering very late with some still in bud.”
The page featured photos of some of them flowering now.
Leaf colour features again on the following two pages where we turn to acers, an autumn special! I wrote, “One of the key plant families in November is the acer group both trees and shrubs. It is partly the leaf colour but equally important are trunks and stems.”
The final page for November featured our garden tasks of the month, where I wrote, “We have been busy all month as usual, out in the garden whenever it was dry. We have replaced two damaged arches, made hedgehog shelters and more insect homes. We are also having the uneven concrete paths around the house replaced with ‘resin gravel’, so we had prep work to do.”
I will be back in a month or so with my final monthly report of 2020 all about what is happening in our garden in December.