This is the penultimate post in this 12 part series about my 2018 Garden Journal so here is what was happening in our patch in November.
The first couple of pages dealt with the continued redevelopment of our old hot garden. We intended to give it a completely new look including bark access paths through it.
I wrote, “The re-development of the old hot garden continued to the end of the month and into the first days of November.” The first picture shows Jude the Undergardener holding up a huge root which Ian managed to dig out of the bed. He had to cut it off at both ends as it was extending beneath the lawn in one direction and out of our garden in another. It sat horizontally in the soil just above the boulder clay layer. We have no idea what plant it belonged to originally. One of our gardening mysteries! The second photo shows Ian our garden helper raking over the soil which he had meticulously double dug after adding lots of organic compost. This first addition of compost was dug in before a second batch was added as a thick mulch.
We then laid a path of bark over membrane before getting ready to enjoy planting both our new and saved plants.
On the right hand page I looked at how Jude spent time early in the month cleaning pots, cleaning the glass in the greenhouse and putting up bubblewrap insulation. Once done this allowed us to move my succulent collection into the winter safety to be found under glass. “Jude washed and cleaned all our plastic pots so that we can reuse them. Our hot bench was cleaned up and bubblewrap put up in place as insulation. My succulent collection is now snug and secure in the sparkling clean greenhouse.”
Turning over to my next double page spread I looked at our fruit and the continuation of planting up the new border.
I wrote, “This is the latest in any year that we have harvested our crop of apples from our main trees and heritage cordons. We have used the beautiful book “The Apple Book” by Rosie Sanders to check the indentification of those apples whose labels have been lost. The apples are now ready for storage and we will hopefully enjoy them through to the end of March.”
Sometimes fruit can surprise us. “This year saw us grow the biggest pear we have ever seen. Jude has now put our apples in store and I have printed new labels for every apple tree. The next stage will be to enjoy eating our apples from storage and then next spring the blossom will return.”
My diary moved on to look at us planting up the newly created border which used to be our Hot Border, “After a few days away in London we returned refreshed and ready to continue with our new border. Planting grasses and herbaceous perennials topped off by bulb planting gave us several days work. Work we love doing!”
“We planted hundreds of bulbs and dozens of grasses and perennials, all in the dry week given to us in mid-November.”
Next I moved on to consider one of our favourite tree families the Sorbus and on the opposite page I sought out flowers choosing to brighten us up in gloomy November.
“We love Sorbus in their many guises but particularly delight in the cut leaf berrying varieties. When we lost our mature tree of Quince vranja we decided to replace it with another Sorbus to add to our small collection. November is the key month for Sorbus as the fire like colours of foliage adds another layer of interest on top of their delicately cut foliage and their colourful berries. Below are some of our Sorbus trees.
Sorbus Joseph Rock Sorbus Autumn Spire
Sorbus Autumn Spire Sorbus aucuparia
Sorbus Apricot Queen Sorbus Apricot Queen
Sorbus vilmorinii Sorbus vilmorinii
On the page opposite the Sorbus I share the flowers that cheer up the November garden.
“The flowers of November are fewer than earlier in the year but this makes every one of them extra special.”
The colour orange features on the left hand side of my next double page spread, where I look at the variety of orange featuring in our November garden.
“Orange is the dominant foliage colour in our November garden, as shrubs, trees and grasses set fire to the borders.”
Opposite the oranges was a delicate watercolour pencil sketch of a hosta leaf, about which I wrote, “Take one leaf, a hosta leaf drying out and draining of colour.”
The final page for November considers colours once again. November was a very colourful month overall.
A set of eight photos display colours from our shrubs, and alongside I wrote, “Deep into the month there is still so much colour in the garden. Some foliage deepens to rich ruby shades.”
The final photo is of the foliage of a special small tree, a viburnum with leaves which make you think it is a betula at first sight. “The leaves of Viburnum betulifolium change colour so slowly with subtle deepening from bronze to dark red.”
So there is just one monthly report left to write in my Garden Journal for 2018, December, which will be my next post in this series.