End of Month- November 2011

Another month has flown by and I’m not sure where it went. I’m left feeling dazed and more than a little confused. All this mild autumn weather has also been confusing us all, including many plants, but it seems the weather systems have finally changed and we’re now experiencing more typical November weather.

I’m glad I took advantage of the warmer weather when I could; it’s far too precious.

Let’s have a look at some of the borders in the front garden. For now I’ll only show the two areas I’ve worked on as the rest will only hurt your eyes because they’re so ugly.

This area was done a while ago and planted with many bulbs and the lovely corkscrew rushes. It’s only a small area of around 2mx1m but there’s the rest of the length of the border to do yet, the other side of the border has a large mature Geranium phaeum and a mature Geranium Wargrave pink, both need dividing because they’re growing a little too happily. There’s also centurea which has had its best year so far.



Before I sort them out though, there’s a large clump of Crocosmia which I halved to plant these, but it still needs reducing further and then there’s the very pretty Iceberg Rose.





Just to show how happy the Iceberg is right now; look at all its buds. Although the blooms do have some damage to them probably because last night for the first time in a while it was quite chilly.

In the other borders there are the odd gems, but in general it’s all rather boring… However there is this lovely Sweetbox, which will open its blooms and perfume the garden. It is right next to the gate where I will get to appreciate it.

Hebe that still hasn’t bloomed… Not sure how much longer to wait before I give up… The leaves are pretty but it isn’t large enough to make any kind of impact.

Skimmia is also getting ready for spring, these buds will add some winter interest until it blooms in February or March.

Bidens is hanging on in a pot, I ought to rip it out but I don’t have the heart; we will see how much longer it lasts.

Moving round to the back garden and it’s all looking surprisingly green for November…

The forget-me-not are growing well, I’ve had to move lots of little seedlings which were all popping up in pots to this border as NO seedlings were appearing where I wanted them.
Oh and guess what I noticed today when getting out of the car? Millions of forget-me-not seedlings growing in the cracks of the pavement!! Grr, I think they’re out to get me, they’re doing this on purpose.

Looks to me like some Allium leaves are coming up on this drumstick allium already…

However, it’s not the only bulb coming up… These are popping up in the trough too.

The right border still has blooms in it, although it is looking quite bare now…

Next year I plan on adding more grasses to add interest to the ‘middle’ height, at the moment all I have is low and tall plants. Leaving a gap in the middle which is just stems of the taller plants.

Such as here… A gaping hole in the middle where the Campanula died back, and spring bulbs came and went…

The ‘new’ or rather, Aster border has had a good year in many respects. However the early loss of all my seedlings due to a very dry spring and summer meant there was little interest at the lower level. The Asters trebled in size after popping up very early and grew extremely fast; taking much of the water and many other plants suffered because of it. So next spring I’ll be pulling some up once they begin to appear.

This side of the border was then strangled by Monkshood also taking over. The Aster ‘Lady in Black’ suffered massively and one plant only managed a couple of straggly branches. The Monkshood and Lady in black were moved to the upper tier and I left one Aster behind as it was further from the Monkshood and did not suffer as much, but I didn’t want to move it just as it was beginning to bloom.
Once I removed the Monkshood and Lady in Black I then planted Miscanthus ‘Flamingo’ and lots of other grasses, Irises, Persicaria, Bistort and Dierama. Check out the Nicotiana that’s also popped up in the centre of the photo… I assume it self-seeded, shame it will not manage to bloom before winter arrives.

And finally I’ll finish with the Cherry border. This area is so completely different compared to last year, and I love it! Before it was a dark, dingy lifeless area that was being totally shaded by a combination of a tall privet hedge, Cherry tree and Photinia, then last Autumn after having removed the photinia I set to work trying to create something of a woodland border and planted shade-lovers. However, with the removal of the Summer house in spring my suspicions were confirmed; that the summer house was also casting a lot of shadow on the area.
This subsequently opened the whole border up and it now receives full sun all morning in the summer before going into shade in the mid afternoon. So actually it gets hot and dry there. So once again I think I’m going to have to change things around as plants such as the Tiarella and Goat’s beard really didn’t like the conditions.

This side is more recently planted with Hellebores, Painted Ladyfern and Foxglove seedlings


The primula vulgaris is still blooming and actually has more on her now…

And best of all has to be this… A bud on a Hellebore. I bought a lucky dip so do not know which colour or variety it will be… I’m just thrilled to see it though as it was only planted a month or two ago.

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

10 thoughts on “End of Month- November 2011

  1. It’s interesting to see what is going on in other peoples’ gardens. Like you, I still have the odd flower , but you have to look hard. But, it’s good that at last everything is gradually dying back, a chance for the plants to have a bit of rest before they start all over again next spring.

    • Hi Elaine,

      I need to begin switching my attention to the dead plants and looking at their beauty… The Cosmos are unlikely to last much longer but the Eryismum do look like they’re going to be blooming for a good while yet!
      Things will begin to change very soon now that the warm weather is leaving us, and all I’ll be photographing is dead growth and berries. Time to curl up for the winter and wait for the dreaded c-word to arrive! It’s strange how I’ve been so excited for so long about it, and now it’s December tomorrow, I’m freaking out and cannot believe where the past month went.

  2. I know what you mean about forget me nots not growing them where you want them and I’ve got loads growing up through my brick path. Foxgloves are popping up all over as well. I really should get out and do some tidying up but I feel like I’ve entered a bit of a hibernation. It’s been so wet that I haven’t been able to get out and it’s starting to feel colder so I’m less inclined to go out now.

    • Hi,

      You’ve had a lot of rain? I’m surprised as it’s been very dry here for a good while with no real rain for longer than I can remember. We did have a lot of mist though through October and into the beginning of November so that did keep everything damp for a long time.
      I’ve managed to tame, or rather move most of the Foxglove seedlings that were also popping up in areas I didn’t want them, so they’re now all in the front garden and the cherry border. The Forget-me-nots are just out to get me. They want me to go nuts and end up in an asylum; I’m certain. Oh well, looks like I’ll just have to move them all to where I want them as well! 😀

      I desperately need to get some Hellebores planted in the front garden before it’s so nasty and cold that I won’t want to go anywhere near the soil! Eeeek.

  3. “Surprisingly green” seems to be a common experience this year. I really like the way your new plantings are shaping up, all that manic buying and planting was well worth it. And I love that little corkscrew rush.

    • Hi Janet,

      I don’t think the surprising green will be lasting much longer; all good things come to an end. I’m just hoping that the plants mature nicely next year and I’m not left with quite so many bare patches – especially the grasses, as I’d love to have more wafting around in the breeze of summer.

  4. You have so much still going on. The corkscrew rushes are wonderful – and the centaurea looks delicious! Our drumstick alliums have shoots of similar length to yours, I don’t think that’s so unusual for them to start growing this early. I’ve just added a sarcococca to our garden too, with another that I think I will keep in a pot up by the house while I decide where to put it so that we can enjoy its scent. Both are too small to flower this year. Hellebores are on my Christmas list -currently missing from our borders but far from forgotten.
    Oh – and hope you had a happy birthday.
    S

    • Hi,

      Am I the only one who almost sayings corkscrew hazel instead? I really must get one just so I don’t feel like I’m going quite so bonkers!! 😀

      I’ve never noticed the drumsticks coming up this early before, but I probably haven’t been looking! We do also have Irises coming up now though, which does worry me and I hope their blooms aren’t damaged once winter arrives.
      My sweetboxes are very small too, this one bloomd even though it was tiny last year and ended up being very damaged after all the snow with it being almost halved in size – there wasn’t much to start with! It has put on some growth this year but not as much as I would have liked. So I’m considering moving it to a shadier spot, as I know the soil ends up like stone where it is due to the high percentage of clay.

      My birthday was very nice, thank you! It seems so long ago now!! Hard to believe it was only a couple of weeks ago.

    • Hi Donna,

      It’s definitely a few degrees cooler now than before, so I haven’t been out in the garden for a while… I do however really need to get some new Hellebores planted this weekend before it really is too cold and the ground will be a nightmare to dig. It’s so sad seeing how bare everything is at this time of year. And I don’t like the fact I can now see neighbour’s houses around me that most of the year are hidden by hedges…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: