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.