Garden at the end of November

This weekend I did a bit more of the Autumn clearing work.  I’m pretty much finished, except that my hydrangeas still have their brown flowerhead on.  I think Kim once said that the flowerhead help to protect the plant so I might leave them there until February.

Herb garden

The herb garden is looking a bit sparse but I hope that it will perk up once we get back into Spring.  I need to put a load of wood chip down, which I’ll do next time.

The slugs have eaten this pelargonium
This is still pretty (and there are still some bees around to enjoy it)
Rose garden

I spent ages clearing out the weeds from the rose garden.  It’s the sort of job that I always think is going to take about twenty minutes and then I ended up filling a builder’s sack (which is yet to go to the dump).

The foxgloves are doing quite well
Lawn is covered in mushrooms
The Japanese garden is looking quite bare but I like it
Sweet violets. I tried to grow these from seed but it didn’t work. My gardener brought me a tray of them (he’d had more success in his garden). I’d assumed they wouldn’t survive but they are doing really well

Yippee! It’s Autumn!

My son went back to school last week – my daughter goes back to preschool tomorrow.  It’s sunny but still chilly enough for me to be wearing a cardigan.  It’s Autumn!  My favourite month.  I love September.

My favourite month

My garden has been bumbling along, same as usual.  My husband has bought a chainsaw and has done a deliciously brutal hack of a load of shrubs in the bed outside the library.  I hope that this means that the hydrangeas end up being a bit happier – I think the spot has been too shady for the oak-leaved hydrangeas (the American ones, with flowers shaded a bit like the buddleia).

The flowers were finished much earlier than usual – I think this is because we had such a hot, dry April.  We gave the wildflower patch a brutal hack well before the end of August.

Wildflower patch

The plants left are the foxgloves that I grew from seed.  It should do the jasmine some good to have nothing in its way before the sun disappears.

Over the summer, we also got a couple of conifers taken out at the front.  They had terrible wind burn (that spot gets a lot of wind and sea spray).  In their place, we have put an arch and planted a couple of roses.  I can’t find a picture so will put one up a bit later.  The roses we planted are Malvern Hills by David Austin.  There were only a few climbers / ramblers that were okay for a coastal spot and the yellow roses should look pretty in that spot.

Jobs for the Autumn

Another job for the autumn (or earlier) will be to hack out this laburnum branch, which has cracked and is now dangling right over the wildflower patch.

Laburnum needs pruning

I’ve been pulling out a load of grass and bindweed which has come up on the bank at the back of the garden.  The foxglove seedlings are still there (and are quite a bit bigger) but look as though slugs have eaten quite a lot.  They are meant to be really poisonous so perhaps that’s why they haven’t disappeared altogether.

The fennel will also need cutting right back – it’s taken over the rose garden a bit.

Think we’ll have to think of something to cook with fennel bulbs

The heucheras will need pruning too, once they’ve stopped flowering.  Most of the ones I put on the bank have died but this one is still going well.

Bees love this

There are some orange bulb flowers that have come up and are very pretty but I have no idea what they are.  If you know, please could you tell me?

Mystery plant. Pretty though – rather Autumnal

New plants for the flowerbed near the kitchen

As the slugs have eaten a whole load of the new plants I’d put in, the flowerbed near the kitchen has been looking a bit bare (which, realistically, means more bloody creeping yellow buttercup).  I had a load of foxglove seedlings in the cold frame that were getting a bit leggy – the instructions on the packet said to plant them out in October but no chance.

So I ended up putting a load in the wildflower meadow, the lower garden, the upper bank, the bed at the bottom of the garden and the bed by the kitchen (I had loads of plants).

These are a bit leggy – I hope they become more cabbagy soon
Bed with the foxgloves in

I assume that (as they are poisonous) the slugs won’t eat them.  They aren’t terribly pretty as the plants but when they flower they are glorious – for about three weeks.

Seedlings

The weekend before last, I repotted my foxglove seedlings.  This was actually trickier than usual because they’d done so well; the trays were covered in little plants.  In the end, about half were repotted.

Repotted seedlings in the cold frame
Seedlings in a shady bit of the garden (there wasn’t room for this tray in the cold frame)

The rest were planted throughout the garden.  In particular, I have a corner of the back garden that is a bit difficult – it’s underneath some trees and gets a lot of shade.  I hope the seedlings I put in do okay.

Tricky spot

My daughter helped me decide which seedlings to put in and where.  She quite enjoyed that.

Foxgloves 2017

My foxgloves are also looking rather pretty.  Most of them are in the lower garden, which was where I’d put the smaller plants (the larger seedings had gone in the wildflower patch – these flowered last year).  It doesn’t really fit in with the original “Japanese” theme of the lower garden but never mind.  Foxgloves are in flower for a short time and it is wonderful when they are.

I’m sure that you know this already but foxgloves are really poisonous.  If you touch them, please wash your hands afterwards (although, to be fair, this is a good idea whenever you’ve been gardening).

Foxgloves
The bees love them
It’s unusual for white foxgloves to get this tall
I just love this colour
Foxgloves at the back

Foxgloves in the lower garden

For planting later in the year

This week, I got round to sowing my foxglove seeds in some compost.  I used ordinary compost this time, rather than seed compost (out of laziness – the ordinary compost bag was already open).  If it doesn’t work, I’ll know that was a bad idea.

In the past I have waited until October to plant the foxglove seedlings out (because the packet told me so) but the result was sort of pale and leggy so I think that I’ll do it in August instead this year.

Seed trays in my cold frame

Having had balmy days and warmish nights, we are having a slightly cold patch (I think it got down to 3C last night).  However, the cold frame is right by a building so I hope will still be warm enough.