End of Month View: Is It Really December Tomorrow?

It seems that this November in the UK is set to become the fourth mildest on record, with a mean temperature of 10.8ºC, 1.4ºC above the 1981-2010 average. However, the below freezing overnight temperatures at the start of the week are the direct result of mild sunny days with clear skies and it is this that has clearly triggered real seasonal changes as I mentioned in my last post and may well slow down those early signs of spring that were beginning to become apparent. But hey! it is almost December whether we are in denial about the proximity of Christmas or not.

A quick ramble through my end of November garden shows the following…..

IMG_3658…. a fairly bare paved area behind the house, masking a very large pile of leaves behind the square pots. There are not many left on the magnolia now but the montana Clematis still retains leaves, perhaps making it harder for our usual draping of ‘cherry’ lights through the tree next month.

The progressively filling-up new shrub border, with new roses planted yesterday and bargain pots of small grasses bought yesterday in a Black Friday sale at our local garden centre placed ready for planting at ‘corners’ to define the boundary between path and bed….

IMG_3659The woodland, now with the Bothy at the far end and some very conspicuous ladders waiting too long to be put away…..

IMG_3660What will be a new regular view, from the vantage point of the Bothy and ‘Bill’s Chimney’…

IMG_3661The herbaceous borders, with another very large pile of leaves behind me……

IMG_3662The clematis colonnade…..

IMG_3664The woodland edge border from around the same spot as the last two pictures…

IMG_3663…and from the other (truncated) end, which works really well, I think….

IMG_3665Even though some things are beginning to lie low for the winter others, like hellebores, ferns and rhododendrons are green and vibrant and below the surface all the ‘common’ snowdrops are bursting into life as I discovered when I worked on this end of the border.

The left and right bold borders are very dishevelled and tatty and I intend to lift existing plants and reposition them, thinning out the crocosmia and moving the geums a little further away from the edge. This will also give me the chance to see if there is anything lurking underneath various plant labels. No such problem in the bold border extension in the foreground of the right hand picture. I noticed that some of the alliums planted here only a few weeks ago have shoots well above ground level already:

EOMV.Nov14A better view of the blue & white border, made possible by cutting back the Hydrangea petiolaris behind me…

IMG_3668And finally the rose garden with, I noticed, a few half-hearted ‘Zephirine Drouhin’  and ‘Blush Noisette’ roses still struggling on, underplanted with lavender that I think needs to be trimmed again (Christina, please advise…). I have decided to lay weed suppressant fabric and slate chippings around the roses adjacent to the bus shelter folly to the right of the picture which hopefully should enhance the overall appearance.

IMG_3669I seem to have neglected to photograph the snowdrop and hedge borders this month, but I have been lifting up foliage in the former and checking for shoots on the earlier snowdrops, particularly ‘Maidwell L’ which is usually the first to flower and again looks set not to disappoint.

This monthly meme is a useful record of the difference between seasons and from year to year, and I am grateful to Helen the Patient Gardener for hosting it. Do visit her blog to find links to other gardens and see what’s happening at the end of November elsewhere.

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23 Responses to End of Month View: Is It Really December Tomorrow?

  1. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Please send some of you sun this way. Seems like months since I last saw any. Fog here most of last week and finally some sun today (also meant only one frost so far this year, so I shouldn’t complain).

    There’s still plenty of nice greenery around in your garden and I really need to get out and play spot the bulbs. I’m tempted to just turn a blind eye, and leave everything to rot away rather than tidying up. Perhaps that’s too lazy?

    • Cathy says:

      Am I right in thinking that Sheffield is especially prone to fog? Because of all the hills? I remember from last year that this is definitely not your favourite season 😦

  2. rusty duck says:

    Well you’re looking very spick and span I must say. I only trimmed my lavender a couple of days ago, its flowers have been looking so good it seemed a shame to chop them off. And there’s me been saying I couldn’t grow lavender. I wonder if it’ll last the winter?

  3. Brian Skeys says:

    Thanks for the autumn tour around your garden, I have also had a look at your garden plan, which is helpful in getting to know the layout. Like the rest of us you have plenty of leaves to gather up, the upside is they make wonderful compost. Do you think Father Christmas would find the ladders useful if Rudolf fails to land on the roof?

    • Cathy says:

      Don’t know what FC would do once he got onto the roof as the chimneys were removed by the last owner 😉 Need to update The Plan following recent changes, so hope you weren’t left confused left confused… Thanks for dropping in.

  4. Amy says:

    December or not, you still have a good deal more green in your garden than I have, Cathy! Love the lingering hellebores – I know that eventually I will have to try (or kill?) a few to see if I can possibly get away with them here… And there’s nothing like the promise of snowdrops 🙂 I admire all the structure you’ve created in your garden – brickwork, paths, pergolas; I have a few plans, but nothing like so well-worked, and even my few aren’t really in evidence yet! I will have to study up here!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy. I suppose I am lucky to have space in the garden to be able to include various structures and also that both the Golfer and I are really practical people – and I love creating in the garden probably more than gardening itself!

  5. I love the complexity of your garden design…It is so warm and engaging, a wonderful place to put a couple of benches.

  6. So many separate planting concepts in your garden. Had to laugh at the hose picture as I have many a photo with a bright hose capturing all the attention.

  7. wellywoman says:

    I love all the different areas of your garden. Mine is the sort of shape that doesn’t particularly lend itself to being divided up but I do love gardens with screened off parts and hidden corners. It has been mild here too although with lots of grey looming skies and mists/fog. A spot of sunshine would be nice. 🙂

  8. Julieanne says:

    So many lovely parts to your garden. I love the woodland edge, and the birch in the woodland.

  9. johnvic8 says:

    Thanks for the views. We have had for too much unusual cold for this time of year, but you seem to be faring much better. We both still have lots of tidying to do before FC arrives.

  10. Annette says:

    With the pics of the wider views one thing is becoming very obvious – you have a great eye for dealing with space. I like the way you create rooms and make it feel so much larger. Great job!

  11. Christina says:

    It is probably a bit late to prune the lavender now. It is best done straight after flowering and then again in early spring; I sometimes fit in another prune in mid-September but didn’t this year which I may regret. If you do it now, you’ll be looking at ugly dead wood and if it does become cold these could be damaged by the cold.

  12. Cathy it is great to see the bones of your garden and some new green growth is wonderful. Our December is turning out to be colder than usual.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – I am pleased to have the additional viewpoint now too. We have had several frost recently but overall it looks as if it might be a relatively mild winter, although perhaps the garden needs a really cold spell to function ‘normally’, whatever that is. Are any of your plants at risk in a cold December?

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