Rambling round the garden this morning I was struck by how bare it looked – even Salvia ‘Neon’ seems to have hung up its clogs for the season, and that’s saying something! Apart from a stormy few hours yesterday the weather this week has not been unreasonable for November so why there has been this sudden subtle change in the garden I don’t know.
Above is the paved area directly behind the house, with winter pansies growing (but not yet flowering) in the pots in the foreground and tulips buried deeply in all the others. Below is the adjacent streamside and shrub border, shown from both ends: the cornus are beginning to stand out in the centre of the latter, but the former fails to show how well Viburnum bodnanentense ‘Dawn’ is flowering.
The woodland is looking…woody… and certainly no longer leafy, whilst the view from the bothy at the end of it shows the efforts of recent work on the clematis colonnade, shown better in a later photograph. Some leaf sweeping has taken place in the last week, bringing an instant improvement in tidyness.
The same borders are shown from ground level in the next photograph, followed by a direct view of the reconstructed clematis colonnade; work is not yet complete, with a decision still to made on the length of the overhangs. The raised brick edges to the beds are clearly visible and will, I believe, be a big improvement. It is not obvious from the photo, though, that all the existingclematis are currently suspended – still on the wire framework from the previous posts – by rope from the horizontals; fortunately they seem to have withstood yesterday’s winds.
The woodland edge border, shown from both directions, has definitely wound down for the year but will be waking up in a month or two with snowdrops, hellebores and two of the witch hazels:
Likewise, the bold borders (and Salvia Neon) are settling down to a deserved rest, but with a substantial number of new plants and nice warm manure blanket I am hopeful that they will rise like the proverbial phoenix in spring:
The cutting beds are all but empty now – but I have no idea where this corrugated plastic sheeting has blown in from!
The blue & white border is in hibernation, but something is happening in the rose garden…
The wind has blown over one of the very heavy R ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’ next to the bus shelter, necessitating either a clamber or a diversion in my rambles. It will need a lot of support to get back upright and if I wasn’t currently busy elsewhere this would be impeding my progress on modifying and ‘terracing’ either side of the bus shelter. Here is the bed on the other side, roughly terraced and edged with brick and timber to gauge the potential effect. Much thought has been given and is still being given to the materials to be used here but the brain cell jury is still out… Bizarrely, what looks like a reflection is only a shadow on our neighbour’s fence!
Looking back towards the house, the snowdrop border on the right is discreetly displaying the first few green shoots, whilst the new shady border is boasting flower buds on some equally new hellebores – it is these little promises that keep us gardeners going throughout these leaner winter months.
This is how my garden is looking at the end of November, not sorry for itself but ready for a rest, apart from those parts trudging on whilst they undergo structural changes. The changes won’t necessitate a new map, so do look at the one under The Garden tab above to work out where the photos were taken from and how the different areas of the garden fit together. Finally, thanks to Helen the Patient Gardener for hosting this monthly look at our gardens