It doesn’t seem very long since I looked back on October, and here we are into December, November seemingly having passed by in a flash. It has been a relatively mild month with only two or three very light frosts, and although generally grey and often feeling damp there hasn’t been much in the way of rain. This has meant general maintenance has continued throughout, giving the impression that the garden is neat and tidy and ready for winter, although in practice there will always be something that needs doing – but it’s good to know that major tasks like hedgetrimming and leaf clearance are complete and that a start has been made on emptying the 2019 compost heap, the latter a task often put off until the new year.
It also means that winter and early spring flowering plants are already putting in an appearance and gearing up for early blooms. Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is in full flower, there are blooms on winter-flowering honeysuckles, buds are appearing on hellebores and Prunus mume ‘Beni Chidori’ and several witch hazels are showing a hint of colour. More than half of my special snowdrops are already emerging, compared to the more ‘normal’ one or two in November, and even the common snowdrops are pushing their way through in the woodland edge border, more than a month earlier than usual. However, Nature works to her own timetable and we will just have to enjoy the products of her work as they come, so come on a visual ramble round the garden with me now, and look out for close-ups of these early bloomers in due course.
Let’s start with the usual view from the back of the house (above), looking out across the paved area towards the sitooterie, and then the adjacent streamside and shrub border, the latter from both directions:
I raked the leaves off the bark paths through the woodland just a few days ago, but it needs doing again:
From the bothy, looking out over the main borders, and the same area from ground level with the adjacent clematis colonnade and bronze heuchera bed:
The woodland edge border, from both ends:
The bold borders:
The beds where the dahlias and sweet peas were, which will be used as nursery beds over winter:
Inside the working greenhouse and some of the empty cutting beds, full of potential for next year:
The blue & white borders, the rose garden and the main borders from a different angle:The snowdrop border and, looking back at the house, the wisteria now all but leafless:Inside the Coop, the Coop Corner and the shady courtyard beyond:
After a cold but not frosty night the sky today is a cloudless blue, so the monthly video, retaken this morning after forgetfully recording it in portrait mode on a grey and damp afternoon yesterday, should appear a little brighter than it might otherwise have done. Viewing it will give you a more rounded idea of what the garden is like, and don’t forget there is also a map under The Garden tab above to assist your orientation.
You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTxO6F9HA3E