November in the northern hemisphere is usually thought of as a time where we endure cold, rain, the occasional storm, perhaps frost or even snow – and for most people it is a definite end to the gardening year, if the trowels and secateurs haven’t been put away already. In my London garden I’ve certainly had my fair share of rain and the occasional storm, but my garden year never ends, I just change to a different gear. I put on layers of clothes and my insulated wellies and spend shorter time in the garden, and I work for the most, no sitting down enjoying the weather and the view – too cold!
The long-view of my garden doesn’t change much from month to month, my garden is still green and lush, although there are open spaces here and there where herbaceous plants now have died down. Soon, all these open spaces will be filled by early spring flowers before the herbaceous plants grow up again later in the spring. Next month I expect the first noses of daffodils and crocuses to stick up above the ground. My garden is a hive of activity, all year round and November is certainly no exception – November is the month for lots of pretty flowers!
But let’s nip out in my front garden first, I haven’t taken any photos here for a while, the greenest part of this photo is all the moss on the ground, thanks to all the rain we have had lately! The fuchsias are in full flower, they love the weather we have now, around 3-6 C (37-42 F) at night and 10-12 C (50-53 F) during the day.
These fuchsias are all so-called semi-hardy and will survive the winter here, nothing gets lifted and stored away in my garden. This is Fuchsia 'Velvet Crush'.
Fuchsia 'Velvet Crush'.
Back to my garden now, and the rest of my fuchsias, this huge container has had a bit of a sad life as it was originally intended as a hanging basket for my front garden but I never got around to put up the new bracket for it. The old one simply came off the wall one day in the spring, I think this new, big basket was too heavy for it, and although the new bracket can hang 40 kg I am not so sure how to hang it up on a brick wall without the same thing happening again. So the hanging basket has just been standing here on the ground, half tucked under my camellia where there was a space for it. The 3 fuchsias in the basket have grown enormously big here in deep shade and I can’t really appreciate the flowers when placed on the ground like this, so today....
....I moved it to my patio and placed it on an upturned terracotta pot. Much better! I have also discovered that the labels for these fuchsias were mixed up by the nursery so by elimination I have now been able to find out what these 3 fuchsias are actually called.
This is Fuchsia 'Deep Purple'.
This is Fuchsia 'Marcus Graham'.
And this is Fuchsia 'Snowburner'.
I have taken cuttings of them all 3 today, all 3 are considered tender, they might survive the winter or they might not, these 3 are new to me this year so I don’t know yet. To be sure the cuttings will survive I have taken them indoors and will keep them in my spare bedroom until next spring. I have never done that before as all my other fuchsia cuttings spend their life outside during the winter, not sure if these will like the warmth inside my house, but it’s either outside or inside – I have nowhere else to put them. I do everything in the garden by trial and error so this is just another experiment :-)
Here are some of the fuchsias in the ground, 'Annabel', I have 5 of these and although they are also considered tender and sold as annuals, these have spent the last 6 years here, all year round.
Another so-called tender fuchsia, 'Bella Rosella' , fully opened it has huge flowers, here with just barely opened flowers.
And look at the zingy colours of Fuchsia 'Mrs Popple', a fully hardy fuchsia, which will grow to about 1m tall when fully grown.
OK, so fuchsias are at their best right now, but I do have other plants in flower too. Some of the roses have taken a break right now, but the rest are still going strong. This is ‘Crimson Cascade’, one of my absolute favourites in the garden.
And this is 'Mildred Scheel', just about to give me yet another huge flower.
My David Austin rose, 'Scepter'd Isle' is still flowering, although only a few at the time.
And the cream pot rose is in full flower as usual. I love this little trooper!
The fact that I have roses in flower in mid November might not be so surprising, but how about a Dicentra? The Dicentra formosa 'Bacchanal' has been in constant flower since May and is still producing new buds.
If that didn’t surprise you, how about a Chaenomeles in flower in November?? This is 'Crimson and Gold', a bit seasonal confused I think!
OK, this one is not confused at all, my chrysanthemum is still looking gorgeous, despite all the rain we had had, all the buds have opened fully now.
The chrysanthemum was a present and came without a label, I don’t know the name of it.
There are other plants in my garden that are right on cue, the skimmias have put on their winter buds and are looking pretty. These buds stay red the whole winter until March or April when the buds open and reveal the white flowers. I actually think the buds look prettier than the flowers and with 6 months in bud you get a long display of colour. Behind the skimmias you can get a glimpse of one of my hydrangeas in a fading pink colour.
These flowers are long gone, but I don’t cut them off until the spring as I think they look pretty even like this.
The other 3 of my hydrangeas are still in flower, this is 'Pinky Winky', a newcomer in my garden this year.
‘Annabelle’ is also still producing new flowers although they are much smaller than in the summer.
And the pink mop head hydrangea is still producing new flowers, also much smaller but pretty still.
Here is another newcomer to my garden, Aster ageratoides 'Ashvi'. I got it in a plant swap and it will grow much bigger next year.
Speaking of bigger - my sunflower is now so tall that I can’t deadhead it anymore. I can’t even see the flowers, just the underside of them.
Even when standing on my stool and lifting my camera as high up as I can, I still can’t take a photo of them! Oh, well, they were really fun to have, most of it broke off in the storm we had a couple of weeks ago and only this stem is left. Soon this will die down too as it is an annual. I will guarantied have them next year too.
Another plant new this year were the Geranium 'Pink Chiffon'. I had 20 of them, spread over the front garden and here at the back. They are coming to an end now and will most likely die as soon as we get first frost. Some are still producing the odd flower.
Moving down to the woodland corner of my garden, the Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver' has run riot this autumn despite having had numerous haircuts. I have bark mulch in all my flower beds so it doesn’t root down, it kind of ‘float’ on top of the bark and is easy to control, I just snip off a piece here and there. Time for a another haircut I think!
I love those silvery leaves on this evergreen plant, and the flowers are pretty too.
Spread around the whole garden are numerous Primula vulgaris, they have been flowering continuously since September 2012 – that’s 15 months so far! Not sure why they didn’t take a break during the summer but I am not complaining, they look sweet and light up the darkest parts of the garden.
And so does the cyclamens, the first one has just started flowering but I have many more that will come into flower the next month or so.
And here is another primrose – originally bought just as a small plant but small plants usually grow bigger eventually. This spring I split it up and now I have 4. I have plans for these primroses....
I love this dark red colour, my camera can’t really capture the true colour, it is even deeper red in real life.
And finally, my clematises are still flowering too, despite not being deadheaded for months. I simply can’t reach into that bed anymore so I have just left them to it. That doesn’t seem to make much difference, there are numerous new buds still and only a prolonged frost will stop this flower display. This is Clematis texensis 'Gravetye Beauty'.
And this is Clematis 'Niobe', the leaves on this clematis have taken on an rather autumnal look, but it is still flowering and there are more buds. Well, I just love gardening in London – no abrupt stop, just a little slower pace before it all speeds up again in February!
Now you have seen some of the plants I have in flower right now, I can’t show you everything, that would simply be too many photos and a way too long post, but I can mention that the Dahlias, 'Mary Eveline', 'Striped Vulcan' and 'Sunshine' are all still in flower although perhaps in their last week or so - but I have showed them so many times here I am afraid people will get bored with more photos of them! I have two more fuchsias in flower, a red and white without a name and several 'Sir Matt Busby. The Geranium 'Ann Folkard' is still flowering, notoriously difficult to photograph, I don't have one decent photo of her! My lavender is still in flower, so is the Loropetalum chinense - it has been flowering on and off almost constantly since early spring. Several of the other roses have taken a short break but are still producing new buds and the Viburnum 'Farreri' is in full flower, way too early as usual, but I forgot to take a photo of it. That's it I think!
Oh, and if you wonder about my new banner on the top, the Christmas photo, yes I agree, it is a bit early, but I made my Christmas card this week and sent it off to the printer yesterday, the photo is part of this year’s design so I thought I would include it here. The weeks speed off so quickly at this time of year so before we know it, it will be time for Christmas greetings anyway, I am just a bit early this year :-)
But right now it is Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, when we all get to see what’s blooming in gardens all around the world, head over to our hostess Carol at May Dreams Gardens to have a look. Until next time, take care.