It’s middle of November and our stormy season has just started, bang on schedule – with Storm Abigail. Here in London we have only noticed the storm as rather windy weather but spare a thought for Scotland where especially on the western side they had winds up to 80 miles per hour (128 km/h or about 70 knots). And only 12 hours after Abigail left, the remnants of Hurricane Kate is right now hitting our shores, dumping unusually high amounts of rain on us. Some places in Britain we can expect up to 250mmm of rain in 36 hours with subsequent flooding. Living here in London I feel rather lucky, sheltered from the worst of the weather, be it snow, rain, storms and flooding. The 10 minutes hailstorm I watched from my window yesterday seemed more like a curiosity and didn’t do any damage. And although it has been raining hard today there is no risk of flooding and the free water from above is just welcome in my garden.
The rain today was well forecasted so I did most of my photos yesterday, in very windy weather. Try taking close-ups of dainty flowers in 20-30 miles per hour wind....I had to give up eventually, the light was fading and the wind too difficult. My plan was to nip out today when the rain was easing a bit and get the rest, but the rain didn’t ease, it was just pouring down all the time. Finally I just had to wrap up and go out and get the rest of the photos – in the rain and even more windy weather than yesterday. What don’t we do to get photos for our blogs! The windy weather will stay for the whole week with gusts up to 50 mph here in London. I guess there won’t be much leaves left on the trees after a week like that....
Here is the garden yesterday, deceptively nicely looking, it is cold and windy!
Some of the trees are completely bare by now, other trees are still covered in leaves.
The view of the shade garden, now bathing in low sunshine after all the leaves on the apple tree are off. I need to come up with a better name for this area! In the foreground my only chrysanthemum, now 5 years old.
My pelargoniums flower all year round and although the flowering is more sparingly at this time of year, there are lots of buds on the five ‘Apple Blossom’ I have.
Alstroemeria 'Dandy Candy' is still flowering and has more buds.
Camellia japonica 'Takanini' is of course flowering still, with buds that will last till May or even June next year.
And the two Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna I dug up from my previous garden are both smothered in buds, but I don’t expect them to flower until January.
This is the part of the garden I have been working on lately, and I have finally started planting! 2 roses went in earlier this autumn, and now I have planted another 3 roses, 13 daylilies and 2 dahlias in these two beds. But most of the planting has taken place underground as between all these plants I have squeezed in as many spring bulbs as I could possibly manage to fit in. I have so far only planted about 2/3 of the left bed and half of the right bed and I have already planted 6-700 bulbs between the plants. Come next spring, the daylilies and dahlias will have died down and the roses will be cut down and have no leaves. Instead these beds will be an explosion of snowdrops, crocuses, hyacinths, Iris reticularis, daffodils and alliums. I’ve got about 1000 more bulbs to plant and they are already sprouting so I need to speed up a bit!
And on the brick wall you can see I have started to remove the rest of the Virginia creeper. It is a very slow process as on this part of the wall there is a trellis and the old vine has been growing around the trellis for more than 10 years. I have to carefully cut it away, piece by piece since I want to keep the trellis for the new plants I am putting in. Patience is a virtue – and a necessity for a gardener!
This is next on the list, the heucheras are in the second half of the right bed on the previous photo, behind the urn. Heuchera 'Southern Comfort' is still flowering.
And speaking of flowers, there seems to be a theme of buds on my post today, the wind took most of the open roses and left just the buds, but most of the roses are still producing flowers. This is 'Scepter'd Isle' on the top, my un-named on bottom left and 'Wildeve' bottom right – the latter had 14 buds yesterday when I counted them, not bad for mid-November.
And here is the un-named rose today, in pouring rain, holding out despite the wind.
I haven’t showed you many of the new dahlias I got this year – simply because they have been rather disappointing. Not sure if it is because they are growing in too small pots or because the dismal weather we had in July and August or because I haven’t had time to feed them – or all of the above – let’s just say it hasn’t been a good year for dahlias and blame it on me moving house. I will get them in the ground before they are to flower next year and I hope they all will be happy again. But this one, 'Painted Lady' decided to grace me with one flower when I thought all hope was gone. Hopefully there will be a few more.
Here is a rose that hasn’t disappointed, despite living its life in a pot. This is ‘Rob Roy’ and it is still flowering like mad. The thing about this rose is that every flower stays for exceptionally long after opening, in this cool weather they can stay for more than 3 weeks. Beat that David Austin!
The huge pots of Dahlia 'Mary Eveline' are out here at the front, but as with the other dahlias – they are not as happy as usual. When I dug the tubers up they were absolutely huge and just about fitted in the biggest pots I had. This was the only way to get them all with me so I suppose having had a rather tough year this year, I just have to get them all planted, shower them with attention, fertiliser and so on next summer and I might have to settle for a reduced display. But the year after they should all be back in good flowering condition.
Even so, 'Mary Eveline' has been flowering for 3 months and there are lots more to come. Looks a bit sorry in the rain today!
And Penstemon Pensham 'Amelia Jayne' is also still throwing out the odd flower. (Impossible to get a proper photograph though, it doesn’t stay still long enough!)
At the front I have a container with these red primroses and a hellebore I have grown from seed. I can’t believe all the hellebores are already shooting, it will soon be time to go round and cut off all the hellebore leaves.
Out here is also one of the last untouched parts of the inherited garden, I just haven’t got to this area yet and have deliberately left it so the birds could enjoy the berries. They have eaten all on the top, but there are still lots left deeper in. Here in this corner in front of my gate is where I am going to plant my magnolia, and I am also going to have 2 raspberry bushes here – it will be a squeeze, but that’s my garden for you!
Final photo from my garden, just a little reminder that even though I have lots of plants still in flower, the next season is right around the corner. Both crocuses and snowdrops are on their way, this is Galanthus elwesii 'Maidwell L' and in 6-8 weeks these beautiful, nodding bells will be all over my garden.
I am linking today’s post to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, please visit her for many more Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day posts.
And finally, as the news from Paris keep streaming in on our TV-screens and the death tolls are rising, it is very difficult to make sense of actions like that. My heart goes out to all those affected - in France, Britain and rest of the world. On a day like today, I can’t keep away the memories from the July 2005 bombings here in London, I will never ever forget that day even though I was not directly affected - and that’s what terrorism does to you. Imagine having incidences like the July 2005 bombings here in London and the atrocities in Paris on Friday in your neighbourhood on a weekly basis. Many of those people now fleeing their countries in the Middle East, searching for a safe place to live in our part of Europe are trying to escape exactly these kinds of weekly and sometimes daily terror actions.
Until next time, take good care of yourself and all around you.