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Winding down for Winter


Yesterday was 5th November, the first day of the second Lockdown for England, so this blog is as much a record of what was happening on that day as it is a record of what was flowering at the time.

OH gave the lawn the final cut for the year.

I am still a bit sad that the house behind ours is in full view since their Plum trees, which were enormous, were felled. We have planted some shrubs to hide the view but they won’t reach any great height for a while.
Ah well, come the Spring perhaps new fencing will be in place.

While the lawn was being mown, I emptied the contents of the ‘Dalek’ composter and filled the wheelbarrow four times, just right to spread as a mulch on the flower beds.

My intention had been to cut the Penstemons back by a third, but changed my mind when I saw some still flowering away!

Whilst spreading the mulch I was happy to see the berries on the Pyracanthas, the Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ still blooming and a Honeysuckle which I really should have moved in the Spring, oops!

The silky looking tassels are from a Clematis tangutica which spread along the shrubs on the back fence this year, not a new variety of Pyracantha!

This Parahebe ‘Snow Clouds’ has adjusted well to being moved a while ago and another long flowering white flower is the Antirhinum, so surprising.

Salvia ’Dyson’s Maroon’ has bloomed for months and shows no sign of stopping just yet.

Sedums are really beginning to show their colours now.

Grapes are being eaten by Blackbirds and a large Pigeon who just about manages to perch long enough to peck at them. Leaves from the vine are falling daily and I have filled a black sack with them, along with leaves from neighbour’s Beech tree and some Eucalyptus from a tree along the road. Whether I will have the patience to make ‘Black Gold’ (leaf mould) remains to be seen!

Finally, on a very optimistic note, here is foliage of a Daffodil! It really must be confused by the weather we have had this year.

Thanks for looking in, keep well and get through Lockdown safely.

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you have lots of lovely penstemons and mine are also still flowering well.

it has been a lovely day too here and I have been sorting through pots of plants, checking them and storing them ready for selling in spring [hopefully]

I am impressed that you wont cut the grass again, we find ours needs doing in a week or too, unless it really cools down.

6 Nov, 2020


Lovely blog, Shirley. You have some attractive specimens still in flower. I have been out today, too, but it's far too soggy to mow the lawn, which looks shocking! Everything is turning black so OH dug up dahlias for me. I have decided to give the roses a reprieve as they're making hips. They usually get pruned but the birds have been wolfing down the food each day already so we decided to leave as many seed heads as we could - until we can't bear to look at them any longer! Your garden makes me envious of all the flowery colour.

6 Nov, 2020


Would be a shame to cut back the Pentemons when they are looking so lovely. Like Anget, my grass is much too wet to cut, the mower would just chew at it.

6 Nov, 2020


Lovely blog,Shirley..had the same idea as your OH...the top lawn was fairly dry so it had its final haircut this year.
That white Parahebe has done well for you..I have one here which suffers...what sort of position do you have it?

6 Nov, 2020


Sbg, apart from edging the lawn perhaps once more, that's it for this year!

Anget, I was possibly too hasty this Autumn with the Rose pruning. Wil you be storing the Dahlias for next year?

Siris, I am not allowed to wield the mower anymore, something I did for years and years with much enjoyment! OH decided to mow it yesterday, despite my saying it was too wet ... :o(

Julia, well done on the mowing. That Parahebe was only moved about 4ft. along as I planted a new Euonymous in that area. If you look at the first photo in this blog, the left side border faces East, so it receives morning sun and is in shade from midday onwards at the moment. I hope that helps!

6 Nov, 2020


Thanks,Shirley...the one here goes quite brown in areas.I think a move in the spring will be on the cards.

6 Nov, 2020


Lovely garden Shirley, so much colour still, how the seasons have changed over time, I remember when November’s were cold Jack Frost on windows and pea soup fog, you would not think it was November with all those flowers you have and don’t you find one of the true joys of gardening is when you empty the compost bin and all that lovely compost is what you have made and to then nourish the garden with it is just a joyous feeling, I may have said this before Shirley, you have a fantastic garden.

6 Nov, 2020


Julien, that's exactly what I said to my OH the other day about Novembers being bitterly cold, frost, on the inside of the windows some times, when we were children in the Fifties!

I feel just the way you do about home made compost, something I didn't expect to be saying when I was younger, ha ha!

Thank you for your kind words re. my garden ... :o)

6 Nov, 2020


Loads of lovely colour there Shirley, and yet another Salvia - I am going to have t get one or two if Goyers keep showing such nice ones! Agree about the difference in November now and how it was years ago. It was really quite warm still today and yesterday.

Sad that you are still missing the plum trees - but at least you aren't overlooked, and actually the roof of the house helps to frame the picture.

I never knew Lady Boothby grew as big as that! I thought it was a tender one that was brought in every winter. Its a grand one now isn't it?

6 Nov, 2020


Amazing to see you still have so much colour in November Shirley. Yes, the Penstemons and Salvias are incredibly long flowering . . . wouldn’t be without them 🙂.

7 Nov, 2020


Lovely blog Shirley, thanks for sharing pictures of your lovely garden. Lots of pretty coloured flowers still blooming away happily. I’ve a few bulb leaves starting to sprout too, have to say I found it very mild yesterday in the sunshine, once the fog had lifted. We are right on the river/estuary.
Your lawn looks very green and in good condition. I’m tempted to do a high cut, but mine is still damp. I’ll check this afternoon.
It’s great you can get the compost out and spread it well amongst all your plants, fantastic with all those nutrients - if I had some room I’d have a compost bin.
Yes, November seems milder than when I was a child in the 70s. I remember lots of white frosted paths and roads, icy car windows and having to wear thick winter woollies before heading out the door.

7 Nov, 2020


What a lovely show of flowers you have Shirley. I have Delphiniums starting to flower again! I also had , years ago at Willow Cottage the Fuschia Lady Boothby which I bought because it was my mother's maiden name but unfortunately I lost it when we moved from there.
Parahebe is a new one to me! Is it from the Hebe family Shirley?
I have just my last cut on my main lawn yesterday and now have the front to do which is still damp.
Take care and keep safe!

7 Nov, 2020


Sue, I bought 3 Salvias at RHS Wisley Plant Fair in September 2018, Dyson's Maroon, Hot Lips and Black and Blue. The latter lives in a pot in the cold greenhouse over Winter, the other two are left in the ground.

Lady Boothby has been at her best ever this year.

Thanks Sheila ... on a walk to the village post box earlier today I saw a beautiful Rhododendron with two blooms ... wrong time of the year methinks!

Kate, mulch was obviously liked by the birds as they have left bits of it here and there all over the grass ... grrr! Did you get the grass cut or shall you wait for it to dry out a little?

Rose, Delphiniums sadly don't like my garden, even though I have tried often to keep them.

I looked up Parahebe and found it to be in the Plantaginaceae family which includes Digitalis/Hebe/Penstemon/Veronica but I'm no botanist!!

7 Nov, 2020


What a lovely garden! So much in bloom still. I do love your arch and I keep meaning to try and incorporate one in my garden. You can see your garden is loved and well looked after, such a joy to see.

7 Nov, 2020


Hi Shirley, I guess those pesky birds have been raking around for some juicy titbits!
I decided not to cut the back, but I did do the little bit at the front as it’s quite flat. I’m not sure when to attempt the back’s quite damp.

8 Nov, 2020


Hi Shirley, your garden looks so tranquil with little pops of summer colour still, it's lovely..
You've a smashing selection of Salvias and Penstemons, which I've never tried to grow. I'm planning on trying more Salvias next year too.
I do love the grape vine photo, gorgeous colours and what a treat for the blackbirds to enjoy the grapes too!

8 Nov, 2020


Ams, thanks for your kind words. The arch is the third one in about twenty years, first was a green painted metal one, far too flimsy, second was a small square trellis made by our then 90 yr. old neighbour and the current one wasn't cheap, locally sourced, but is very strong and sturdy.

Kate, not only birds but a Fox in the garden last night, pawing through the mulch. I honestly don't know how it got in, either jumped very high over the fence or gate or flattened itself beneath a fence!

Janey, I really like Penstemons, they are long-flowering and need minimal care. In the Spring/early Summer I shall take cuttings and hope they 'strike'. Sweeping up the vine leaves is a daily task at the moment, a pleasurable one though ... :o)

8 Nov, 2020


Lovely to see so much colour still in your garden, Shirley!

As a boy in London I was used to cold Novembers with lots of frost as well. Climate change is certainly here as frosts seems to start later every year & the winters can hardly be called that any longer. We'll have to think of them as prolonged autumns & very early springs!

8 Nov, 2020


Thanks Balcony ... I like the idea of 'prolonged autumns and very early springs'!

8 Nov, 2020


The Penstemons have done so well this year....ours are still in flower.....Peter cut the lawn.....but it will need another one soon.....we did have three light frosts.....but no damage....most of the roses have been winter pruned...but several still in flower....great blog Shirley🙏

10 Nov, 2020


Interesting blog about your garden Shirley, there's always something to do.

11 Nov, 2020


Thanks Dotty and Hywel ... I just swept up more vine leaves and now feel quite chilly at 3pm ... :o(

11 Nov, 2020

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