Naked Trees

Well what a delightful couple of weeks we had earlier this month, a second summer, how wonderful!  And an opportunity for us all to re-charge our batteries before the harsh winter weather sets in.

No real rain has fallen since my last newsletter to you which means the late sunshine has been great for late flowering plants like Leucanthemum (from the genus Chrysanthemum), Lobelia, Echinacea, Coreopsis (common name Tickseed) and Verbena.

Read on for the tasks ahead this month…

november garden tasks

There is so much to do outside I hardly know where to begin!  But, here is my selection and, of course, you can always ring or email me if you have any queries!

  • Remove all leaves from beneath your Rose shrubs and burn or discard.  Leaves from shrubs situated nearby, can also carry the same rusty/black spot, so dispose of those in the same way.
  • Make sure your newly planted trees and shrubs are staked well for the winter.  Tree-staking supplies can be found at most garden centres but I recommend Mannings in Ashley Green, near Chesham.  They know exactly what to sell you for the job in hand.
  • Prune back your Autumn-fruiting Raspberry and Blackberry canes after harvesting.
  • Composted leaves in a black bin bag make one of the best soil conditioners.  Half fill a bag with wettish leaves, prick some holes in it, and leave it behind the shed to do it’s stuff for 6 months or so.
  • Be bold and creative this month when you plant your Tulips!

Please do not roast your garden hedgehog at Guy Fawkes!  Build your bonfire just before you need to and please do not set fire to a partly composted heap of garden waste where Mr and Mrs Hedgehog will no doubt be sleeping for the winter!  For further info visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

lifting your tubers!

It’s now time to deal with your Dahlias and Gladioli before the really cold weather sets in.  The tubers need packing away in compost and storing in a cool dark shed or garage until next Spring.  Such a rewarding task and one I always enjoy doing!

Before you place them in a box or pot for the Winter, brush off any soil and remove any bits which seem rotten or show signs of disease.  Full details can be found here.

grow your own…

Fruit trees seem to be gaining popularity, even in small gardens, and now is the time to order them for planting-out late November.

Pennards from Somerset, who won a gold medal at a recent RHS show I visited, are currently offering three fruit trees, including delivery, for approx £50 which is extraordinarily good value.

Do refrain from buying trees from the supermarket.  Instead buy from an accredited supplier, like Pennards, and they will give you all the advice on flavour, crispness and ripening times you could possibly need.

Olympic Park tour

My last newsletter featured a link for the Olympic Park, but did you know you can also take a guided tour?  The tours will be running over the December holiday period and, I suggest if you have family or overseas visitors, this would be a refreshing way to spend a day in town thereby avoiding the dreadful but tempting sales shopping!  You need to book in advance so do it now if you’re interested.  Details here.

naked trees

Of course this time of year is all about colour, colour, colour.  And you’d be hard pushed to see better examples of tree colour than those at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire.  Take a read of this blog and see how the colours have changed in the last three weeks.

Personally my favourite time of year for trees is when they are completely naked.  I just love the look of a winter tree, black and wet against the cornflower blue and buttermilk yellow skyline.  I have to say, I love this look even more whilst drinking hot chocolate with cream and marshmellows…!