A walk Around My Garden – 16 November 2019

Today’s photos have a golden theme running through them. For a few short weeks, everything glows. It’s a last gift from the garden before we descend into cold dark days. And it’s a very welcome gift. Even the flowers are golden. The last dahlias make a cheerful posy for the garden table. Tubers of favourite David Howard dahlia are tucked up under a foot of dry leaves now. Here I’ve found some blue borage and a few nasturtiums to go with the solo dahlia bloom. I feast my eyes on the sight. It will be another 9 months before I see dahlia flowers again.

Luckily, in the poly tunnel, my ‘Aunty Dorris’ chrysanthemums are coming into flower. My father in law has been growing these since the 1950s after receiving cuttings from his aunt. Sadly he’s had to leave his garden, and the precious plants have come my way. I’m determined to keep them going, in memory of Aunty Dorris and as a tribute to their shared love of gardening. There will be a steady flow of flowers to the care home where my relatives now live, right up until Christmas time.

White Swan chrysanthemums are also flowering. I grow them in 12″ pots in an open-ended poly tunnel. They don’t mind the cold, but the rain spoils their flowers. There’s often enough for Christmas table decorations.

Stepping out of the poly tunnel door, this is the scene. A bank of wild cherry trees make a golden veil. Next spring there will be snowy white cherry blossom, followed by luscious red fruit. There’s always something to look forward to. Nothing stays the same. I remind myself this, when there’s bare stems and cold dark days ahead. Winter is not my favourite time of the year, but I store up memories of the past, and at the same time, look to the future. My garden provides a kind of winter armoury.

Alongside the greenhouse, there’s a group of hazel trees. We harvest a few cob nuts each year, but squirrels take most of them. It’s cheerful to see catkins – or lambs tails- forming already.

Through the hazel and maple trees, you can just spy the summerhouse. Fallen leaves make a golden footpath leading the way.

Tall golden beech trees make a backbone for the summerhouse. It will be six months before we see lime green shoots and new leaves again.

Surrounding trees and the back fields are reflected in the summerhouse windows. Sunset is a favourite time to sit here and ponder on the growing year coming to a close. And also think about all the flowers, fruit and veg I’ll be growing next year.

What plans have you for your garden next spring? Are you enjoying the autumn colours just now, as we are here in the Midlands? Get in touch and let me know how things are going in your garden right now.

While you are looking at these photos there’s some music to go with them. Here’s the link to Yellow (Coldplay) sung by Jodie Whittaker for Children in Need. It’s very appropriate for my post this week. At 1.35.09 on the timeline. Or number 12 on the playlist.


Children in Need; https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/shows/got-it-covered/

Links : SOS. I like to join in with Six on Saturday, but always have more than six to share https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/16/six-on-saturday-16-11-2019/

36 thoughts on “A walk Around My Garden – 16 November 2019

  1. I am not planning gardening for spring just yet. In our chaparral climate (even though it is not really chaparral here), winter is a very busy time. There is so much pruning to do while things are dormant. Anything that gets dug and divided and relocated gets processed now. We start as soon as the leaves fall, which is a bit later than elsewhere.

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  2. What a lovely post Karen. Your garden is looking golden right now. Savour it for the next few dismal months. I understand how winter affects you Karen – I can sense from your writing how you dread it! I have felt it pretty badly myself some years, but new projects (non-gardening ones too!) keep me looking ahead. My garden is still mostly open land at the moment, but on a walk this afternoon I spotted a group of young larch trees in their autumn colours and decided there and then to start a larch forest! (Well, a spinney perhaps!) 🙂
    I also found a hyacinth trying to flower this morning, so winter does have nice surprises sometimes. xx

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    • Oh how lovely! There’s a larch in Polly’s wood near ours. I love the golden colours at the moment, and it’s such a lovely weeping shape too. A whole forest of them would look amazing. Yes, I hate the cold. I hate feeling cold and I’m not fond of wet dull days. I love the sunshine. I’ve got lots of things planned to keep me busy though. Lots of love. Karen xx

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  3. Your dahlias and colours are fabulous and the blooms look so perfect.

    My dahlias are lifted and tucked up in a little dark place in the garage, where they’ll spend the winter. I’ve loved my dahlias this year and would like to have more for next year – but I didn’t have much success with the new tubers, only two out of four sprouted, which left me with just two, plus two from last year.

    I’ve been thinking about buying rooted cuttings rather than tubers, but I’m wondering if this is a wise choice – will the cuttings form tubers in the first year? If so, next year I’d be back where I started – trying to sprout tubers or buying more cuttings! Dilemma! 😁

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    • You can root your own cuttings. They need to be about 2-3’ long with a sliver of tuber at the base. Use a very sharp knife. Use a Propagator to get the mother tuber to sprout early. They will produce their own little tuber in the first year and I found them as successful as buying in new dried tubers. When buying tubers, make sure you choose the heaviest, plumpest tubers. Anything too dried up and light weight will not sprout. Two tricks to make them come alive; remember they should be dark , so put a piece of newspaper over the tuber when planted in its pot. Also, take a sharp knife and slice the stem in half. This sometimes prompts the tuber to get going. Don’t over water. Keep warm and certainly frost free when you are bringing them back to life. Good luck!


  4. I’m drowning in leaves right now, fallen from several Norway maples. They make a yellow carpet at first, but it’s now turning brown. I let some leaves remain on the perennial beds, but rake up most of them from the lawns and paths. The compost area is filled to the brim, but I know it will settle soon. Some plants (snowdrops and species tulips) are sprouting already and one hellebore is showing pink buds! You’re right — nothing stays the same for long and spring will be here before we know it.

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    • Thank you Audrey. We can’t even get on the lawn at the moment. Every footstep sinks. Do hope we have some fine sunny weather soon to dry up the ground. Feel so sorry for the farmers who haven’t managed to get in maize and potatoes. A disaster for them, and they can’t sow winter wheat either. Much patience is required to be a gardener – and a farmer.

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  5. Beautiful photos of your beautiful place, Karen – so nice to see. I’m a bit envious that you are frost free enough to overwinter dahlias. Not so here, we have had a very chilly November so far and the ground is already freezing, about a month earlier than expected. And to think we had our first hard frost a mere two weeks ago, which was a month later than expected! More weather weirding.

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