End of Month View November: Featuring both Brains and Brawn

At the start of the November, the Traveller nearly left on his travels permanently!

It was entirely my fault – I had asked him to dig up some crocosmia! The crocosmia in question was along the wall between our house and the next  and it had been there for as long as I can remember.

Crocosmia border

Crocosmia border

It was a job I had been thinking about for the last couple of years and in my defence I had also mentioned it to Mike on several occasions too. This year, though they didn’t flower – not a single one, so the job couldn’t be put off any longer.


Maybe I should have done it myself; we certainly should have done it a quite a few years before, but you know how time passes when you are enjoying yourself.  I am ashamed to say that some of the roots were at least 15 corms long!

Getting rid of Crocosmia

Getting rid of Crocosmia

To give him his due, the Traveller did do a pretty good job, but has been severely traumatised by the whole event.  Not only was it very hard work physically but the resulting extractions looked as close to human brains as you can get in a garden. We are no longer allowed to mention the C word in our house!

Very old crocosmia corm

Very old crocosmia corms

Having disposed of the offending masses in our brown garden rubbish bin I was then left with the problem of a severe lack of soil in the aforementioned area. I couldn’t believe my luck when I came home one day to find a skip full of soil which had been excavated during our next door neighbours extension. How lucky can a person get? I now have lovely little piles of the stuff ready to spread out along the wall. I will no doubt be asking for new planting suggestions in the Spring.

Within a day of receiving all the free soil, I also was also given a box full of bulbs from Holland. I thought all my Christmases had come at once!

Packets of Dutch bulbs

Packets of Dutch bulbs

You know how one thing leads to another – especially in the garden.  I had been thinking about moving some shrubs and perennials around since the Summer, but I hadn’t quite got around to it.  The requirement to plant the bulbs, and sooner rather than later, spurred me into action. You probably won’t notice much difference yet in the photos as everything looks pretty dead but here is what I have tried to do.

The middle of the long border in July

The middle of the long border in July

The small roundish bed in the middle of the chamomile path, I wanted to contain more romantic pastel colours: pinks, pale blues and whites.  This meant moving a bright yellow Ilex crenata and some variegated  Acorus Ogon out of the bed.  I also removed the red and yellow Geums and the Gazanias and found new homes for them in other parts of the border. (The Gazanias probably won’t last the winter, but I am ever optimistic.) I kept the mature pink Penstemon as the centrepiece, and moved  the Fuchsia  further to the front right, after very nearly putting it back to the same place it had been two years before! I just stopped myself in time when I remembered it had been too close the to the Penstemon to appreciate it properly!

The newer Philadelphus went further back to the space left by the Fuchsia as it will grow quite large.

Romantic bed in November after moving everything around

Romantic bed in November after moving everything around

This left me some room to plant two packets of pink tulips, Playgirl and Sherwood Gardens each side of the large Penstemon. I also moved a pretty pink Astilbe from the bottom of the garden to the front of this bed.

Ilex looks happier in its new position

Ilex looks happier in its new position – well I am anyway!

I am much happier with the new position for the Ilex Crenata. It now makes a lovely winter garden with the variegated Rhododendron, the evergreen Azalea  and the  Skimmia Japonica nearer the shadier bottom of the long border.

The other major changes were to the top of the long border.  This part of the border was only created in 2012 after a big tree was removed. As a result some things were rather plonked in here just to fill the space and now they needed a little more sorting out.

Looking down the long border in June

Looking down the long border in June

Firstly I needed to move a few plants to make a path so I could actually reach my little plum tree without injuring either myself or my plants. Some of the geraniums at the left of the photo were moved to make some room.

I then took out a large pink Penstemon at the far right of the photo as it had really clashed with all the late summer reds and oranges.  I wasn’t too sad as it was just one I had split from the one I mentioned earlier. I did find a good home for it as well, just a few miles down the road.

My Persicaria Red Dragon, that had turned out much bigger than I expected was moved into the resulting space and further back from the front edge. I remembered to take the little Geum with it whose flowers had looked so good with the Persicaria leaves back in the Spring.

Persicaria 'Red Dragon' with geum flowers

Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ with geum flowers back in Spring.

I moved some Rudbeckia that were lost underneath my Rosa. I am hoping they won’t sulk too much next year and that I still get a good display next Autumn.

Top of long border in November

Top of long border in November

The garden is looking pretty bare now with only a couple of things still flowering.

Fuchsia Snowcap

Fuchsia Snowcap in November

There are some very early signs of spring though.

Wallflower starts to bloom in November!

Wallflower starts to bloom in November!

Iris Reticulata are showing.

Iris Reticulata are showing.

So that is where we are at with My Aberdeen Garden as we move into December.  There are still a few leaves to clear from the borders, but most plants are now where I want them – for now anyway, and all the bulbs are in.

Anemone Bordeaux only planted at the beginning of October.

Anemone Bordeaux only planted at the beginning of October.

Anemone blanda are showing - I hope the frosts don't kill them.

Anemone blanda are showing too – I hope the frosts don’t kill them.

I think we are all wondering whether the signs of Spring will continue to develop or whether we will have snow or hard frosts soon that will stop everything in its tracks.

I am off now to view Helen’s site at the Patient Gardener to see what other gardens look like as we move into Winter.






14 thoughts on “End of Month View November: Featuring both Brains and Brawn

  1. We have bluebells on the rise in the garden! I know they take a long time to ‘mature’ but it was a surprise to see them this week. Isn’t it good to know that spring will be here – and onwards we go into a new gardening year.

    • Gosh – I haven’t noticed any of those yet – I had better have a look as I do have a lot at the back of the border. They are probably still hidden under leaves. There is great anticipation at this time of the year of what will come in the Spring.

  2. Whoops… It’s so easy to leave things until NEXT year in the garden isn’t it? Lucky you receiving soil and bulbs in the same day. Gifts only a true gardener really appreciates. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post Annette.

  3. I see I’m not the only one with signs of spring in their garden Annette. You’ve achieved quite a bit this winter, you should both be very pleased. That’s some clump of Crocosmia, I do sympathise, I had similar to deal with a few years back.
    By the sounds of things you’ve really thought out what those borders will look like next year and I look forward to seeing how they come along.

  4. It seems the mood for moving things before it is too late is with us all. I’ve been adding some evergreen shrubs to the Drive border and planting bulbs too of course. Look forward to seeing it all next year. BTW did I promise you some Eschscholzia seeds? if so could you email me your address so I can send them. Christina

  5. You have been having quite the run of gardening luck, haven’t you!? With the crocosmia a distant memory I hope the spring bulbs really shine in a few months. It really looks like a great selection.

  6. Pingback: Resolve and Realise | My Aberdeen Garden

  7. Pingback: Resolve and Realise: March | My Aberdeen Garden

Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s