It's very nearly the end of November.  When I get up it's still dark, and dusk starts to arrive well before sunset at 4 o'clock.  Only an apple tree has retained its leaves, all the others have shed them now.  (I wrote that yesterday evening and it does sound rather maudlin - this weeks wet weather has kept me indoors too much!).

1. Penstemon

There's next to nothing left of the exuberant flowers of Summer, but this Penstemon still has a few blooms left.  This has to be the most beautiful of the colours which come in a packet of mixed seeds.  Rest assured I've taken cuttings.  I hope they will take, as I'd like more of these for the Rose Garden next year.

2. Viburnum tinus

The evergreens move to centre stage at this time of year.  This viburnum was here in the garden when we arrived.  Its miniature sprays of flowers with pink buds are very dainty.

3. Grey and pale yellow foliage

Grey eucalyptus and yellow privet were also a combination which was already here when we moved in.  Presumably they were originally planted as part of a shrub border, but the privet has grown to about 10 feet tall and the eucalyptus had grown into a tree.  We now coppice the eucalyptus annually.

4. Hellebore

One of the hellebores is in flower.  I'd like many more of these flowers in the garden, and I'm planning to thread them through the woodland, mingled with the snowdrops and ferns.

They are difficult to photograph though as they hang their heads so!

5. Rhododendron buds

The drought in the Summer of 2018 significantly damaged the Rhododendrons which grow around the base of the oak tree.  Whole branches died back due to the lack of water.  The dry Summer  this year can't have been good for them either, so it is very heartening to see them recovering and these buds developing.

6. Extending the borders

I must acknowledge that this is not a very pretty photograph, but it will hopefully be the 'before' picture to a much more interesting 'after' photo in the spring.  It's a photo of one of the borders in the Knot Garden.  It is 24 metres long and currently 2 metres wide.  I'm busy cutting back the turf this week to increase the depth of the borders to 3 metres which should allow for a more interesting and richer planting.  I've placed bamboo canes 1 metre apart to help with laying out the planting.

That's all from this garden, but if you would like to see what is happening in other gardens this week, or perhaps write about your own, then visit The Propagator where you will find all the information you need.


  1. The penstemon really is worth keeping...I noted some still in flower in my garden too this week. I even had bumblebees in the garden in them last week.

    1. Penstemons seem to keep on flowering for months and are lovely to look at up close, but don't seem to make a that much of an impact in the border. So I hope that grouping together several of the same colour will show them off more advantageously. We'll see.

  2. Always love to see a border extended out into the lawn, I am sure it will make all the difference to your border. I am such a penstemon fan, lovely. :)

    1. Thanks Gill. It's hard work digging up all that turf though!

  3. A worthy lawn sacrifice. Look forward to seeing the results.

    1. I've put plenty of tulips into the extended borders so it should feature in the Six on Saturday in April to May if all goes according to plan.


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