November Blooms.

The poet, Thomas Hood wrote:

 ‘No sun – no moon!

No morn -no noon!

No dawn- no dusk! No proper time of day!’

The poem finishes:

‘No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees

No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

November!’    

I think this just about sums up the month for most of us gardeners. Of course most of us still have flowers but we know they will soon be gone. I have no interest in out-of season flowers that are still hanging on from summer.  Shakespeare said:  ‘At Christmas I no more desire a rose than wish snow in May’s new-fangled mirth.’   I tend to agree with him.

Chrysanthemums have been out of fashion for some time but they are great for November colour. How lovely to have something to look forward to in this dingy month.  I have one friend who hates the big shaggy ones and another who loathes the ones with a yellow eye. I like them all.  One of my favourites is the old variety, Chrysanthemum ‘Emperor of China.’  It doesn’t offend either of my fussy friends;   its flowers are double with no eye and they are a gorgeous, softest pink colour. The foliage gets a nice autumn colour too.Image

Mahonia x media ‘Lionel Fortescue’ is looking great now. It has ever-green spiky leaves and upright racemes of bell-like yellow flowers.  My garden had several gawky over -grown ones but they respond very well to being cut down in the Spring  to just above a bud.  The following year they make a nice compact shrub.  For most of the year I think I don’t need so many of these shrubs but at this time of the year I am glad of them.

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Every year somebody writes to the national press to say that they have seen a very early snowdrop and this must be a result of global warming and topsy –turvey seasons.  Well it is no such thing. I have a snowdrop in flower now and every year in November because this is the season for it to bloom.  It is Galanthus elwesyii ‘Barnes’ and it is gorgeous.

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I do have some out of season treasures too which despite my insistence on enjoying flowers in season are giving me a lot of pleasure at the moment.  Astrantia major ‘Abbey Road’ has no right to be looking as good as late as this. It is a new variety with deep ruby red flowers.

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Tulbaghia violacea is a South African bulb which usually flowers in late summer into autumn.  Its pretty star shaped flowers smell of onion but they are delightful.  They are still going strong but we haven’t had any frost yet so perhaps that is why. The bulbs need full sun and perhaps thick mulch as frost protection.

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Finally, despite agreeing with Shakespeare about unseasonal roses I have to include a photo of the lovely rose ‘New Dawn’ which doesn’t seem to have noticed that it is November.

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One Response to November Blooms.

  1. willisjw says:

    Wonderful shot of that Mahonia! And I envy the Astrantia in this season. The Tulbaghia is a candidate for my greenhouse. Thanks for stopping by MacGardens.

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