The darkness crushed down on us and the month moved on. There were wet and gloomy days and a clear sense of winter moving in. Murky damp days and then bitterly cold moments, with one or two cracking frosts. The lawn continued to grow, but no window opened to run the mower out one last time. The leaves defiantly held on, but in the ground many winter shrubs came through early. The berries were plentiful, but many have gone and Mahonia normally seen as a winter flowering plant has almost finished.
Out in the garden there are still things that we can be doing and bare root plants are in good supply if you are needing hedging. If you have a barrier or screen in mind, do check out the recommended spacing and eventual size. At this time of the year people come looking, all seeking immediate evergreen perfection, three feet tall and low maintenance. Please be advised the plant isn’t there. Box works, but is slow growing and established plants are expensive, whilst Laurel is hardy, evergreen and if untamed very vigorous (I have one plant that has exceeded ten feet in all directions). Share your needs with the supplier to get the right thing. Most of these plants are very hardy and will cope with the lateness of your attention.
If you just want to be out there, the tidying up is still there and every tidied space is a hiding place removed. Rodents, garden pests and disease are all looking for somewhere to bed down. This task is just as important in our sheds, garages and greenhouses. The more quick witted pests will seek out the best accommodation. If you are heating a greenhouse, then lift everything off the floor. Wander through the vegetables firming in established plants and be vigilant with pigeon barriers. Like hawks they watch and await our mistakes (last night I lost more than thirty cabbage tops and they don’t repair well).
If nothing else this month start looking at lists, appraise the highs and lows of the season past and consider the soon to come. Seed and bulb catalogues are around (with many now online ) and our seed potato lists are out too. More new adventures await.
And finally, enjoy and celebrate all around, the days go quickly on.