Gardeners Month November


November is the eleventh month but derives its name from the latin, Novem.
In the ancient Roman calender it was the ninth month but moved to the eleventh month when January and February were added.

The birthstone for the month is topaz (particularly yellow) which symbolizes friendship.
The birth flower is the chrysanthemum.

November is known for the meteor showers the Andromedids which occur from September 25th to December 6th.
They tend to peak at mid November 9th-14th.

Also the leonids which occur from the  15th to the 20th of the month.

We in Britain celebrate Bonfire night or Guy Fawkes night with a bonfire and usually spectacular firework displays.

November weather watch:
There can be damp and raw days with low cloud, frost can be frequent on calm clear nights, ideal for watching meteors passing over if you are wrapped up warm to keep the chill at bay.
Cold wind from the North and the East can make it feel a lot colder than it is with a significant wind chill.
We generally see most of the leaves on trees blown off or fall this month.

November can also contrast cold weather with spells of sunshine which on a calm day can make you feel a bit warmer, great for getting out into the garden or just going for a walk.

There is also a chance of more rain this month making things wet and soggy under foot. Snow in northern parts of the country is possible but mainly in Scotland.

There can be some colour left in the garden at this time of year if the weather has been kind. Nerines can still be in flower and you might be lucky to have a few rose blooms which you could cut and put in vases in the house.

If it hasn’t been to stormy autumn foliage may still be giving a good display of the bronze and autumn tints which always get highlighted if it is a sunny day.

This is a month for doing the tidying up. Sweep and collect the fallen leaves from the trees and shrubs.
Leaving wet leaves on lawns and paths is not good at all. It can cause bare patches on the lawn and encourage moss. It also makes paths wet and slippy.
Collecting them up and putting onto the compost heap to gradually rot down for leaf mould next year is a good idea. This is a fantastic soil conditioner.

Try and complete any winter digging early this month before the soil gets too wet and heavy and if there are any frosty days and nights it will help to break down the soil improving its structure and will make it easier to cultivate in the spring.

Any tender plants should know have been lifted and stored in the greenhouse for protection.
If you have any larger specimens such as tree ferns, protecting the growing crown with straw and fleece should now be in place and checked on a regular basis to ensure that its not to wet or has not been dislodged in very windy weather.

Tidy up borders clearing away old stems and dead foliage.

Fork over the ground around shrubs will give a good appearance to the garden making it look cultivated and neat for the winter.

It will also improve drainage stopping standing water on compacted soil. If you collect a lot of woody stems from trees and shrubs these can take an age to rot down on the compost heap, a controlled bonfire might be a good idea on a nice cold winter night. Or you could invest in a shredder which will chop this material down in to small pieces which will rot down much quicker on the compost heap.

A lot of hire shops also have these available for rent or contact your local Tree or Garden business’ for any help.

A lot of plants will go dormant now but not all.
If you have Viburnum x bodnantense in your garden it will produce its exquisite pink flowers from October and through November filling the air on the coldest of days with sweet fragrance.
Prunus subirhtella ‘Autumnalis’ the autumn cherry can produce its blossom intermittently through the winter.

So a bit of colour and good cheer can still be had.

There are still some star plants which can still be making a show for you this month some of these are:

Pyracantha ‘Golden charmer’, Euonymus alatus  a dense bushy shrub with bright fruits and leaves, Rosa moyesii a shrub rose that has distinctive bullet shaped hips.


Tidy garden for the coming winter.

Complete any winter digging before it gets to wet.

Protect any tender plants for frost or if possible lift and store indoors.

Plant tulip bulbs for spring display.

Net over ponds to stop fallen leaves dropping in and rotting away.

Plant any new trees and bushes.

Lift and divide rhubarb.

Wash down and insulate the greenhouse.

Clean pots and tools for next season.

Consider having the mower serviced and sharpened for next season.

Start amaryllis bulbs indoors.

Plant wallflowers and sweet Williams for spring colour.

Plant garlic which needs a longer growing season.

Protect any alpine plants from winter rain.

The above are some of the jobs to be getting on with this month.

November does not have to be a bleak month when the sun shines it can lift you spirit and allow you to get out there and do a bit in the garden or go for a walk there is still plenty to see.

On a cold clear night look to the sky and a meteor shower may arrive which can be a marvellous site.

There’s also a walk along the coast on a windy day watching the waves crash over and onto the rocks spraying white foam up.

So get out there and enjoy the garden  and look forward to December and Christmas.

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