4 Nov 2017

Sunshine gardening in November

With great timing, the weather this Saturday is dull.  It's damp, it's grey, it's been raining all night and I'll probably find that it's a bit chilly when I go out. Hoorah. No, I mean it, I'm not being cynical. Today's dank weather provides the perfect antidote to the week as I can clear my day to write.

I spent as much time as I could in the veg patch on Friday. Dry crisp weather was promised. I expected chilliness and instead got warm sunshine. Mmmm, so good. The weather gods were smiling and I made the most of it.

Early morning veg garden
8.00 a.m. veg patch

The veg patch had become very messy, errr, autumnal in recent weeks.  I dislike being over tidy in the garden but this was rather too gloriously rampant. Ropes of nasturtiums snaked around and across, nets of strawberry runners cascaded from raised beds, Verbena seedheads collapsed theatrically across the path, foxglove seedlings mulched every bit of soil and I can take a good guess at how Forget-me-Nots got their name - there will be no forgetting this crowd unless I thin them. Time for a clear up - but first, the photos. There was beauty in that beast.

Nine garden flowers blooming in November
A few of the flowers hanging on at the start of November


I love a bit of selective zooming and cropping! Makes it all look very pretty.  But see that little bit of Honeywort, bottom middle? It's just one flower in a vast tumultuous sea of self seeded plants. I won't need the space until next spring and the plants should withstand the winter to provide early nectar for waking bees, so they get to stay, messy or otherwise.  And, yes, that is a flowering scented pelargonium in the middle of the grid. It's grown huge with its feet in the soil so stays outdoors all year round, getting chopped back when I can no longer open the gate past it. I was told they need to be grown in a greenhouse so either the garden benefits from an exceptionally warm micro-climate or this plant's a hardy soul.

I wasn't expecting to find anything edible but, surprisingly for November, there were a couple of strawberries and raspberries, a curly kale hiding under a wave of sweet peas, achocha, six courgettes - seven if you count the swollen 'marrow' - and sorrel (returned to life after bolting in the heat of the summer). That lot should make for an interesting meal.  Perhaps a winter veg chilli, if I bring some carrots from the allotment, throw in some of my squashes and cook some of my dried beans from last year.



I've been thinking that I'll keep the veg patch for food growing only next year. The flowers are dominating the space and, as lovely as it is to see cowslips and primroses in early spring, I was frustrated at the lack of veg this year. Shortage of space demands a rethink so perennial flowers and herbs may be moved to my other garden in favour of future edibles. I need to plan this carefully as I don't want to destroy the ecology that I've built up in this tiny 30 by 10 foot space so I'll still need a few plants that attract beneficial bugs.

After the tidy up, there's still a few jobs to do. Broad beans and garlic will go in next and perhaps some over wintering peas and then that's it. No purple sprouting broccoli to look forward to in the spring but this will give me a chance to mulch and improve the soil ... and spend time with my feet up - once the pruning, leaf sweeping, weed pulling and mulching are sorted.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Forecast is for dry but chilly on Sunday, happy gardening!xx



11 comments:

  1. An enjoyable post and good pictures. The recent weather has certainly been good for plants and gardening.
    Thanks, and you too. xx

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    1. Thanks, Flighty. Yes, brilliant weather for being outdoors - must admit I'm slightly dreading when the weather finally turns very cold so the pressure's on to get everything done! x

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  2. Beautiful pictures, and well done for all your tidying. I must admit that I love it when the season's over and there's a rest from all the hard work out there. Although of course I do still have a long list of things to do. I have high hopes for next Saturday, weather permitting. I haven't got my garlic in yet and you've reminded me I should pop in some broad beans. It's lovely to have a day just for writing though I think. It's a day of watching football here, although I shall sneak along my notebook this afternoon and write in the car for a bit before kick off. Have a lovely day, I am envying you your writing time inside as I head out into the chill! CJ xx

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    1. Ah, thanks, CJ. Yesterday felt very balanced as I managed to sneak out into the garden later in the day (and did my food shopping in the evening, brilliant time to do that!). Next Saturday? Ooh, have we got another good weekend in the offing? I hope so! Well done for smuggling in a bit of writing in the car, you're a good example to us all! Enjoy your day! Cxx

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  3. Anything we can squeeze out of the garden at this time of year is a bonus - I'm sure your chilli will be savoured all the more!

    Ha! I know what you mean about rainy days - I do wish for the occasional dreary day during the summer so that I don't have to split my attentions - it's a tough thing to do!

    At the moment, though, I'm hoping for some good days - similar to your Friday weather - but Mother Nature has not been cooperating. It's been chilly and windy (for me, the latter is what keeps me inside) and today it's raining all day. I don't have any commitments today - which has been rare lately - so it's a good day to go through my notes/numbers from this season and do some writing ;)

    Two days is all I need to wrap up the garden including getting the garlic & shallots in. From the looks of the forecast, I'll likely be out there in a heavy coat and gloves this week. Enjoy your weekend :)

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    1. We all become weather watchers at this time of year, Margaret. I must admit windy and chilly together wouldn't tempt me outdoors either but I always find that I feel better if I wrap up and get out there. Wishing you good autumn weather, xx

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  4. The weather has been amazing but, very frustratingly, I've had other demands on my time and been unable to get out into the garden. It's amazing what's still producing in your patch, Caro. Gorgeous photos (well cropped :-) ).There are far more flowers than one would expect at the start of Nov here, too. There are still a few tomatoes hanging on to the plants outside – I've been meaning to compost them for the past couple of weeks but not got round to it... Hopefully, there'll be an hour or two this week. Hope you had a good day today and got lots done (I had to take my daughter clothes-shopping as she's grown out of everything!). Sam x

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    1. Oh, Sam, how frustrating! It's always a juggle here too; even as I type the sun is shining, I need to make some soup for lunch, a spot of sorting out awaits and I REALLY want to just be outside, feeling calm! (Like that's going to happen, hah!) Lucky you still having tomatoes. My best ones were grown on my balcony this year - away from blight and well watered! Hoping this good weather continues so you can get some garden time in. xxx

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  5. You did get an unexpected harvest, fancy finding strawberries at this time of the year! Lovely to see your flowers. It's always good to get a rainy day to catch up with other things.xxx

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    1. I know, strawberries in November, hah! I think on off temperatures have really confused the garden but we're now slowly easing into winter which, I think, is a good thing. xxx

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  6. Your vegetables still look very good, ours have been long gone, amazing to see a strawberry! It is always good to get out in the garden when the sun shines at this time of year in spring it is always so much colder. Sarah x

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Caro x

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