November in your garden

Leaf clearance

Leaves are falling in abundance. Trees give us a running display of colour and it helps reduce windage for the coming winter months. The spectacular early colour change of the Acers, closely followed by Cherry and Cut Ash, are brilliant. The leaves need to be cleared from the lawn to give the grass maximum light and not be too damp. Shade and damp are the friends of moss, so help keep the odds in favour of the grass. If you aim to store the leaves for future re-use as compost you can bag them up. If they are in plastic bags pierce a few holes to let in oxygen and microbes to help with the process.

Structure in your garden

There are many ways to maintain interest in the garden even if the temperature is dropping. Grasses area good buy as the taller ones show off well in the wind. Stipa gigantea Golden oats with giant spent seed heads. Corylus avellana ‘contorta’ – twisted hazel- is a good ornamental shrub/tree, with its twisted branches and tight structure. Another showy arrival with its spectacular brilliant red flagon shaped rose hips is Rosa moyesii ‘geranium’. A larger shrub/small tree is Arbutus unendo ‘compacta’ with its white waxy flowers followed by small spherical red strawberry like fruit. Hence it is better known as a ‘Strawberry tree’. There is a bonus plant for those with acidic garden soil. The large shrub/small tree Clerodendrum trichotomum Harlequin, sometimes known as the Glory or Peanut tree, has bright blue berries.

Berries for the Birds

There are a number of robust shrubs bearing berries which help attract and sustain the birds and wildlife and are reliable performers. Pyracantha, Berberis, Holly and Rowan give us a mixture of red yellow and orange berries. The more unusual berry comes from Callicarpa bodinieri Profusion with swirls of iridescent purple berries around its stems.

Jobs in your garden for November

This is the last month for planting Spring bulbs.

Net the brassicas to help keep the pigeons off.

Tidy up the perennials, removing unsightly or dead top growth.

Keep the lawn free of fallen leaves.

Mulch any tender plants.

Start pruning apples and pear trees.

Spray peaches and nectarines against leaf curl.

Check tree ties and stakes.

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