It’s been a difficult past week with lots going on in the family so I was going to give the End of Month View a miss, especially as at the end of November there is nothing really to show what was happening in the garden. However, having had a read the EOMV of Alison at The Blackberry Garden and Janet at Plantaliscious to name but two, I changed my mind. Even though we are now in the first week in December, I thought I should take a look at what was going on in the garden, so I can review it this time next year. After all, that is what Helen’s End of Month View is all about.
The lawn is soggy and felt like walking on a sponge this morning as I squelched my way across it. My garden faces East/West and has very little sun in the Autumn and none in the Winter, this is mainly due to the ivy growing in abundance around the garden. I really must tackle it again now I can reach it across the flower beds, although it does seem to thrive on being savagely cut.
The ferns, in what I lovingly refer to as “my damp corner”, are looking wonderful and healthy, ideal for Winter flower arrangements. I am dreadful at making a note of the name of some of the plants in the garden and I can’t remember for the life of me what the glossy fern is. I am delighted to see that after taking a few years of doing nothing it seems to have taken off this year.
I tidied up the bed at the end of the garden, and chopped all the hardy geraniums down to the ground which uncovered the Agapanthus, which is throwing up new shoots. I have pegged a bamboo cloche over them and will cover it in fleece if we have very hard frost. This seems to work well as frost protection and also makes the beds look a little more interesting than plastic cloches, although I also use them.
In October, the Holly was bursting with berries and I took lots of photos so I could make Christmas cards. How lucky was that? Now all the berries have gone. I posted a question on Gardens Weekly Facebook page for any ideas why this has happened. The general consensus of opinion was that this can happen for a variety of reasons but nothing to worry about. I hope not but it would have been good to have berries on the Holly so I could make a wreath for the front door, but I have my Christmas cards. so I shouldn’t grumble.
We have all remarked on how the mild weather has meant that the gardens are still pleasing us with flowers that should have been long gone by now. As I was walking around the garden with my camera, I saw the lovely rosehips that are on the Golden Showers rose, then I noticed that it too is still flowering.
I am really not sure what to do about this rose. It grows straight and tall, like a tree, and the ivy is wrapping itself around the stems. Some of the branches are a good 8 ft high. It is probably the ivy that keeps it from falling over. The problem is that there is about 4 ft of bare stem, which is probably due to bad pruning. It is a lovely rose and I am worried that if I give it a hard prune it will just not flower again – any advice on this please?
While I am asking advice, this is my Elderflower – Sambus Nigra.
I am truly amazed at the height it has grown this year. At the beginning of the year I drastically pruned it down to about 3 ft, and then panicked that it was never going to recover. Unfortunately, it only flowered on the lower stems so there were very few berries, when in previous years it has been laden. Clearly I had taken out the branches that were due to flower this year. I would like it to be a little shorter so please can I have some help on the best way/time to prune this massive tree and manage to have lots of flowers and berries again next year.
Ten years ago I was bought a very small Olive Tree by my daughters. It has flowered for the past few years and this year it has tiny little olives, silly how little things are quite exciting!
Lastly, a little visit to the front garden. The Iceberg rose is still flowering and will do so well beyond Christmas, it has been known to flower all year round. The berries on the Skimmia have remained on the bush throughout the year and are making up for no berries on the Holly. The Cotoneaster is looking good too, although I can never work out what it is living off because it is growing in the wall.
The main thing that struck me today was that I no longer like gardening regardless of the weather. There was a time, when I would be out there digging, pruning and planting no matter how cold it got. Today, come 2:00pm my hands were red and I was feeling the cold so I packed up and came in.
Thank you Helen at Patient Gardener who runs the End of Month View meme, without whom I would not have almost a whole year in pictorial diary form to look back on in 2012.