Friday, November 11, 2011

Diary November 2011 - No snow (here) yet!!

When you're young, you can't wait to get older, to start University or earning money, to be independent and to live your own "adult" life - it seems as if time moves ever so slowly!! When you're older, you want time to slow down but it just seems to fly! Unbelievable that it's November already and that it's only a month and a half till Christmas. Wow.
November is not a popular month - November is when we turn back the clocks and it's dark at 4 pm already. Some days it's cold and nasty and damp and windy. It's not winter yet but you can feel it coming!
But the bonus days are when November forgets it's supposed to be cold and nasty and we get a gorgeous, sunny day that's warm and feels like early September.
We've had a few of those lately and I've tried to get out in the garden as often as possible, still trying to put it "to bed".
The other day I was out and saw some real photo ops so I ran inside to get my camera and here's what I saw.
(Above) My deck is alternately covered with leaves or the wind has blown every leaf off. Here are my cute ceramic "flower pot" shoes beside a container that needs to be put away for winter. The lovely yellow leaves blew into a composition that a stylist would love!

I cut down the front garden and replaced the frozen, dead, soggy coleus with evergreens from the backyard. It's great to get the branches into the soil while it's still soft and moist. The branches freeze into the soil and make the urns heavy and solid. Strong winds can't knock them down. I used yew, green and blue spruce as well as a few red dogwood branches. Then in early December I just have to add my Christmas balls and decorations and voila! The urns are festive and ready!

I can't stop singing the praises of having an Oakleaf hydrangea (and I guess I can't stop photographing it either!!)
It is one of my all time favourites because of its 4 season beauty: leaves that unfold in an interesting way in spring, gorgeous dark green leaves with white conical blooms in summer, bronze flower clusters and fabulous multi-shade red leaves in fall and peeling bark as a winter interest.

The leaves on the climbing hydrangea vine (that grows beside the Oakleaf Hydrangea) turn yellow and sometimes fall off all in one day and night!

The hostas have all turned yellow and gone soft

My 4 Burning Bushes are really weird this year: one died, one is bright red and beautiful, one is slowly turning red and one is still completely green!!???

When I bought this statue years ago in Doon, the name attached to it was "Elaine" so I have always called this my Elaine Bed. And this is how I like my garden beds to look for winter - clean and clear with no debris harbouring pests.

You have to search for beauty in the late autumn garden but it's there:

Bergenia cordifolia:

Monkshood (Aconitum)

Rose hips

and Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) with just their little black eyes left!

Be sure to look for those last beautiful garden touches in your own garden or elsewhere. They're still out there - you just have to search carefully.
BTW - I cut and trimmed 35 geranium stems and will attempt to grow next year's geraniums from cuttings. I'll let you know if I'm successful!

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