End of Month Review - November

"November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."

Elizabeth Coatsworth

Except it didn't really did it; the frost and snow part did not really come to be.  I think we had two frosts for the whole month and certainly no snow.  Where most of the year it has been dry, this month has been mild and damp. 
The borders are getting that patchy, brown look and for the first time really this year I can say with some confidence that the soil is really quite damp even below the surface level.  This is good.
The new border extension looks fairly empty still, it now has many bulbs in it, wallflowers and the rose order which arrived the other day is partly filling out this area.  Prime spot goes to Rosa 'Sir Clough', its a tall rose and I am hoping it will be a real stunner.
The birds and foxes are eating the windfall apples.  They will all disappear when the frost truly comes which is my excuse for not sweeping them up.  I read a blog recently that asked if people were scuzzy in their gardens.  I kept the guilty quiet of one who knows that they are.
Signs of proper autumn abound, my unpleached pleached hornbeams are doing their autumn thing.  They make me happy.
Yet in the hedge the honeysuckle is still in flower.....
.......the nasturtiums have not yet descended into slimy mush......
..... a lone sweet pea is clinging on just.....
.....the new found joy of this year, the zinnias, are still zinning away.....
.....and Rosa Portmeirion is still trying its best.  One of the first and last to flower - what a rose!
The Schyzostylis I bought from Special Plants is flowering.  What an amazing colour!  I also managed to divide it into three before planting it, so a great bargain plant already. 

Amidst all this dying down and waiting for the inevitable freeze, there is always the promise of what is to come.  Wandering around the garden in November is about what is disappearing and what is on its way - looking always for the signs of hope that will keep me going through the dark months of winter.
My winter flowering cherry will soon be in blossom.  This is a beautiful tree and one of the first to go into the garden four years ago.  It has flowered reliably every winter since then.
These bulbs I planted a couple of weeks ago are already starting to show.  I worry a little that the warmth is confusing them, but so glad to see them poking their shoots up through the ground.
Of course there is always the constant checking of the pond level.  I have cleared out quite a bit of the parrot feather weed stuff.  There is still much more to be removed but it looks better.  The level is rising fairly quickly this month after some rain and lots of dampness.  I can still see the rock that I call Ellis Island (this gives me dark indeed tragic amusement and bears no relation at all to the real Ellis Island), it is however a good tell on how high or low the pond is when I can see it.

I shall end on what I think November is all about for me - shadow.
Thanks as ever to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting this meme.