End of Month Review November 2020

November has been rather rainy and a bit frosty at times and whilst there have been some sunny moments it has felt rather grey.  The nights are now a lot longer and that feeds the sense of greyness and whilst the news is sort of having some good bits, as we move into Tier 3 where I live, the news is still generally joyless. 

I refuse to be joyless.  Not all is grim and I stand in the front garden and look up through the branches of the Magnolia with its buds already fattening for next year's flowers and I smile.  The promise of the year to come is all around me. 
Though I am immediately tested on this by the sight of a newly planted tulip in the front lawn that has been dug up and discarded on the lawn.  I want to blame squirrels but I would expect it to look more nibbled, so maybe a fox?  Either way, I popped it back in, patted down the soil around it and wished it well.
As I am wandering towards the back garden I see the Vinca Minor growing at the front of the house.  This plant is a true survivor.  It was here when I moved into the house and I pull it up every now and again and cut it back.  I have never tried to completely remove it though as I rather like it.  I know it can be a menace but there it is, flowering away cheerily.
The Dahlia Wizard of Oz, who has steadfastly refused to flower this year, has been blackened by the recent frosts.  As it is in a pot it will be popped into the greenhouse to dry out for the winter.
The Grevillea victoriae, bought earlier this year, is flowering well.  It was a good purchase and has made me very happy.  I need to check its frost hardiness as I might move it under cover if the temperatures severely drop but at the moment it is fine.
Whilst still focuing on plants in pots, this Sarcoccoca ruscifolia is a cutting off a plant I bought on behalf of a friend.  It is totally acceptable to take a cutting off a plant you have purchased for someone else, its like sharing the joy.....  It was a small cutting and it is now making a nice little plant.  
The back garden looks quite sodden, but it is still quite green and I always like this 'Autumn starting to think about Winter' stage.
It is the time of year I start getting obsessed by structure and enjoying how some of the plants in my garden take on their winter forms (this is a euphemism for die).  I remember talking with a gardening friend some years ago now where she was saying about how important it was that a plant dies well.  This has remained with me and it is a good thing to think about.  Some plants just turn into mush (yes nasturtiums, I mean you) which does not mean I will not grow them, it just means I am clear how long their season of happiness is.
More joy can be found in the first signs of the snowdrops emerging.  There is also a forget me not and a poppy seedling there.  Ignore the moss and the weeds, I do.  
The Spring Border is gearing up for its moment.  The Hellebore leaves need trimming back, which I always do quite late and at the moment is impossible for me to attend to.  The soil is really sodden to walk on and the small matter of a broken ankle means that whilst I am well on the road to recovery, some garden tasks are just a step too far.  The leaves will be removed.  If you peer closely you might see one hellebore just about to flower.  This is exciting.
The Prairie Borders are looking nicely blonde and the dead echinops give good structure.  The Beech Pillars are also looking particularly good this year.
The Edgeworthia is covered in flower buds.
The Edgeworthia has to be one of my very favourite Spring flowering shrubs.  It is worth all the angst of wondering if it will get through the Winter, the colour and scent is just wonderful.
I love how this hamamelis leaks glimpses of yellow.  Hamamelis, I have a few, but then again......  this one always flowers early and long.  I must have planted it around ten years ago and it is now a well established shrub.  
I might have three Ginkgo trees.  One here in the back garden, the youngest one in the front garden and the original one that is now in a pot.   This one is the second one in terms of planting age and was about half the height it is now when planted.  I think this has been in the garden five or so years.  It was quite branchy when I first bought it and not very straight.  So I staked it and cut some of the lower branches off and this year it has definitely responded to this.  It is not four foot tall yet, but it makes me happy and I love watching the leaves turn to butter yellow, pause, and then all fall off in one soft 'flumph'.
The Winter Cherry is starting to flower.
So is the Winter Honeysuckle.  This has to be my favourite winter flowering shrub.  Superb for scent and for late/early pollinators.
and whilst not a flower, but a berry, this Euonymus berry looks very flower like today and brings colour and joy.
and I really think that this Clematis cirrhosa should be renamed 'Joybringer' (which comes with its own earworm - always a bonus....) (showing my age).  
I end as is traditional on the pond, which has had a good year.  It has had a good year because I have looked after it better.  I have weeded out the more invasive plants and I have relented on my usual practice and topped it up a couple of times.  I have not topped it up recently as we have had more than enough rain, but I think it helped it get through the drier months.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.

Stay safe all and be kind