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Plants in the Garden: November

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Started by: Susan Read

Go to latest contribution by Susan Read, 22 November 2012, 13:43. Go to bottom of this page.

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Contribution from Susan Read 14 November 2012, 16:01top / bottom of page

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Contribution from Susan Read 14 November 2012, 16:24top / bottom of page

Primroses have started their usual sporadic flowering. I have never planted P. vulgaris so I assume they are a throwback to the hundreds of polyanthus I used to raise nearly 40 years ago. The hellebore is a self seeded hybrid akin to P corsicus.

Earlier in Shelley's poem, in the second stanza, he describes fallen leaves as 'pestilence-stricken multitudes'. These days I see his point of view as I rake up moth eaten horse chestnut leaves that cover my garden. Can anyone say whether horse chestnut leaves produces decent leaf mould...I seem to remember people used to regard them as toxic.

Sorry about the dreaded blue line that comes in where not wanted!

Contribution from Tim Ingram 20 November 2012, 09:23top / bottom of page

Susan - I think by the time leaves have fully broken down over a couple of years any potential toxins in them will have degraded. But most alpine gardeners would swear by oak or beech leafmould, caviar rather than cheddar! I wonder if Shelley had ever walked through an autumn wood kicking up the leaves; there is something extraordinarily beautiful about them.

We have a few primrose flowers appearing, and I am always surprised how well these plants persist through very dry summer periods. But they have surpassed themselves flowering in this much wetter year than normal. The only plants really flowering now are the very late alpine Serratula seoanei and Eupatorium ligustrinum, plus several forms of Saxifraga fortunei, which have again benefited from the summer rains.

The noses of snowdrops are appearing around the garden, so I hope for bright weather next February when we open the garden for these This picture is a taster...

Contribution from Susan Read 22 November 2012, 13:43top / bottom of page

Thanks Tim. I suspect the problem with horse chestnut is that the leaf stalks and veins take years to rot and I find that weeds are romping through by that time. Autumn colour has been poor here, even Euonymus alata leaves are pale yellow and falling. The shrub that excels is Viburnum ?fragrans. It is rather invasive but is almost the sole survivor of honey fungus in one part of the garden.

Cyclamen hederifolium, an easy plant, has seeded around and is competing well with ground elder!

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