It’s Bloomin’ November


 

The mophead hydrangeas are having their moment.

I inherited several and moved most to positions where they would offend me the least in their gaudy summer livery. Maybe they don’t warrant close inspection at this time of year but it’s the faded, shabby chic stage that has saved them from an appointment with the man and his winch. It was on my list to cut some of the flowers for drying and then along came the October storms. Oh well.

 
 

 

Some are taking on bluer tones now as they adapt to the more acid conditions of the woodland floor

 
 

 
 

 

If they were ever named varieties the identities have been lost in the mists of time

 
 

 

The grand old dames are joined by an increasing number of Hydrangea paniculata. ‘Pinky Winky’ was slow to colour up but the lower temperatures of recent nights seem to have done the trick.

 
 

 

Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

 

November may seem an odd time for rusty duck to be re-entering the world of Bloom Day but there is still beauty to be had, even if we do have to look harder for it.

 
 

 

The rich purple foliage of Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ has provided a stunning backdrop for astilbes, echinacea, crocosmia and other neighbours throughout the summer and now her own clusters of diminutive white blooms are coming to the fore.

 
 

 

Hesperantha coccinea ‘Major’

It’s been flowering for weeks and is still going strong.

 
 

 

Alstroemeria ‘Princess Diana’

An old fashioned plant now perhaps but it provides me with a reliable drift of colour for months on end. For that I’m prepared to sacrifice a little bit of ‘cool’.

 
 

 

Hardy fuchsias the same. The garden was overrun with the things when we took it on and I’ve dug up very many. But on the precipitous bank they’ve been blooming non stop since July. The raging storms of October and the recent sub zero temperatures have barely left a mark so far and they look brilliant with grasses. I wouldn’t be without them now either.

 
 

 

Gentiana ‘Cairngorm’

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. I saw this bloom, just the one, poking up out of the alpine trough a few days ago. But it was getting late. And cold. Coffee time was approaching. And it would still be there for a photo opportunity the next morning, yes? Well, sort of. This is its good side. The slugs nobbled it overnight.

 
 

 

Salvia ‘Wendy’s Wish’

The wretched molluscs have had this one too. According to the RHS ‘Wendy’s Wish’ is supposed to be three feet high. Mine is six inches. And only in the last couple of weeks, since slug activity has fallen off, has she been permitted to bloom. I did take cuttings though. Which are doing very well. Next year I’ll try again.

 
 

 

And speaking of sage.. Pineapple Sage

I bought a pot of it for the kitchen thinking it was ordinary culinary sage. I’ve since learned that it’s a really good idea to take your reading glasses with you while plant shopping. We used it once. But it’s given me the bonus of blooms. And the slugs, it appears, are not so fond of pineapple. After a few tentative early munchings they left it alone. It has reached three feet high.

 
 

 

The sedums are colouring up..

 
 

 

Rose ‘Desdemona’

And we still have roses..

 
 

 

Rosa mutabilis

..including the one which has become my very favourite.

 
 

So November is not looking entirely shabby is it?

 

Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day (here) at May Dreams Gardens, where you will find many more November bloomers from around the world.