Can it really be November?

The garden is not ready yet to welcome Winter! I believe it is more evidence of the change in our planet brought about by human activity. Having a garden and providing habitats and food sources for the wildlife is one small way I feel I can reduce my impact on the earth. But my daily walk in the garden where I see plants flowering out of season and leaves hanging on the trees weeks later than normal is a reminder of how the world is changing.

Hamamelis is usually completely bare by mid-November – this year it is still in full leaf

I do believe that each of us has a responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet wherever we can. I find this difficult at times, but even if I don’t meet 100% I remind myself that “doing better” is something I can strive to do. I am also conscious that as I get older I need to find ways to reduce the work in the garden while still maintaining an outdoor space to treasure and enjoy.

Zephrine Drouhin still has lots of buds to come

I know we always have a few roses popping up even up to Christmas, but this year my roses have had a complete late flowering in October that was as good if not better than the main flowering. So now I am in two minds – do I revel in the pleasure of the extended flowering of my garden or do I lament the real evidence of Climate Change I am seeing every day in my garden?

Salvias still going strong

Of course some garden flowers are happy to continue giving us pleasure until the first frost comes – these Salvias are a prime example – but I also have Alstromerias still looking very good, Penstemons and hardy Fuschias are also lovely late treasures in the November garden. But I wonder how these plants with fare if no frost arrives to trigger them to go dormant to build up reserves for the next year?

This year due to health issues I resorted to using weedkiller on my gravel paths. I am blaming this on the sudden proliferation of that really nasty jelly-like Nostoc fungus which is reported to occur where geophosphate is used as a weedkiller. My resolution is to return to raking and hand-weeding in future! One forum suggested using biological washing powder to get rid of it, which I may resort to as a once-off solution but not as an ongoing answer to this problem.

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