3rd November 2018

Wonderful November


As the days are shortening and a whiff of wood smoke lingers in the air, there is a sense of change in the season, the trees are a riot of autumn colour turning from yellow, gold and red before they fall.  Along with the hips, haws, berries and crab apples,  a great natural bounty ready to be cooked on the fire, or boiled and bottle but most definitely we will be wrapped up with a blanket in front of a roaring fire roasting chestnuts what a wonderful November.  

There is still much to be done in the garden, gathered from the veg plot and collected on dog walks like the sloes, crab apples and cob nuts and wicked thoughts of ‘Christmas Goodies’ I need to make!

The Tree of the month is the ‘Crab Apple’ (species of Malus and their cultivars) it is a brilliant hard working tree, from blossom in spring to autumn colour and showy fruit now till December. They are neat and compact and great for a small garden.  Malus like fertile well-drained soil in full sun but light shade can be tolerated. They make good pollinators (Malus ‘Everest’  and some suited for jelly making (Malus ‘Red Obelisk’ or Malus ‘Gorgeous’).

Malus Everest 1Malus Everest 2Malus Red Obellisk2

Ward off winter cracked lips…

Lip Balm

Dry and cracked lips are often a sign it’s getting colder, one of the best remedies is the restorative mix of a few simple ingredients to make a wonderful lip balm to keep lips smooth and ready for even the coldest day.

The ingredients are all natural, honey has wound healing and anti-microbial properties, olive oil is an anti-inflammatory as well as protecting and nourishing and lemon balm grown in the garden.  Together with a little instruction this can be made in your kitchen and handed out to friends and family.  Check out our‘Christmas Goodies’

I’m now slightly bulbed out, I have just planted all my iris’s, tulips, crocus and 200 Allium bulbs and just left are the Garlic.   They need a couple of cold months to develope so now is the time.  How to plant and good varieties such as ‘Early Wight’, ‘Solent Wight’, and ‘Germidour’ which will store the longest and make a good size bulbs.  And if you need some Alliums, I can recommend Purple sensation and I have a great offer available.

Allium Purple sensat

Purple Sensation -50 bulbs £15 plus £3.99 delivery 

Insect & Bug hotels and log leaf piles provide a great winter home for many creatures.  Situate in a shady corner and leave to let nature do its thing.


Plant bare -root roses , soak before planting

Collect seeds from Cosmos, label with correct colour if possible and store in a cool dry place.

Plant Tulip bulbs now ‘Ballerina‘ is a firm favourite as it sings amongst all the lime greens of spring.  grows 60cm and flowers from mid April-May or ‘Orange Princess’ they sort of look like peonies!

Tulip BallerinaTulip Orange Princess

Mulch tender plants such as dahlias, cannas and agapanthus.  It helps insulate, protects and minimises weeds.

Autumn leaves make a great compost and are a valuable material, leaf mould rivals peat in its ability to retain moisture and helps with drainage.  However if using leaves alone the disadvantage is that you need a large amount to produce any quantity. Instead leaves can be added to your compost bin, add half Green material like grass, plant clippings, vegetable scraps, and half Brown matter like leaves, straw, paper as well as bags and coffee grounds.  This mix will take between 3 mths to a year, turning every month to give you something quite wonderful in the end.

Cut back any tired or dead perennial stems or leave till spring.

Plant bare-root hedging and trees.


Plant rhubarb crowns now into well matured beds.

Lay straw or cupboard on crops still in situ like my beetroot which needs lifting and storing in a dry shed.

Remove and clean any stakes canes sticks to a dry location ready for next spring

Begin winter pruning apple and pear trees.

Check on stored apples for signs of rot as one rotten one will affect the whole lot.

Add manure to finished veg boarders and cover with a membrane.


Collect the last bits of greenery from lemon verbena and mint to dry and store.  These are great for this months ‘De-Stress Tea’!

Collect any fennel seeds as these are great for ‘Roasted Root Vegetables’ and Roast Pork.

Dry coriander seeds, always great in curries.

Collect rose hips as high in vitamins C, good for fighting colds and Rose hip Jelly!

Rose hipsCrab apple JellyHerb Tea

For more information on any of the plants mentioned above, email me or sign up for our monthly newsletter here!