Goodbye, November.

Goodbye, November. Fresh from weeks of pulling out old forget-me-nots and getting myself covered with the sticky seeds, I can proudly make one of my first Moosey Endorsements. Yippee for my blue striped charity-shop cotton man's gardening shirt, brand name Tommy Hilfinger, made in Honduras. It is the only - THE ONLY - item of my clothing that doesn't end up with biddibids stuck thereon.

 A beautiful shrub.
Philadelphus - Orange Blossom

I've just hung out a lineful of washing. There are even biddibids all over the Head Gardener's underwear! By the way, the Philadelpus, a large shrub in the Laundry Garden is still flowering. That's weeks now of beautiful flowers and fragrance to delight the resident washerwoman (me).

 A large flowered variety, name unknown.
Pink Peony

Puzzling About the Peonies

I've been puzzling about the peonies. Something has happened to Sarah Bernhardt's buds (maybe they were caught in a frost). Put it this way - I'll be getting half a plant's worth of small brown flowers...

The pink peonies are simply stunning, though - so far not a single flop. Big winds after rain are their nemesis. My newest plant is a large, frilly double flower, and it's gorgeous. And I've bought some pots of new whites from a roadside stall, for the future. Except for Sarah, none of my peonies have names.

These last days of November have been a little bit inclement, weather-wise. Even today the sun has returned but the wind is biting, the garden still wet and drippy from yesterday's cold rain. I've done more thinking than gardening. About the timing of the big roses, and the flower wave that does a slow-motion surge through all the gardens. About the joy of seeing the roses high in the treetops, though they've taken a while to become established.

 Name unknown.
Pretty Pink Peonies

But oh, the beauty of the self-sown blue Delphiniums, which I had the common sense to clump together when dealing to the perennials garden earlier in the year. Their flowering time dovetails nicely with the lupins. Blue spires for ever! My foxgloves have been exciting to behold, too, and I adore their generosity of self-seeding in the most remarkable places. They have great design sense, in my opinion. Yippee for vertical flower accents!

Herb Spiral with Flowers

November Triumph

One of my November triumphs has been the brick herb spiral, whose plants are well settled now. But what about all those tiny annual weeds I'm seeing? Obviously interlopers, introduced with the topsoil I brought in. Herbs have wonderful mini-foliage, and I love the flowers mixing in with them. It's so easy to harvest herbs for the kitchen when they grow in a loop, at such a convenient height for picking and watering.

Maybe November ends with a squeaking of tin whistles rather than a fanfare of bossy trumpets, but it's been a very even-tempered gardening month. And I've been busy reading books and 'musicking' - it's the start of the silly singing season. I've also spent a lot of time just wandering around the garden saying hello to all the flowers. It's been such a colourful month, with so many surprises. That's one of the greatest joys of having a garden, isn't it?

Thanks to My Gardening Cats...

+5 +5I need to thank all my gardening cats (particularly big Fluff-Fluff and Little Mac) for being such good company. Young Minimus has been my cat-companion in the glasshouse, and Histeria the tabby has always been there in the driveway to meet and greet me at the end of a long day.

+3 +3Lilli-Puss has been her usual random cat-self - uber-smoochy one day, missing the next. Ginger Percy, a shy lurker in the garden, has started visiting me in the cottage in the evenings - usually after midnight. Kerplunk! In through the window he leaps. Aargh!

 Hmm... How hungry am I?
Tiger the Cat Contemplates Life

And finally there's Tiger the Tortoiseshell, ultimate lounge-cat. Apart from taking 'nature breaks' (Tiger! Get out of the pantry!) she's been seen outside in the garden, socialising, at least five times! Tiger has even made it as far as the Pond Paddock. What an adventure! My goodness, Tiger, what a huge close-up photograph of you, sitting serenely in the garden's greenery... That's proof that you do have a slight indoors-outdoors flow.

And the Dog...

Oops. Mustn't forget Rusty the dog, who seems to have spent his November covered in sticky forget-me-not seeds. No Rusty, I wouldn't ever forget you.