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On the Menu for ...November 2018

I saw a bee yesterday; proof were it needed that flowers are important at this time of year, not just for our enjoyment, but for our pollinators, because if bees are active, they need flowers to sustain them. 
Here in rural Norfolk, the chives are still flowering as if it’s summer, as are the delphiniums and geraniums. New blooms are opening on roses and mingling with plump glossy red hips. Winter is taking its time to arrive; it clearly hasn’t read the barrage of reports screaming that next week our gardens will be at the mercy of plummeting temperatures, snow and ice. 

Tricyrtis hirta ‘Taiwan Atrianne’ 

Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’

Agastache ‘Blackadder’

One of the surprises in the borders has been the tardiness of certain plants to come into flower. Tricyrtis hirta ‘Taiwan Atrianne’ looks a bit ragged, as if it’s turned up to a party late and rather the worse for wear. In truth, many of the perennials look as if they’ve stayed at the party a little too long; despite this, I appreciate their presence, and the colour they bring to the borders in late autumn.
I had anticipated that the flowers of Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’ would grace our garden somewhat earlier than November, but better late than never. They shine brightly in the lowering light of late autumn, and are all the more treasured for this. They are reputed to be beloved of butterflies and bees, but their late arrival means that they have missed the butterflies this year. Nevertheless, they stand waiting for bees.
Agastache ‘Blackadder’ is still blooming. Agastache is hardy here, and seeds itself gently around. The leaves are deliciously aromatic, and their fragrance as I brush against them when working in the borders is always welcome. 


Ladybird in a Medlar

Do Echinops ever give up? There are new flower heads forming still, and they seem incapable of looking tired. They certainly win the prize for the freshest looking summer flowering perennials in our November borders.
A garden in the next village has primroses in flower already. Here, Aubrieta is out of the spring starting blocks early. Meanwhile I am seeing more birds in the garden, particularly a posse of marauding finches swooping down onto seedheads. 
I leave leaves on the borders and stems on herbaceous perennials to provide shelter for creatures. I don’t take all the apples and crab apples as I prefer to share them with wildlife, and while picking medlars, I discovered them being used by ladybirds, so I left some for them, although doubtless the birds will take the medlars before very long. The hedgerows are rich with fruit, and I have never seen the espalier Pyracantha that clads our garden walls so laden with berries. It is as if the larder is full, and ready to support our wildlife through the winter. Let us hope it is a kind one!

This post will be linked to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day hosted by https:// www.maydreamsgardens.com . There you can discover what is blooming in gardens around the planet this week.  

Posted by Sarah Shoesmith

Sarah Shoesmith is a garden writer who blogs at http://www.thegardeningshoe.blogspot.com .
She may be contacted via http://www.sarahshoesmith.com or @gardeningshoe1 on Twitter

3 Comments To "On the Menu for ...November 2018"

Lea - Lea's Menagerie On 18.11.2018
Very pretty! I especially like 'Blackadder' - wonderful color! Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day! Reply to this comment
Arun Goyal On 18.11.2018
Beautiful shots ...have a great week ahead. Reply to this comment
Shelly Wilkinson On 18.11.2018
I am happy to see birds hanging around my garden still. I haven't seen any bees, though. I guess they went elsewhere! Reply to this comment
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