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My November Cottage Garden

I know it’s early December now; I forgot to share these garden photos taken in mid November, the week prior to Thanksgiving.

I purchased additional bulbs in late September ~ daffodils, iris, and one I wasn’t familiar with (Paperwhite Ziva) ~ all of which said they were spring blooming. The instructions told me to plant them between September and November, so I went ahead and put them into the ground.
I was very surprised to find several bulbs began to bloom within a few weeks, and narrowed it down to the paperwhites.

Apparently, these are meant to be forced indoors for winter blooming, but it didn’t specify that on the package.
I had no prior experience with these plants! Of course, after buying mine and planting them in-ground, I began to notice paperwhites appearing in decorating magazines everywhere, always blooming in tabletop centerpieces. :P

Paperwhite Ziva Blooming

So the poor things bloomed in early November, and are struggling to survive the recent bout of frost we’ve had.

I did purchase a few more crocus and daffodils in early November, and planted them before frost. Hopefully the majority of my new bulbs, plus the daffodils and crocus that I put in last fall, will make a beautiful display next spring! Sans paperwhites. LOL

The lavender and catmint, on the other hand, have been hardy troopers.
Lavender plants in November

Lavender plants in November

When these photos were taken, we were experiencing summer-like temperatures in the 70s. The following week, the temperature dropped to 20 degrees and our garden was hailed and snowed upon, and now lies frozen, most of the plants droopy and brown.
But the rugged catmint is still green. Maybe, like cats, they are relying upon multiple lives. :P

Catmint, allysum, paperwhite

Catmint and pink daisy

As you can see, those blessed alyssum flowers just kept on blooming straight through the first couple of frosty mornings. I was surprised (and a bit sad) to see them finally surrendering in defeat, but even in death, their tan, faded flowers were beautiful backlit by the morning sun.

Allysum, creeping thyme, English daisies

The little pink bloom belongs to one of my English daisies, which were hardier than I expected! Even after it snowed, several of the buds continued to open.

The purplish-pink flowers in the bottom left corner are tiny chrysanthemum bushes, which may not have survived for next year. We planted several of them in early July, so they have had several months to get comfortable, but even with a bit of mulch padding, it may not be enough. I’ve never had any luck overwintering chrysanthemums. :P

Catmint, allysum, chrysanthemum

I planted these hollyhocks from seed in late spring, and sprinkled a few more seeds in summer, hopefully to have a staggered growth cycle, as these are biennial. The plants which grew tall and bloomed this summer, continued flowering throughout November. They attracted quite a few honeybees. :)

Hollyhocks in November

I collected hundreds of seeds for next year (if needed, as I’m sure they dropped a ton!) and for giving to friends. ;)

Hollyhock pink in November

This was how my little garden looked in mid-November… with my Halloween flag still on display.

Rosebudh, dianthus, catmint, Halloween flag

Shortly after these were taken, we had several days of hard frost, and then it snowed on Thanksgiving Eve. My garden now reflects the grey, dying atmosphere of December, although with a slightly wilder “secret garden” style, courtesy of hyacinth bean vines still entwined around the fence.

Dying winter garden

Soon I will need to dress it up for Christmas. Would it be too gaudy to hang tinsel along the fence? Or decorate the shepherd’s hook like a candy cane? LOL

I do plan to re-create a faux Christmas tree in the birdbath, like I saw in a winter gardening book; I like this stack of glass ornaments, too. The water freezes so often these days, we’ve kept it empty, and it seems a waste to leave it that way.

I captured a couple pictures of our Thanksgiving snowfall, with my cellphone’s built-in camera. The SD cards for my Pentax disappeared that day, and I didn’t get a change to take any better shots. There will undoubtedly be another chance to capture snow on camera this winter! I will wait until my yard is a little tidier, though. ;)

Snowing in the garden

Snowing in the flower garden

Tara Fly

About Tara Fly

A Crazy Cat Lady ... who divides her time between painting portraits of cats dressed in period costumes, watching BBC mini-series, growing weeds and wildflowers, and baking pumpkin pies seasoned with cat hair. Would you like some fur-flavoured coffee?

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