GBBD – November 2011

We have reached the midpoint of November, and a series of clear sunny days, though the air is cold and the sun’s trajectory noticeably lower in the sky.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa, penstemon

The garden is a little subdued now; the last sweet peas have been cut down and many of the faltering cosmos plants removed, while those which remain have fewer and smaller blooms; more of a pavane than the fandango of summer.

cardoon, Cynara cardunculus

The Cardoon buds are still poised on the cusp of opening, although unlikely now to unfurl their flags before the first frosts.

mid-November blooms: antirrhinums, Salvia nemorosa Caradonna

There are small flares of colour still; by the terrace, the antirrhinums continue to provide a little jazz, alongside the last few stems of the Salvia nemorosa Caradonna, muted sedum heads and small clusters of Verbena bonariensis high above.

Gaura lindheimeri

There are a few lone flowers still shyly showing their faces across the garden; Gaura lindheimeri, fading Larkspur stems of pink and purple, and small blue Nigella blooms.

Aster lateriflorus 'Prince'The young Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince’ is still clustered with tiny pink-eyed flowers; it seems to have found its feet in its first year despite its youth.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa

The Rudbeckia fulgida var. speciosa are still flourishing; in the top picture you can also see one of the occasional trumpets of a lone Penstemon flower that accompanies this late show. These Rudbeckia had a disappointingly low germination rate, but their initial reluctance has been shaken off with vigourous growth since; they have really lit up this part of the garden and bring me great pleasure. Definitely worth the wait.

Primrose The native primroses along the front of the border have been quietly flowering for weeks now, surprisingly laid back about the arrival of winter.

Eryngium planum 'Blue Glitter'

But the undisputed star of the garden this month, with its generous sprinkle of lavender umbels starred with ivory pollen, is the Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’.

Eryngium planum 'Blue Glitter'

In such an open border, and prey to the strong winds that blow across the fields unfettered, it does require gentle staking; I hope that as our hedge grows and deflects the winds the stake may no longer be needed.

Eryngium planum 'Blue Glitter'

Regardless of the unknown quality of its uprightness, this plant captivates me still. How cruel that it is only a matter of time before Jack Frost scampers across and pinches out these blue braziers. But what a star performer it is!

Onward then, we march towards Winter: only five weeks until the Winter Solstice, yet the garden is still unmarked by frost and clinging on to Autumn’s skirts.

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.


16 thoughts on “GBBD – November 2011

  1. I love Eryngium too – I find it needs more than a gentle staking though! It’s also managed to self seed itself into my lawn, but I don’t mind.

    Your Salvia’s just been awarded an AGM, so you have superbly good taste 🙂

    • I suspected I was being over-optimistic about the staking. 🙂 Still, such beautiful plants…

      Ah, I love the S. nemorosa Caradonna, that’s happy news. I fell for it at Wisley I think, then bought it at the Crocus open day.

  2. That eryngium is simply stunning Sara, I really must grow them in my next garden. There is something rather special about these late season smatterings of flowers that in theory should have been frosted to death a long time ago. Happy GBBD.

  3. How much longer can the mild weather go on??? When the frosts do come we will all be so sad to see those beautiful colours turn to soggy brown. I have a load of Nasturtium flowers now. I had never expected them to flower at all because I sowed the seeds much later than I should have done.

    • It is exceptionally mild indeed. ‘Twill be very sad when everything is struck down. We still have Nasturtium flowers around our un-dug veg bed, lovely cheerful flowers.

  4. Am I the only person in the UK to have suffered a harsh frost? Seems like it! Virtually all has been laid down low. My eryngium is a brown, dried husk of what it was – thanks for the reminder.

  5. Incredible that Aster lateriflorus ‘Prince’ is still flowering, mine finished ages ago, although other Asters are still flowering. Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’ is a stunner, did you grow it from seed, I’d love to try it as it should like the conditions in my garden. Christina

    • Prince was quite late to start flowering as it was only planted mid-summer as a very small plant, so perhaps that’s why it’s still in bloom.
      I bought this Eryngium as a seedling, but noticed the other day that Chiltern Seeds sell seeds for E. p. ‘Blue Glitter’ – I shall try and save some seeds too, since this suggests that they come true. It would probably be far more at home in your garden than our wet clay ( I do wonder whether it will survive a wet winter here!).

  6. The Eryngium is rather amazing looking, definitely one to add to our garden! We are well into mouldy brown shades here, along with the constant wet fog that we sit in, in our little dip it’s just generally damp looking. In a way I am welcoming this weeks colder weather, at least it feel right for the season and allows me to be happy sitting indoors and accepting Winter has arrived. Bethx

    • Hi Beth, the mouldy brown shades can be interesting too – the differences in texture are more obvious then. I agree about the colder weather, there is something satisfying about the seasons obeying the rules, especially once the nights draw in so early and keep us in. x

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