This week brought our first frost; the early morning skies were brilliantly clear, the palest glacier blue cross-hatched with dozens of feathering aeroplane trails, suffused with gold and apricot as the sun began to climb.

Pools of mist shivered in the valleys, tendrils spilling tentatively beneath the clear skies, as though all the clouds had plummeted to earth overnight.

A layer of ice spanned the car windows, requiring a flurry of scraping; no time for photographs, alas, but I drank in the colours as the world emerged from its icy sleep. Surprisingly the garden emerged unscathed from this cold start, a warning shot across its bows, that left those late blooms and plump green stems intact this time.

November brings us a bounty of golden sunrises, as well as the dull damp days where the sun remains elusive and the day just fades up with no fanfare.

November sunrise

Fighting the falling temperatures admirably in the greenhouse, the first of the lamentably late-sown chillis has turned from green to orange.

Ripening chilli

I must sow next year’s chillis in January; another bullet point on my mental list.

Outside, our our fledgling hedge (hedgling?) of beech is a weave of green, gold and burnished bronze as the foliage turns. The leaves on the dogwoods have begun to caramelise too; the stems that they will leave behind when they fall are already looking bright beneath this autumn coat, a promise of colour to come.

Turning leaves on Cornus 'midwinter fire'

One of the Verbascum chaixi ‘Album’ has pushed up a new flowering stem; despite its comparatively diminutive stature it stands out beside the now dark brown candelabra that stand to attention alongside, remnants from summer’s show. In this picture, you can also see the moss that has crept in between the paving stones of the path behind; removing this will be a job for crisp cold winter days to come.

November flowers on Verbascum chaixi album

The moon is rising early this week, before the sun’s light has left the sky. Behind the almost bare stems of the birch tree, it makes a wintry sight.

November moon rising

I take pleasure in what I see of these clear dry days; almost enough to make up for the dreary drizzling ones without number.


18 thoughts on “Turn

  1. We haven’t had a proper frost yet but looking at the forecast I don’t think it will be long. I must get on in the garden this week, still some bulbs to plant in pots

    • It didn’t feel like a proper frost as I never saw it on the garden, but scraping ice off the car would definitely suggest so! Winter is definitely drawing in.

  2. Thanks for your descriptive sharing of recent November days – I know we must have had frosts because of the temperature dips and the ice scraping, and yet I haven’t noticed any effects in the garden, strange 😉 Great picture of the moon!

  3. Hedgelet? Lovely images, they capture the mood of this season perfectly. And you are so right, every moment of sunlight catching autumnal foliage or delicate tracery of bare branches – or in my case, foam on waves – is to be grasped and enjoyed, because the grey gloom soon closes in. Love the verbascum, I never got round to sowing mine this year, maybe next.

  4. I must try to sow some V. chaixi, it is lovely; the wild verbascum on the verges are giving a few more blooms, usually not full stems but just a few flowers on a short stem. Lovely description of this melancholy season.

  5. Lovely post. I was surprised to see the frost on Tuesday and then even more surprised to see how many plants bounced back from it. I LOVE that verbascum. It’s funny to catch these last gasps of a plant. I spotted some primroses flowering the other day. I saw them mention on the weather tonight the possibility of snow next week which seems just way too early. Feels like autumn has only just started.

    • The garden seems determined not to succumb to frosts yet! We have a few primroses flowering in the garden now too, funny plants. Could do without snow yet though!

  6. beautifulyl written Sara, I especially love the second paragraph starting ‘pools of mist …..’ long may your dry days last, they are but a dream up here, take care driving early frosty mornings, Frances

  7. Hope that you have more chillis turn before it gets really cold Sara. What a brave spike of verbascum to start flowering now. It deserves a medal.

Comments are closed.