Gardens Eye Journal-December 2015


“Most people, early in November, take last looks at their gardens, and are then prepared to ignore them until the spring.  I am quite sure that a garden doesn’t like to be ignored like this…Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful it can be, even in the very frozen heart of the winter, if you only give it a chance.”  ~Beverley Nichols



I have long admired my garden in late fall and winter when it is barren and brown….it begins in November when I cut it back and clean up a bit.  It’s colors change from green, to red, orange and yellow until all is brown by winter.

Then the snow covers it all with a quilt of white.  The torn and broken plants have a new look as the soft white fluff cocoons everything.  A softness there as my garden and I are ready for slumber.DSCN0380

And while I slumber, away from garden chores, my garden is always in my thoughts….dreams of new plants, of new designs, of new veggies and cut flowers.

With this prolonged autumn warm weather and no snow, except for about a dusting, the garden continues to grow and show off and play.  

As I show you some of the highlights and best views from November in the garden, I am linking in with Helen@The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for her End of Month View.





sky collage

This past month was another record-setting month…..a record warm November.  The fifth warmest with an average of 46 degrees, 5.4 degrees above normal.

The first five days of November were the warmest on record. The average high temperature for those 5 days was a record-setting 69 degrees. 

We even tied the warmest day with 75 degrees mid month, and 66 degrees the day after our Thanksgiving, which is 22 degrees above normal. 

Additionally we were very dry in November.  Barely an inch of rain here when we normally have at least a few inches as well as about 10 inches of snow.  We had barely a half an inch.  It hasn’t been this dry since April 2010.

With several light frosts, one heavy frost and one dusting of snow, the garden was still growing as you will see.  And as usual,  the sunrises were spectacular all month with some fog also not usual here in November.




Garden Views

nov snow Collage

Here is the typical November on the left.  Several inches of snow for our first snowfall usually mid-month.  Last year 8 inches, this year barely a trace.




back garden nov

Now here is are back gardens, from the beginning to the end of November this year.  Still lots of green, growing plants, great color and flowers the first warm week of November (left).  We did some cutting back of the garden, and digging out the many volunteer plants taking over.  Top right shows the mid-month garden all finished and ready for winter.  Bottom right is the late November garden with a dusting of snow.





We had many days when the sun broke out against the dark steely skies in the background over the lake.  The rain missed us most days.





This is the front garden in the early morning golden sunlight as I look out from the front door.  I left many plants to overwinter here.  Still lots of green very late in November.

You can see, lower right in the picture above, the petunia still blooming the third week in November.






petunias nov

I am still in awe of the petunia.  As November marched along, you can see the foliage yellowed more, but the flowers just kept going.  This was one of my indicators that this was a most unusual month.  We finally pulled it just before the end of November.





Hardy cyclamen bloomed all month in between the trees out back and behind the gazebo.





And this native, Pearly Everlasting or Anaphalis margaritacea, bloomed beautifully, in The White Garden, without being zapped early by snow and cold.





Foliage was still a star in the fall garden, all throughout November.  In the the top of the post, you can see Zebra grass browning and glowing in the golden morning light.  The silhouette is of Arundo donax or Giant Reed grass in the blazing sunrise.


st john wort collage

This my amazing St. John’s Wort or Hypericum prolificum with very late November color.




clethra collage

Clethra alnifolia also gave me loads of color throughout the month as it slowly changed.





wintergreen collage

The native Winterberry or Ilex verticillata had loads of berries this year.





And the Swamp Rose or Rosa palustris is covered in rose hips….birds will eat these and the winterberries during winter.





I love Epimedium in fall.  It gives me three seasons of beauty, but fall shows this amazing copper color.





To be honest I am unsure what plant this is although I think it may be a Brunnera.  Regardless, you can see one of the frosts vividly displayed on its leaves.




Veg Garden

veg garden novUsually there is nothing to show in the veg garden except for the mulched beds and maybe a bit of growth for garlic, although that happens later during winter.  But here is the garlic (center) planted in late October already growing quickly because of the great weather.

The other pictures are from the Pea/Bean bed.  Peas growing again from pods that dropped (left), and radishes blooming that may have been planted in early spring or fall that never germinated (top right).  Bottom right is cilantro that was cut and left from early fall.  It is putting on a lot of growth. 





nov critters

And finally a few of the critters from November.  In the background is one of the throngs of European starlings that were here very late in November feeding and moving south.  Woodpeckers returned to the garden more especially once we put up the the suet feeders.  That’s a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  I believe the little bird is a female juvenile House Finch.  

But the strangest sight has been the frogs.  We have heard peepers since October right through November….not many but they are still there.  And the green frog, pictured here, is one of several that was still hanging in the pond and Pond Garden right up until the end of November.  They have not hibernated yet even with a few mornings and nights where the pond froze over.


You can see more new visitors to the garden in fall, and some late visitors, in my Wildlife Lessons post from last Thursday at my new blog, Living from Happiness.  Please stop by and see what other critter surprises there were!

I am sharing all our critters with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.




These are the amazing highlights of my garden in November.  What was a favorite highlight in your November garden?



Join In The Seasonal Celebration:

As I feel winter’s call, I am celebrating this new season coming soon, I hope you will join me. I welcome those Down Under who will be celebrating the coming of summer to join in too.  

All you have to do is write a post between now and December 20th telling me how you are or will be celebrating the new season.  Then leave a comment on the kick-off post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on December 21st.  

I do hope you will consider joining in the Seasonal Celebrations meme as we celebrate the new season arriving soon to your corner of the world.

And as always, I will be collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time.  What lessons have you learned this past season of autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  Write a separate post or combine your Lessons with your Celebrations for one post.

If you missed my interview with Beth, on my other blog, pop on over….I had a delightful time visiting with her.



In A Vase On Monday 




I know, I know these flowers should not be blooming in December….actually the Pelargonium was brought indoors in October and it has grown and bloomed profusely since then.



dec roses

The roses were little buds I saved and brought in before the last heavy frost.  I wasn’t sure they would bloom, but they finally did.  These are the same unnamed roses I used in a vase last week.  I decided to float these flowers in a crystal bowl with the same ferns I used last week.





And these are the same lavender sprigs I used in a vase last week.  They still looked great.



I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare these vases:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday.


Next up on the blog:  

Monday, I will be bringing you some of the first winter views in my garden.

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday. 



I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

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