Your Garden In November

As the days get shorter, don’t let it get you down, instead you just need to concentrate on enjoying your time in the garden more. If the weather’s really grim, there’s no need to be out there digging, weeding or pruning, its not a sin to avoid the worst of the weather – after all, time in the garden should be FUN, even if you’re busy putting an average gym aerobics session to shame! But, that said there’s still plenty to do at this time of year, and where better to start than with a bit of an autumn clean up?

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Raking up leaves will help to keep things looking tidier and also reduce the risk of smaller plants such as alpines, and your lawn, from suffering the effects of being covered with a thick blanket of soggy leaves! This is a job where having a decent spring-tined rake really makes all the difference, so treat yourself to one ASAP, it’ll come in handy for years to come.

This is also a great time to have a bit of a sort-out in flowerbeds, borders and even larger patio pots. Its not only worth removing leaves that have landed on them from nearby trees and shrubs, but also removing some of the dead and dying stems and foliage. There’s no need to go mad and clear up every scrap of grotty growth in an attempt to achieve the ‘perfect’ job, because the real perfect job means that you leave some of the debris and dead stems etc in place. Whether it is fallen leaves or dead and dying stems or flowers, it will make a great sheltering or even overwintering site for wildlife such as insects and other small critters.

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After that tidy up, both you and your garden will really have earned a prize – go and treat yourself to some spring-flowering bulbs (don’t forget they can all still be planted this month and some, like tulips actually benefit from being planted later than others!)

Whilst tidying you’ll also have spotted some gaps in flowerbeds and maybe in patio pots too, so why not add some herbaceous perennials and then pop in some winter flowering annuals to brighten things up in the gloomier months ahead.

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Pippa greenwood

Pippa Greenwood

Gardener, BBC broadcaster, writer and lecturer