Apart from two frosty nights around the third week, November was a soggy mild month with strong winds and torrential rain. One of our little cold frames full of next year’s perennials took off and then smashed down on our patio in an 80 mph gale one night a few weeks ago. We were out in the pitch dark, in the wind and rain rescuing our plants and managed to save all but one which has just vanished, blown away by the storm. We have now repaired the cold frame, moved it to a more sheltered location and returned all the plants. Because of the mild weather our perennials which arrived as tiny little plugs at the end of September have now grown into big healthy plants. Our climbing roses and rose bushes are still flowering into December and our hellebores are already flowering.
Down in the cutting patch several of our annuals have self seeded and we now have a patch of calendula, cornflowers, Ammi Majus and corncockles which should look lovely next year provided they survive the hard weather which must inevitably come at some point before next spring.
I walked around the garden on Sunday the 20th December and marvelled at all the plants that are flowering in this strangely mild, wet and windy winter weather that we have been having, most notable the climbing rose on the trellis and wonder how this is going affect next year’s flowers.
With only a few days of December remaining we are now cleaning up after storm Frank swept through on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning and tore down our trellis with our beautiful cream climbing rose on and once again tipped over a cold frame full of plants. Even though the climbing rose was pruned in the autumn to take the weight off the trellis it has continued to grow because of the mild winter and the weight of the heavy rain combined with the strength of the ferocious wind resulted in its collapse.
Boxing Day Bumble Bee Rescue! This bumble bee was clinging on to a branch of a shrub on the patio with a strong and cold wind blowing and looking quite miserable and very lethargic. My son rescued it and put it onto a flowering heather and then made a sugar solution to revive it. Within ten minutes it had revived and was soon on its way. Our good deed for the day.