November has been a strange month for my garden diary, a month of days born as if on butterfly wings through the garden, swinging from soft tranquil days to dark dramatic skies before giving way to the final sting of winter.
This November, as the year changes from autumn into winter, my garden diary is in two parts; a diary of soft dark nights eating suppers beside a brassier and the pleasure of a robins company on sparkling mellow days spent clearing and tidying the garden for the year, and the final darkening, dramatic, skies that spoke of thoughts of winter.
A November celebration of the garden – “Gunpowder treason and plot”
We celebrated Guy Forks this year, not with fireworks (we keep horses on the farm) but by eating supper in the Italian Garden, on an evening, almost as warm as some in summer.
Charles made the night cosy with a flaming brassier to warm us and I set candles in lanterns along the paths to cast a soft mellow glow for a little hygge on an autumn evening. It was so lovely to sit and with the gentle flickering lights set amongst the foliage, while sitting, warmly wrapped in a rug on chairs softened by cushions. Our garden supper will probably be the last of this year and the traditional jacket potatoes and hot soup have never tasted so good!
November days in the Italian Garden
I made my way into the Italian Garden at the beginning of the month to watch the sun creep over the hedges to catch the fading Miscanthus grasses and was enchanted to return later in the day when the sun came up further, to work clearing the long gravel border ready for winter. Each day dawned balmy and warm with soft sunshine and I made steady progress, although it still took me nearly a week to travel the sixty metres or so along the length of the gravel border carefully working amongst the Palms and Agave.
On most days I had a robin for company, singing sweetly from a nearby branch and or feasting on the Robin titbits exposed by my labours. On other afternoons, Spud Cat reigned supreme crouching near me to watch my progress as I loaded bag after ton bag (disused builders bags) ready for the bonfire.
The Italian Garden is a tranquil sheltered spot and it was mostly was awarded its name not from elegant nuances of the architecture of Italy but because it always feels a few degrees warmer in its sheltered depths as though visiting a Mediterranean spot a stroll away from our front door.
November days in the outer garden
Perhaps we thought those first balmy weeks of the month would continue forever and we could ignore the onset of winter but eventually the skies darkened above the garden to dramatic black, swiftly clearing again to a golden light of autumn.
Eventually the chill of winter arrived though and took hold of the garden and I’m now strangely reluctant to spend my spare time crouched in the borders preening the garden but you know the first spring daffodils are pushing their way up down in the lower garden so perhaps……..
November photo album
To read last months Garden diary for October Click here