HIHS On Line Magazine: November 2018

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Gaura lindheimeri
Renovating Overgrown Climbers
Penstemon Andenken
Fact Or Fiction?
Fruit Tree Grease Bands
Autumn Leaves
Don't Cut Down Everything
Provide An Insect Hotel
November Muse
Cornus For Winter Colour

Home Page Photo: Gaura lindheimeri

Gaura lindheimeri
This perennial bears willowy wands of starry
blush-white flowers that continue into November.br />
It will overwinter in reasonable winters.
Mature plants tend to become woody and brittle,
so should be replaced after three years
by raising from seed.

Link to RHS: for horticultural advice.

Renovating Overgrown Climbers

Climbers and wall shrubs can become overgrown,
extending over the top of the fence or into nearby trees,
often with reduced flowering.

Deciduous climbers and wall shrubs can be hard-pruned
in November to bring back under control
and promote new growth for next years flowering.

Link to RHS: for horticultural advice.

Penstemon Andenken

Penstemon Andenken
When considering late-flowering penstemons the pinks, red and purples are better than the blues.

Andenken (often sold as ‘Garnet) carries wine-red refined spires of of flower produced continually between July and November is one of the best.

Link to RHS: for horticultural advice.

Fact Or Fiction?

Marigolds kill weeds:
True: Their roots secrete a substance that discourages
growth of couch grass and bindweed.

Washing up liquid and organic insecticide are identical:
False: Insecticidal is specially based on fatty acids
that ‘soak in’ through Aphids natural waxy coating.

Nasturtiums draw Aphid attack from gooseberries:
True: Aphids prefer the Nasturtiums
if densely planted around the gooseberry bushes.

Cuckoo spit does little harm:
True: The frothy white spittle conceals nymphs
of the harmless froghopper, which in adulthood
resembles a small grasshopper.

Grease bands

grease bands
Adult wingless female winter moths
begin to start emerging in November.

To prevent them climbing the trunks
and laying their eggs in the branches of fruit trees,
now is the time to apply glue bands or grease bands
on trunks and tree stakes around 45cm above soil level.

Link to RHS: for detailed advice.

Autumn Leaves

autumn leaves
Don't leave them too long on the lawns
or they will kill the grass underneath.

Where they have fallen in the beds
and have not drifted too deeply,
leave the earthworms to pull them into the soil
and to rot on the surface to replenish the soil.

Where leaves have drifted deeply or are smothering
smaller plants or silver Mediterranean herbs and perennials,
clear to keep the plants dry and airy.

Sweeping leaves off paths and terraces keeps the garden
looking cared for and covers for disorder in the beds.

Don't Cut Down Everything

frosty morn
Leave the perennials standing don't cut down,
their winter skeletons provide winter interest
and can be left until February or March.

Fennel and miscanthus, verbena and teasel
make good hibernacula for beneficial insects
and their seed keeps the birds going in cold snaps.

Provide An Insect Hotel

insect hotel
Leave a few logs in one area of your garden
to act as a winter home for ladybirds, beetles,
woodlice and earthworms.

Consider leaving a pile of leaves in a corner,
or a section of your grass uncut.

Hedgehogs like a wooden box with leaves for bedding.

This will help to encourage diversity in your garden,
to help your plants thrive when springtime arrives.

The RSPB offers a guide on building an insect hotel use this link.

November Muse

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the strong wind blows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth takes to rest
Until next spring.

Cornus For Winter Colour

This deciduous shrub has oval, mid-green leaves and
produces small, creamy-white flowers in May and June.

Coloured stems are revealed when the leaves,
which turn orange-yellow in autumn, fall.

Looks special planted in groups in a winter border.
Does best in full sun and works particularly well
when teamed with varieties of different colour stems.

Link to RHS: for further information.