End of Month View – November 2016


I initially started this post by saying that as I have been away most of November very little has happened to Hugh’s Border, the focus of this year’s End of Month View.  How very presumptuous of me! Of course things have happened as Nature has no interest in whether or not I am present to witness the seasonal changes, nor does she really need me to assist her.


If I am honest this time of year is very helpful in re-engaging my interest as I do enjoy tidying in the garden and I spent a happy couple of hours after taking these photos dead-heading, weeding and clearing up.  It is so satisfying to see a tidy border especially when you compare it to a shambolic one next door.


Whilst Hugh’s Border has sat there minding its own business slowly fading into it’s winter slumbers there have been changes elsewhere.  I have a need to improve the structure of the garden which has been a little Heath Robinson in the past.  I doubt very much that any self-respecting landscaper would think the updates are much of an improvement on Heath Robinson but we take what we can get and the thick board edges to the Big Border are already changing the feel of the space. Previously the edging was made up of a collection of Malvern stone but it was uneven and not clearly defined.  The intention is to repeat the edging on the other side of the path, but using narrower wood so the edging sort of steps down.  I am toying with what to finish the path with. It was originally wood chip which has a habit of breaking down and needing regularly updating; the other problem with wood chip is that at this time of year you end of up with brown borders and a brown path and it is all a little uninspiring.  Therefore I am thinking of finishing the path with gravel – despite the cat’s protests – as this would give a visual break to the border and will also link to the gravel steps that the path runs off.  We are also replacing the risers on the gravel steps as some of them are showing their age.


There has been another key change in the garden which will have a significant impact and that is the removal of the majority of the trees from my neighbour’s garden.  Whilst I was away the tree surgeons have removed the large sycamore tree which was planted on our boundary near the house, as well as some ash seedlings. They have also removed most of the trees along the far boundary so now on a good day we can see a wider view of the hills.  The light is positively flooding in, even on a grey autumnal day, so it will be fascinating to see how things hold up in the height of summer. Having spent some 10 years battling with shade it is quite strange to consider the option of more flowers and I have already found myself mentally changing the focus of what was the woodland border to something more floral.

However, whilst I am happy to embrace the challenge of new lighting to the garden I do miss the height that the trees bought.  Having received a photo from my son, during my travels, of the new garden view I spent some time day dreaming about potential trees that could be added to the garden.  I carried out a lot of research whilst on trains and buses, considered the various acers and sorbus in the Japanese gardens and then bought a Liquidamber on impulse from the local plant nursery this week. It’s already been planted with the expectation that the dark leaves will provide a good contrast to the green of the Euphorbia.

I could also bore you with my mini-rockery that I constructed last week but there really is nothing much to see at the moment but hopefully in the spring there will be something worth sharing.

Given the above I am hopefully that 2017 will bring more time and enthusiasm for the garden and that the quality of the posts on this blog will improve accordingly.

10 Comments on “End of Month View – November 2016

  1. Yes I got a surprise at the wide open space! Looks quite different. Lots of lovely leaves to compost! what colour gravel were you thinking about? Do you have a lightish colour in mind? NOT white I hope. People here use it quite a lot and it looks wrong. Especially when mixed with shells which spread everywhere and very messy. We actually had two 20c degree plus – no wind – blue blue days last week so back in the pool. Yuk westerlies this week and seem to be two steps back from summer! Was given a lovely phalenopsis orchid for my birthday – so pretty – friends seem to grow them well here. Our outside orchids are basically finished. They look gorgeous under a palm tree with grasses softening the pots. Discovered a couple of brommies in flower yesterday – they have amazing flowers and I have some really interesting ones. Happy autumn….. or is it now officially winter for you??

  2. What caught my eye was your Sorbus vilmorinii. I remember you getting it and what a super addition it’s been. I love the new view too. What a fabulous prospect to be able to grow a wider range of plants.
    Please forgive my absence this month. I will be back next year with a brand new project, you can count on it.

  3. All that new light is going to change the garden completely, isn’t it! You are going to have quite an adventure over the next year, learning about your almost-new garden!

  4. I know what you mean about re-engaging interest; even though mine never flagged, but seeing a more skeletal framework definitely triggers a desire for tidying and sprucing up, and who knows what changes! Removal of those trees changes your garden massively and not all the effects will be immediate – studying the views from your windows over winter will be a good exercise and perhaps you will settle on some so far unforeseen changes.Already the wooden edging has changed the effect and seems to make your garden much wider – I look forward to seeing what else you do. My EOMV is at

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