Skimmia Rubella

Planting for colour in the Garden in November

Planting for Colour in the Garden in November

Hellebores, also known as the Christmas Rose, has a beautiful flower that appears from November and lasts right through to Spring.  However, the range of flowering plants at this time year is limited.  Therefore, it is a good idea consider evergreen shrubs with light coloured foliage to brighten up a dark area in your garden.  Skimmias, Cordylines, Callicarpa are all shrubs that give great colour during the winter months.  The yellow scented leaves of the Choisya Sundance or the green and yellow of the Spotted Laurel are always good to give things a lift.  Lighter colours, bright yellows and whites are sure to banish the danky murk of a rainy day and raise the drooping spirit of the weary gardener!.

Tidying up the Garden

Now is a great time to gather up the leaves in your lawn for making your own leaf mould.  Firstly, pick an area behind the garage or otherwise out of sight.  Then tie four pallets together before tossing the leaves into the middle.  Then leave it to marinate for 18-24 months.  If you collect the leaves with the use of a lawnmower, this will chop up the leaves and assist with the composing process.  Eventually, you can use the leaf mould for improving your soil structure or alternatively, prior to it fully breaking down, it can make for a useful mulch.


You can prune your deciduous trees at this time of year.  I would recommend removing anything that is Dead, Damaged or Diseased first.  Once you have these branches removed, take a step back and walk around your tree/shrub to see the shape that you have.  Then take a little here and there to improve the shape of the plant.  With most trees or shrubs, as a rule of thumb, if it looks ok, then you don’t need to prune it unnecessarily.  On the other hand, certain plants, like dogwood for example, benefit from a hard pruning, right back to within six inches of the ground.  While, apple trees require a particular method of pruning to remove the branches from the middle of the tree to allow in more light and hence produce more apples in the spring time.  One way or the other, it is important not to stress out about it, gardening is learning experience and the plants will grow back anyway (most of the time!).

Bare Root Season

November is traditionally the start of the bare-root season for trees and hedging, which runs until March/April, when plants are dormant.  I’m frequently asked what it means for a plant to be bare-root?  Simply put, it means the plants are not potted and have their roots exposed.

The key to success is making sure that the plant roots don’t dry out.  They can be stored in a polythene bag for a few days, provided that they are well watered in the bag.  If storing them for any longer, dig them into the ground in clumps, covering the roots completely.

If you’re looking for any advice, or if I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to call and see me at Rockbarton.


Click here to see our selection of Bare Root Hedging  available.

If you’re looking for any advice, or if I can help in any way, don’t hesitate to call and see me at Rockbarton.


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