Classic and Contemporary Garden Designs

23Oct, 2017

West Somerton November

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, as the old adage has it. Never more true than with gardening, now is the time to enact your plans to make sure you have a wonderful garden next year. From establishing spring flowering bulbs, to planting shrubs and trees, November (especially if quite mild) is a good time to get these jobs done.For tulip fans seeking inspiration for a new variety, I tried various ones last year and intend to add to them this year.The grand ‘Queen of the Night’, tall with silky dark petals, is a must have, and works well with the contrasting brighter and shorter striped varieties such as ‘Grand Perfection’ (mainly white and red) and ‘Rembrandt’ (yellow/ orange and red).

The tulip ‘Ballerina’ is highly recommended, shown here with ‘Grand Perfection’

China Pink is composed and dignified and balances with the equally lovely Ballerina (deep orange, and beautifully scented) as a planting pair.

Other spring flowering bulbs, including daffodils, crocuses, snake head fritillaries, native bluebells and snowdrops can all still be planted up in November.

Bare rooted trees and roses, certainly the most cost effective approach, can be planted any time from November to March, but early rather than later is better, in order to allow the roots to start establishing before they have to start expending energy on producing leaves. There are few gardens that are too small to grow a tree and even less that wouldn’t benefit from one!

In the vegetable garden, well rotted manure will be well worth it (relatively inexpensive at £40 for a bulk bag) and will act as a mulch over winter whilst continuing to further break down in time for spring planting. Do make the effort to plant garlic bulbs. It’s worth buying planting garlic online (rather than use supermarket garlic), but after that just save the largest cloves from last year’s crop and use them – that’s what we always do.

Pruning apples and pears can be done any time between now and February. Exact pruning timing is a subject inducing much hand wringing, but in general, if you have the inclination and the correct tool in your hand, then you’re probably well advised to just get on with it.

For any practical assistance or advice feel free to give me a call (07801 252 972) or email

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