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ENGLANDS EXPERTS TIPS FOR NOVEMBER
By Pat Hubbard

Abutilon Megapotanicum

Euonymus Emerald 'n' Gold

November is traditionally the month for tidying up in the garden before the onset of winter. There may still be some lingering roses and border perennials in flower, and this is often the most spectacular month for leaf colour and berries on trees are still bright and haven't yet been eaten by hungry birds.

Pot grown shrubs and bare root roses can still be planted, provided the conditions are favourable, and the soil is not waterlogged or frozen. Prune established hybrid tea and floribunda roses back by one third, to prevent them being damaged by wind-rock during winter storms.

Evergreens come into their own during winter months, these plants form the backbone of any planting scheme, and there is a huge variety to choose from. Euonymus Emerald 'n' Gold, and Emerald Gaiety have variegated leaves, which blend in with flowering plants during summer, but come into their own in winter, when their bright foliage is more appreciated. Aucuba japonica Variegata with its yellow spotted leaves and red winter berries, and Photinia Red Robin with bright red young foliage are also more noticeable in winter. Any bare spots in the border can be filled with winter-flowering heathers and pansies.

Abutilon Megapotanicum

Photinia Red Robin

Any plants, which are frost tender, should definitely be given some protection now. If you do not have a frost-free green house, they can be grouped closely together in a sheltered corner and wrapped in bubble-wrap or horticultural fleece.

Rake up any dead leaves from lawns and beds to prevent any pests and diseases having a place to over-winter. If you pack the fallen leaves in a bin liner and make a few holes in the bottom to allow any moisture to drain out, it will make a really good leaf-mould. The process will take about a year and a half, but at the end you have an excellent mulch. Rhododendrons, azaleas and ferns particularly benefit from such a mulch. Leaf-mould is also very good for digging into heavy soil and will help make it more workable.

This column kindly supplied by:Englands Experts

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