I can hardly believe that it’s the middle of November, it’s so mild here, not a sign of frost or chilly, winter weather, and because it’s been so mild I’ve delayed digging up tender plants, like lemon verbena and pineapple sage from the garden and storing them where they’ll get some protection.
But I couldn’t risk leaving them any longer, so on Sunday afternoon while the O.M. swept up yet more leaves to be made into leaf-mould (though we are running out of places to hide the bags), I was in the garden digging up tender plants and potting them to be stored somewhere a little more cosy.
Most of the mint has been dug up from it’s summer plant-pot and transferred to their own individual pots. The leaves aren’t at their best, they look a bit bedraggled, but they smell and taste wonderful. They will survive the winter out in the garden, but I’m keeping them in the porch in the hope that they’ll stay green and lively enough to be used for a few more weeks yet.
I’m going to store some chives and thyme there too, because although they’ll grow again next year, with a bit of protection from winter weather, they’ll keep green and tender for longer.
This is what the mint looked like earlier in the year when I planted it by the back door.
The porch is gradually filling up with tender plants, pots of spring flowering bulbs and some bright pink cyclamen.
They’ll just need a little watering, I’m hoping that the white wall will reflect a bit more light into the back of the porch.
The really tender plants like chillies, pineapple sage, lemon verbena and attar of roses pelargonium have been housed in the shed right by the window, where they’ll be more protected than in the draughty porch.
Plants that can’t be dug up have to be protected where they grow, wrap up bananas tree-ferns and other exotic plants with bubble-wrap covered with hessian, though the plastic has to removed as soon as the weather warms up.
With a bit of luck I’ll have a greenhouse next winter, but it’ll be interesting to see how the plants survive this arrangement, it probably all depends on how tough the winter is.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson