Hanging in there.

During the month of November I have been so focused on all the lovely colours of the leaves around us, that the poor flowers have taken a back seat. At this time of year there are still some plants hanging in there, determined to carry on flowering despite all the odds. Then we have the group of flowers that should be flowering in the winter and also we have a few flowers that have decided to flower early. We’ll start with the ones that are just about surviving, this is Meconopsis cambrica, the Welsh poppy.

Welsh poppy

Penstemon Garnet

Penstemon Garnet just hasn’t stopped flowering all summer and is still carrying on, brightening up the front border.

Rosa Bonica

Rosa Bonica seems to be never ending, an amazing rose that once it starts flowering in June, just doesn’t know when to stop.


The Hydrangea under the kitchen window is still putting out lovely new flowers, hopefully we won’t have a frost this week as forecast.

Campanula porscharskyana

We have this little Campanula porscharskyana all over the place, each clump is still flowering its head off. All the old stems were pulled out a while ago, but straight away, up pop new flowers, its indestructible.

Rudbeckia Goldsturm

Rudbeckia Goldsturm is still hanging on with just a few flowers left, this has been good, flowering for a really long time. I spy a nettle next to it, it didn’t last long, removed as soon as I saw the photo on the computer, should have taken another photo!

Clematis durandii

This is the last flower on Clematis durandii, such a beautiful flower in spite of the rain and gales, and such a beautiful dark blue.


This rose shares the support with the Clematis durandii, coming to the end of its flowers now, it still has its lovely perfume.

Mahonia Charity

Now to the flowers that should be out now, both  Mahonia Charity bushes are covered with flowers and have their very distinct perfume.

Cyclamen hederifolium

Cyclamen hederifolium are still looking good in all the shady borders, the leaves make a lovely patterned groundcover.

Fruiting fronds

Fruiting fern fronds are not really flowers, but this is the part that produces the spores, lovely hard textural fronds which will be standing all winter.

Winter jasmine

Starting to flower by the front door is the winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum. I’m sure it would have more flowers if it was in the sunshine, but unfortunately the previous people planted it in full shade, so it does well considering it isn’t planted in the right place.

Rosa Cadfael with Viburnum

Viburnum bodnantense NewDawn will flower on and off all winter. It looks a bit cold and wet along with Rosa Brother Cadfael, in fact everything is looking sodden at the moment!


Not flowers, I know, but shining out in the shade of the woodland are the berries of Iris foetidissima, this gets spread round the garden by the birds.

Garrya eliptica

A bush, Garrya elliptica, that just sits and looks rather dull and boring for 10 months of the year, suddenly erupts with these wonderful tassels, still not properly open yet but in a couple of weeks they should be looking amazing. We never usually have so many flowers on this shrub, it can only be all our rain in the summer, at least it was good for something!

Candelabra primula

And now to a few premature flowers, this candelabra primula has got its seasons well and truly mixed up, missing out winter altogether and thinking that it is springtime!


One of my Hellebores has decided to flower a few months early. In previous years this one has flowered in November, then flowering again at the right time in February, hope it does the same this time.


White Primroses always seem to start flowering before their yellow cousins, must clear some leaves away so that we can see more of them.


What does my deep purple hyacinth think it is doing sending up a bud in November, doesn’t it realise frost has been forecast for this week?! Hope it comes to no harm.

Faringdon Double

Lastly we have our first snowdrop almost in flower, Faringdon Double. It is thanks to Anna at Green Tapestry in her post for November 21st, that I found my snowdrop. Usually this one flowers for me around Christmas time, never before in November. When I went to look for it somewhere near the front door, I eventually found it completely covered by the winter jasmine and bergenia leaves. A bit of cutting back has given the snowdrops some room to breathe and I can now see them each time I go in and out, thanks Anna, when all the rain stops I must go and check on all the others!!

Putting all these flowers together makes it seem as if there are quite a few out at the same time. There is just one here, one there, a few twinkling out between dying plants next to them. Most of these flowers are around the house or up the drive as the lawn is so sodden with all the torrential rain we have been having, I can’t walk on it. Each one is very special because they are making such an effort at such a dismal time for flowers, we must applaud their efforts to hang in there when the weather is against them.


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25 Responses to Hanging in there.

  1. catmint says:

    given the time of the year it ;is amazing Pauline that you have so many divine flowers, each more lovely than the last. I think my fave photo is the hyacinth bud, so fat, so full of promise, the green leaves a lovely contrast to its bed of pebbles.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Catmint, I think I might have to put an upturned pot over the Hyacinth to stop the frost from damaging it, we’re bound to get one sometime soon!

  2. Cathy says:

    What an exciting post, Pauline – your first hellebore! your first snowdrop! And all the other hangers-on and spring pretenders! I did actually pause yesterday by the bed where I have my species snowdrops but I wouldn’t expect any as early as this., although I will often have ‘Maidwell L’ flowering around Christmas.. I must check out Anna’s post too, so thanks for that reference. It was lovely to see your Clematis Durandii – mine suffered in the garden changes this year but hopefully it will flourish again next season. Your Rosa Bonica is beautiful too – I wonder if I have room for one somewhere….

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Cathy, Rosa Bonica really is amazing, I bought one and did hardwood cuttings for the rest. It really is a prolific flowerer, the only downside is – no perfume, but also no blackspot either, I suppose we can’t have everything!
      I hadn’t expected to see a snowdrop so near to flowering in November, lovely to see it so soon. Had a quick look in the woodland but the leaves are so deep, it was impossible, will have to rake some gently away.

  3. Christina says:

    There is even sunshine in your photos Pauline! These blooms are so precious when everything around them is dying back for winter. I do envy you Clematis ‘Durandii’, I have wanted one ever since I saw it looking soooooooooo blue at Sissinghurst. I also love the way it weaves through other plants. Hope your terrible weather is over. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, Christina, the sun was actually shining today, and no rain , thank goodness! The forecast is a dry week for us this week, but a lot colder. The rain is moving NE so everyone in that direction is now on flood alert unfortunately.
      Clematis Durandii is a super colour, we have another weaving through Lonicera nitida Baggesen’s Gold where I think it looks rather good.

  4. Jason says:

    Wonderful to have snowdrops in November, we don’t get them until February or March. I love that shrub with the white tassels.

    • Pauline says:

      Nornally ours start with early ones Jason, just before Christmas. most start mid January and then the last ones are late March. I love the snowdrop season, we have planted lots in our woodland area, once they start, it is worth visiting each day to see what has come out overnight.

  5. pbmgarden says:

    An amazing collection of flowers for this time of year Pauline. Enjoy.

  6. Anna says:

    Oh all the seasons in one show Pauline:) Relieved to see that my snowdrops are not alone and thank you for the mention. I have a hellebore open too which again has taken me by surprise. ‘ Bonica’ looks as if she does not know what season it is so I hope that nobody tells her – what a beautiful rose.

    • Pauline says:

      Anna, when we heard the forecast for last weekend, we brought the owl carving with the books into the garage for the winter. I’m afraid Bonica now looks very bedraggled with not many petals left, I think the time has come to cut her down by half and wait for next year!

  7. wellywoman says:

    Wow I can’t believe you have so much in flower in your garden. Those roses are incredible. I would not have said from your photos that it’s November. The garden could do with a cold spell. This mild weather is confusing a lot of plants. I’ve got bulbs poking up all over which is a little worrying. I hope they survive the winter.

    • Pauline says:

      WW, you have your wish, it is so cold today with strong wind from the north and frost tonight! In just 2 days the garden looks so different, much more like it should at the end of November!

  8. Lots of lovely ‘stuff,’ Pauline. That Rosa Bonica is a star – and not one I know. And I envy you your Garrya – I should love to grow one at the Priory but it is too cold. Dave

    • Pauline says:

      I hadn’t realised Dave, that Garrya wasn’t fully hardy, it was already here when we came and has survived quite a few frosts, once down to -15 for just 2 nights! Rosa Bonica is a super rose, but no perfume sadly, however, it never gets black spot!!

  9. What is the shrub with the silver tassels? It is beautiful. There are snowdrops that bloom in the fall so you can have a snowdrop season from October to April. One of my fall rituals is to go around to the locations of all my snowdrops and check to make sure they are all coming up. By the middle of November, I can usually see the tips of almost all of them. It is a good time to remove encroaching plants and check to make sure all labels are there and in the right location. I am always excited to find snowdrops planted in the green that spring thriving in the fall.

    • Pauline says:

      Apologies Carolyn, I thought I had put the name Garrya elliptica in my post for the bush with tassels, I have now rectified it.
      I prefer to have my snowdrops flowering from Christmas onwards, when there are not many other plants flowering. When starting my collection I deliberately chose the winter flowering ones, I think I must stop buying them, 70 plus varieties is more than enough for anyone!

  10. What a glorious array of flowers – and seeds etc. Precious colour to have at this time of year.

  11. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lucky you to still have so much going on. I spotted my first spring bulb coming up; an Iris I believe. No sign of any Snowdrops yet but I only have Nivalis and they’ve never come up earlier than December/early Jan before so I’ve still a few weeks to wait…

    Hope the weather is OK for you/flooding/rain is OK???!!!

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Liz, while sorting out part of the woodland the other day, I found some narcissus up at about 5 inches, hope they don’t regret it!
      Everywhere around us was flooded but we were ok thank you, when we were house hunting 22 yrs ago, we looked at so many houses that had really pretty streams running through their gardens, thank goodness we didn’t buy any of them!!
      It was only when I looked Garrya up in my RHS encyclopedia that I discovered it wasn’t hardy, it has had plenty of snow and ice here, maybe its tougher than ‘they’ think.

  12. Liz says:

    Btw, I didn’t know Garrya wasn’t fully hardy either… Seems to be OK here too.

  13. Hi Pauline, I only knew that garrya wasn’t completely hardy because I’ve known two that are blackened by low temperatures. One, admittedly, was on a north facing frost pocket but the other is well protected (from cold wind) and in a much warmer garden – many of its leaves and tassels were badly frosted last year. As the Priory also sits in a frost pocket, I’ve refrained from planting one. Interesting though that yours doesn’t suffer. Dave

    • Pauline says:

      David, mine faces east but is protected by other plants and living on a hill, the frost tends to roll by and not do too much damage. The winter of 2010 was very cold here and some of the leaves turned black, but a good haircut in the spring sorted it out. The RHS encyclopedia doesn’t have it down as hardy, because it has been here all the time I assumed it was tough as old boots!

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