November News


Like so many, we have been knocked for six from this election. We’ve been grieving deeply while also asking ourselves, “Where do we go from here?” as I imagine some of you might be, too. This whole election process has been stressful for everyone; even if you’re happy with the outcome it has been a long, exhausting road. When it all just seems a bit too much, which is often, I try to remember to breathe, take the pup for a walk, plant some fall bulbs, tidy up a border, weed, anything to make myself feel grounded again. A little Stephen Colbert doesn’t hurt, either. I hope that wherever you are, and whoever you voted for, you are able to find some peace in your garden, too. 


Apart from all that political hoo-hah, there has been quite a bit of fuss going on in our own lives, as well, which has made me drop the ball on the blog lately and for that, I apologize. Without getting too much into it, life has just been very life-y. I’m looking forward to the possibility of things normalizing soon and I have some ideas for fun posts to cheer us all up this winter. In the meantime, got some WIP photos for you….

img_3618-1WIP (notice the fig tree just planted?)

dsc_5444-1almost done! (where you see those pots lined up is where the cold frame is going.)

Do you remember what the house looked like only about a year ago?

img_3565-8It’s feeling a little friendlier now, don’t you think?

dsc_5459-1the inside of the courtyard garden now feels much more private

9698Remember this?

img_3673-1How about now? Better, right? BTW we’re replacing those rose arches. I can’t decide what I want to put in their place so they’ll have to do for now.

IMG_7051Remember this?

img_3661-2Getting better, right?

img_3660-1It’s so nice, when I’m sitting at my desk, to see all this progress. It looks like a garden now!

As far as our new garden progress goes, Jesse and I have been busy using this mild weather to install some picket fence to enclose the courtyard garden area. Nothing like digging holes and hauling lumber to blow off steam from all the stress and anxiety! Remember when I told you how this was once the “driveway?” With the fence up, it now looks so much more put together–like, yo this is a garden not a place to park your UPS truck–and gives us a bit more privacy. We even planted our fig tree, which quickly outgrew it’s container, right smack dab in the center of the graveled area. I can’t wait to do a little bit more with this part of the garden, but for now it’s just nice to see it more private and enclosed.

img_3637-1Smoke filled skies block the view at Jump Off Rock, which normally lets you see as far as South Carolina

img_2835-1Normally, it looks more like this

Yes, it’s been a lovely autumn, but sadly, as you might have heard, there have been numerous wildfires in our area recently. We’re in a drought so it’s all a bit dry and crispy here but what really chaps my hide is it seems that these fires were started by arsonists. They’ve evacuated an area not too far from us and the smoke has been thick–burning our lungs and throat. I worry for the wildlife. I feel terrible for those whose homes are in the fires’ path. Really, really hoping for some rain soon.


It’s been so warm that we still have roses in flower in our garden right now. You, too? Just yesterday, in fact, I had my face buried in the petals of ‘Benjamin Britten’ breathing in it’s sweet scent and marveling that it is mid November! Other roses have been flowering this autumn, as well, such as: Munstead Wood, China Doll, Clotilde Soupert, Lichfield Angel, Darlow’s Enigma, Hot Cocoa, St Swithun, Red Smith’s Parish, Betty Prior, Strawberry Hill, Gourmet Popcorn, Mme Calvat, Sally Holmes and Dark Desire. This is a young garden, and most of our roses are still barely 10 inches tall, so, not doing much of anything yet. Sometimes I wish I could hit the fast forward button, but I am grateful for the roses that are blooming now. Here are a few more photos of those…









Besides roses and fences, we’ve been hitting all the plant clearance sales and putting in the ground some shrubs and trees including a few bayberries, some young conifers, viburnum, etc. I finally got some bulbs (at a 50% off discount!) Perfect timing since I think we’ll be getting our first frost this week.

dsc_5451-1Abies magnifica, aka Red Fir or Silver Tip


With freezing nights approaching, our next project is to build a cold frame to put the rose babies in for the winter. Some are so small–just in 4″ pots–I think they could use the extra protection. OK, if we’re being honest, I just want a cold frame so I can finally feel like a real gardener. 😉

eva-november-16Puppy is having deep thoughts about this area of our property–next on the chopping block when it comes to brush clean out and invasives removal. See that leaf-covered area to her left by the road? Last year that was the thickest, most ginormous grove of Japanese Knotweed. Feels pretty darn good to see that gone!

Have you started making your spring plans yet? I am determined to get my bees in 2017 which means we need to find the perfect spot and fence it in–to keep out the bears. I love bears, from a distance. We laugh about the time one night we were surprised by one standing about 20 feet away from us in our garden and I hightailed it out of there so fast I left dust trails. I have zero chill when it comes to bears. So, I know if we want bees we will have to protect them. Also, there is a whole section of our property that still needs us to go through and clear out invasives and replant. We’re continuing our work on the rockery and hopefully will be able to build steps into the side by next spring because I really want to finish planting it! I’m also trying to convince Jesse that pet geese would be fun but that hasn’t gone over too well, yet.


Thanks for reading! Sending best wishes for a peaceful end to autumn to all of you.


10 thoughts on “November News

  1. Laurie, I am sooo looking forward to your fun posts during the winter season. I need some cheer right now! I’m still spreading compost and mulch, but already missing my roses and perennials. I don’t mind doing fall chores in the rain and snow because it lengthens the season just a bit.

    There’s NOTHING like a white picket fence to work magic in a garden. It defines your courtyard perfectly. Just beautiful!

    Good luck with the geese. Never did convince my husband we needed ducks after we housed 2 rescue mallards one year. Seems men don’t cotton to poop on their cars. But, they are fascinating. Mine chattered constantly and moved in tandem as if they were somehow attached. Really fun.

    1. I totally know what you mean about doing those fall chores…I don’t mind it either (as long as I’m not freezing) because it’s just another excuse to be in the garden. And, besides, every day that we get to spend outside is also one day closer to spring, right? I’m so tickled you like the picket fence!! That’s really good to hear because for a little while there I was wondering if I lost my marbles putting so much emphasis on getting that done before next year–like we don’t already have a million other things to do. So funny about your mallards, do you still have them? That’s kind of something else I was considering–ducks–since I think my neighbors would probably be pretty annoyed if I put geese in our yard. Did your mallards help out with the slug populations? Did you provide a little coop and a pond of some kind? I’d love to hear more about them! 🙂

      1. You had such vision in transforming your property into the picturesque place it is. The fences are the icing on the cake!
        I only had the mallards one fall thru spring. They went back to the Project Hope gardens where they’re taken care of by young people learning how to farm and such. I kept them in a large, grassy dog run with a child’s pool and a dog house coop, along with some rescue chickens that I didn’t want to introduce into my flock, not knowing how healthy they were. They were never exposed to my garden because of hawks and owls. A pond would be ideal. Keeping a little pool clean over winter wasn’t my idea of having a good time. Might be different in your climate, but I have no outside water source in the winter. I hope you get your ducks or geese!!

        1. Thank you that is so SO helpful! I really hope we can get them (or some kind of bird friend) this spring but bees get priority. 🙂 I really appreciate your comments and your help. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

  2. I love a white picket fence! So pretty and just screams garden to me.

    We still have lots of roses blooming up here DE as well. This weekend is supposed to be high 60’s so I’m excited to get the very last blooms possible before the cold sets in.

    I have to admit I went a little crazy with the end of season sales, there is just something about 75 & 90% percent off sales. Be still my heart!!! In fact my other half commented that that next vehicle we get must be a truck or a jeep of some sort, a silly over reaction to trying to cram three truck loads worth of plants into one small car if you ask me. 🙂

    1. Haha! I have a feeling if we ever went shopping together we’d a dangerous combination, because I can’t resist those sales, either! 🙂 That’s so funny about the truck, I can totally relate. Right now our car is filled with the remnants of dozens of bales of pine needles and it looks like the forest floor in there. The mister said to me the other day that we needed a truck, too, ha!

      Enjoy the rest of your roses…we are finally getting some cold weather now so I think ours are finally done. Now comes the time to start reserving for next year and counting the days until spring!

  3. I really enjoy your before and after pictures. Your garden is really developing nicely and I love the picket fence!

    1. Hello Mollie, thank you! It’s one of those things where one project leads to the next and feels a bit never-ending. 😉 So I really appreciate the encouragement!

  4. It was so good to see your post! Your house looks just fantastic. I love that white picket fence and your enclosed garden. Actually, everything is so you and warm and lovely. Reading your post is almost – almost – as good as being there.

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