The Yard in November 2020

Everyone has a problem area on their property don’t they? Well, in terms of planting, our problem area is our yard.

The yard is a large paved area between the house, barn and garage, and in summer it heats up immensely. In the summer months it is brightened up by geraniums (well, Pelargoniums actually). They are about the only flowers that do not wilt in the heat, and it is clear why they are such a tradition on Bavarian yards and balconies.

Here you can see some in late summer, also planted around the bamboo in the huge green pot.

But this year I tried planting up some additional pots with shrubs and plants that should also overwinter. Not easy when considering how shady the yard is in winter and that we may have temperatures constantly below zero for several weeks. In emergencies I can put a few plants in the barn for a few nights. Anyway, we will see if we get a mild winter again…

Violas are great for autumn pots, as they simply freeze in winter and return as soon as the first rays of spring sunshine warm them up. The Carex will last a couple of years in a pot and will then be planted out in the garden, as will the violas next May, and new Pelargoniums will take their place.

I also like to use small conifers in my pots. Again, they will be planted out into the garden once they get too big.

Below you will also see a red rose, some small sedum, dianthus, carex, a pale pink Potentilla and a dwarf Buddleia.

I am hoping these will all prove to be hardy enough and will come back next year.

On the other side of the barn doors is the sledge, which will have a small potted Christmas tree in it soon, and be decorated with fairy lights for some essential Advent kitsch! I may go over the top this year; with Christmas markets banned I will need some extra sparkle at home. πŸ˜‰

And here are the pots on that side of the barn too. On the left, a Hippophae rhamnoides, or Sea Buckthorn. This one is male and will not bear berries as I want it for its foliage here. It is supposedly very hardy and takes any amount of heat, wind or frost.

The next pot is Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’, another very hardy and heat tolerant plant, and it has absolutely gorgeous autumn colour.

A yellow summer Daisy is tucked in behind it, already damaged by frost but still flowering!

If the Itea and Buckthorn survive our north winds in winter they will get bigger pots next year as a reward. πŸ˜ƒ

You can also see some grasses in the picture above – Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ and Hakonechloa – then another rose (The Fairy), and the wonderful burnt caramel Β of the Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’. This small shrub looks lovely when it flowers, but the autumn foliage and fresh green shoots in spring are why I chose it.

I still have a couple of summer plants left. All the pelargoniums went a couple of weeks ago but I can’t bring myself to put this pretty little purple daisy on the compost until the last flower dies.

I don’t even know its name, but it has been beautiful all summer!

And here is another summer daisy that didn’t flower until it cooled down a bit in September. It seems to like chilly and damp November days!


Finally I planted up one little winter pot with a new creamy white Hellebore, an erica and some wintery white violas.

I have already potted up lots of tulips which will bring extra colour to the yard in late spring.

So I am almost ready for winter now.

How about you? Are you and your garden ready for winter? Have you got any containers for winter interest? How cold can it get in your part of the world?

Thanks for visiting. And happy gardening!


35 thoughts on “The Yard in November 2020

  1. I love how much you have left in your garden Cathy. You must have much milder winters than I do to still have this many varieties in bloom. I’m down to only roses and clary sage still in bloom, but they still make the heart sing as we know it is drawing to a close. How do you keep your pots from cracking over the winter? I put everything in an unheated greenhouse to protect mine, and even then they show some chipping by spring.

    • Most of my pots are guaranteed down to -18Β°C I think, so as long as they are not too wet and stand on feet for drainage I rarely lose one. I have used a few that aren’t guaranteed though this year as I simply ran out and the garden centres seem to have very little stock on offer. Fingers crossed!

  2. That is a lot of pots to water, but I have to say that watering my potted plants is my morning ritual. I finally got to the point of growing plants that can take a freeze and come back from their roots. The ground never freezes here. I do have a few tropicals in pots and they spend the winter in a sunny window in the garage.

  3. Beautiful container garden you have created there, Cathy. You must spend hours watering in summer! I look forward to seeing your sledge all decorated for the holidays, its a romantic prop. πŸ™‚
    We get too cold here to have pots of plants in ceramic, as they’d crack. It was heartbreaking to learn that as it was an antique pickle crock that I lost the first year I lived here.

    • Pelargoniums don’t need much as long as they are in fairly large pots and the bamboo was mulched in the pots with the surrounding geranium pots sunk into the soil. So watering was actually not too bad this year. Keeping my tomatoes and zucchini watered was harder work. πŸ˜‰

  4. Cathy I love that in Summer you plant Pelargoniums. I really like your small conifers. Violas are divine, especially the winter white with the white hellebore, I love it. Itea virginica “Little Henry” is divine. I hope to see soon the Christmas decoration of the sleigh on a tree. I love all the flowers and plants that you have in the pots, that they will hold you all winter! Take care. Happy gardening. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita πŸ˜€πŸŒΌπŸŒΌπŸ€πŸŒ²πŸŒΊπŸ˜Š

  5. I love all your pots, I like the idea of having a yard as a display area. My garden is usually just about ready for winter by April. And every year I make more work for myself.

  6. Really interesting to read this, Cathy, as I don’t think I have seen your yard before. You have a good variety of annuals and shrubs in your pots (that spiraea is really pretty) but will have a lot of watering to do! You could of course lift some of the blocks and create another bed to fill with grasses…

  7. With our confinements we have been spending more time in our front garden and so I have planted more pots to cheer us up. I am grateful for the new ideas for pots. I love the little daisies as our aster are all finished. Amelia

    • The yellow daisy is what they call African Margarites here, whatever that is supposed to be! Small shrubs or conifer for foliage or winter interest are something I am experimenting with this season. Will report back in the spring!

  8. Oh good luck with getting these through your colder winters Cathy. The pots look bursting to the brim with promise. I’ve never heard of an itea. That foliage is fabulous!

      • I’m in Saskatchewan – central Canada. We often have snow in October – this year we sure did. It’s actually a good thing when we get substantial snow in November because it helps protect the perennials from the nasty freeze/thaw cycle and temps that dip into the -40 C range. One year I lost 25 roses after a cold snap with no snow cover. But we manage!

        • Wow, that is cold! We have winters where it goes down only -8Β°C or so and then the coldest we had a few years ago was -23Β°C, but we have the same problem as you if it is dry and just below freezing for weeks on end. Would love a good snowfall, but the frost has been really pretty here recently too. πŸ˜ƒ Stay warm Melody!

  9. I wish my problem spot looked as good πŸ™‚
    You’re having plenty of fun there with your autumn and winter plantings. It looks great! What a good idea to have something there to enjoy while you’re in and out of the house.

    • We need something green in the yard over winter and spring as it looks so bare without. Must say I am looking forward to the tulips, but in the meantime a Christmas tree is already waiting for its lights and decorations! πŸ˜‰

  10. It doesn’t get very cold here, but I avoid pots anyway. I just can not take care of the few that are already out there in the many acres of landscape. The forest is so pretty anyway, that the potted plants within the landscape just sort of clutter the situation, and interfere with how the landscape merges into the forest. Our main concern for the winter is tending to the big redwoods that get messy and potentially dangerous in the wintry weather.

    • Natural landscapes do look better left alone without extra clutter, I agree. Having flowers in our yard does add colour to a rather dull and baking hot area which I can enjoy from inside in the cool!

  11. I loved this post and the photos, Cathy! I really enjoyed seeing what you have planted with hopes that overwintering will be possible. Honestly, even in our very warm (for winter) California climate, I was watering dozens of potted plants today and noting they aren’t looking great. They will live, and will produce again in the spring, but the seasons are universal! Climate may change whether or not they go totally dormant, but autumn and winter will still take their toll. I have dozens of potted geraniusm and pelargoniums as well. They never disappoint me. I loved your arrangement of them. πŸ™‚

    • It is a matter of luck for me, if things survive in their pots… a hard winter would probably finsih off a lot of things, but last winter was fairly mild so I shall just hope for the best! Watering is tricky too… not too much, not too little. I got it right this summer I think, but I have to watch it in winter as I tend to forget!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.