Around My Edible Garden

November 2014

The word for November is bleak. That word always reminds me of Christina Rosetti’s poem In the Bleak Midwinter, the one that is sung as a Christmas carol. Yes, more poetry this month. This is what happens when there aren’t enough tasks to be done in the garden. The mind has time to wander. Everything has been put to bed, not least the raspberries. The canes have been cut – knee height to encourage a first crop early in the summer.


The espalier fruit trees are bare and trimmed. Dormant until spring.


The herb garden soldiers on with the evergreen rosemary and the perennial thymes.


Meanwhile, the chives, lovage, mint, oregano, fennel have receded into the ground. And, the monster bay shrub (tree?) in the herb garden has been ruthlessly trimmed and shaped, awaiting new growth in the spring to cover the scars of leaf clipping.


After a quick view of the garden one wet and dreary morning, I began to wonder if perhaps dreich would also be a good word for the month. It’s Scots for gloomy – a wonderfully evocative word. In fact, quite poetic.

Tasks to be done:

  1. NONE!
  2. Ok…possibly rake leaves.


Around My Edible Garden is my monthly diary entry detailing what is happening in my garden this past month, part of the Garden Share Collective (GSC), maintained by Lizzie@strayedtable (click on the “links in collection” icon below to view all participants). A chronological listing of my garden blog posts is listed Diaries in the Menu bar.


    • Hibernate, moi? No…I’ll always find something to say about the garden even if it is in the form of the pots that I’ve dragged indoors or planning sessions for next spring. Plus, there is always something happening in the herb garden. The fruit bushes and trees, however, have shut down until spring.

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  1. Not sure that ‘sparse in its beauty’ really makes sense but you get my drift….sparse beauty would have been better. Having a bad word day. Either way, I still think it’s rather lovely and bleak. Dreich, great word. 😁


    • I know! I’m reading all these posts on Oz gardens. You are all going full-tilt while I put my feet up. Well, it is the way with gardens. Still envious of your passion fruit, olives, capers, etc.


  2. It’s always lovely be reminded of the seasons. Just as we are picking raspberries, tomatoes are blossoming and garlic is being pulled you remind us of what we need to plan for in the next few months. I love the sparse, ’empty’ time of winter in the garden.


    • I still find it hard to envision you all down under in full summer mode, but it is the way of the world. I have containers of raspberries and other soft fruits left in the freezer to tide me through until spring.


  3. With the fruit bushes and trees pruned, it sounds like you’ve earned a break from the garden. Are you spending the bleak winter days planning for next year?


  4. I love that Scottish word dreich- must try to find a way to use it sometime today. It’s up there with gloaming. Looking on the bright side, the rosemary will be a source of yummy things, salts and potatoes and what is a soup without a bay tree. Your raspberries look neat and tidy as they sleep: mine are cropping like crazy, which is nice, but drives me to concoct more things. A dormant gardens mean we can safely hibernate and take a break. except for leaf raking- nice additions for the compost.


    • Gloaming – now that’s a great Edward Gorey type of word! Oh, definitely the rosemary is the star of the winter herb garden. I sometimes prune it to make Christmas wreaths because of its piney-like leaves. Raspberries freeze well and I have several packets still to remind me of summer.

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  5. Look at the colour of those leaves. If raking is your task I would be ok with it. I hope the winter is mild for you and your garden has a nice nap.


    • It was a great contrast of the two coloured wet leaves on the green grass. Grass always stays green here! I’m in two minds about mild winters – great for the house heating bills, but perfect climate for pests like slugs to survive and multiply! Meanwhile, planning/dreaming time for next spring!


    • It is good to have a break from work in the garden. A few years ago, I designed the garden that would be low maintenance – mostly fruit and my herb garden. It has certainly worked out well. May spend this hiatus thinking creatively where I can plant more fruit.


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