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The change from October to November brings a shortening and a shifting of the daylight hours, cooler temperatures and the first light frosts. Despite this the garden is still full of colour and growth as the plants take all they can from the limited warmth and light. Many insects are still active, helping to pollinate the plant flowers so that they might produce their final seeds of the year. Many fruits are produced such as apples and yew berries,

which will enable these seeds to be transported

by animals to grow in other locations.

Some plants have begun to withdraw their green chlorophyll leaving behind the fiery foliage of autumn. Others will hold on for a few more weeks to manufacture and store as much food for the winter as possible.

Those first frosts signal the warning bell. The pots of tender plants in the paved areas are brought into the greenhouse to overwinter. Through the next month other tender plants, growing in the outdoor beds, will also be brought inside to prevent them being killed in the cold.

The greenhouses quickly fill at this time of year. In addition to the plants from outside, the first of next year’s spring seedlings are moved into pots to develop. These plants will stay indoors for the next six months until hopefully the threat of severe frost has passed!

At this stage we start the bulbs for indoor winter display. This year we are using a mix of Iris, Narcissus, and Hyacinth, some of which are first grown in modular trays and will later be arranged into more ornamental display pots. The bulbs need a period of about 6-8 weeks growth before they can be brought into the warmth ready to flower in time for Christmas and the New Year.

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