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November starts to get a bit chilly but can still provide some beautiful autumnal days, a nice crisp frost and autumn tints are to be relished. This month the main tasks in the garden are really just preparing for next year and of course coming to Sunshine to commence your Christmas shopping!

Flowers and Shrubs

Top Tip: Plant bulbs! We still have a fabulous selection of bulbs and there will be some bargains in the bulb room this month. If you’re clever with your choice you can have bulbs in flower from January with Snowdrops right through to June with stunning alliums.

Bulbs always look good in pots; plant bulbs that don’t grow too tall, probably less than 16” and stick to just one or two varieties in each pot to give the maximum impact. Another advantage of planting in pots is that that can be put in a hidden corner of the garden whilst growing and then moved to a prime position once the bulbs are about to flower.

Top Tip: Squirrel problems? Plant your tulip bulbs deep to prevent squirrels digging them up easily or cover the area with chicken wire.

Top Tip: Keep raking up leaves especially on the lawn to prevent brown patches forming but don’t be too fastidious , remove leaves if they are preventing light from getting to plants otherwise leave then on the beds, earthworms will do their bit and feed on them and pull them down into the soil, in other words let nature’s beasties do some of the hard work in the garden for you!

If you want to make a really easy job of clearing the leaves get a leaf blower, we have simple ones that will also suck up and chop the leaves that can then be used as a mulch or in the compost heap.

Top Tip: Hellebores will soon be flowering, remove some leaves so that the flowers can be seen at their best.

Top Tip: If the weather does turn a bit chilly it’s worth protecting tender plants with some fleece, we sell fleece in rolls to wrap around plants or you can use fleece already made into a hood that you can just slip over the plants like a woolly hat!

Top Tip: Cut down perennials that have turned black after having been caught by the frost, cut them down to ground level and compost the stems.

Top Tip: The first frosts usually occur this month , the dahlias that hopefully have been flowering happily until now will turn black and will need to be dug up, cut back and stored in a frost free area.

Top Tip: Some perennials tend to dry once they have finished flowering and can create lovely silhouettes in the low winter light, just leave these until the spring and cut them down then. If it looks good – leave it!

Top Tip: Give roses a light prune to avoid wind rock, which can damage the roots of roses, the main prune will be in March/April.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to plant some winter bedding now that the summer bedding has really finished, Violas, Pansies and Cyclamen are all in flower now and will go through the winter. Put some small bulbs such as Narcissus Tete a Tete or crocus under the bedding to come up next spring through the bedding.

Top Tip: Still keep an eye on the watering in pots, even though we had a very wet October pots can get quite dry and often go unnoticed until plants are wilting.

Top Tip: In mild spells the weeds start popping up again, as if they’re practicing for next spring, just hoe them off to prevent them getting a hold.

Top Tip: it’s worth investing in some pot feet for your containers this month as most plants don’t like sitting in wet cold soil, the feet will allow the water to drain away readily.

Top Tip: Cut back ornamental grasses and bamboos


If the weather is mild the lawn may start growing again, give it a light trim but make sure the blades are on a high setting.

Top Tip; Give the lawns a feed with Miracle Gro Autumn Lawn care if you have moss in the lawn, this will help protect your lawn from harsh winter weather, giving your lawn a good start next spring! While killing moss, it toughens the grass to help it withstand harsh winter weather and strengthens the roots. If you lawn is pretty moss-free use Miracle Gro Premium Plus Autumn & Spring Lawn Food which is a slow release formula for feeding your lawn for 3 months. It ensures the correct balance of nutrients fed into the soil contributing to lawn health, appearance and stronger roots. This formula helps the lawn to withstand the extremes of cold, heat and drought throughout the year.

Top Tip: if you do get mushrooms appearing on the lawn, the chances are that they are quite harmless and are just growing on some dead wood below the surface, just sweep them away.

Grow Your Own

Top Tip: Lift parsnips once they have been frosted as their flavour sweetens with the frost.

Top Tip: Prepare a bed for garlic; improve heavy soils with Farmyard Organic Manure £12 for 3 bags.

Top Tip: Plant currant bushes while they are dormant, we have a good selection in stock

Top Tip: Dwarf fruit trees are perfect for small London gardens; we have apples, pears & cherries in stock at £39.99

Top Tip: Apple and pear trees can be pruned any time from now to February.

Top Tip: Apply fruit tree grease or bands to prevent winter moths laying eggs in the trees.

Top Tip: Broad beans can still be sown, Aquadulce is the best variety to go for.