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Garden’s hanging on to autumn

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Cotinus (smoke bush)
Move shrubs in bad positions, like this Cotinus (smoke bush)

Tomatoes still fruiting and leaves still colouring up

Tomatoes
Green Zebra and Sunchocola tomatoes, still fruiting on Nov 14

Autumn doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going here. After last week’s frosts and the threat of snow, yesterday was 15C – ridiculously warm for mid-November.

The trees are hanging on to their leaves very late, as we haven’t had our usual gales – the whitebeam outside the window is still almost fully clothed.

I’ve been laid up with a bad back and after self-medicating, have finally done something about it and seen a doctor (it seems to be a herniated disc and sciatica – an occupational hazard –

so lots of visits to physios, etc). I’m having to put everything on hold until spring and even then, change the way I garden.

Even the greenhouse hasn’t been cleared out properly – the tomatoes are still growing and fruiting, which is ridiculous in mid-November. Still, their resilience in an unheated greenhouse through the frosts last week has been remarkable!

Anyway, the colours are great, especially in the beech hedge which really comes into its own now – just look above for a sample of what’s going on at the minute…

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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