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Just because it’s getting colder and gloomier outside it doesn’t mean your garden can’t still be a source of joy and colour.  There’s a surprising number of interesting plants doing their thing at this time of the year and here’s my top 10 plants for November to tempt you back into your garden.

1. Nerine bowdenii (bowden lily)

If you love bubble-gum pink, then this South African bulb could easily capture your heart when its bright pink lily like flowers appear on slender stems ahead of its strap like leaves in spring.  This is one for a warm, sunny border or ideally the base of a warm wall and, although tender, is otherwise undemanding.

  • Flowers in autumn
  • Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters
  • Grows to 45cm tall
  • Well-drained or moist but well-drained
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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2. Camellia sasanqua (camellia) ‘Crimson King’

Most people are familiar with the camellias that burst into flower in spring but what isn’t so well known is that there are a group of these lovely evergreen shrubs that flower in the autumn. These are known as Sasanquas and many of them have lightly fragrant flowers.

Unusually, you won’t smell the fragrance when sniffing the flower up close, instead you should smell it in the air when walking around the garden. This variety produces gorgeous bright red blooms.

  • Flowers in autumn
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows to 2.5m tall and 2.5m wide
  • Moist but well-drained or well-drained
  • Full sun, partial shade or full shade
  • Sheltered
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3. Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape)

Mahonias are well known for their sweet smelling soft yellow flowers. This evergreen variety has slightly prickly leaves that turn purple in winter, but before then, black berries adorn the plant in clusters. Growing to 1 metre tall, these spreading shrubs grow well in shade.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall and 1.5m wide
  • Well-drained or moist but well-drained
  • Full shade or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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4. Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) ‘Compacta’

This lovely short evergreen variety is unusual in that it produces both delightful red coloured fruit and small pitcher shape flowers at the same time throughout autumn.  Although the fruits look like strawberries, trust me, they certainly don’t taste like them and are best left for the birds!

  • Flowers in autumn
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 2.5m tall and 2.5m wide
  • Well-drained or moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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5. Carex flagellifera (Glen Murray tussock sedge)

This is the ultimate, low maintenance elegant plant.  With its reddish-brown evergreen leaves it makes a great permanent addition to any planting scheme especially as it grows happily in sun or part shade and requires little or no maintenance.

  • Flowers in summer, foliage interest all year round
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows to 1m tall and 1m wide
  • Well-drained or moist well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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6. Hesperantha coccinea (crimson flag lily) ‘Major’

If you have a patch of soil that’s permanently damp but not waterlogged this is a beautiful plant to grow for late autumn interest.  Place it at the front of your border where its long, graceful flower stems and large crimson colour flowers will surely be a source of great delight.

  • Flowers in autumn
  • Hardy through most of the UK
  • Grows to 60cm tall
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
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7. Malus (crab apple) ‘Comtesse De Paris’

Next is a great pick if you want an easy to grow medium size tree that’s good for wildlife. This has pink flushed buds opening into bright white spring blossom and soft yellow fruit that stay on the tree well into December.

  • Flowers in spring, yellow foliage in autumn and fruits in winter
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 5m tall and 4m wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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8. Anemanthele lessoniana (New Zealand wind grass)

A great evergreen grass for this time of the year as its arching, cascading green leaves turn shades of orange and red as the weather cools adding beautiful colour to the flower borders.  It bulks up, particularly width wise, so best to give it plenty of space.

  • Flowers in autumn, foliage interest all year round
  • Hardy
  • Grows to 1m tall and 1m wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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9. Euphorbia amygdaloides (wood spurge) ‘Purpurea’

With dark bronze, green leaves with a purple tinge, this evergreen give year round colour. I’ve chosen it for its ability to brighten the border at this time of year as well as its striking lime green flowers on red-purple stems in spring.

It’s a great ground cover plant especially for shady difficult sites where it grows well. Although, it’s best to wear gloves when planting or pruning as the sap can cause skin irritation.

  • Flowers in spring
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 75cm tall
  • Well-drained or moist but well-drained
  • Full sun, partial shade, or full shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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10. Heuchera (alum root) ‘Autumn Leaves’

Lastly, this evergreen perennial has leaves that change colour throughout the year becoming richer red when the temperatures drop. This one looks great planted alongside pathways or even in seasonal containers.

Once established they will clump up nicely and autumn is a good time of the year to divide if you want to increase your stock of plants of this cheerful variety.

  • Flowers summer, foliage interest year round
  • Fully hardy
  • Grows to 40cm tall and 40cm wide
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Exposed or sheltered
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So, bring some colour to your garden this November. As we edge closer to winter, there’s still plenty of opportunity to bring some cheery tones to your space.

For autumn fragrance inspiration, read this:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

autumn fragrance
Autumn fragrance
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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