44th Cerne Abbas Open Gardens June 19 & 20 2021
www.cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk Second Site by Bob Foulser
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Queries number
01300 341311

Tasks in November

Flower garden

In poor weather, sit in an armchair and look at catalogues for next season’s new plants.
Plant tulip bulbs this month.
Lily bulbs can still be planted in pots this month
Plant out winter bedding: wallflowers, forget-me-nots, Bellis, Primula, Viola.
Cut down faded herbaceous perennials and add these to the compost heap, though penstemons should be left with some top growth. Clear supports.
Divide and replant herbaceous perennials.
Ornamental grasses and bamboos can be cut back.
Lift and store dahlias, cannas and tuberous bedding begonias that have been hit by the first frosts.
Apply a mulch to protect plants that are borderline hardy such as Agapanthus, Kniphofia and Phygelius.
Protect alpines from the wet.
Move tender plants and bulbs inside to over-winter (Abutilon, Gazania, Lantana, Galtonia etc).
Wrap precious containers in bubble wrap to prevent damage by frosts.
Raise outside containers to avoid them sitting in the wet.
Tidy up leaves from around borders add them to the compost heap.

Trees and shrubs

>Most deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges can be pruned throughout the dormant season. However avoid pruning tender plants and Prunus species (e.g. ornamental cherries, plums and almonds), as these are vulnerable to silver leaf. Leave evergreens until the spring.
Lightly prune bush roses to reduce their height to prevent wind-rock. Ditto Buddleja davidii, Cornus alba and Lavatera which ca be pruned hard in spring.
The last moment to prune climbing roses.
It is an ideal time to plant new roses.
Plant bare-root deciduous hedging plants, trees and shrubs. Larger specimens need to be containerised.
Trees and shrubs growing in unsuitable positions may be transplanted now.
Protect newly planted specimens from wind and cold.
Tie wall shrubs and climbers onto their supports to protect them from wind damage. Prune off unwanted shoots.
Check tree stakes and ties are secure but not strangling trunks or branches.
If there is snow brush it off the branches of vulnerable topiary and conifers.


Rake fallen leaves off lawns before they block out light and moisture from the grass.
Grass will continue to grow in temperatures above 5°C (41°F), so if the weather remains mild it may be necessary to trim the lawn with a mower with a cut height of about 1.5 in.
In mild weather lawns may be scarified, aerated and have a top dressing. They may also be given an autumn lawn feed.
Avoid walking on lawns on frosty mornings, it can damage the grass and result in brown footprints.
It is now too late to sow grass seed, but new lawns can still be laid from turf.