The International Steam Pages

The Best Garden in Mitcheldean? (November 2015)

This page is part of a series of garden blogs from 2015. Click here for the index.

It's just a week before our departure for Penang, the garden seems to be hanging on to autumn, but it's time to tidy up..

The dahlias and begonias are gone, a dozen or more bags of leaves have been dug in and the hyacinths are planted for a Spring show.

The patio has been spruced up, there are pansies and bulbs in tubs, while the small begonias and tender fuchsias have been gathered to go into near hibernation. The  picket fences (don't ask about their durability) are cleaned and ready to go in store and following an unfortunate near wipe out in May, the fish pond has some discrete protection.

The Dahlias have been 'rush dried' because there has been no frost to make them die back, the dehumidifier has been brought into action. Inevitably some tubers have gone rotten, hopefully not many more will follow. Shortly they will be wrapped in newspaper and placed in the garage, something that has worked well for the last two (mild) winters. 


The geraniums are very susceptible to frost and have been in the greenhouse for a month. They didn't take the hint, they just kept on growing and flowering. Inevitably at some stage the leaves would have yellowed, died and gone rotten so I've chopped everything off. Also present are the lightly trimmed fuchsias and almost invisible the small begonias. Yiran will be trying to keep them damp but not sodden to improve their chances of over-wintering successfully.

In theory, everything is parked for 4 months and, come mid-March, the Sleeping Beauty will slowly come awake again. We'll be taking a well earned holiday from gardening and will be out admiring nature's efforts.

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson