I am not sure if November set any records for warmth but we are still getting above normal temperatures as we approach Thanksgiving. That does not mean, however, that we have not had a few touches of frost and cool nights. The trees are almost bare of leaves, and fall is still very much in evidence everywhere.
In the vegetable garden, as soon as the first touch of cold weather arrived, the beans, tomatoes and peppers where all destroyed and added to the compost pile. They have been replaced with a dose of compost and of course the onions and garlic have already been planted for next year. The perennial part of the vegetable garden does join the rest of the garden with some great color from the blueberries that rivals the most popular red bushes in the landscape. The top growth on the strawberries survives a slight frost but will eventually die off when covered with snow and ice. For now is still a dense green carpet.

Fall color in blueberries

Frost on Strawberries

The bulk of fall color is on the trees in the surrounding countryside when the maples and oaks put on their brilliant fall colors. Many shrubs also put on a decent fall color and this year in the garden, one of the best is the burnt orange of the saucer magnolia. I have not really noticed these spring blooming plants put on such a show, but this one catches the light beautifully in the early morning fall sunshine. The red and yellow on the azaleas in front of the magnolia are great this year too. Perhaps the dry summer and mild fall enhanced the colors this year, but these garden shrubs were great in spring and look lovely in fall too.

Magnolia in fall

Azaleas in fall color

Some things though are totally mixed up and this does not bode well for next year. The mild weather has encouraged some of the rhododendron buds to come into bloom and the poor holly, which should have berries on by now, and should flower in early summer, has flowers on it too. I am not sure if there are any male plants around in flower to pollinate these female holly flowers, but as they are just outside the dining room window, they are interesting to look at anyway!

Rhododendron buds opening in November

Female Holly berries in November

As with many things in the garden, this strange time to bloom is weather related and there is not a thing we can do about it. So relax and look forward to another gardening year which starts in just a few weeks!