Six on Saturday – 27/11/2021 – Late November

It was inevitable, I know. The snow, I’m talking about. It is Canada. It is November. Still… We had flurries this past Tuesday, and again yesterday afternoon, and tomorrow the forecast is for about five cm with low enough temperatures to have it stick around for a few days. Winter is coming! Right now it’s time for Six on Saturday – six interesting things in the garden, a blog theme hosted by The Propagator. Be sure to visit his site if you’re interested in seeing late November gardens from around the world!

I’m pretty lax about cutting back perennial flower stalks in the fall, even for plants considered weedy by some. It’s partly because at this time of year I’m tired; at this time of the year it’s cold outside and I’m not overly keen on mucking about the yard; but mostly it’s because I know that dead flower stalks provide habitat for overwintering beneficial bugs and also provide food for birds. This last point was made evident to me yesterday morning as I was entertained by a half dozen small birds flitting amongst goldenrod seed heads left standing on the other side of the dining room window. They were pecking away, looking for the tiny seeds that would help them stay alive over the long winter ahead.

A few weeks ago this was a patch of glorious, gold Solomon Seal. Not so glorious now, but still striking, in its own way, I think.
One of the mysteries of the plant world is how this delicate looking Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) stays green all winter. The green fronds tend to turn brown in spring, just as fresh new growth unfurls.
Another mystery is how on earth this Calendula, along with several others, has withstood so many nights of freezing temperatures, still trying to flower. A for effort!

And finally, the view looking north down the back part of the driveway, the part we don’t use. Now that most of the oak leaves have fallen, I’ll be mowing this stretch and using the shredded leaves in the garden. This will prevent the moss growing on the driveway from being smothered over the winter. Have a great weekend everyone, stay warm (if you’re anywhere near the snowbelt!) and stay safe as this new Covid variant spreads.


  1. We had a few flurries last night, a snow shower it was called, but nothing stuck. We could get as much as an inch tomorrow night. The snow blower is ready but that sounds more like shovel snow.
    I love finding Christmas Ferns in the snow. In winter anything green is cheery.

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  2. It’s interesting that the leaves could smother the moss. That may help to explain the scattered patches of green and brown moss I’ve found in the east Texas woods much later in the year. I’ll have to take a better look, and see if there might be a correlation. Hooray for you, for leaving plants for the insects, birds, small mammals and such. Besides, I rather enjoy the sight of the seed heads.

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  3. A lovely view of your driveway and the seedheads still standing. I have also had more birds this autumn feeding on Echinacea seeds and seeking out insects hiding in stalks. We have had some snowflakes already, and more forecast, but I think it will turn to rain. Hope your snow is not too much and is followed by sunshine!

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  4. I love that you leave plants for the critters. I really like seeing the snow caught in the brushy growth and like you, am pleased to see the birds foraging amongst them.
    It has become rather cold and blustery with flurries here, too. Stay warm!

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  5. “Stay warm.”? Seriously?! I expect to. You know though, some of the trees here are as bare as yours are. There are not as many deciduous trees here, and the deciduous cottonwoods are only turning yellowish green, but seriously, it must have been getting cool at night. I will not complain though. It may be boring, but . . . I suspect that I would not like such cool weather for as long as it happens there.

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