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As the sun sinks lower in the sky the temperature drops, we feel the start of winter with the possibility of gales and misty mornings.

You will notice more birds visiting bird tables as their natural food becomes scarcer.

If you do not have one already consider buying (or making) one to help them over the long winter months with feeds from the extensive range on offer.

As well as the familiar native birds such as Blackbirds, Blue Tits and of course, everyone’s favourite, Robins, you may see Redwings and Fieldfares which are newly arrived from Northern Europe to join up with their cousins our own Thrushes.

Although the weather may not encourage thoughts of gardening, there are still things to be done.

Things to do during November

Plant out winter bedding and tulip bulbs.

Remove old bedding plants from containers and re-plant with winter bedding and small evergreen shrubs for a colourful display.

Clear up around the garden picking up fallen leaves and remove old foliage from perennials.

Tidy up trees and shrubs as they go dormant.

If you have a garden pond remove any fallen leaves.

Containers should be raised off the ground on pot feet to stop them becoming waterlogged.

Now is a good time to prune roses to prevent wind rock.

If you have trees or shrubs you wish to move now is the ideal time.

Now is a good time to plant new trees and shrubs, and prune established ones.

Protect your tender plants from the cold with fleece.

Put grease bands on fruit trees.

If you have a vegetable patch, or intend to have one next year, November is a good time to clear the ground. Remove finished crops and dig in Farm manure or garden compost if you have it. You can still sow seed for herbs and salad leaves to grow on a windowsill.

In our bedding area you will find many plants for winter colour, why not try Ornamental Kale and Cabbages, Winter flowering heathers and small shrubs like Gaultheria.

What to grow from seed during November

For growing in a cold frame, cloche or on a bright windowsill, Delphiniums, Digitalis (foxgloves), Lupins and Sweet peas

Vegetables which can be grown outdoors, Broad bean ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ and Pea ‘Meteor’.

Under glass, Lettuce and other salad crops

In cloches, PakChoi, and Spring Onions

On a light windowsill, Basil, and Dill

Wildlife Gardening for November

Birds will be grateful for any food you put out now.

Clean out nesting boxes as birds will like them to shelter in over winter.

Seed heads left on plants for winter colour provide food and shelter for wildlife.

If possible do not cut back mature ivy as it provides both nectar for pollinating insects and shelter for wildlife.

An untidy corner of the garden with a pile of leaves, logs and twigs will provide shelter for several insects and animals.

Free tips, friendly advice and special offers

Our residents, Pip and May, are here to help!

Keep your eyes peeled for Pip and May, who are here to answer your FAQs and provide helpful gardening tips.

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The Garden CentreTo Visit in Essex

We have parking spaces for up to 450 cars and easy access both onto and off of the A127, which is the main dual-carriage way into Southend-on-Sea. The A127 is off Junction 29 of the M25 which is a 10 minute drive to our door. Plan your visit to Summerhill today. We can’t wait to see you.

Summerhill Garden Centre, Pipps Hill Road North, A127 Arterial Road, Billericay, Essex CM11 2UJ