November GBBD: Make a Spring Shopping List Now

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

'Warsaw Nike' clematis at Carolyn's Shade GardensThis Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ decided to produce one final flower in mid-November

Now is the time to walk around your garden and assess what you need to add to make late fall a peak time in your landscape.  Do you need more trees and shrubs with brilliant fall color?  Could your garden benefit from more plants that bloom later in fall?  Make a list and take photographs so that when you are shopping next spring you know what you need and where it should go.  As an added benefit, you can enjoy each miraculous discovery like the Clematis ‘Warsaw Nike’ pictured above, which I found during my own fall inventory.

If you need ideas, visit local arboretums and gardens.  I always find a trip to the Morris Arboretum near Chestnut Hill, PA, highly inspirational and informative.  I have added a permanent category to my sidebar for places to visit and get ideas.

Today is Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day for November (follow the link to see fall  photographs from other garden bloggers).  Here are a few more highlights from my mid-November stroll through Carolyn’s Shade Gardens:

'Potter's Prelude' snowdrops at Carolyn's Shade GardensFall-blooming Snowdrops ‘Potter’s Prelude’

Disanthus at Carolyn's Shade GardensDisanthus cercidifolius

fall-blooming hardy cyclamen at Carolyn's Shade GardensFall-blooming Hardy Cyclamen

fall-blooming camellia 'Elaine Lee' at Carolyn's Shade GardensFall-blooming Camellia ‘Elaine Lee’

fall-blooming camellia 'Winter's Darling' at Carolyn's Shade GardensAckerman Hybrid Fall-blooming Camellia

'Rozanne' hardy geranium at Carolyn's Shade GardensHardy Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Kousa dogwood at Carolyn's Shade GardensKousa Dogwood

holly osmanthus at Carolyn's Shade GardensHolly Osmanthus ‘Sasaba’

black fountain grass at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Moudry’ Black Fountain Grass

'Magic Carpet' spiraea at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Magic Carpet’ Spiraea

toad-lily 'Sinonome' at Carolyn's Shade GardensToad-lily ‘Sinonome’

'Gold Rush' Italian arum at Carolyn's Shade Gardens‘Gold Rush’ Italian Arum


20 Responses to “November GBBD: Make a Spring Shopping List Now”

  1. I’m looking to fill some semi shade and shady areas in my garden so was pleased to find your site via Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I shay return periodically. Pity I’m around 10,000 miles away so can’t visit too often. I like th Black Fountain Grass.

    • Hi Terry. The photos on your blog are beautiful. I tried to post a comment but it didn’t seem to work. I am thrilled to get a communication from New Zealand. My son spent last January there and fell in love with your country. Maybe I will get to visit some day. In the meantime, I can read your blog. Carolyn

  2. That clematis makes me drool and I love the color of the kousa dogwood. You have a beautiful November garden.

    • Thanks Dorothy. Fall color has been spectacular this year. I could have posted many more photos of leaves. I loved your entries—orange and purple are my favorite flower colors. I enjoyed all the butterflies. They are gone for the season here in the north. Carolyn

  3. My ‘Potter’s Prelude’ has just poked through the mulch; I don’t think I’ll get a blossom in November. I am anxious to see how it does here in the Northwest.

    • Great to hear from you Martha. I am not sure how it will work out there, but once my ‘Potter’s Prelude’ emerges it takes about a week to bloom. The picture in the post is of a clump that is located at the exposed front of the bed facing south. Clumps that are farther back in the bed and covered by lamium are just emerging. The different placements work well for me because I will have ‘Potter’s Prelude’ in bloom from the beginning of November into January. Let me know what happens with yours. Carolyn

  4. I love your site as I have a shady garden to. I think it must be colder where I am in the blue ridge mountains of N Carolina as my toad lilly and hardy geraniums were through over a month ago and yours are still going. I will be back as you have such an interesting web site. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thanks Valerie. We have not had a killing frost yet. At the beginning of the month it went down to 28 degrees and got the vegetables and hostas but since then it has been warm. My garden is in the suburbs west of Philadelphia no more than 10 miles from center city. We usually have a killing frost at the end of October. The hardy geranium ‘Rozanne’ and the toad-lily ‘Sinonome’ that are still blooming are in warmer micro-climates in my garden—the same plants in other areas are done (though only about a week ago). My son goes to Roanoke College so I drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains on my way there but not as far south as you. What a gorgeous area. Carolyn

  5. Your Camellias are so beautiful. I so wish I could grow them here. I am waiting on a more hardy variety. I did not know there was a Snowdrop that was Fall blooming. That is a wonderful bit of information to know.

    • Hi Lona. We are supposed to be zone 6A here but we are probably 6B now. I hope you find that camellia because they are well worth it even for their beautiful dark evergreen leaves. My next post will be on fall-blooming snowdrops so keep in touch. Carolyn

  6. Lovely post…I’m so jealous of you ‘Moudry’ fountain grass, mine are taking forever to make much of themselves! That Spirea is stunning, the best fall color I’ve seen on one yet!

    • Thanks Scott. ‘Moudry’ took a while to establish in my garden but now it is moving around, which is fine with me. I have terraces with dark reddish stone walls, and ‘Moudry’ looks amazing against them. It lines the wall and is preceded by daylilies. I think ‘Magic Carpet’ is a superior spiraea. When the foliage comes out in spring, it is peach-colored—you have to see it to appreciate how gorgeous it is. Carolyn

  7. A beautiful post, Carolyn, and a lovely contribution for your very first Bloom Day! What a treat to see the Disanthus in bloom; I’ve been trying to get that established here but am not having much luck. I’ll have to wait for a few more decades, I guess, until I get some shade.

    • Hi Nan. Disanthus has a beautiful habit and amazing claret fall color. As you know, the flowers are pretty small and need to be appreciated close up, preferably with a magnifying glass–just kidding. I included it in the post for novelty. Thanks for getting me started with blogging–it’s addictive. Carolyn

  8. Where did you get the ‘Potter’s Prelude’ snowdrop? Hitch Lyman’s Temple Nursery? Beautiful plants, some of which I can grow. Making a list . . .

    • Hi Kathy. I sell ‘Potter’s Prelude’ (and other snowdrops) and am the only source for it. You can check out my 2010 Snowdrop Catalogue on my sidebar. I got my original stock from Charles Cresson. My next post will be on snowdrops so stay tuned. Love your blog. Carolyn

  9. Beautiful blog! I am impressed not only by your gardening skills, but also by your photography.

  10. I am from Pennsylvania originally. Reading to be exact, so I know the Morris Arboretum. I think PA has the prettiest Fall leaves in the whole Northeast. I am partial for sure, but I still believe it. Your Bloom Day submission was very nice. A little advice added too. Mine GBBD was light on blooms up here next to Canada, so I made a magazine spread for some Bloom Day Splash. Made my paltry blooms look a whole lot better.

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