November Jobs in the Mediterranean Garden,
Seasonable & Sustainable
November from the Latin novem, meaning nine under the old Roman calendar, is now the eleventh month and generally considered to be the last
month of autumn. The old English name Blotmanag, literally ‘blood month’, depicted the time of slaughtering of animals for preservation and
preparation for the cold months ahead.
Important Days to Remember this Month:
1 st November: World Vegan Day and All Saint’s Day/Todos Los Santos. From the Celtic word Samhain marking the division of the
year between light and dark. Family ancestors are honoured and frightening costumes are worn to scare away evil spirits.
Fiesta de las Castañas en Cómpeta
5 th November: Book Lovers Day/Guy Fawkes Day
7 th November: International Tongue Twisters Day/Hug a Bear Day
10 th November: Forget-Me-Not Day
13 th November: World Kindness Day
11 th November: Remembrance/Veterans Day
15 th November: I Love to Write Day
16 th November: International Tolerance Day
17 th November: Use Less Stuff Day
19 th November: Play Monopoly Day
23 rd November: Expresso Day for all coffee lovers! Come and share a great
free coffee with us to celebrate!
28 th November: Thanksgiving
Every Wednesday morning Bio Food and Health Market at Viveros Florena.
Moon Phases: 12 th November full moon; 26 th November new moon
November Birth Flowers: Many Asian countries, where chrysanthemums originate, consider them to be powerful emblems of youth; a petal placed in the bottom of a glass of wine is believed to enhance longevity and prevent grey hairs! In Spain they symbolise death and cemeteries are stacked with them around All Saint’s Day.
November is a month of action in our gardens – no excuses now that it is too hot! There are three vital tasks this month – pruning, planting and,
because October has brought us such a glorious Indian summer, it’s still not too late to be fertilising.
Pruning – the basics: the three d’s – dead, damaged and diseased wood should all be cut out. You can also add another two d’s to that list with
dying and deformed. Prune away too all suckers, water shoots (these are the long straight shoots that often emerge through the centre of trees)
and sprouts coming from the base of trees. Pomegranates are particularly prone to these but other fruit trees can develop them too, though to a
lesser degree. Feeble growth or any growth that is turning inwards should be cut out, as should rubbing branches.
When to Prune: Most deciduous fruit and ornamental trees can be pruned during November and December – or when they have dropped their leaves. This is the time when sap levels are low and thus least damage is done to the trees. Evergreen trees, such as citrus, are pruned after cropping which is normally November, December, January depending on the variety. Lunar lemons, that are perpetually fruiting should be pruned in stages and thus avoid cutting away fruits. Plants that flower early in the New Year should be pruned immediately after flowering – this encompasses mimosas. If you live in a particularly cold area, you might like to leave most pruning until late winter/early spring when danger of frosts has passed.
How to Prune: the basic idea is to open the centre of the tree allowing light and air circulation and lower the overall height by about one third, if
necessary. Fruit trees respond well to this but it’s a good general rule of thumb for ornamental trees too.
Most shrubs benefit too from an annual pruning to stop them becoming lanky. Apply the basic rules to them too.
Leave roses for another month or so – more on that later.
Stabilise Trees and Large Shrubs: identify any vulnerable limbs and remove them. Also dead or broken branches to make sure winter weather
doesn´t do more harm.
Planting: superb planting weather for almost everything except more tropical flora. By planting now your new introductions can have the
advantage of all the winter rains to establish well before the heat of next summer. Autumn/winter planting is hugely more beneficial than spring
Fertilise: Such a mild autumn has meant that many of our plants are looking wonderful and are still in full and fabulous flow. Help them along with a slow-release fertiliser which will enable them to give of their best now and store energy for the winter months. Concentrated and organic worm
manure is good stuff – it feeds the plant and improves the soil at the same time.
Leaves are part of Mother Nature’s richness and they should never just be thrown away. Wherever feasible, leave them alone to swirl and collect in heaps that will break-down and form a rich food and, meanwhile, provide shelter and nesting places for a myriad of creatures during cold weather. In areas that you really want cleaned up, bag the leaves and they will soon break down into a rich friable leaf mould, ideal for mulching and feeding your plants.
Preparation: There are two types of preparation; one is settling our gardens into rest mode; the other is preparing for new plantings. Winter
mode, here, can be a little tricky. The shorter days are noted by falling leaves but warm sunny days often provoke new flower flushes, especially
after rains. If conditions are kind, let your garden strut its stuff for another month or so and enjoy it. Cool wet weather can provoke an earlier
hibernation. It is vitally important for our plants to have a rest period; occasionally this is taken as a summer siesta or, more usually, as a winter
sleep. Sometimes you have to force your plants to sleep – just like recalcitrant children, they want to stay out late! Tuck them in by cutting
back and heavier pruning if necessary. At the other end of the scale is preparation for your new plantings, it’s an exciting time!
Bare-Roots: Our David Austin bare-rooted roses have arrived and are selling quick. World-renowned for their beautiful roses, full-petalled and
with fabulous perfume, they come in a full range of colours too. More expensive than other roses, they make a fabulous gift or special treat for
Peach, Nectarine, Almond and Plum: As their leaves start to fall, spray them with copper fungicide to help prevent peach leaf curl next year.
Cover Up: If you live in a cold zone think about fleecing more delicate plantings such as mangos, papayas and newly planted tenders. Succulents,
too, can be damaged though usually more by snow than extreme temperatures.
Blazing Autumn: November doesn´t have to be dull! Introduce some autumnal blaze; some of the best climbers are Virginia creeper and Boston
ivy, (parthenocissus quinquefolia and parthenocissus tricuspidata Veitchii) Heavenly bamboo or nandina domestica is a great shrub for autumn colour.
Pyracantha are brilliant for fiery glowing berries. And for blazing trees try liquidambar/styraciflua, crepe myrtle/ lagerstroemia, maidenhair/ginkgo
biloba, tulip tree/liriodendron tulipifera and persimmon tree/diospyros kaki. Don´t forget the beauty of bark, more visible when the trees are
bare. I love the whiteness of silver birch and figs, the glowing stripes of cherries and the peeling caramel of strawberry trees. The lagerstroemia,
mentioned above, has the best of both worlds – lovely glowing autumnal leaves and a super-elegant coffee and cream trunk.
Weeding: the endless weeds! But be more relaxed about them – it’s in fashion! And, for once, this is an important fashion mode and many of our
‘weeds’ are so beautiful. It is important to maintain clear areas around fruit trees, especially when newly planted – competition can be too strong and will retard their growth.
Save Our World: Soft drink manufacturers make 500,000 million plastic bottles a year; they are accompanied by 500 million plastic straws per day. Only 14% of these are recycled. (source: El Pais periodico)
Something New: Crinums or spider lilies are looking stunning at the moment. Their big strappy leaves add instant exotic to a garden, yet they
are as tough as old boots! You’ll often see them in old abandoned gardens flowering in late summer/autumn - huge bulbs that will outlive us! There are around some 180 species yet you rarely see them to buy. We currently have three varieties in stock; crinum americanum, white flowering, crinum Ellen Bosanquet, wine-red and crinum powellii in sugar-pink.
Tip of the Month: Get your Christmas tree on order now – we only supply to order and will happily reserve until you can collect.
All potted trees, ready to decorate:
P. abies excelsa, 1,25 – 1,50m €20
P. abies excelsa, 1,50 – 1,75m €25
P. abies excelsa, 1,75 – 2,00m €30
P. abies Nordmanniana, 1,00 – 1,25m €35
P. abies Nordmanniana, 1,25 – 1,50m €40
P. abies Nordmanniana, 1,50 – 1,75m €45
Job of the Month: Plant some spring-flowering bulbs to brighten up dull winter days. The lovely daffodil takes some beating planted under old olive
trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Plant of the Month: dianella caerulea ‘Cassa Blue’, the blue flax lily is a lovely thing. Blue-grey leaves stand in steely clumps with dainty deep blue,
yellow throated flowers. Lilac-blue mystical berries stay through winter.
Tough and drought resistant, we have them in stock now.
Not to be missed! We’ve some fab events coming up at Viveros Florena!
Upcoming Workshops: Always on Wednesdays, 11am – 1pm
English and German Instruction
November 13 th : Chocolate – The Sweet Temptation.
Since 1544 chocolate has been known in Spain – today we still love the dark gold. In this workshop you will learn how to make it yourself. Easy, healthy, vegan, with or without sugar.
Samples and lots of recipes: Cost €10
November 20 th : Making Creams and Other Cosmetics.
For a velvet skin, creams, lotions, after sun – all that you need for a great feel and perfect care of our biggest organ. Simple modular system, easy and quick to make at home.
Samples and lots of recipes: Cost €10
November 27 th : EFT Emotional Freedom Technique
A mixture of tapping, emotional psychology and NLP, an easy way to reduce stress in a few minutes – mental or physical. If you have stress, tap it away!
Comprehensive information: Cost €15
December 4 th : At our Winter Market, Talk on CBD Oil and Hemp
With oils, soaps and creams available to buy.
The talk will be free.
December 11 th : Soap Making
How to make soap without chemicals. Easy method using the best natural
Samples and recipes; Cost €10
For more information on any of these workshops, please contact Renate Wilmer on 00 49 1781302145 or email
And our Magical Winter Market is on 4 th December – all day.
More stalls than ever, live music, an orgy of food and drink. Free mini bus service between Cómpeta/Viveros Florena and back.
Don´t miss the party!
We are passionate about plants!
Garden Centre, Designers and Landscapers
Probably the best little garden centre in Andalucia!
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We are passionate about plants!