November days

November is gone and we’re entering the last month of this year. November has brought me a lot of beauty, happiness and autumn joys! Even though we’re in some kind of second confinement in Belgium at the moment due to extreme high covid-19 contaminations, we have tried to make the best of it.

I hope your November also had to offer lovely surprises and happy moments in nature that could soften the sadness caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

I’ve spend quite some time in the veggie garden preparing the beds for winter by covering them with a layer of mulch (cut grass and leaves). I’ve harvested the Jerusalem artichokes (topinambur) for the first time this season. I really do love this forgotten vegetable with its nutty taste! And it’s such an easy vegetable to grow as they easily come back every year.

Autumn season is a lazy one when it comes to the flower garden (at least that’s how it’s for me!). I’ve been enjoying the changing of the colours as autumn continued. It’s an ever-changing and never-boring view!

I don’t “clean” the beds before winter as the dried plants and flowers are the perfect hiding and hibernation places for all those tiny insects. And on top of it, I can enjoy beautiful and delicate flower silhouettes with a layer of lacy frost when it has frozen! And during winter, the garden wouldn’t look too empty and will still have structure and interesting views.

A little path to our tiny pond where a frog is fishing! And in the back we have been working on a new part of our garden. There’s not much to be seen yet but a natural and wild hedgerow with forsythia, guelder rose, hawthorn and hornbeam has been planted the last week. I’m already looking forward to spring when these hedges will be in bloom!

Some last memories of summer; a rose hip and a forgotten apple!

On the last days of this November month (just in time!) I’ve been planting bulbs. I’ve ordered the bulbs at a small company in the Netherlands who only produce organically grown bulbs. These bulbs are eco-friendly produced and not harmful to the bees or other insects who will visit their flowers in spring.

It’s amazing what a diversity there’s in the world of bulbs! This tiny one will become a pretty purple crocus within some months…

Some hyacinth bulbs didn’t go into the dark soil but got a special treatment at home. I’ve put these bulbs in their special vases and store them in the basement for 4 weeks. So hopefully they will bloom in January…

November was filled with some lovely misty mornings! When I went for my morning run I was surprised by this wonderful and silent world around me. Those mornings are the best!

Isn’t this a wonderful piece of art? A late blooming wild carrot covered with a lacy web of silver pearls. When I come across these tiny natural treasures, it always fills me with gratitude and wonder.

Another misty morning which look like the perfect autumn painting to me!

Beside being outside, I’ve also been working in my studio. Lighting the stove is the first thing I do, putting on some classical music, doing some reading and writing and I’m ready to start creating.

Inspired by those wonderful autumn treasures around me, I’ve been making some of them in porcelain for new glass domes. Like these mushrooms for example… Nature, for me, is an endless source of inspiration!

The last Sunday of November was the beginning of Advent. So I have been making several wreaths with winter green foliage. To add a festive touch, I’ve been painting dried flowers from the garden with gold. I love to keep our Christmas decorations as simple and natural as possible!

This wreath, made with green willow branches, has become bigger than I planned! But it’s hanging outside now and just add some lovely vivid green to the wooden wall.

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