Tips for your garden this November

The clocks have changed and it feels rather wintery in the garden already. But there are still things to be getting on with when the weather permits.  Here are our suggestions.

Bare-root plants

November is the start of ‘bare root’ season, through to around the end of March.  This is the time when plants are not actively growing so are easier to transport and plant.  There are many benefits to buying bare root plants. They are usually cheaper than their potted counterparts (less compost and lighter to transport). There is less risk that they may harbour pests amongst their roots, and those roots will have developed naturally, not consigned to growing in circles in a pot.  There is even an argument, pertinent at the moment, that bare rooted plants are better able to cope with drought as they will naturally strike out into your soil, compared the potted plants which tend to favour the compost they arrive in.

Not all plants come as bare root varieties but many do: hedging, roses, fruit trees and canes, and many trees and shrubs will be available.

If you’d like some advice on planting bare root specimens, try this short video from Gardeners’ World

And here is some general advice about fruit trees from our archives. 

Clear & prune

If you haven’t already, now is the time to admit that most flowering plants have ‘done their thing’ for this year and give them a good tidy.  Annual climbers – sweet pea, Thunbergia, morning glory – can all be peeled from their supports and sent to the compost bin. Perennial flowers and old foliage can be cut down to give any new shoots space come the spring; they would appreciate some mulch around their base now too.

If you have fruit trees or bushes, it’s also time to prune back autumn-fruiting raspberries, currants and gooseberries.  Your strawberry beds or pots can be tidied, removing any unwanted runners or weeks.  And you can prune apple and pear trees after you’ve harvested the fruit to control their size and shape but also to encourage a good crop next year.


It might seem odd to need to protect alpines from winter rain but, in their natural environment, they only have to deal with the cold temperatures and gentle melting of snow; they won’t appreciate some of the deluges we can get in the winter!  Therefore, check the drainage holes in any pots and, where you can, move them somewhere that will give them at least some shelter from heavy rain.

In our area, we are lucky that many plants will survive outside that might not do so further north or east in the county.  But that’s not to say we can’t give those plants a helping hand!  ‘Borderline hardy’ plants in the ground, like Agapanthus or Fuchsia, would benefit from a thick mulch of straw or compost as protection.  If you’re growing them in pots, think about moving the pot under cover or to a more sheltered corner where they won’t freeze.


Our garden wildlife has spent the spring and summer pollinating our fruit, eating our aphids and generally helping to look after our gardens for us.  As the colder weather bites, it seems fair that we return the favour for them.

With Bonfire Night looming, there is much about checking for hedgehogs (and frogs, toads and other wildlife) taking shelter in your stack before you light it.  Now is a particularly risky time for hedgehogs as they are starting to think about hibernating and could be thinking your bonfire pile is the perfect hidey hole to see them through the winter.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t check any bonfires you are having at other times in the year, of course, but please check extra carefully now!

If you are feeding and watering your wildlife, please ensure you wash bowls and feeders regularly to prevent the spread of any diseases.  If it’s frosty, don’t forget to break any ice that has formed on water bowls.

If you have a worm composter, either bring it inside (a shed, garage or cool utility room is great) or cover it.  Worms like a temperature around 20’C to keep wriggling and digesting your waste.

General jobs

Indoors, if you are feeling extravagant and have turned on your central heating, think about giving your houseplants an extra misting to counteract the drying effect modern heating has.

If you have garden furniture that you leave outside, think about a weather-proof cover to keep it clean and in good shape for next season.  Parasol stands and cushions will probably do better stored indoors if you have room.

If it’s mild, your lawn may still grow a little so it’s fine to mow it; in fact, it can be a useful way to collect fallen leaves as well.  Just raise the blades on your mower a bit, to give the grass a little extra protection by leaving it a little bit longer.  (Our other blog this month talks all about leaves – you can find it here.)




N. Haggard 20 September 2022

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say how delighted I am with my new garden.

Jon, my designer, listened to my ideas and delivered on everything I asked for. I wanted something different to any garden I’d had before, no lawn, no landscaping but packed with plants. He designed such a lovely secret garden, around a statement tree. And I have to commend him for his unwavering patience! I changed my mind a hundred times but never did he give me the impression that he was losing patience with my endless indecision. And my confidence in him led me to place an order for over £10k.

My landscaping team, Blade and Tony, were exceptional, from their work ethic, skill and knowledge, to the way they dealt with me, the customer. My standards are very high and I couldn’t fault them.

All in all, a very professional team of people. And it showed that they all care. I’m over the moon with the finished result. I will send you a before and after photo. Thank you so much.

A delighted customer.

G. Gray. May 2022

My front garden has been transformed by Andy and Bradley who both worked incredibly hard and I am delighted with the result. Andy had the vision and skill to turn my idea into reality and I can't thank him enough.

C. Haig Sept 2021

We recently had our garden landscaped by Hambrooks and I just wanted to pass on my thanks, not just for the outcome - which is superb - but for the professionalism of all the staff involved on the job who are all a credit to you company. Mike, Dave, Les and Adam.

H. Sharp Sept 2021

I just wanted to let you know how delighted I am with my new garden. Melanie was a delight to work with and the ideas she had have worked perfectly. Also Sheldon laid the patio beautifully and him and Dave were a pleaseure to have at my house. Quiet workers and polite.

B. Rendell April 2021

I would like to say how delighted we are with the work carried out. Mel, Paul and Tony all worked very hard, they totally took on board the specific need relating to safety as well as the general garden issues. Paul and Tony were excellent at consulting and discussing with me what I felt best in terms of the brief and adjusting if and as necessary, constantly pleasant and polite to deal with. Mel had picked up on particular issues from the first consultation and offered valuable advice. The outcome means a great deal less worry for me going forward.
Altogether a very positive experience and outcome which I would not hesitate to recommend to others.

Stephen March 2021

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We have been coming to Hambrooks for years and it's our favourite garden centre because of its friendly helpful staff and a great selection of plants and trees and the garden design ideas.

“We wanted to write and say how pleased we are with our low maintenance garden makeover. We are very impressed with the attitude of your staff who were prepared to listen to our requirements. Your team John and Rick brushed up and left everything tidy at the end of the day. We now have a garden we can manage and it looks great. THANK YOU HAMBROOKS.”

Mr & Mrs Venables, Southampton. April 2019

“Dear Josh & Mike We just want to say you both did a brilliant job of designing our garden along with the guys who did the work who were amazing. A few weeks on its looks even better now some of the plants are blooming. Thank you!!”

Mr & Mrs Gazzard, Winchester July 2019

“To James, John & Rikki. Thank you so much, we are delighted with our new garden. We really appreciate the attention to detail, the high quality workmanship and the standard of the finished project. We are amazed at how John & Rikki resolved the difficulties of the site and by the quality of their craftmanship. It was a pleasure to work with them and thank you for making our ideas into something we will enjoy for years to come.”