6 Ways to Brighten Up November

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member–
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!

~Thomas Hood

Making the indoors cozy makes November more bearable, er, enjoyable!

November is not my favourite month. Okay, it’s my least favourite.  It’s a transition time. The garden has mostly finished for the season, but holiday time isn’t here yet, (no matter how many displays you see in the stores). Days get shorter, night falls quickly. You can almost hear the sound of people rummaging in the closet for their Seasonal Affective Disorder lights. Here’s 5 ways make November a little cheerier in your home and garden.

1. Shred your leaves! Use a shredder (electric ones are about $200 and work amazingly well). There is something very satisfying about turning a huge pile of leaves into a small neat pile of mulch for your garden. Try putting leaves in a garbage bin and shredding with a weed whipper if you don’t have a shredder, or run over the leaves with a power mower.

2. Plant more bulbs. You can keep planting right until the ground freezes. Take advantage of sale prices. Spring will be all the sweeter.

3. Cut foliage for indoors. Make an arrangement of evergreens or herbs with some red dogwood twigs. Anything green and healthy is inspiring indoors. Some stores may already have winter greenery you can buy.

4. Got chrysanthemums? Cut some for an indoor display. I have a huge plant in full flower right now. With chrysanthemums, you can sometimes keep harvesting flowers even into December.

5. Add a bird feeder to your garden. It may take a while for birds to find it, as seed is still plentiful, but once the snow flies, you’ll be entertained all winter by wildlife. When everything is shutting down and going dormant it’s great to be reminded of living things.

6. Candles! At dusk, which comes far too early right now, I light candles indoors. Don’t skimp. The soothing, warm, yellow light from a candle serves as a mini-sun to add cheer to the transition time. A large group of pillar candles, or even 6 or 7 tea-lights on a plate gives a way for those without fireplaces to enjoy a faux hearth. (Don’t leave them unattended though!) Before you know it, a little over a month from now, days will be getting longer again.

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