Six on Saturday (21 July 2018)

As I type this on a Friday evening there’s a faint aroma of sweet earth wafting in on the evening breeze and a gentle pitter-patter sound on the skylight. It seems strangely familiar, stirring up mixed feelings and memories; laughter, kagools and tentative handholding on a second date yet also irritable ‘I’m-not-getting-out-of-the-car-for-a-walk-in-this’ mutterings, kagools and defensive arm folding on a tenth date. The gentle pitter-patter has become louder, more persistent. I know this sound. But it can’t be? Can it? Earlier in the evening the sun was out, the sky was blue and there wasn’t a cloud to spoil the view. And yet… Yes it is. It’s raining!

Wait. No, it’s already petering out. Damn. I doubt that’s done the garden much good at all. It continues to look ever more sorry for itself as you can see from my first Six on Saturday…

1. The front garden is looking almost autumnal at the moment, the leaves having blown across the road from the trees on The Green (oh the irony). Those nice dark patches on the lawn are the charred remains of Prunella vulgaris or Self-heal (yes, even more irony; I hope it lives up to its name). The hedge, which we share with our neighbour, is more of a concern however. It’s an Escallonia and over the past two years there have been patches of increasingly bare and brittle branches developing. Other Escallonia hedges on the estate seem to have the same problem. Our neighbour usually cuts it (he has electric shears) but I had a go this year with my mother-in-law’s hand shears. I’ve chopped it back a bit harder than normal in the hope that it might stimulate some more healthy looking growth, taking the secateurs to the bare patches and cutting these back even further. It’s not my finest bit of pruning (the tops and sides are decidedly uneven) but hopefully, fingers crossed, it’ll recover. We’ll have to just wait and see what happens.

2. Erigeron karvinskianus otherwise known as Mexican fleabane, otherwise known (in our house at least) as Hestercombe Daisy. The first house we rented had a tiny garden but it was stocked with quite a few shrubs by the landlord, including a Viburnum, a Hebe and a rather large Cotoneaster. It also had some of this which later seeded itself in one of our pots and came with us to our new home. It grows prolifically between the steps of the formal garden at Hestercombe which is just a short drive away. Given half a chance it would grow prolifically here too, but it’s fairly easy to keep in check, softens the edges of the path and patio, flowers all through the summer and autumn and the hoverflies love it.

3. The Honesty has suddenly turned all silvery with its see-throughy paperyness. In the past it’s been hidden by the hardy fuchsia (repositioned this spring and sulking) so we don’t usually get to see the seed pods at this stage. The hot dry weather has probably helped a bit too.

4. Yes, more Snapdragons. They’re grown from seed (Wilkos) and you never quite know what you’re going to get. This one’s a bit 1970s rhubarb and custard…

This one’s possibly raspberries and clotted cream…

And this one just looks decidedly grumpy (a bit like me on that 10th date in the rain)…

5. Summer wouldn’t be summer without Sweet Williams in the garden. This is the second batch of seedlings. The first batch were a bit hit and miss in germinating, probably because the seeds were past their sell-by date. These have been more successful.

6. And finally, a brief glimpse of the homegrown standardised Buddleia which has just begun to flower. It’s about 4 years old now, the offspring of a Buddleia that was already in the garden when we bought the house (and long since dug up as it was getting too big and swamping the back flower bed). Last year it looked pretty good until some strong gales bashed it about. This year it got a bit of a bashing from the builders but seems to have recovered. Fingers crossed it’ll be in full flower next week.

And they were my Six on Saturday. Want to join in but not sure how? Then visit the site of the chap who started it all over at


17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (21 July 2018)

    1. It sows itself these days. It’s the white biannual version. I did have a perennial one but it shrivelled up in the heat last month and I fear it may have snuffed it.


  1. Love your snapdragons, especially the grumpy one, its colours being more subtle. But then, snapdragons shouldn’t be subtle, but I do like that one. And how can you not like walking in the rain? Wow . . . your buddleia photo is really nice, the tall spike contrasting the blue sky. Really wonderful.

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    1. Thanks. It depends on the circumstances and other prevailing meteorological conditions as to whether I find enjoyment when walking in the rain!

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    1. This is the earliest I’ve sown them. I usually leave it more last minute! Reading another Six on Saturday has made me think of bulb buying and planting, something I rarely remember to do in time.


  2. we are advantaged this year with the success of snapdragons. I have almost the same as yours and I will soon post on twitter a collage mix. Good idea to sow Sweet Williams now. I should do the same thing…

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  3. That Honesty is beautiful and reminds me of a vase somewhere in my childhood filled and rustling when brushed. Your snaps are pretty. Mine are just beginning to open, all started from saved seed so the results will be interesting. Thanks for the reminder to get sowing!

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    1. It is weird. Sorry to hear about your Erigeron. They’re usually pretty tough. The phloxes are the biggest disappointment in the garden this summer. They’re really struggling with the dry weather.

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  4. I have never seen so many flowers on the Buddleia around here before (my 3rd summer here) so they must love the sun. So many growing wild I guess in the hedgerows along the lanes. But not so many butterflies. Have you got lots of butterflies?

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    1. We’ve had the odd peacock and small tortoiseshell butterfly, cabbage white types and a few brown ones so far this summer, but they rarely if ever feed on the buddleia (they go for the verbena). We don’t see any on the wild buddleias either when walking into town (though again we’ve seen butterflies fluttering around including a small blue one today). And yet when we went to Rosemoor last year their buddleias were covered with them.

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  5. The snapdragons are really beautiful and I like the desserty sounding one, it look delicious! We would dance in the rain, if we could get some here!

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