Six on Saturday (30 May 2020)

I don’t know about anyone else but last week seems to have raced by. Gardening at the moment has comprised mainly of hardening off young plants in readiness for life in the great outdoors and watering. The lack of rain is starting to affect the garden; the front lawn is looking decidedly crispy and the one in the back is on the turn. Both will have to fend for themselves. In an attempt to make the contents of the last water butt go that little bit further grey water is being used to water some plants, though showering with a bucket in the bath to collect water has nearly resulted in the odd mishap.

This ‘free’ water came in handy after planting a new standard rose yesterday. It’s looking a little the worse for wear after attempts to remove it from its pot resulted in far more damage than that sustained during its journey from nursery to doorstep. No blood was spilled though which might be a first. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday, and there’s something of a white theme today…

1. First up, a geranium. A white one. Acquired last year from the free nursery up in North Wales (my mum’s garden) it’s settled in nicely. I’m hoping it might go forth and multiply of its own accord.

2. The Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ was added to the garden last summer, along with a Sambucus Nigra ‘Golden Tower’. They’re both flowering for the first time this year. While the Black Lace elder is looking particularly good, the other is looking less impressive and I’m to blame I’m afraid. Both have been covered in particularly nasty looking aphids. I squashed those on the Black Lace but I used a home-made garlic and squirty soap concoction on the Golden Tower. The pungent spray seemed to kill off the aphids initially but a lot of the emerging young leaves began to drop off a few weeks later resulting in rather bare stems. I’m wondering if the soap was too salty and I suspect the poor thing would have faired much better without my intervention. Hopefully it will recover.

3. A mini mock orange up next. ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ is just a few feet high but its flowers have that fantastic mock orange fragrance.

4. Continuing the white theme, the deliciously scented Margaret Merril is looking lovely in the patio bed. She starts off with pink tinged petals that fade to white. She would have had more flowers if the garden bench hadn’t fallen on top of her while I was painting it a few months ago, snapping off a particularly healthy looking stem. Hey ho.

5. This ‘Persian Slipper’ Lupin was acquired several years ago. It’s seems less susceptible to slugs and snails than other lupins, and this one is next to the wildlife pond where the slimy ones tend to hang out during dry spells. Attempts at splitting it have been sort of successful, though the original plant has taken a few years to recover.

6. And finally… Poppies have seeded themselves all around the garden. They can take over rather, smothering other plants, so I’m a little ruthless with them, pulling the odd plant up. However, some have been left for the bees and for the vivid splashes of red they add to the garden. These buds are poised, ready to explode.

They were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at


31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (30 May 2020)

  1. The geranium is so clean and fresh looking. I’m waiting for a white one, g. ‘White-Ness’ I think. It’s been on order for a good while, deliveries have been slow. I hope it looks as good as your white.

    That’s maybe a lesson for all of us to learn about being careful with homemade sprays – but I’m sure, given a little bit of time your Sambucus ‘Golden Tower’ will recover.

    Your mock orange is gorgeous!! I’m having one of those ‘must have it’ moments. Lol

    Adore the structure of the lovely Rosa Margaret Merril’ it’s such a perfectly formed rose, and the lupin also is beautiful – anything that can withstand the destruction caused by slugs/snails has to be one that I take note of. Loving all your featured plants this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret Merril has the classic rose looks and fragrance. I’m hoping the geranium will have a second flush of flowers after I chop it back. Fingers crossed! I was half tempted to chop back the elder but I think I’ll leave it as I like the height. Next time I’ll hang a feeder nearby to encourage the birds to find the aphids!


  2. Great six. The sambucus is looking good in the sunshine. And the rose is lovely. I’m not keen on lupins, but that one might persuade me. It’s so hot here and we will be resorting to collecting grey water this week. Raindancing here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The aphids blend in quite nicely with the dark foliage of the Black Lace elder whereas they stand out a bit on the Golden Tower. I must look up whether you can use the flowers and berries from these ornamental varieties to make Elderflower champagne and cordial.

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  3. That Black Lace is a beautiful shrub. I have seen a few around in local gardens, it must be a good year. I have used a garlic and mint homemade spray quite effectively on the broad beans. No black fly…….yet! Lovely Six-on-Saturday.

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  4. I love the black elders, such great plants, a great foil for others and the flowers are just wonderful! I hope Golden Tower pulls itself together. MM is a lovely rose, I had forgotten all about it, it used to be in a client’s garden in Bristol. Have a great week 🙂

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  5. Just when I had decided I have way too much white in the garden you introduce me to a mini philadelphus and Margaret Merrell. Which of course will be added if i can source the in this plant deprived nation!

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  6. I love the black lace! This made me smail: I used a home-made garlic and squirty soap concoction

    When I tried using garlick to ward off aphids I ended up killing the aphids and the young leaves on the plant. Garlic spray is good for warding of mosquitoes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I managed to resist a flowering Manteau d’Hermine in a nursery this morning; didn’t resist much else mind. A geranium very like your white was one of the things I took a picture of and didn’t use because the white was burned out in the photo. Would it be G. sylvestris alba? I think that’s what mine is, implying it would prefer shade and mine is very happy in full sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Last spring I had a huge invasion of aphids on my roses, and I used soapy water on them. About half a teaspoon of liquid soap to 5L of water. It worked well and didn’t damage the roses.
    The mock orange is a pretty flower and the shrub so generous with its blooms…always a show in the spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The aphids are having a good year, it seems. Some of my trees, like yours, have been coated w/them. I’ve tried the spray also, but there are so many, I spray them off w/the garden hose first, then garlic the plants up. My honeysuckle blooms were lost to the blighters. Love the white theme you’ve chosen this week. There’s nothing so brilliant as a mock orange & yours is delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Sambucus photo is so lovely, what a contrast with the black foliage and pale pink flowers. I have a golden elder but the flowers never amount to much. And at the moment it is being strangled by a wild montana clematis. I shall have to get the shears out soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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