Six on Saturday (6 June 2020)

I seem to have lost my gardening mojo of late. We’ve had a bit of rain, though not enough to give the plants or lawns a really good soaking, and the recent winds have battered the Buddleia, just as they did around the same time last year, snapping off several branches. Many of the seedlings seem stunted, the tomato plants are a disaster, the garlic floppy (I’ve pulled it up), and some shrubs already have that tired late summer sort of look.

However, wandering around the garden to take Six on Saturday worthy snaps has helped lift the old spirits. It’s got to that time of year when it becomes a struggle to choose just six things and tough decisions have had to be made (apologies to the Daphne and Penstemon that were all dropped at the last minute). Yet after much deliberation I’ve settled on these…

1. First up, the Sweet Williams. They’ve been flowering for a while now. Most have been single colours. However, this tiny two-tone plant is growing near the swing seat. They seem popular with butterflies.

2. It’s no secret that I’m a compulsive shrub mover. The Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ was moved for a third… no fourth time… back in March to make room for a new standard Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price.’ As lovely as the mock orange looks when it flowers, it wasn’t really adding any structure to the border and I was fed up with the aphids that attacked it every spring. However, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the fragrant shrub so ended up plonking it behind the ‘dwarf’ Eucalyptus, near the difficult to get to water butt. I didn’t hold out much hope for the poor thing, but it appears to like its new home and, rather bafflingly, has remained aphid free.

3. Now I’m undecided on this one. It’s one of the first batch of scented Lupin Lilac Javelin plants sown from seed earlier in the year. The pea-like flowers are very pretty up close but they don’t look as impressive as the swathes of flowers that were pictured on the website. Note to self; I must plant the second batch in a mini swathe. The fragrance? Sort of soapy.

4. The Oxeye daisies are adding some cheerful daisiness here and there. They seed themselves around each year and require keeping in check from time to time.

5. Now this is sort of exciting. I planted a pack of Freesia bulbs from Wilko last year and none of them grew. I accidentally dug one or two up this spring and was surprised to find signs of life. This rather short specimen has flowered and has that great Freesia fragrance, once you manage to get down low enough to sniff the flowers. I planted another pack a few months ago. Fingers crossed some more will come up.

6. And finally… A rose. Alec’s Red is a new addition to the garden. I’ve spent a while looking for a red rose to replace one that died last year. The previous rose was always rather disappointing when it came to scent but Alec’s Red is highly fragrant. This one is a standard and a great height for a 6 foot gardener.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

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30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (6 June 2020)

  1. I know just what you mean about losing your gardening mojo, and Six on Saturday is a great antidote. It makes you have a long hard look at what you have already. Your six is very fragrant this week. Love how well the philly has done, obviously the perfect place for it. Shuffling works!

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  2. Strange how I felt the same about the garden, or at least my attitude to it. Good thing we have formed this weekly habit. May Alec bring you some joy this week.

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  3. I have Freesia and red rose envy! Years ago, I tried a few times to grow Freesias but with no success, so I gave up. I bought a “red” rose last year that wasn’t. Anyway, lovely Six-on-Saturday in spite of your stated lack of enthusiasm.

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  4. As I said to Joshua, the ox-eye daisies are very pretty but they tend to spread out. You must regularly take a look at them and remove a bit from time to time.
    Very pretty last photo of rose and these Sweet Williams … Lovely !

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      1. Yes, large handfuls of the daisies are ripped out on a regular basis but it’s useful having a flower I can let Alice pick as much as she likes. Is the Philadelphus in more shade now? Might be helping with the aphid side of things. I’ve got tons more aphids than normal this year. I might actually try ordering some ladybird larvae if it continues as they aren’t coming in naturally.

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  5. Chin-up, mate. That hot sun has given everything a tough time. No 6 from me this week – only just managed to get the monthly update on the garden out and haven’t done the Journal yet…
    Love that freesia – lucky you – I’ve never managed to get any to grow,

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  6. The gardening mojo is often blown away by the wind I find. It returns when the weather is more enticing. I like freesias, particularly the smell, but I’d always put them in the ‘too difficult’ category. Perhaps next time they are in Wilkos I’ll try a pack.

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  7. I planted freesias last year too, nothing. This year I did get some leave but no flowers. I’ll empty the pot they are in and see if there are any corms worth keeping to try again. I love the smell of freesias. And your Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ is looking gorgeous. I think I mentioned to you on here last year that the black aphids are the reason I don’t grow mock oranges, but they do have the most wonderful perfume. I was getting a bit bored with the garden recently, possibly because it’s the only place I have been spending time in since March, but now I have a couple of projects in mind which will have to wait until the sunny weather returns. I am not going out in this wind!

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    1. I don’t blame you! I ventured out briefly to harden off the Zinnia seedlings and returned indoors sharpish. Looking at a June SoS from around this time last year it seems we had blustery winds. Freesias seem very tricky! I look forward to learning more about your projects.

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  8. There’s something compelling about Sweet Williams, perhaps memories of my dad’s garden when I was a child, but I haven’t grown them in years. I often buy a bunch when I’m in M&S Food at this time of year, but I haven’t been to a supermarket for almost 12 weeks due to Lockdown.

    Pleased to hear that taking your plant photos lifted your spirits, I find the garden is a bit lacking during this in-between time of leaving spring and entering summer, when the full summer explosion of colour is yet to happen. And a spell of bad weather doesn’t help.

    I love the soft gentle colours of Lupin Lilac Javelin – my three plants have grown well, but no sign of a flower yet.

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    1. My late father-in-law loved Sweet Williams so we grow them in his memory. They’re cheerful things and flower for ages. I hope your Lupin Lilac Javelin plants flower soon – I’ve just planted my second batch out. I’m a bit worried about where anything else will go – space seems rather lacking!

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  9. I love a freesia & really like the colour of yours. Was there a difference in the aphidy location of the mock orange as opposed to where it is now – light, soil, moisture? Hope your phil likes its new spot since the aphids don’t.

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  10. lovely, glad you forced yourself out to find 6 photos! there’s always something going on in the garden. if it’s any consolation, my onions are complete rubbish, i can’t get beans to germinate for love nor money, and i suspect the garlic will be poor too. shit, as they say, happens.

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  11. Finally catching up with everyone again. As Off the Edge says there’s nothing like doing a six to focus the mind on what is working and all the failures can be left behind. I haven’t any philedelphus in this garden but you have reminded me of the blackfly problem. The scent and flowers do make up for it though. Good to hear mojo is back 🙂
    PS My onions are small and running to seed despite my best attempts to keep them watered.

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