Six on Saturday (20 June 2020)

Last Sunday afternoon, as soon as the neighbours had gone out, I finally got around to tackling the frazzled border in the front garden. South facing, some plants can tend to struggle a bit come July and August. However, everything usually looks all right in May and early June; not this year. A dry and sunny spring left it looking very sorry for itself. A singed Buddleia ‘Buzz’ has been dug up and a self seeded Sedum that I didn’t think I had room for has been planted. Some of the gaps have been filled with Scabious and Cosmos grown from seed and a new Lavender has been added. I also decided to risk planting a Dahlia that looked as though it was big enough to fend off the slimy plant assassins of the night. I was wrong. The little divils relished all the rain we had towards the end of the week and have polished most of it off. Still, the border is looking better than it was, mostly thanks to the first of this week’s Six on Saturday…

1. Last summer I acquired a number of plants from the free nursery up in North Wales (my mum and dad’s garden) including several small Stipa grasses. They’re starting to bulk up now and will hopefully help add a bit of structure to the border. They look good throughout the year (especially in an arty close up shot) and watching the grasses waft about in a gentle breeze can be strangely calming.

2. This Candelabra Primula was also acquired from the free nursery last year and has bucked the trend of previous Candelabra Primulas by not dying. Result.

3. Hmm, there seems to be an unintentional theme developing here. This Geranium (possibly Bloody Cranesbill) also started off life at the old ancestral home. I’ve split it over the years and it’s now growing in a few spots, both sunny and shady.

4. A number of Scabious plants have survived the winter. This one isn’t far off flowering. The buds are just as interesting as the fully formed flowers.

5. Next up, Violas. A number of those that were planted last Autumn are still going strong. Possibly one of the cheeriest of flowers.

6. And finally… An Agapanthus. I planted several in the ground a number of years ago. They didn’t flower and all but one disappeared. I dug up the surviving plant in 2016ish and plonked it in a pot. A few years passed and in 2018 it had two flowers. Celebrations were held and I figured Aggie would flower every summer from then on. Last year? Nothing. Advice seems to vary. They like to be pot bound; they don’t like to be pot bound. They like feeding; they like neglect. They prefer jazz; they prefer prog rock. An attempt to re-pot Aggie with fresh compost last month proved impossible without potentially damaging the foliage. She wouldn’t budge. So she was left as was but given a good talking to and the occasional feed. Aggie is now sporting six flower buds.

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. Stay safe and happy summer solstice!

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39 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (20 June 2020)

  1. A lovely blog. Where do I start. I wish I had a free nursery. The grass looks great and reminds me I need to add some more to my garden. I am a big fan of Primula Candelabras. The photo of the Scabious is fantastic and catches the period just before full flower perfectly. I hope all is well.

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  2. I love grasses it adds structure and focus. Very sensual too. Agapanthus, I never had a problem. They like sunny spots. I usually have a dozen more or less flowers. Just divided mine last spring so hoping I’ll get more out of it. Lovely mix of flowers.

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  3. I have to laugh every time you mention the free nursery in Wales, your garden is in danger of becoming a replica of your mum and dad’s garden (only kidding!). Your arty shot of the Stipa has worked well – it’s a lovely grass for a border. I lost mine last year and didn’t replace it.

    That’s a beautiful photograph of your Scabious – nice that you caught it during its ‘awakening’ stage rather than full flower. I’ve just glanced out of my window and can see some blobs of pink on mine, another camera subject in-waiting.

    Well, now you know how to grow Agapanthus. A good talking-to works wonders for a naughty child and looks as though it’s had the same effect on your Aggie.

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  4. “Advice seems to vary” he says. Never more so than with Agapanthus. That they succeed, for some people, over such an extreme range of conditions, tells you they’re adaptable and tough. I know they’re not slug proof. Primula bulleyana is flowering now for me too, I didn’t even know I had one. It’s welcome, it’s extending the season some.

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  5. You obviously spoke the right words to the agapanthus! I hope you pay back regarding the plants, what do you take in exchange? More plants or what? The primula is stunning.

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  6. Candelabra Primula is something I don’t have in the garden yet. I see a lot in your gardens in England and I should have some here too. Nice Six and your agapanthus flowers will arrive soon !😀

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  7. Congratulations to Aggie, or maybe to you. Meanwhile, did the neighbours go out because you were going to do the garden? I had a primula like that a couple of years ago but it’s disappeared into that place that plants seem to escape to, never to be seen again. 🤔 Anyway, interesting Six-on-Saturday.

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  8. I know what you mean about Agapanthus. Over here, we need to bring them indoors over winter, let them go dormant (I’m never quite sure what that means, or rather, exactly how dormant we should let them me…) then bring them out again the next spring. Sometimes they bloom again, sometimes they don’t. I finally gave up. If I’m going to go to the trouble of bringing them in I want a guarantee they’ll bloom.

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      1. There are of course two different types of agapanthus – one which is deciduous and can remain outdoors and one which is evergreen and needs to be brought inside during the cold winter. I once wrote a post about them on my flower blog: https://wp.me/p3jVw4-37T

        I have a lovely silver variegated one which is in the ground, but not flowering for the second year. Now do I dig it up and put it in a pot? Or is the problem because I don’t feed it? Apparently they are heavy feeders and a dose of tomato feed every fortnight might help. They also like 5-6 hours of sun!

        Mmm… I can see where I am going wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I do agree with you about the Scabiosa buds. The overall look is very striking indeed. I rather like the Stipa – wonderful colours and I can imagine how lovely it looks in the garden. Well done on the Agapanthus! 6 flowering stems is wonderful. It looks as if it is the two toned pale blue flower? Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love violas! Not so much the big floppy pansies. I tried something new this year, which was cutting them back nearly to soil level when they started getting leggy. They are blooming nicely again! They were supposed to be “winter” bloomers and were seeded last fall, but they waited until spring to flower.

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  11. I’m sorry about the Dahlia Gareme. If it’s any consolation I had some badly attached last year but they recoved and put on a lovely show. Loving your candelabra primula. I’m growing a few in the same colour as yours (bulleyena?) from seed this year. They’re tiny at the moment but I hope they’ll develop to look as fine as yours…

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    1. I made a garlic brew yesterday and applied some to the dahlias so hopefully it may deter the slimy ones. If not I’ll dig the badly munched one up, put it in a pot and sit it on the swing seat until it recovers. Just looked up bulleyena – it certainly looks like it. Thanks.

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