Six on Saturday (25 July 2020)

Fingers crossed a garden arch will be arriving next week. After the best part of a year umming and ahhing over whether there was room for one without impeding laundry drying (the whole garden is designed around the rotary washing line), if such a thing was necessary (it was), and whether I could find one one small enough to fit the only space available (hopefully it’ll be wide enough to walk through without turning sideways… although I didn’t factor in extra lockdown pounds) I finally ordered one last month. I have a sneaky suspicion the Dwarf Korean Lilac, the Mrs Bradshaw Geum and a few of the stepping stones may have to be moved slightly to accommodate it, but I’m hoping the rose tree I planted last November can stay where it is. We shall see. Anyway, it’s time for Six on Saturday.

1. Let’s start with another Phlox, a white one this time. I think I’m going to divide all of the Phlox plants come the autumn as they’re beginning to take over this border and, as lovely as they are, I’d like to create some space for other plants.

2. I don’t remember acquiring this Penstemon and yet here it is. It’s quite similar to Laura but more purple than pink. I assume I must have planted it last year and I’ll have a rummage through the shed later to see if I can find a label. Will I find it? I suspect not.

3. Next up we have a Physostegia virginiana (or an Obedient Plant) called ‘Miss Manners.’ She grows near the wildlife pond and every spring I nearly pull her up, mistaking her for a weed. It’s one of those plants that looks just as good in bud as it does in full flower.

4. In an attempt to create some breathing space for a Verbena hastata I decided to pull up a few stems of the Poulton’s Pride rhubarb. It’s a variety that can be eaten from February through to November. Planted last year it has only really started to get going this past month or so. The stems that were pulled up were used in a rather tasty rhubarb and sour cream cake and the Verbena now has some more space to do its thing. Win win.

5. Some more of the Cosmos grown from seed are starting to flower. This one might be Sensation Mixed… or it might be something else.

6. And finally… During the lockdown quite a few plants were purchased online. Most turned out to be great, some were ever so slightly disappointing size-wise and a few turned out to be disastrous. A quarter standard Minerva rose arrived at the start of May with shrivelled leaves and never recovered. It was formerly declared deceased last weekend and a refund was provided. Soon after the Minerva arrived I foolishly ordered a quarter standard Rosa ‘Friesia’ from the same company hoping I’d just been unlucky. The rose that arrived at the beginning of June was alive but looked like it had only just been grafted onto the stem. I didn’t dare remove the elastic band.

It’s doing well enough and has just produced some lovely highly fragrant yellow flowers, but the graft seems very precarious, so much so I’ve strapped it up. As soon as the rose finishes flowering I’ll chop the flowering stem back to try and encourage some more shoots lower down, plonking the cuttings in the ground in the hope that some will take. I haven’t committed to planting it yet.

And 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


36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (25 July 2020)

  1. Good luck on your arch construction. Hope it all fits together smoothly. I’d rather like one towards the bottom of the garden to hide the gate. I’ve got a shed coming this week to keep me busy. Though not looking like the best weather for shed building.

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  2. I do like your yellow rose. I hope that your tie to the graft point will allow you to wait for the new shoots to start again from bellow. 🀞
    The penstemon has a nice colour that I don’t have yet. At the moment, the bees love to forage on mine (mainly pinks and reds)

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  3. Oh, it’s the rhubarb for me every time! Forget those flowers – you can’t eat them – and think of Rhubarb Fool, Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding. There’s no need to continue with the list; those two are sufficient reason to have rhubarb!

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  4. Looking forward to seeing the new arch, I wonder if it will be all sorted by next Saturday. The nursery shouldn’t have sent out your rose like that, I would complain if I were you, very bad practice. Lovely phlox and penstemon, such great flowers.

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    1. I have raised it with the nursery just in case it doesn’t make it (in theory their plants come with a 5 year guarantee). I suspect they are so busy but also so keen to make a profit during lockdown that they didn’t care about quality and whether something was ready to sell. I won’t use them again. I have a few days off next week so if the arch arrives I should have time to put it up… and move the odd plant.


  5. Gosh! Lovely photos! I have not seen the obedience plant in years, but it is on my wish list, so hopefully I will order one soon. Most local nurseries do not stock it, so it will have to be ordered from Victoria/Tasmania/NSW, depending on which online nursery has them available. Although we are in the sub-tropics, the temperature here is a lot cooler than nearer the coast, so I can often get away with growing the cooler species. The phlox and cosmos are gorgeous. I do hope the rose survives as it is a lovely colour.

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  6. Your description of the arrangements regarding the washing line were amusing. What a clever name the breeder chose for your Obedient plant. Looking forward to views of your arch.

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  7. I have always like arches in the garden. Got that feeling Romeo and Juliet thing. That’s just me I suppose. There’s is always a place for verbena, glad you found a plot for it. Roses are lovely and that plant that is threatened of death every year. Glad it got Always a reprieve. Snap with the cosmos, liking the pinkness.

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  8. I don’t know much about cosmos, but I do recognize Sensation Mix, because that’s what I planted and yours looks just like mine! I sowed more seeds recently, hopefully there’s time for them to mature. My earlier sowings didn’t produce many.

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  9. Disappointing to see that grafted rose sent out by a mailorder company. I’ve had some amazing mail order plants delivered over lockdown but I my parents in law had some rather dead clematis arrive!

    Physostegia is a beauty and new to me. Thanks for your kind introduction to such a beauty.

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  10. Ah, the perils of the rotary dryer. I too have to make allowances for mine which is why I still have some lawn. I do prefer to hang washing out to dry though, there is nothing better than sun dried laundry, especially bed sheets. Your white phlox is lovely as is that penstemon, but I have no room for anything else now unless something keels over. (I suspect that will happen). And the Obedient plant is going to feature on my post next week! But the rose looks all wrong. I think you should name and shame that nursery. I have become very wary of online companies, often what you get is not what you expect. Good luck with the arch. I quite fancy one too, but worried that with all the wind here it would get blown down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. The pictures shown on some online plant supplier websites and the reality are usually very different. Lately I’ve noticed many are photoshopped with the flowers or berries copied and pasted on! The roses were from a company called Bakker. I’ll give this one a bit longer and see whether the graft heals over. I haven’t been able to find this variety anywhere else in a quarter standard form.


  11. it is disappointing when plants order unseen are a bit rubbish. i have been lucky so far this year, nearly everything i have ordered has arrived in tip top condition. apart from the cornus kousa, that was in poor shape on arrival, but has perked up quite nicely, i think it will be ok.

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