Six on Saturday (8 August 2020)

Is it me or have the past couple of mornings had a slightly cooler feel? Condensation on the car windscreen. A heavy dew on the grass. The odd leaf on the turn… and on the ground. I could swear there’s a whiff of the ‘A’ word in the air. I’ll try and ignore it as ’tis far too early for such goings on. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday.

1. First up is Rosa Flower Carpet Ruby ‘Noafeuer,’ a standard rose that was planted behind the garden bench back in May. Lightly scented, it may get moved to make room for a more fragrant rose come November (my wife has fallen for ‘Chandos Beauty.’) However, it’s adding a splash of vivid scarlet to the back border and appears remarkably healthy.

2. I feared I was heading for another sweet pea disaster this year as the seedlings looked rather ropey when I planted them a month or so ago. However, they’ve pulled through and whereas we had only one meagre picking last year we’ve enjoyed a living room filled with the heady scent of sweet peas for a few weeks now. As always, I’ve grown them in a big pot but this time I added some chicken manure pellets to the compost and placed them in a slightly shadier spot.

3. An update on the Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise.’ The flowers are beginning to turn pink. I talked myself out of getting one of these last year thinking the great big blooms might be a bit much. I was a fool.

4. Alas, the Taunton Flower show couldn’t take place this year for obvious reasons. One of the purchases made this time last year was a Verbena hastata. Having mistaken the corpse of a perennial wallflower for the Verbena in the spring, I ordered another one, only to find the original (or perhaps a seedling) some time later. Still, can you ever have too much of a good thing?

5. One Flower Show purchase that definitely didn’t survive the winter was an Agastache ‘Black Adder.’ A replacement was ordered at the same time as the Verbena hastata and this time I’ve taken some cuttings as insurance. The bees love the flowers and I find myself rubbing the aromatic leaves as I pass by.

6. And finally… Back in June Margaret Merrill had just a few blooms. Her second flush has been far more impressive. I’ve been good this year and fed all of the roses on a regular basis. They seem to appreciate it.

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


41 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (8 August 2020)

  1. Verbena hastata has done very well for us here , south east Ireland, and self-seeds gently. I think it’s an excellent plant. I also like the ‘Vanille Fraise’ and others that get that autumn tinge. No sweet peas here this year and I miss their fragrance in the house!

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  2. Beautiful six. Liking them all but I am most attracted to the hydrangea, never heard of verbena hastata ( another one of my must have) thank you. I seem to kill all Agastache apart from the Navajo one. Lovely mix.

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  3. Love an agastache, must get some. Also love that verbena. Maybe next year we will cross paths at the TFS!! It will be our local show now we are too far south to continue to go to Malvern Spring Festival.

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  4. Oh, your feature image of Hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ makes me want to order one right now – the colours are so delicate, it’s a beauty (great photo too). The Verbena hastata is another new-to-me plant. It’s really unusual, I think I could warm to that.

    Re feeding Margaret Merrill – I feed my plants with pelleted rose food twice a year – should I be giving them regular liquid feed throughout the growing season as well? It’s a point I’ve never been really clear about.

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  5. We planteda Vanille Fraise earlier in the week and with rain on them, the blooms are definitely too heavy for the stems. Probably a tunnel grown, slightly drawn up plant. Hopefully it will be better next year. Someone gave me Verbena hastata and I killed it. Might have to get another and pretend it’s hers.

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  6. Six lovelies this week OMAHGT (I must find out your name, I’m sure someone asked before and I have forgotten it – Trevor? Probably not) anyway, I didn’t grow sweetpeas this year as they have been dire the last two, but maybe I’ll have another go and use a container next year. I do miss that lovely scent. My Vanille Fraise is only just producing buds! I wonder if it will actually flower this year at all. And as for roses, I did start out with good intent on foliage feeding them every two weeks, but that has slipped by, although two roses are having a second flush so maybe I’ll nip out tomorrow and give them a spray!

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