Six on Saturday (24 July 2021)

By ‘eck it’s been hot. Thankfully, Mrs OMAHGT and I had last week off, enjoying days out in Killerton, Exmouth and Teignmouth in Devon, as well as Sherborne Castle Gardens in Dorset. The odd frozen dessert may have been consumed (Snickers ice cream, cider sorbet and a Solero in case you’re interested). In between gallivanting and consuming rapidly melting frozen confections there was time for a spot of gardening. After much dithering I finally committed to planting out the Zinnias and Dahlias (most of them have remained unnibbled so far) and on Friday it was bye-bye standard buddleia and hello standard Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’ (or Japanese/Waxleaf Privet). I’ve been a bit free and easy with the watering during this heatwave but hopefully the rain in the night and the showers forecast for today will replenish all of the water butts. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday.

1. One lot of plants that haven’t minded the relentless heat have been the Lavenders. This may or may not be Hidcote, a nice compact variety, although a monster Lavender had to be given an emergency chop the other week to allow access to the front door. Talking of monster plants…

2. Behold, Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went.’ I sowed this last year and planted several seedlings at the front of borders assuming they were a short variety (like Fairy Lights). They didn’t flower and remained short of stature. Not this year. On a par with Purple Toadflax for height and vigour, and just as popular with the bees, they’re going to have to be moved to the back of the borders come the autumn. Note to self: read seed catalogues more carefully.

3. Like the Lavenders, Sidalcea ‘Party Girl’ (Prairie mallow) has also been enjoying the sun and is doing much better than in previous years.

4. Up next, flying hedgehogs. Juncus ensifolius was plonked in the tiny wildlife pond in February and has done rather well. However, I very nearly added a quite different plant to the pond, one I already had growing in the garden…

5. This Lythrum (or Purple Loosestrife) really struggled in the south facing front garden and was accidentally dug up with a Buddleia ‘Buzz’ and plonked in a pot. It has thrived ever since, despite my shoddy pot watering regime. However, back in February I was surprised to learn it’s also sold as a pond plant.

6. And finally… Polemonium ‘Northern Lights.’ I’ve grown a self-seeding purple Jacob’s Ladder for many moons now, but I only became aware of this fragrant (and sterile) variety after reading a Six on Saturday by Alison Moore last year. Two plants were acquired from Bluebell Cottage Gardens Nursery in February. I’m pondering getting a purple-leaved variety called ‘Heaven Scent’ next spring.

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


32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (24 July 2021)

    1. Thanks. Yes we got lucky with the weather, although it was sweltering on trains with masks on. I spent some time loitering in the chilled aisles of Waitrose and M&S in Teignmouth and Sherborne pretending to be perusing foodstuffs but sneakily just enjoying the cold.

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  1. The lavender does look lovely in the sunshine, as you note, that’s what it needs! I really like the Linaria – I am always having to move too-tall plants that shouldn’t be front of border due to haphazard planting and gradual / by stealth turf removal.

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  2. I know you don’t need any encouragement, but I must tell you that Heaven Scent is lovely. I really like your Northern Lights, one to look out for. This SoS malarkey is very good for the industry, bad for the pocket! The linaria is just lovely. Your holiday sounds just perfect.

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  3. Sounds like a good week all round, far too hot for us to go visiting places, I could barely spend five minutes outdoors! Killerton is still one of the NT places I haven’t been to. Does it have nice gardens? I like your Polemonium, I grew one once, but it succumbed to the winter weather and never been seen since. A pretty blue.

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  4. Killerton is our local NT garden where I always take visitors, but Knighthayes near Tiverton is even better! You chose a good week for your holiday although for me it was far too hot! I had Canon Went for a good number of years , then suddenly it disappeared, goodness knows why, maybe a helpul gardener pulled it out as a weed!

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  5. A nice selection there, and I find that Canon Went is almost a biannual with me. I just go looking for seedlings and place them where I want them to flower the following year. The bees always enjoy these.

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  6. Gorgeous flowers of the Polemonium !
    I also thought that my lavender would have a great summer thanks to the heat we have, but unfortunately a week without my presence and especially without watering seems to have been fatal… Everything is grilled. I hope it will recover … I have already cut all the flowers to refresh it a bit and I’ll see

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  7. Lovely photos. I thought the one of the linaria with the pinks and blues was beautiful. I’ve only ever had the self seeding Jacobs Ladder and don’t really think it is that good a plant. Lots of seedlings, weedy little plants. I would be interested in hearing what you make of the named variety.

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