Six on Saturday (7 August 2021)

I visited the Taunton Flower Show yesterday and although a far smaller affair than usual there were several plant stalls selling their tempting leafy-petally wares. However, while many of my Cosmos and Dahlias are languishing this year, I was determined not to make any purchases, trusting that my existing plants would pull through. Oh yes, I was going to turn over a new leaf by not acquiring anything in… err… leaf. I would be strong, steadfast in my resolve. I’d give plants an appreciative glance but say no thanks. If something caught my eye I’d just walk on by. If… What was that? Just get on with it and tell us what plants you bought? Okay, a white Cosmos, a little Allium, a sneaky fern (don’t tell my wife) and a lemon-yellow Coreopsis. But none of these feature in today’s Six on Saturday.

1. First up, Verbena hastata. A white one. I’m never sure whether I should chop them back to encourage a second flush or not. I might give it a go and see what happens.

2. I wanted to add quite a bit of white to the garden this year so instead of sowing the more colourful Antirrhinum ‘Circus Clowns’ I opted for this one instead (free with the Garden News Magazine). Over the past few summers many of the snapdragons have succumbed to a sort of rust. Thus far only one plant has developed it. Fingers are crossed it doesn’t spread to the others.

3. Next up, ‘Jackie in Yellow.’ Planted back in 2020, this is the first year this Verbascum of short stature has flowered. Whether it will reappear again next year I’m not entirely sure as it’s described as a short lived perennial.

4. Thankfully, there’s no such uncertainty when it comes to ‘Miss Manners.’ Purchased from Ford Abbey many moons ago, the Obedient plant comes up faithfully each spring. I always intend to get a pink variety but never do. Maybe next year.

5. Oh yes, more white. The leaves of this Phlox are prone to droopage during dry spells, something that hasn’t been an issue this summer. I must split it in the autumn and plant some elsewhere in the garden.

6. And finally… Some full on colour after all that white and pale yellow. Alec’s Red is enjoying a third flush of flowers. Big bold blooms with a big bold rosey fragrance and, being a standard, they’re at handy nose height too.

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


20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (7 August 2021)

  1. This white phlox and that rose are gorgeously photographed ! You too (like Jonathan) have highlighted the verbascum this week. And the colour of yours is very pretty too. Maybe I will present mine next weekend so.

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  2. That’s funny! I knew that you had given in to temptation and added to your plant collection! While you have the white and want the pink variety of obedience plant, I’m the opposite! I have the pink one and want the white one! I like the white phlox too, but will wait to see how my pink variety does in the garden before buying another. Love the rose.

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  3. Love all your whites. I have decided I need more white in the garden again. I have a pink Obedient plant but it has grown so tall this year! So tall that the recent gales have knocked it sideways and I have had to stake it. Do they normally grow to 2m? I am wondering if I can give it the Chelsea chop next year. The white ones I have in containers are much better behaved.

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  4. I just advised my Swedish friend to buy some white phlox for her garden here in Sweden while visiting a garden centre with her (where I am on holiday). I would have bought some for myself too but thought it might be tricky to smuggle onto the plane. There’s a lovely delicacy to your whites.

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