Six on Saturday: a place to hideaway (28 August 2021)

For reasons unknown I haven’t done much stopping and staring in the garden this year. Admittedly, the weather hasn’t been particularly great these past few months (too hot, too wet or too windy) and pots of ‘delicates’ have occupied the swing seat and garden bench for much of the season. I’ve done the usual gardeningy things (sowing seeds, pruning, dead heading, pulling up this, planting out that… and moving it later) and I’ve spent a lot of time pondering what has worked and what hasn’t. But I’ve spent very little time watching the birds and the bees go about their business, switching off and simply enjoying the garden. It’s something I plan to rectify over the long bank holiday weekend… once I’ve mown the lawn, tied in a few errant rose stems and perhaps pulled up the odd weed. It will become a place to hideaway for a few days, surrounded by leafy, flowery things, including those chosen for today’s Six on Saturday…

1. First up is Hydrangea paniculata Vanille Fraise.’ Her white blooms are rapidly flushing pink. From this moment on there can be no denying that Autumn is fast approaching.

2. Another week, another Crocosmia. Planted a few summers ago, ‘Jackanapes’ is finally starting to form a nice clump. They say that breaking up is hard to do but I’m hoping this will be easy to split up in a month or two. Every time it flowers I just fall in love again.

3. I think the superstar of the garden this year has been the Erodium manescavii. Grown from some seed kindly provided by Jim a few years ago, this plant has flowered non-stop since June and is still going strong.

4. Sometimes you need a plant that just does it’s own thing. Originally sown way back in 2012, the California Poppy just seeds itself about the garden, adding cheerful splashes of yellow and orange here and there.

5. Come eventide this Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ really shines, glowing in the fading light. It has yet to make an attempt to take over the garden. Perhaps it’s just biding its time.

6. And finally… Zinnias. I’m beginning to have something of a caught-between-goodbye-and-I-love-you thing with Zinnias. When they do well, surviving the slugs and snails and flowering until the first frosts, I’m happy, on top of the world and think yes, I want you back in my life again. But when they get munched or simply die for no obvious reason I think ‘what’s the use?’ and need a reason to believe that they’re worth all that careful nurturing. Heck, on a recent late night slug and snail patrol I stared up at the stars and pondered calling occupants of interplanetary craft, just in case there was some form of intelligent life out there that could provide a foolproof method of growing them. What’s that? Yes, that sounds a little goofus to me too; I guess I just lost my head. However, one form of Zinnia appears to be proving a lot more resilient and reliable than the others: the diminutive ‘Jazzy Mixed.’ For all we know this could be the holy grail of Zinnias. Well, I can dream can’t I?

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


34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: a place to hideaway (28 August 2021)

  1. Off the top of my head, there are six garden seats – no, seven – but we rarely sit on any of them. We do sit on the seats at the table for meals outdoors alright which is good, I suppose, but we don’t sit and look at the garden very much which is a pity, I suppose.

    The erodium is a topper. I have one – like you from seed – and it was only this year after having it for about twenty years in the garden that I decided I’d like it around the place a bit more. I took off side shoots in spring and simply planted in the garden. Kept watered for a while, they have since taken off perfectly – another ten plants!

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  2. I like the Erodium. Nice colour to it. I just pulled out patches of crocosmia from another garden. Didn’t find it bad to shift. I grew zinnias 2 years back and enjoyed them. I keep meaning to grow again but then I read all the many blogs talking about their issues.

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  3. The erodium is lovely. The hydrangea also a pretty late summer plant. If it makes you feel better my zinnias were all eaten by the bunnies this year, as were the cosmos, beans and fennel. At least you have those little ‘jazzy’ ones, so cheerful.

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  4. I’ve never really understood the attraction of crocosmia ( they tend to be weeds here) but your beautiful photo has highlighted a beauty I didn’t realise was there. I love zinnias and look forward to their appearance in my garden every year. I forgive them wholeheartedly for any misdemeanours!

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  5. That Jackanapes is a lovely thing, but how tall does it grow? The tall ones flop here so the flowers are almost on the ground whereas the wild ones that have ‘dropped in’ are quite robust. I’m chuffed to see my half dozen Zinnia plants flowering, though they would look much better in the ground. Despite how much I love them I am calling it quits on growing them after this. There are other flowers that are much less fussy (like the Californian poppies) which just get on with it. Like you I haven’t done much sitting and relaxing in the garden this summer. One afternoon I managed to go out and read a book for a while. Maybe this weekend will offer another opportunity if the weather plays ball.

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    1. The sun has just started to come out here after a mostly cloudy and grey day. I think I had better luck with my Zinnias in pots than in the ground now you mention it. The Jackanapes is about 40cm high or so. A short one, unlike Lucifer who has a tendency to fall over.


  6. Yes, that Erodium is very pretty. Zinnias never do well for me, and I swear each summer not to bother with them, yet find myself trying again the next year.

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    1. The crocosmia have done well this year although Lucifer still needs sorting out. Tomorrow has been designated sit and relax in the garden day and pretend autumn isn’t on its way. It seems like it was spring only yesterday. Hmm, I almost wish it was yesterday once more.

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  7. I do like the odd internal monologue you occasionally share with us – goofus made me smile. I’m beginning to think I won’t try Zinnias though, after my year of the slugs. Crocosmia on the other hand, why yes, just look at how zingy that is, and slug proof! That’s a great photo of your Vanille Fraise – I like mine best as the flowers fade slowly to brown with still a hint of pink.

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  8. The Erodium is fantastic! I noted Paddy’s method of propagating them; now i just need to source a plant this end! the California poppies are such a pretty colour. This is the second season that I forgot to sow some seed. I will have to try and remember to do so for next year. The Japanese anemones are looking good!

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