Six on Saturday (23 October 2021)

Well, we’re fast heading towards the end of October and I still haven’t done much of anything in the garden. In my defense the big online order of bulbs hasn’t arrived yet and quite a few plants are still flowering away. But I should probably make a bit of an effort soon, starting with the relocation of a few perennials and digging up the Ostespermums so that they can be overwintered in the mini greenhouse. I also need to decide what to do about my two Ceratotheca triloba (or South African Foxgloves). This is my third attempt at growing them. The first year I managed to raise two from seed only for them to be struck by frost before they could flower. The second year they all snuffed it at the seedling stage. And this year? I have two plants that have once again failed to flower. They seem to be described as an annual or biennial (I’m beginning to suspect the latter). So do I give up on the troublesome things (now and forever) or do I dig them up and plonk them in the mini greenhouse in the hope they might survive and flower next year? Answers on a postcard please (or in the comments section below). Anyhow, time for Six on Saturday.

1. And we start with a plant that was first featured back in May. Geum ‘Lemon Delight’ is having a second flush and I’d forgotten just how lovely the pale yellow flowers are.

2. A mere frog’s jump away is a new addition to the garden. My mother-in-law has a thing for Salvias and ordered several more from Hayloft the other month, including this Salvia ulignosa ‘African Sky’ (although it looks more purple than blue in this photo). Apparently it’s too similar to another variety she has and so a new home has been found for it. Fingers crossed it survives the winter in our North facing garden.

3. The first of the fragrant winter flowering shrubs has started to bloom, and a lot earlier than in previous years. Grown from a cutting taken by my wife from the tiny garden of our first rented home over 10 years ago, Viburnum farreri (I think) has taken a while to get established and has never been particularly floriferous. Admittedly, moving it on a regular basis hasn’t helped. However, it’s been three years since the great shrub shuffle so here’s hoping there’ll be flowers aplenty over the coming months.

4. Up next, the Pyracantha. I have a feeling I may have planted it too close to the fence as it appears to suffer from a lack of water occasionally, resulting in a loss of leaves, flowers and ultimately berries. Alas, it’s far too established and thorny to consider moving now. It’s only a matter of time before the birds start on the these.

5. Altogether now… another week, another Zinnia. Possibly ‘Purple Prince.’

6. And finally… After something of a Dahlia disaster this year, this old faithful has finally got its act together. Grown from seed around five years ago, it spends its life in a pot and is overwintered under the swing seat cover. I really must try and take some cuttings from it next summer.

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 (23 October 2021)

  1. The dahlia is very pretty – I love how the petals appear to be stained by the bright yellow pollen. I need to get my hands on a salvia ulignosa. Such a lovely color. The pale yellow geum against the dark green background of foliage is quite successful, the petals almost resemble ginkgo leaves in fall and the rich gold of the pollen really offsets the subtle color of the petals.

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  2. This last dahlia is really beautiful! You are lucky to have very beautiful flowers still now.
    Regarding ‘African sky’ salvia, I hadone but I never managed to get it through its first winter. Good luck ! (Mine was facing north too, in a slightly sheltered bed, but that was not enough). Keep us posted in the spring

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  3. Keep trying with the foxgloves, could you over winter them inside the house? I just wonder if they like lots of heat coming from SA and all that? No idea really but I’m a bit of a ‘no plant left behind’ person.
    Love the dahlia.

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  4. I seem to remember looking up Ceratotheca, perhaps when you mentioned it before, and intending to get seeds. I forgot and maybe that was for the best. Too many seductive pictures of it online. Very late flowering Dahlias are another dilemma, when they perform as well as yours they are wonderful, when they get trashed by gales while still in bud, as some of mine were this week, you have to wonder why you bother.
    The RHS say grow Ceratotheca as an annual if you get hot summers, as a greenhouse biennial in cooler areas, sowing late summer at 21-23°C and overwintering at 10°C minimum.

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  5. That’s a very floriferous Dahlia, how nice. The lemon yellow geum is lovely. Guess what my V.F. is flowering too, really early – I like it for making a good screen from the neighbour’s house and it smells nice too.

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  6. I have always enjoyed the scent of Viburnum farreri but have removed it from the garden as it had suckered about just too much – especially as it had spread into some large spreads of snowdrops! Not tolerated!

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  7. Both the Geum and the Dahlia are lovely photos Graeme. I like the texture of the Geum and the clean simplicity of the Dahlia. I am giving up in trying to raise plants that need more heat than I can give them. We rarely get temperatures in the mid twenties here in the south-west and I can’t be bothered any more with plants that need a lot of cosseting. I suppose if you can have several greenhouses like Monty then you can have a lot more choice!

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  8. Beautiful zinnia and geum, one can never tire of them. I’ve never grown one of those foxgloves, though they look familiar, so can’t suggest anything, but hope for better things if you decide to keep them.

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