Six on Saturday (27 November 2021)

Now the chore of bulb planting is over (well nearly, I ordered some more tulips earlier in the week; a special offer and t’would have been madness not to) I’ve almost finished putting the garden to bed for the winter. There’s just a spot of mulching to do, the folding garden bench to put away and the swing seat cover to deploy, although that might have to wait until a less wild and windy day. It’s blowing a gale out there. Thankfully, most of my Six on Saturday were taken earlier in the week when plants were less blurry.

1. First up… Pyracantha berries. Hang on. Where have they gone? I’ve not spotted a single blackbird in the garden for many a week so presumably they’ve been polishing them off while I’ve been at work.

2. There are still plenty of other berries to be found though. Back in July it was bye-bye standard buddleia and hello standard Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’ (or Japanese/Waxleaf Privet). I felt strangely guilty at the time. A self seeded plant, I’d grown the Buddleia as a half standard shrub and kept it in check by pruning the branches right back each spring. Come late summer it could be a mass of blooms, visited by hummingbird hawk-moths and other nectar loving insects, including the odd butterfly… occasionally. However, the past few summers have been surprisingly breezy, snapping off stems before they could harden off, leaving the beleaguered Buddleia bare of both branch and bloom until much later in the summer. This year it was looking very sorry for itself indeed and a decision was made to replace it.

With flowers in early summer and berries in the autumn and winter, the evergreen Waxleaf Privet is proving to be a better shrub for my small garden. As for the butterflies, there are plenty of Buddleias growing nearby and a small Buddleia ‘Buzz’ in a pot for them to enjoy.

3. Up next is the Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise.’ I have a feeling a few of the brown, crispified flowers will be found scattered around the garden later today.

4. Like the Hydrangea, the Sedums are also helping to provide some nice structure in the garden and will continue to do so until they get chopped back in early spring.

5. In early November 2019 I dug up an overly large Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ and replaced it with an allegedly small Eucalyptus gunnii France Bleu. It’s grown quite a bit in the two years since it went in (I’m trying not to worry) but will be pruned annually to keep it reasonably compact and bushy and to produce vibrant fresh foliage.

6. And finally… It’s the return of the Hesperantha coccinea. It first flowered at the beginning of October but is blooming again. I hope it hasn’t been flattened by the wind.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

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27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (27 November 2021)

  1. Very nice photo of the flowers of Hesperantha: mine are deflowered for a long time now. About the Waxleaf Privet, the colour looks quite bright and it must be interesting to have this in the garden in winter.
    Last thing, I have the same eucalyptus which has grown a lot but I haven’t pruned it yet. I just selected 3 main branches and it’s currently over 3.50m. I’ll have to control it.

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  2. I like those waxleaf privet berries, held in denser clusters than ordinary privet. I was going to prune my ordinary privet tree when I noticed the berries and decided to leave them for the birds. Funnily enough the blackbirds have also been at my pyracantha, they must know exactly when those berries are at their tastiest!

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    1. Unfortunately the flowers had just gone over when I got it! Online descriptions of privet flowers seem rather unflattering so I’m not sure what to expect. I’m trying to picture the one at the Bishop’s Palace at Wells. I must keep an eye out for it the next time I’m there.

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      1. It is kept quite low, maybe it is a different cultivar. I love privet, though I do not grow any. I love the scent, I remember up in the ‘HIghlands’ of Mauritius where there were patches of Privet Ligustrum robustum var. Walkeri: you could smell it drifting on the damp tropical air. It smelled of freshly brewed tea. Scents evoke many memories. I had to look up that name, it is not endemic but introduced.

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  3. I appreciate your focus on berries and seed heads at this time of year. They are indeed as lovely as any flower. I also struggle with guilt over replacing plants that have disappointed. The berries of the waxleaf privet are an attractive color and shape.

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  4. Don’t take your eyes off the eucalyptus! We took out a huge one when we moved in and it still re-sprouts from the cut trunk each year. The juvenile foliage is very pretty though. The berries on the Waxleaf privet look really good.

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