Six on Saturday (15 October 2022)

I visited a garden centre last Sunday (purely for the benefit of my mother-in-law you understand as she was after some heathers) and was alarmed to discover it was Christmas. Baubles, illuminated mini festive villages, twinkling fairy lights, elves, artificial trees, glittery toadstools (because nothing says Christmas more than a glittery toadstool), tinsel, chocolate sprouts… Had I stepped through a time portal and skipped October and November altogether I wondered? When my mother-in-law offered me a mince pie with a cup of tea later that afternoon I was really starting to worry. But no, it was (and still is) October, which is a relief as I haven’t planted any bulbs yet, including a packet of yellow tulips and two packets of alliums that were situated a mere fake snowball’s throw away from a giant cuddly toy Christmas rat at that garden centre. Anyway, moving briskly on…

1. Up first, Erigeron karvinskianus, otherwise known as Mexican fleabane, otherwise known (in our house at least) as Hestercombe Daisy. A seedling of this prolific plant hitched a ride with a potted rose that we brought with us from our first rented home over 10 years ago. Alas, the rose is no more but the Hestercombe Daisies are growing everywhere and have now colonised the crack between the driveway and the side of our house…. and that of the neighbours too. It is pretty though and flowers for months on end.

2. More white, this time courtesy of Fuschia ‘Hawkshead.’ A friend grew it from a cutting a few years ago and I’ve been nurturing it in a pot waiting for it to get a bit more established before planting it somewhere. I’ve yet to figure out where that somewhere is.

3. Temperatures got as low as 2 degrees Celsius one night last week so I’m not sure how much longer the summer annuals will be around for. After something of a Cosmos disaster last year, they’ve mostly done okay this time around (apart from one that got flattened by my better half while she was negotiating the herbaceous obstacle course created by yours truly enroute to the electric and gas meters).

4. As the nights grow colder I must decide whether to dig up some of the more tender perennials and overwinter them indoors or risk leaving them in the ground. Osteospermums have proved a bit hit and miss survival-wise when left in the ground. If I opt for the indoor overwinterage option again though I must remember to water the things occasionally. Last year’s batch were stored in the shed, next to a window, and completely forgotten about. Result? Deceased Osteospermums.

5. Thankfully my first attempt at overwintering Agastache ‘Black Adder’ indoors was more successful (they never survive winter outdoors here). Stored in the mini greenhouse, they were far less out-of-sight-out-of-mind than the Osteospurmums. This one is still flowering and mingling rather nicely with Erysimum Apricot Twist’.

6. And finally…. remember the buds of the back-from-the-dead Clematis ‘Freckles’ that featured last week? They’ve opened.

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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33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (15 October 2022)

  1. This had me in stitches! But my husband would beg to differ about Christmas because, in his view, nothing says Christmas quite like the pink unicorns which seem to appear every festive season in recent years;-)
    Lovely pics & thanks for the heads up that agastache aren’t hardy, I have one that’s as yet unplanted so will need to decide what to do with it.

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  2. Christmas already!? Sigh…
    I was just wondering if I was going to overwinter the osteos indoors. I have several plants and I will experiment in parallel: some outside – some inside. What pretty Freckles! The cluster of flowers is really beautiful.

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  3. That’s a fabulous display from your once dead clematis. I’ve got self sown Cosmos starting to flower on my allotment, the seeds were presumably in last years shredded but uncomposted spreadings. I’m intrigued to see how deep into winter they survive.

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  4. It is hard to miss Christmas at the garden centre isn’t it, thankfully our local one has plants very seperate from the rest, so it can be avoided until necessary. I have seen some people though with trollys piled high with glitter and this was September ! Love your Clematis, very pretty indeed.

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  5. Haha… that made me smile Graeme. Garden centres are definitely best avoided until after Christmas when no doubt they’ll be full of Easter tat. Freckles is a beauty, I’m now wondering where I have room for one. As for Erigeron karvinskianus – I struggled to get these growing from seed and eventually bought several seedlings. Now I am cutting them back and composting them as they have decided that they love my garden! Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing…

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    1. Freckles is advertised as a winter Clematis in garden magazines and they always advise placing it a sheltered position – so I’m always a bit anxious whether it will survive a very cold winter (we’ve not really had one in the 3 years since I planted it). I wonder how soon after Christmas the Easter Eggs will hit the shelves?

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  6. Your clematis has cheerly displayed the Christmas glum! Never start your Sunday breakfast till you have checked and watered all your plants, that way they will come through the winter…not too much. Someone can get the breakfast and you will then be free to do all the clearing away, tidying up and clearing of the kitchen. I have a person that gets Saturday breakfast whilst I do Six on Saturday!

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  7. Clematis freckles is looking absolutely fab. I hadn’t thought of lifting the Agastache to store over winter, but that is such a good idea. They are lovely but don’t survive here either.
    PS I thought your comments about Six on Saturday and the benefits it brings were spot on, but sorry for spelling your name wrong.

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    1. Oh don’t worry about the spelling! My parents went for the Scottish version of Graham and it always causes confusion. My grandma always struggled with it, coming up with some great variations of the name in birthday and Christmas cards and Americans often call me “Greem.” I’m hoping it wasn’t just a one-off fluke with the Agastache lifting and overwintering.

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  8. That clematis is a beauty! I’ve not seen that variety before. You’ve got it looking very healthy. I laughed at your first para…. Let’s enact a law that retail establishments cannot even mention Christmas until, say, after Oct 31st. 🙂

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  9. What a great post! That clematis is a triumph, despite being in a sheltered spot, mine only puts out one or two flowers. Do you feed it? I think clems are hungrier than I realise… I call the fleabane ‘Hestercombe daisy’ too, Hestercombe is one of my most favourite gardens. And that is a timely reminder on the agastache, thank you… I raised two from seed after a lot of faff and I should be very annoyed to lose them!

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    1. Thank you. Apologies for the slow reply. I just found your comment – for some odd reason it had ended up in the spam comments folder, something I rarely check. The Clematis gets an accidental feed as it grows near a climbing rose that receives a feed every so often. I don’t have much look with other varieties of Clematis, with the exception of Montanna. Nice to know someone else calls fleabane ‘Hestercombe daisy’!

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  10. Ha ha I know, it seems they stretch out the Christmas sale tentacles longer each year! 🦋🌸 Sorry to hear about your osteospermums ours grow like weeds over here. And joy of joys I realised you can grow seaside daisy by cuttings too, if you ever need more…but I suspect not!

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