Six on Saturday (29 October 2022)

It has been unseasonably mild of late; positively balmy at times when the sun has shone. However, the clocks go back tonight and it’ll soon be November. Hardly a sensible time for my first Six on Saturday to think about blooming and yet here it is…

1. … a Delphinium requienii, on the cusp of flowerhood. I read about these in an SoS at the beginning of the year and decided to give them a go. Unlike regular Delphinums, which I never have much luck with, it’s glossy of leaf and slug resistant. I assumed it would bloom next summer (it’s classed as a biennial on a lot of websites) but these seem keen to give it a go now. I just hope the buds open before the first of the frosts.

2. Some plants have flowered all summer long, including Erysimum ‘Apricot Twist.’ Planted in the spring, I wasn’t sure about it initially, preferring the Siberian Wallflower, but I’m now a big fan. It also goes rather nicely with the blue shed.

3. The Zinnias growing in the south facing front garden have done really well this year, especially Zinnia ‘Jazzy Mixture.’ It’s featured quite a bit in my SoS’s over the past few months.

4. Another fantastically floriferous plant (adorned with a sleepy bee in this photo) is Alyssum which has formed a soft white blanket of honey-scented flowers in the patio border.

5. Now I must confess I’ve always been a bit anti-Mahonia. The flowers are lovely and fragrant, but I find the spikey leaves a bit strange proportion-wise for some reason. Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ won me over though with its pleasingly ferny and perfectly proportioned foliage. It’s just a pity the flowers (which are very popular with wasps, bees and ants) aren’t fragrant. Ah well.

6. And finally… a Chocolate Cosmos. Now in its second year, it struggled a bit during the heatwave and has only produced a few flowers. In the not too distant future it will get dug up and overwintered in the mini greenhouse.

They were my Six on Saturday, a meme originally started by The Propagator. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, head over to the blog of the current Six on Saturday host, Jim.

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Six on Saturday (13 November 2021)

Let’s cut to the chase. I didn’t plant any bulbs last weekend. In fact, I ended up accidentally digging some up. What was that? That’s the complete opposite of planting bulbs? Quite. Unfortunately, two other garden related jobs ended up taking up far longer than anticipated. The first was a last minute, spur of the moment thing: digging up a Jasminum beesianum. More rampant than the Jasminum officinale (both of which were already growing in the garden when the house was purchased back in 2012) it was getting silly. Despite a severe chopping earlier in the year it was as tall and entwined as ever. It was time for it to go. I started enthusiastically enough, but over the course of 2 and a half hours (admittedly only marginally longer than it took me to figure out how to turn my laptop off after switching to Windows 11) enthusiasm was gradually replaced by regret at having started the task, soon followed by despair, bargainings with any potential deities that would listen and lots of dark mutterings. However, the surprisingly substantial stump and roots were dug up in the end. And the second job? Well, that leads me to my first Six on Saturday.

1. As soon as I’d put in the small pre-formed pond 5 or so years ago I wished I’d gone for something larger. This year it got rather swamped by neighbouring plants and the decision was made to expand it. The liner and protective fleece arrived the other week and I set about emptying and pulling out the pre-formed pond, a task made more complicated upon discovering overwintering tadpoles (rather a surprise but apparently they can delay becoming frogs if they want to) and 4 hibernating frogs at the bottom of the pond (another surprise, for all concerned). Nearby plants (and bulbs) were dug up, the hole extended, lined, filled with water and the edges adjusted, readjusted and then adjusted again. The tadpoles seem happy enough and hopefully the frogs nodded off soon after they were returned to their new home. I have but one concern; whether the roots of nearby shrubs will extend towards the pond and damage the liner. Time will tell I guess.

2. Not all that far away is the Digitalis x ‘Foxlight Rose Ivory’ that first featured back in July. It’s still flowering.

3. But it hasn’t been flowering as long as the honey scented Alyssum.

4. Next up is Coreopsis ‘Bengal Tiger.’ Planted last year, it hasn’t done quite so well this time (I suspect due to swampage by other plants) but it’s going out with a roar. Well, a loud miaow. Okay, possibly just a purr.

5. When the Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’ was first featured in October the berries were just beginning to turn purple. I wasn’t sure I was going to be so keen when they went full-on purple but now that there’s less colour to be found in the garden I rather like them.

6. And finally… The sweetly scented Coronilla subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’ that grows in the back garden has started blooming and will go on blooming into April next year. No garden should be without one.

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.

Six on Saturday: wanderings (11 September 2021)

I’m actually up in North East Wales, visiting the old Ancestral home for a few days. But before setting off I had a wander around the front and back gardens in Somerset, wondering as I wandered whether I’d find anything of wonder to photograph. Thankfully, my wanders led to the discovery of six wonders, putting an end to both wanderings and wonderings. What was that? You wonder when this wandery introduction will end and you’ll get to see these six wondrous wonders discovered on my wanders? Well wonder no more…

1. The very first time I grew honey scented Alyssum from seed I sowed it in trays, transplanting the seedlings to the borders. It was faff and the following year I was relieved to find it had seeded itself about a bit. Now I just sprinkle a packet of seed here and there in April and let it do its thing. Chopped back several weeks ago, it’s now having a second flush of flowers

2. Another plant I grow from seed each year is Cosmos. A few months ago I wrote about my ‘old reliables,’ plants that never let me down and flower for months. Cosmos was one of them. Well I take it all back. This year they have really struggled and the majority of flowers have been nibbled. I’ll still grow them again next year mind you.

3. Thankfully, Calendula ‘Snow Princess’ hasn’t let me down. In fact it’s one of the few plants thriving in the front garden at the moment. The mini heatwave earlier in the week left many of the plants out the front struggling. Despite a gloomy August I don’t think we had much, if any, rain. Thankfully we had some heavy showers on Thursday.

4. The Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’ has been abuzz with bees and hoverflies for a few weeks now. I thought it was a bit behind compared to previous years but having done a a quick search of old Six on Saturday posts over the years it appears not. Beautiful flowers and the foliage is nice and fragrant when rubbed.

5. Talking of fragrance, the night scented phlox (Zaluzianskya) is flowering. Two earlier sowings of a different variety (‘Midnight Candy’) snuffed it soon after germinating. Undeterred but clean out of ‘Midnight Candy’ seeds I grabbed a packet of these in Wiko, not holding out much hope. But behold, flowers! They certainly live up to the ‘night scented’ thing as I can only detect their sweet fragrance (which reminds me of those pink, white and yellow alphabet letter sweets of my youth) at night.

6. And finally… a Rudbeckia of short stature called ‘Toto’ (does anyone else hear Dorothy shouting after her dog when they see that name?) Pádraig featured one of these a while back and by strange coincidence I spotted one for sale in the Country Market shop in town a week or so later. It was obviously meant to be and was purchased post haste.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday (19 September 2020)

Apart from regular deadheading and watering pots there hasn’t been much to do in the garden of late. However, I’m aware that the September is racing by and before long there will be annuals to pull up, the odd perennial and shrub to move, the Jasmine to chop back (oh joy), mulching to be done and bulbs to plant. Talking of which, this weekend will be spent perusing bulb catalogues for tulips, narcissi, iris and perhaps a few different varieties of my first of my Six on Saturday…

1. These hardy Cyclamen have been flowering away for weeks now. Originally acquired from my mother-in-law’s garden several years ago, they have multiplied, popping up here and there, including the gravel path. More subtle than the blowsy and less hardy varieties that featured last week, the patterned leaves are just starting to emerge.

2. Last year I sowed Alyssum in card trays and then thinned out and planted a thousand or so seedings (well, perhaps not quite a thousand, but it felt like it). Not this year. I scattered the leftover seed I had around the patio border and hoped the previous year’s plants had set seed. They had. The Alyssum finished flowering a month or so ago but was chopped back and we’re now enjoying a second flush of tiny fragrant white blooms. It’s proving to be a good mingler with neighbouring plants.

3. A dwarf yellow Dahlia up next. This was grown from seed last spring and survived the winter in the ground. It’s been a hit with the bees.

4. While most of the Japanese Anemones have yet to spread about and explore the garden, this small double variety has been slightly more adventurous. I’m okay with this for now. Will I regret my easy going, chilled attitude to its reproducing antics in a few years? Answers on a postcard or in the comments section below.

5. Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ has cropped up in this and that a lot of late, including a recent episode of Gardeners’ World. I was very tempted until a visit to Forde Abbey earlier in the week. I’ve visited many times before but I hadn’t realised that this yellow beauty was that very same plant. As lovely as it is it’s also big. Very big, and it dawned on me that I’d struggle to find space for one in my small garden. Ah well.

6. And finally… It’s another ‘Fizzy Rose Picotee’ Cosmos. Weirdly, the same plant has produced two completely different shades – white flowers edged with pink and these beauties.

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.

Six on Saturday (6 July 2019)

I sat on the lawn the other evening, eyes closed, simply enjoying the warmth of the sun, inhaling the delicious scent of the mock orange that hung in the air and listening to the buzz of the bees and hoverflies on the nearby flowers. It was a moment of peace. Tranquillity. All cares forgotten just for a few minutes. I had found my inner zen… until the unmelodious racket of a scrawny young magpie shattered the peace and I began a hay fever induced sneezing fit having inhaled the pollen filled evening air a little too deeply.

I then began pondering what six gardeny things I could share for today’s Six on Saturday, and it was tough. Really tough. But after much deliberation the final six have been chosen…

1. Actually, there wasn’t much deliberating over the inclusion of this one. ‘Miss Belgium’ is flowering. She’s a compact variety that was purchased in the autumn of 2017. This is the first time she’s flowered and I’m rather taken with her.

I’m not sure whether her leaves are supposed to be tinged with red but it adds to her beauty. The flowers are gradually changing from a pale green to a fetching pink. It’ll be interesting to see how the colours continue to alter over the coming weeks and months.

2. The tomatoes are flowering away. Yellow Tumbling Toms and Minibel. And look… tomatoes!

3. This Veronica has struggled for many a year under the big tree at the back of the garden. It would become straggly, floppy and was never much to look at. The bees liked it though.

I dug it up in the spring and moved it to the back of the bed by the curving path and it’s looking far happier.

4. I think Linaria ‘Fairy Lights’ might be one of my favourite hardy annuals at the moment. I grew it for the first time last year after my great aunt gave me a packet of seeds from a garden magazine. I sowed a few of the leftover seeds this spring but there are quite a few offspring from last year’s batch (though there’s no sign of any white and yellow varieties yet). They’re rather striking but also blend in rather nicely with their neighbours.

5. Now initially I was going to include a dahlia in my final six. But then I thought “nah”, the dahlias that have survived the slimy plant assassins of the night thus far will be flowering for months to come, there’s plenty of time to include them (I really hope I don’t come to regret this decision). So the Bishops of Llandaff and Aukland and the first of the flowering dwarf dahilas grown from seed (a yellow one) have been put on hold for now, although you can catch a glimpse of the old Bish of Llandaff in one of the Veronica photos and the little yellow one in my next choice: the carpet of Alyssum and Virginia Stock. It’s one of those happy accidents. The Alyssum was planned, the Virginia Stock was not, but I think the two work quite well together.

The Alyssum also looks good with this Viola.

6. And finally… A few Penstemons have been flowering away for a while now. My favourite is Sour Grapes which lights up this part of the garden. It’s another favourite with the bees.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.