Six on Saturday (22 October 2022)

Last Saturday evening my wife and I booked a very last-minute break in Bath. Just the one night, heading up by train on Sunday morning and returning the following afternoon. Now when I first encountered Bath, many moons ago, I must admit I wasn’t that impressed, finding it all a bit yellow (something Mrs OMAHGT never fails to mention whenever we visit). Yet as I’ve grown older (and marginally wiser) I’ve come to embrace the whole Bath Stone thing and we tend to make a couple of daytrips to the city every year. However, this time we decided to make the most of the extra time a sleepover afforded, hopping onto a bus to explore a nearby garden gem. And that leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. The American Museum and Gardens in Claverton. One of the first collections I listed as a keen young archivist in Somerset over **coughs** years ago related to the Skrine family of Warleigh, Bathford. It included correspondence concerning the sale of Claverton Manor to Dr Dallas Pratt who established an American Museum there (you can read more about it here). However, it wasn’t until I happened to catch a programme following Pam Ayres around the Cotswolds last year that I became aware of the gardens. It was our first visit and definitely not our last.

2. Back to one’s more modest estate next. While the past few days have been pretty miserable weather-wise, we enjoyed the odd misty morn earlier in the week. The car was festooned with bedewed cobwebs, but they weren’t quite as photogenic as those on this Verbena bonariensis.

3. Fashionably late after a scorching summer, this Japanese Anemone ‘Whirlwind’ has been flowering for a few weeks now.

4. Oxalis somethingorotherus has begun blooming again. Fantastic flowers up close, although I’m less keen on the foliage during the summer as it tends to go rather sickly looking.

5. Now I’ve been meaning to feature this beauty for a while. Geum ‘Lemon Delight’ has been flowering off and on for months but seems to reach the peak of petalled perfection in the autumn (funnily enough it featured as an SoS this time last year). All my other Geums tend to flower just the once, early in the summer, but not this variety.

6. And finally… some more views of the gardens at the American Museum, just because it was such a perfect, sunny autumnal day.

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 caretaker, Jim.


Six on Saturday (1 October 2022)

Last November, towards the end of a particularly tedious bulb planting session, I decided I would seriously cut back on bulb purchases in 2022, figuring the whole point of bulbs was that they should come back each spring. Admittedly some would get accidently sliced when digging up this and that, and a few would inevitably vanish, never to be seen again. Yet surely there were enough already in the ground to provide ample colour for several years? Nope. I’d limit myself to just a few packets of tulips for the odd pot or two.

However, when I was in Wilko a few Saturdays ago, innocently shopping for bird food, I foolishly paused in front of the newly stocked bulb section. Before I knew what had happened I was making my way to a till with a bag of sunflower hearts for the birds and several bags of tulips, alliums, narcissi and irises, having decided it was madness to ignore such bargain bulbs, especially when they would probably be replaced by all things Halloweeny in a week or so. But that was it. There would no more dormant-spring-plants-in-modified-stem-form purchases. Oh no. It was merely a temporary wobble. A momentary lapse. A one-off thing… and so was the accidental online “oops-how-did-those-end-up-in-my-basket?” bargain bulk bulb purchases made last Sunday. Anyway, I think we should move swiftly on to today’s Six on Saturday selection.

1. And we start with a flowering Clematis montana. It got hacked right back to nothing in April so that the Storm Eunice damaged fence could be repaired. Annoyingly it had been on the cusp of flowering when it got the chop and I figured there would be no blooms this year. But lo! It’s almost as big now as it was this time last year and has already managed to escape into the neighbour’s Pyracantha and ivy.

2. Grown from a cutting taken from one of my mother-in-law’s Salvias a few years ago, this aromatic leaved beauty has been flowering for months. More Salvias may be added in 2023.

3. Scabious/Scabiosa/Scabiouses up next. I grow a batch from seed every spring, although some often survive a winter or two. They’re one of those plants that look good in bud, full flower and every stage in between.

4. Whilst a lot of the Japanese Anemones struggled with the lack of H2o over the summer, this Anemone hupehensis ‘Prinz Heinrich’ hasn’t faired too badly. It’s also the only variety in my garden that tends to spread.

5. Fuchsia ‘Delta’s Sarah’ was a new addition back in 2021. Growing in the same border as the Anemone, it’s looking a lot healthier than poor old ‘Army Nurse’. Frequent pinching out of the tips earlier in the year has helped create a fuller shrub.

6. And finally… a Cosmos and another of those rusty metal swallows that were purchased at the Taunton Flower Show in August. I can’t decide whether I should leave the swallows out over the winter or allow them to migrate to the more clement conditions of the shed. What do you think?

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

Six on Saturday (17 September 2022)

Last Saturday afternoon I surprised myself with some impetuous on the hoof spontaneous pruning. The Escallonia hedge that is shared with the neighbours on the right was given its second trim of the year and, in preparation for a possible new fence in the back garden, the rampant yet sweet smelling Jasmine was given a severe prune (keeping a wary eye out for the thorny stems of a climbing rose and Pyracantha that lurk within its depths). I’ll have to ask the neighbours on the left to tackle their side of the fence the next time I see them. It wasn’t the only spontaneous thing that happened last week, oh no. My wife and I decided to spend a few days in Newquay.

We’d never visited this surfing mecca before and first impressions as we exited the train station were a bit ‘oh heck, what have we done?’ However, once we’d discovered the older sections of the town, Fistral Beach, the coastal paths, Trenance Gardens, the crazy golf course and some nice places to eat, we decided it was actually alright. Anyway, I’ve garbled on for far too long. ‘Tis time for Six on Saturday.

1. And we start with Cylamen hederifolium. Acquired from my mother-in-law a number of years ago, it has spread all over the garden and has been flowering for a while now. The foliage has yet to make an appearance.

2.  The pygmy water lily that grows in the mini wildlife pond failed to flower last year. Back in the autumn I enlarged the pond slightly and heeding Fred’s advice, repotted the lily in some new aquatic compost. After a slightly slow start (presumably it has been focusing its energy on producing new roots) the dwarf water lily has begun to bloom. The leaves are also much larger and more prolific this year and proving very popular with the young frogs. Thanks Fred.

3. Growing nearby, a Crocosmia is still sporting a few blooms. I think this is George Davison.

4. And behind George is this Cosmos somethingorotherus, grown from seen earlier in the year and looking just as good from the back as it does from the front. It’s growing in a border that I always think of as rather shady (not usually the best spot for Cosmos) and I suspect it was plonked here in a “I’ve run out of space and patience so you’re going here and will just have to lump it” moment. It’s doing much better than some of those that were planted in far sunnier locations.

5. Next up, a Japanese anemone. They’ve struggled somewhat this summer but all the rain we’ve had of late has helped revive a few. I think this might be ‘Honorine Jobert,’ although I’m sure I planted ‘Wild Swan’ nearby.

6. And finally… Another Cosmos: ‘Brightness Mixed.’ This started flowering back at the end of June/beginning of July and has continued to flower ever since. Short and Marigold like, I think it may be my most favourite plant this 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 Right, I’m off to Somerset Scythe School to do an ‘Introduction to Scything’ course. Wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll still have 10 toes when I return home this evening.

Six on Saturday (16 October 2021)

A brief Six on Saturday today as I’m about to set off for Lanhydrock, Cornwall… once I’ve figured out the trains to Bodmin.

1. First up is a Japanese Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ that was planted in the spring. It looks just as good from the back as it does the front.

2. There are a number of tender plants I’m planning on digging up soon and overwintering in the mini greenhouse, including several Osteospermum, grown from cuttings last year.

3. Growing nearby are these Cosmos. ‘Fizzy’ I think. The Cosmos have been something of a disappointment this year, most not really doing much of anything. I suspect these flowers will have been nibbled soon. In fact, is that a snail hiding in the flower on the left?

4. Continuing the tale of disappointment is this Black Eyed Susan ‘Sunset Shades.’ Grown from seed, they appeared to be doing really well initially but then vanished without trace. “So what’s this?” you ask. Ah, this one is growing in my mother-in-law’s garden, along with the others I gave her. All thriving… and bloomy. Pah!

5. Up next, a free Fuchsia (the best kind). Received as a cutting from a friend earlier this year, ‘Hawkshead’ is doing rather well.

6. And finally… Some casualties of the Zinnia ‘Jazzy,’ Calendula ‘Snow Princess’ and Chrysanthemum kind that are adding some indoor floral cheer in a little budvase.

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

Six on Saturday (25 September 2021)

A fleeting Six on Saturday today as I have leaky water butt issues. Argos sent me two new water butts last year despite only paying for one, resulting in a brief moral dilemma. The little shoulder angel won out over the little shoulder devil (unlike a few years ago when I was deciding how much of the patio to take up), I alerted them to the error and they came and took the surplus one away. Now that WB-4 has developed a tiny hairline crack I’m rather regretting my decision. Ah well, time for Six on Saturday.

1. And we start with a close up of a Japanese Anemone ‘Whirlwind.’ It’s very similar to ‘Honorine Jobert’ that featured the other week but has more petals.

2. Sown from a packet of left over Wilko seed from last year, these Chrysanthemums have been flowering for months now. Allegedly ‘Eastern Star,’ this year’s batch hasn’t produced a flower remotely resembling the illustration on the packet either.

3. There are several Scabious/Scabiousses in the garden of varying hues, including this lovely lilac variety. Pardon? Is that a Gaura in the background? Well spotted, it is indeed.

4. The fluttering blooms (or flooms) of ‘Sparkle White’ appear to dance around in the slightest breeze. Getting a non-blurry shot has taken a while.

5. Next up, Linaria vulgaris (or Common Toad Flax). Sown from seed many years ago, I was a bit half-hearted in my attempts at keeping it in check last year and it has taken full advantage, spreading about even more than usual. I half expect them to start talking.

6. And finally… At long last a second Dahlia has flowered. ‘Honka Red’ is a survivor from last year and was well worth the wait. Little floral windmills of loveliness they are. Will any of the other Dahlias flower before the first frosts strike? I’m not getting my hopes up.

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

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

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

Six on Saturday: late summer colour (5 September 2020)

Well, September is here. A few years ago the garden would have been rather lacking in flowers come late Summer (I’m an Astronomical Autumn and Meteorological Spring kind of guy) but nowadays I think the garden might be at its most colourful at this time of year. Some flowers have come as something of a surprise though and that leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. The Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ appears to be a tad confused as to what season it is. As well as elderberries it’s sporting fresh new growth and flowers. I could do with chopping back the flowering branches as they’re encroaching onto the path at head height, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

2. The Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax) was sown from seed several years ago. I pull it up in handfuls in an attempt to keep it under control, with mixed success. This clump is growing several feet away from where it was first sown.

3. Towards the end of August I featured a white Japanese Anemone. I have another one growing in a nearby bed that I thought was the same variety. But upon closer inspection it’s quite different. The flowers of one plant have a lot more petals than the other.

I went for a rummage through some old plant labels and found two for Honorine Jobert. The top plant is certainly HJ but either a mistake was made when it came to labelling or I bought a third Japanese Anemone and have mislaid the label (highly likely). If the latter I have an AWOL Honorine Jobert. I’ve done some Googling (other search engines are available) and the closest match I can find for the bottom plant is Whirlwind.

4. Another of the Zinnia ‘Jazzy’ mix up next. It’s quite different from the flower that featured in last week’s SoS.

5. A few more of the surviving Zinnia ‘elegans’ plants have started to flower. In previous years I’ve had a variety of colours: pinks, red, yellow and orange. This year I seem to have ended up with various shades of pink. Not that I’m complaining mind. The halo of stars never grows old.

6. And finally… I’ve seen a few Heleniums featured in various Six on Saturdays of late and was puzzled why I didn’t have one. This grievous oversight has now been rectified after a trip to Hestercombe last Sunday. I’ve yet to find a spot for ‘Fuego’ but for the moment it seems happy in a pot.

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

Six on Saturday: stormy weather (22 August 2020)

Well that was a rotten week of weather. On Tuesday evening I started preparing the garden for the strong winds that were forecast for Friday. Metal supports and canes were shuffled around to aid those plants that looked most likely to topple over, including the pampered Zinnias. Whilst surveying my handiwork, feeling quietly confident all would be well, a wood pigeon landed smack bang on top of a small cosmos that was growing in a pot, flattening it. I wasn’t best pleased. It’s still a little breezy out there this morning but, thankfully, everything appears to be intact. Right, time for Six on Saturday.

1. First up is a yellow Crocosmia. I do like a yellow Crocosmia. I wish I could remember which variety it is.

2. The Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’ has been flowering for a few weeks now. The flowers are popular with the bees and I enjoy the fragrant foliage. This used to grow in the front garden but has proved far happier in the back, next to the curving path.

3. Now I always mix up ‘Caryopteris’ and ‘Coreopsis.’ This is Coreopsis ‘Bengal Tiger’, so called because the flowers resemble tiger eyes. Admittedly I’ve never got all that close to a tiger but I don’t see the resemblance myself. I’ve been deadheading it every day… well, maybe every other day.

4. The Buddleia that I grew as a standard has reached mammoth proportions. It always amazes me how much growth this puts on despite chopping it right back each spring. Every August, just before it flowers, I ponder getting shot of it, replacing it with something smaller. Yet once in bloom I change my mind. Popular with butterflies, bees and hoverflies during the day, it’s just as popular with moths come dusk. I really should have planted the new Lilac further to the left though.

5. Growing near the Buddleia is this white Japanese Anemone. A well behaved one too that has yet to make any attempt at world domination. Pity. I wouldn’t mind a few more.

6. And finally… This Wilko pom-pom Dahlia (nicknamed ‘the Comeback Kid’ last year after it was nearly polished off by the slimy ones) survived the winter in the ground only to be set upon by the slugs and snails as soon as the leaves emerged. It was briefly plonked in a pot on the swing seat to recover and then planted out. It’s double the size it was last year and despite a slight mishap last week (the heavy rain snapped a stem off at the base) is flowering away happily.

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