Six on Saturday (6 August 2022)

Another week and still no rain. Actually, no. I tell a lie. We had the briefest and lightest of showers on Wednesday where the rain pretty much evaporated on impact and that was that. Buying new plants during this drought would be foolhardy given the amount of watering they’d need initially… and yet I still found myself returning from Taunton Flower Show yesterday afternoon with several new purchases. However, I’ll save those for next week’s Six on Saturday (oh the suspense). Today? Today we start with brown and crispy.

1. Now brown and crispy isn’t usually something you’re aiming for in a garden during the summer… unless you’re wanting to collect seeds. A few of these seedheads from Aquilegia ‘Yellow Shooting Stars’ have been plonked in an envelope and labelled. I really need to get a move on and sow the Sweet Williams and Foxgloves this weekend if I want them to flower next year.

2. For the first time ever I managed to successfully overwinter Agastache and Verbena hastata (they were dug up and placed in the mini greenhouse). However, those that were were replanted in the sunniest borders (including this ‘Black Adder’) have really struggled over the past three or four weeks, requiring watering on a regular basis to reverse leaf droopage. I have a feeling I should have replanted them much earlier in the year so that they could get more settled in root-wise. Ah well.

3. When we moved here 10 years ago I spent a few years getting shot of an orange variety of Crocosmia that was taking over the garden. I think it may have staged a sneaky come back (it certainly isn’t the other variety of orange Crocosmia ‘Ping-pong’ I introduced a few years ago). It is pretty though.

4. Another plant that has a tendency to run a little too rampant is Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax). First sown from a packet of seed around 6 to 7 years ago out in the front garden, it’s not faring too badly in these arid conditions. It’ll need a spot of ‘editing’ at some point.

5. The pinkification process of the flowers of ‘Miss Belgium’ is now complete. This Hydrangea has coped well with the dry spell, no doubt helped by its shady position.

6. And finally… Zinnia. There have been but two Zinnia casualties so far, yet they’ve been down to the heat rather than the slugs or snails for a change (one of the few benefits of all this dry weather I guess). With the exception of Zinnia elegans ‘Envy’ (the green one) these are Zinnia haageana ‘Jazzy Mixture.’ They’re shorter, bushier and, for the second year running, far more slug and snail resistant than other varieties.

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 (24 July 2021)

By ‘eck it’s been hot. Thankfully, Mrs OMAHGT and I had last week off, enjoying days out in Killerton, Exmouth and Teignmouth in Devon, as well as Sherborne Castle Gardens in Dorset. The odd frozen dessert may have been consumed (Snickers ice cream, cider sorbet and a Solero in case you’re interested). In between gallivanting and consuming rapidly melting frozen confections there was time for a spot of gardening. After much dithering I finally committed to planting out the Zinnias and Dahlias (most of them have remained unnibbled so far) and on Friday it was bye-bye standard buddleia and hello standard Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’ (or Japanese/Waxleaf Privet). I’ve been a bit free and easy with the watering during this heatwave but hopefully the rain in the night and the showers forecast for today will replenish all of the water butts. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday.

1. One lot of plants that haven’t minded the relentless heat have been the Lavenders. This may or may not be Hidcote, a nice compact variety, although a monster Lavender had to be given an emergency chop the other week to allow access to the front door. Talking of monster plants…

2. Behold, Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went.’ I sowed this last year and planted several seedlings at the front of borders assuming they were a short variety (like Fairy Lights). They didn’t flower and remained short of stature. Not this year. On a par with Purple Toadflax for height and vigour, and just as popular with the bees, they’re going to have to be moved to the back of the borders come the autumn. Note to self: read seed catalogues more carefully.

3. Like the Lavenders, Sidalcea ‘Party Girl’ (Prairie mallow) has also been enjoying the sun and is doing much better than in previous years.

4. Up next, flying hedgehogs. Juncus ensifolius was plonked in the tiny wildlife pond in February and has done rather well. However, I very nearly added a quite different plant to the pond, one I already had growing in the garden…

5. This Lythrum (or Purple Loosestrife) really struggled in the south facing front garden and was accidentally dug up with a Buddleia ‘Buzz’ and plonked in a pot. It has thrived ever since, despite my shoddy pot watering regime. However, back in February I was surprised to learn it’s also sold as a pond plant.

6. And finally… Polemonium ‘Northern Lights.’ I’ve grown a self-seeding purple Jacob’s Ladder for many moons now, but I only became aware of this fragrant (and sterile) variety after reading a Six on Saturday by Alison Moore last year. Two plants were acquired from Bluebell Cottage Gardens Nursery in February. I’m pondering getting a purple-leaved variety called ‘Heaven Scent’ next spring.

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 (11 July 2020)

It’s all change come Monday. After working from home full time since the 19 March I’ll be heading back to the office next week. While it felt strange initially, I got used to this working from home lark. I’ll miss the regular supply of coffee, the radio playing in the background and the snacks. So many snacks. But most of all I’ll miss the view of the garden from my ‘office’ (the conservatory) and the comings and goings of the birds throughout the day.

Ah well. As I’ll no longer be able to do any emergency midday waterings of seedlings I’m going to plant out the remaining pots of this and that over the weekend, including (drum roll please) the Zinnias. I have a late sowing of the troublesome annuals in reserve in case the slugs and snails polish off the first batch. But as no rain is forecast for a while perhaps they’ll do okay. Here’s hoping anyway. Right, time for Six on Saturday…

1. I don’t have much luck with Clematis. They rarely thrive and, more often than not, tend to snuff it. However, undeterred my wife and I purchased this ‘Nubia’ the other weekend. I’m planning on growing it up an arch… when the arch arrives (another thing I’ll miss about working from home; being in for deliveries). It looks the picture of health at the moment, flowering away in its pot. Little does this Clematis know that its chances of a long and happy life are slim.

2. Another Phlox is in full bloom. I call it the ‘Pink One’, not to be confused with the ‘Other Pink One’ which is a slightly different shade of pink and which will no doubt feature next week. In the distance is a plant that I’ve been meaning to feature for a while now but I’ve kept substituting it for something else at the last minute.

3. Not this week. The Veronica has thrived since it was moved to this spot last year and has been flowering away for weeks. Popular with the bees, I’m tempted to get a smaller variety for elsewhere in the garden. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted the Jasmine. Despite a severe chopping back last November it’s as monstrously climby and twiny as ever.

4. I’ve grown a few varieties of Linaria from seed this year, including Linaria maroccana ‘Licilia Red.’ It’s rather nice.

5. This slender Penstemon is in full flower. I think it might be ‘Garnet.’ A new purchase last June, it survived the winter and I have a few more growing in pots that I propagated last Autumn.

6. And finally… Crepis rubra (Pink Dandelion). They’ve been in bloom for a few weeks now. Keen to extend the flowering period of these delicate pink beauties I tried a second late sowing of seed direct in the ground a few weeks ago. The seedlings popped up within days… and then vanished. I was puzzled initially but the other morning I watched a young blackbird throwing soil here there and everywhere in the very same spot I’d sown the late batch. Mystery solved.

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 (4 July 2020)

A quick Six on Saturday today without any preamble about accidental plant purchases (two clematis plug plants arrived earlier in the week), plant disasters (something has polished off one of the three Himalayan blue poppy seedlings), the ongoing has-he/hasn’t-he-planted-the-Zinnias-yet? saga (he hasn’t; they’re still living on the swing seat) or mutterings about the gloomy, damp and occasionally blustery weather of late (I really should have cut the lawn earlier in the week when I had the chance). Oh no, we’re straight into Six on Saturday this week…

1. First up, Rosa ‘Violet Cloud.’ This vigorous patio rose has been flowering for well over a month now. Once it starts it doesn’t tend to stop. Lightly fragrant, pretty and popular with the six-legged wingy things, it seems to just get on with things with the minimum of fuss.

2. I’m sure Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ flowers earlier each year. It was beginning to go a little wild so I dug up quite a few clumps last autumn in attempt to keep it under control. When it flowers I’m a huge fan. When it goes over I’m less keen. I was good this year and put in plants supports early on to prevent them flopping over.

3. Another plant that is prone to spreading, although in a far more stealthy way, is Phlox. There are several large clumps that have been split over the years and seedlings often appear nearby. I was pondering removing a few to create extra space for annuals, but like Lucifer, once they start flowering I have second thoughts. This is the first of the Phlox to flower this year. I always chicken out of trying the Chelsea Chop to stagger their blooms, although deadheading usually produces a second flush of flowers in August.

4. Next up, a thyme of some sort. Very popular with the bees and me. I may dabble in some propagation.

5. I spotted this Jacob’s Ladder when I was refilling a bird feeder. A self seeder, it does particularly well in shadier spots.

6. And finally… You may want to sit down for this one, I know I did. One of the delphiniums grown from seed last summer has survived to flowerhood. I think it might be the only one and there’s no sign of the plant purchased last year. ‘Tis a miracle.

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 (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