Six on Saturday (4 September 2021)

Online plant purveyors are a canny lot. Despite a determination to remain strong and resist their cunning Bank Holiday free postage offers I ended up having a nose at this and that and before I knew it I’d ended up with Digitalis ‘Dusky Maid,’ Penstemon ‘Wedding Day,’ Rosa ‘Timeless Purple,’ Geranium ‘Lily Lovell’ and a fifth thing that I can’t remember. Some of them arrived yesterday and have been safely potted up.

As well as unplanned point and click plant purchases I managed to spend some time simply enjoying the garden as promised. The sun actually made an appearance on Sunday (as did a dragonfly) and Mrs OMAHGT and I visited a Sunflower field that afternoon, snipping the odd flower for some indoor sunshine. After a rubbish Summer weather-wise, fingers are crossed for an Indian Summer (aren’t they always?) and next week’s forecast certainly looks promising for both gardeners and six-legged wingy things, which leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. Ver-bee-na. I know, I know. I’ll turn myself in to the Poor Plant Punning Police later today. This photo was taken last Sunday. The Verbena has been flowering for months now and hopefully will go on flowering for some time to come yet.

2. Another week, another Crocosmia. When we moved here I spent a few years getting shot of an orange variety that was taking over the garden. A few years later I got a completely different orange variety that sort of looks the same as the one I got shot of and yet is totally different… I think. This is ‘Ping Pong.’

3. I always forget I have Gladioli for some reason. Purchased from Wilko a few years ago, they’ve proved very reliable but have a tendency to topple as soon as the flowers open. The Gladioli Byzantinus I planted in early Spring have yet to make an appearance.

4. Now this was a surprise. I don’t know how this Love-in-the-mist got here (I certainly didn’t sow it) and yet here it is. I didn’t think I was a Nigella fan but having inspected it up close I think I’ve changed my mind.

5. Aster frikartii ‘Jungfrau’ has been getting bigger and better each year. I must split it in the Spring to spread it’s lilac loveliness/lovely lilaciness (delete as appropriate) around the garden.

6. And finally… a miracle. All of the Dahlias I left in the ground over winter snuffed it. I bought a few new tubers and these, together with some that were overwintered in pots, appeared to be doing really well initially but then things started to go awry. Inevitably some were munched by slugs and snails but others just seemed to stall, perhaps due to a lack of sun and warmth. I was beginning to fear none would flower. But behold! ‘Honka Fragile,’ planted as a tuber in the Spring, has bloomed. Fingers crossed ‘Honka Red’, a survivor from last year, makes it to flowerhood soon.

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 Oooh – I’ve remembered the fifth plant purchase: Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White.’


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: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (21 September 2019)

Well, all this warm sunny weather of late has been been rather pleasant. The butterflies have been enjoying the Buddleia, Zinnia and Verbena and providing quite a few photo opportunities.

Though two hummingbird hawk moths have continued to thwart my futile attempts to zoom in, focus and snap them as they dart about from flower to flower. I sat for a few hours with my camera zoomed in and focused on some Verbena that I’d seen one enjoy on several occasions in the past, only for it to choose the Buddleia and Jasmine when it finally showed up.

Alas, it sounds as though the clement weather is coming to an end as Hurricane Humberto drops by. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted. While there’s still a lot of colour in the garden of the petalled and fluttery wings variety (here’s another sneaky butterfly photo taken last weekend…)


it’s not all photogenic loveliness out there. Oh no. This week’s SoS is a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly.

1. First up, the good. I tried sowing some seed from the Clematis montana earlier in the year. I didn’t want any more but I was curious to see whether any seed would germinate. Within a week one seedling appeared. However, it wasn’t a clematis. I wasn’t sure what it was until a few weeks ago, when a bud started to form, and to my surprise it turned out to be a sunflower.

I’ve never had much luck with sunflowers. They usually get eaten by the slimy plant assassins of the night and I’d long since given up trying to grow them. So I’m a bit puzzled as to where this one came from. The only sunflower seeds in the garden are the sunflower hearts I feed the birds. It’s rather nice though and of pleasingly short stature.

2. For the past few years I’ve grown annual varieties of Scabious from seed rather than purchase the perennial variety that I never seem to be able to keep alive for more than a year or two. These annual variety also last for a few years but cost peanuts. I’ve probably featured this purple variety before but it’s been flowering for months now and is looking particularly good at the moment. Even the seed heads are rather attractive.

3. Continuing with the good; following Fred’s advice a few months ago I chopped back the rather straggly looking perennial Evening Primrose and it’s given it a new lease of life.

The flowers add a lovely splash of yellow in the corner of the garden and their scent is lovely.

4. Okay, the bad next. I’ve tried a few late sowings of hardy annuals this year in the hope that they’ll flower earlier next year. These white cornflowers ‘The Bride’ were grown from a free packet of seed and were doing grand until last week. I started to leave them outside to harden them off, completely forgetting that the slugs and snails were partial to snacking on them. They may pull through… possibly.

5. More bad. Antirrhinums featured a lot in my Six on Saturdays last year. However, this year they’ve faired very poorly. I’m not sure what’s gone wrong. Many of last year’s plants came through the winter and flowered earlier in the summer.

Yet the new, batch sowed earlier in the year, were supposed to take over from them. They haven’t. Most are looking very sickly indeed foliage-wise and some have snuffed it.

6. And finally… the ugly. My wife tells me there’s no such thing as ugly, but when confronted with the Korean lilac Syringa meyeri Palibin at this time of year I’m not so sure. While a lot of shrubs gradually take on lovely autumnal hues and retire for the winter in style come October/November, this shrub, a fragrant stunner in June, always looks like it’s dying a horrible and unpleasant death come September.

Indeed, sometimes the sudden transformation from green to crispy brown can start as early as August. I’ve tried watering it, thinking that it’s in desperate need of a drink, but it doesn’t make any difference. ‘Tis a shame, as it stands out horribly next to its green neighbours.

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