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 (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