First blog post

This is the post excerpt.


This is my first attempt at a Six on Saturday (also first attempt at a blog!). It’s all plants this week

My first plant is Schizostylis coccinea ‘Ice Maiden’ (I think we’re supposed to call it Hesperantha coccinea now). I have a three varieties of Schizostylis in my garden, all in various shades of pink. I found this one at a local garden centre a couple of weeks ago and have eagerly awaited the first flowers. It’s very nearly white! Just a touch of pink.

IMG_2016Number two is Begonia sutherlandii. I bought some as small plugs back in April and they have flowered non-stop ever since.

IMG_2020My third choice is Salvia patens. I haven’t grown this for many years and had forgotten what a beautiful colour it is. It’s taken a while to start flowering but is well worth the wait. IMG_2022Number four is another blue flower – Ipomoea tricolour ‘Heavenly Blue’. I sowed the seeds quite late as the plants don’t like the cold and have planted them to grow through many of my climbers. It’s a shame the leaves don’t last. The photo doesn’t do justice to the colour!

IMG_2035A couple of weeks ago I went to Picton Garden and nursery where they hold the National Collection of Michaelmas Daisies. It’s a beautiful garden and, needless to say, I came away with a couple (maybe slightly more) of plants. This is a photo of an unnamed variety of Michaelmas Daisy that I have had for a few years  it doesn’t seem to succumb to the slugs either


Plant six has to be Cyclamen hederifolium. It’s taken me years to get a decent show of these and now the seedlings are popping up all over the place. This particular one is a seedling from a large corm I bought in Amsterdam several years ago

IMG_2044That’s my six for this week. Happy gardening.

Six on Saturday 17/11/18

It’s been quite a mild week here weather-wise with a sunny weekend forecast and I have the whole weekend off! A chance to finally get into the garden and start serious winter preparations. Last weekends wind and rain took the last of the leaves off of the Birch tree and also the Sorbus featured in last weeks Six. Got that one just in time. So here’s a quick Six before some serious gardening starts.

  1. The appearance of the garden has changed a lot over the last week or so. There’s still a few bursts of colour from Fuchsias and Salvias but they’re fading fast. My main border is mostly filled with herbaceous plants and it’s all about seedheads at the moment.


2.  I’ve still a few plants to plant out in the borders. They’ve mostly been waiting for other plants to be moved! Things can get very mobile in my garden sometimes. I have several Heucheras and found this one to add to the collection. It’s H. ‘Red Lightning’.  Hopefully it will be a bit redder next year.


3.   Another one is this lovely Hebe. It was an unlabelled sale bench purchase that has since flowered for weeks and weeks. The problem with no label is that I don’t know how big it will get.


4.  Hackonechloa macra ‘Variegata’ still doesn’t have it’s full autumn colour yet. It seems late this year. This beautiful grass is planted at the front of a very narrow border and moves beautifully in the gentlest of breezes (and howling gales). The Hackonechloa is, literally, under-planted with Snowdrops. They probably both fail to achieve their absolute best due to sharing the same soil but with space at a premium it works quite well.



5.   Whilst a lot of leaves are dying and falling to the ground the Cyclamen hederifolium leaves just get better and better.

6.    Winter is definitely coming! The Jasminum nudiflorum flowers are emerging.


Right! It’s time to get outside and have fun although the promised sun hasn’t arrived yet. I hope that the weather is kind to you and that you are able to get out and enjoy your garden this weekend. Then when you come back in you can catch up with the other Sixers courtesy of our host



Six on Saturday 10/11/18

As forecast it poured with rain and blew a gale last night and there’s more to come later today. The appearance of the garden has changed so much due to several frosts last week but I hope there aren’t any more for a while as I haven’t been able to get all of the tender plants into the glasshouse yet. The Dahlias have been blackened and I’m tempted to leave them in the ground this year. I’ve done it before and they’ve survived but the slugs are a real problem in the spring as the new growth starts. There’s also the risk of losing them to a hard winter. The jury’s still out. While the deliberation continues here are this weeks Six from my garden.

1. Sorbus aucuparia ‘Autumn Spire’. I planted this in the front garden three years ago and it’s grown! Quicker than I thought it would! It’s getting quite tall already but luckily is keeping to it’s descriptive name. The leaves have been slowly colouring up, although they may all be gone after this weekends weather.


2. I used New Guinea Impatiens and Begonia semperflorens to fill spaces in the large pots and they have been reduced to slimy things by the frost. I had some of the Begonias left over and eventually planted them in a small border behind the garage. I’d intended to revamp this border last spring but didn’t get around to it. It’s obviously more sheltered from the cold (and the wall will store heat) as it’s still looking remarkably good (for bedding plants!).

0E1A4653-00A5-467B-B030-396905F126953. Some Fuchsias are hanging on as well. By now I’ve normally taken them out of the big pots, cut them back hard and put them in the glasshouse. It makes me realise the little micro climates that can be created within a very small area.

4. Whilst on the subject of Fuchsias – Lottie Hobbie has lived in my garden for years. She is very hardy,  lives under the Birch tree and reliably flowers from June to (usually) December. I think she had too much competition for water from the tree roots and has sulked all summer. Finally Lottie has sprung into life just as the frost arrives! 

D42EF24C-E720-4CF5-97F5-5CCDBBF652485. I bought Erysium ‘Apricot Delight’ in the spring and it has flowered continuously and prolifically ever since. It’s smaller, more delicate and more mound forming than ‘Bowle’s Mauve’. The frost has signalled the end of the flowers I think and I now realise that I haven’t taken any cuttings. Oops!


6. Spring’s coming!


Being in the garden is so good for my soul and I really miss being able to go out there in the week at this time of the year. I’m working this weekend but hope to do some serious gardening next weekend. In the meantime I’ll be getting my plant fix from all the other Sixers. Thank you for sharing.

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to read the other Sixes as they appear courtesy of our host


Six on Saturday 27/10/18

The arctic blast has well and truly arrived. The glasshouse thermometer is currently showing just over five degrees inside and three degrees outside. The forecast was for a bit warmer today (it’s currently Saturday afternoon) and I’d foolishly opened up the end vent and the top half of the door before I went out. It’s now all shut up and the cuttings covered with fleece. Sleety rain has also just started. Definitely a day for being indoors reading about other people’s gardens. I took pictures of my six earlier, before I went out when it was a bit warmer but breezy. That’s my excuse for a touch of fuzziness in some of them!

1. I’ve added a few Salvias to the garden this year. I bought some at the Malvern Spring Show but this one had managed to lose its name by the time I got home. However, Jim at Garden Ruminations mentioned a Salvia last week. I looked it up and it’s mine! Label immediately written. So this is S. corrugata. Very textured foliage and amazingly blue flowers which have only just started to open so I hope the frost holds off a bit longer.


2. I have been waiting for weeks and weeks for the one flower spike on Lobelia tupa to open. It finally has! I’ve grown this plant in the past and this isn’t quite as spectacular as I was expecting. It’s the first year though so I’m hoping for better next year. A common name for this is Devil’s Tobacco, not sure why.


3. The last Michaelmas Daisy to do its thing here this year is Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’. This is a shorter variety and was clumping up well until a nocturnal visitor ploughed through it a while back. Lovely purple though and nice open flower for the insects.


4. This plant was in a Six back in the summer but it’s still looking so good that I thought it deserved another showing. I haven’t room for Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ to spread in the border so I planted it in front of a six foot trellis and very loosely weave it through.


5. Not having a lot of space at ground level means that I grow quite a lot vertically, as above. In another corner climbing up some trellis and over an arch is Parthenocissus henryana. It’s said to be more restrained than other Virginia Creepers, only growing to ten metres! I prune it hard each spring as it comes into growth which, I suppose, has weakened it over the years and it doesn’t make much of a bid for freedom any more. The leaf colour really glowed yesterday but overnight they’ve started to fall so I thought  it was this weeks Six or never. It shares the arch with an old ivy and on the other side of the arch is Jasminum nudiflorum. Both posts of the arch have rotted through and it’s only the plants holding the structure up now. I’m priming the Non-Gardener for a winter project. Then I have to decide whether to try to keep the same plants or have a change.


6. Another climber, this time growing in a large pot, although I have a suspicion that it may have escaped out of the bottom and gone through the gravel. It’s Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Variegatum’. It’s very slowly growing upwards and sideways under a window (around the corner). It doesn’t have many flowers sadly, maybe a downside to being containerised but, on the plus side, it doesn’t have a single bad-hair day and looks especially beautiful at the moment. This plant is around ten years old (I did say slowly growing) and has a top dressing each year now that it’s too big to re-pot.


It’s absolutely pouring with rain now so no gardening today. Fingers crossed for a drier day tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy looking at all the gardens on our host’s site



Six on Saturday 20/10/18

Storm Callum certainly made his presence known last weekend and definitely brought late summer to a close. The Amelanchier has lost all of it’s leaves, large leaved plants were shredded and, although I’ve done a lot of staking through the season, lots of propping up was needed. However, it’s been a calm week weather wise, although very foggy this morning, and the herbaceous plants have rallied well. Too much work this week (shouldn’t complain really) so no gardening time at all. Work today as well (so photos taken yesterday evening) but come tomorrow I shall be out there ALL day. Can’t wait! There’s a bit of a theme to start this weeks Six – late appearing flowers.

1. Having waited all summer for Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ to flower I was finally able to feature it a couple of weeks ago. My plants now seem to be very confused as, despite the common name being Morning Glory, the flowers are now opening in the afternoon and flowering in to the evening. This photo was taken at about 6.15pm yesterday (Friday).

AB70DAE8-0293-4F3B-99A9-261D038B1AEB2. Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’ is a late flowering perennial and the first flowers appeared about ten days ago. It’s another name-changer and used to be Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’. Despite being in a sheltered part of the garden it was battered by Callum but has bounced back really well. It’s growing in a fairly shady and dry area and seems to be very happy. It’s supposed to like a moist spot but I haven’t told it this.

01EA7358-18BC-4506-87E2-B5D11A57AAFB5EF51285-DC9B-49CF-8A50-7045B4D138D13. Salvia microphylla ‘Hotlips’ grew really well last year and I overwintered some cuttings. Although the new plants have grown well there weren’t many flowers in the summer as the dreaded Capsid Bug did a lot of damage. Flowers are finally appearing en masse and one plant has reached an incredible size and is going for border domination. It’s over five foot wide now. The rate of growth that some plants achieve in one season is amazing. The time of year affects the flower colour of Hotlips, apparently; red earlier in the season, red and white in July and August and pure white in the autumn. I seem to have all three at the moment.

2D84877A-13E9-4078-8376-68A673929CFE4. There are several Heucheras in the garden and I bought this one a few weeks ago to add to the collection. It is a large leaved variety and I have the perfect spot for it – once I’ve moved the current occupant. It’s labelled as ‘Fire Alarm’ but that doesn’t seem to be correct. Pictures of Fire Alarm on line don’t seem to have the green margins. Can anyone identify it?

FB1E9E2C-1F39-4E31-BAA2-83345689BD705. As mentioned in a previous Six a couple of Ricinus communis have reached great heights this year. This one is now well over seven foot tall and is flowering well but the leaves suffered last weekend. I don’t think that the seeds will have time to ripen, sadly. The flowers are under-stated and only last a day but the seed pods are great. I’ve managed to save seeds from another plant, the inner seedcase ‘explodes’ to release the seeds.

3AACDE74-EC3E-4598-8629-0C301A72EB7C4CD35CE4-D99E-43B7-AC17-C2D909CE14B76. Like most grasses Miscanthus varieties are reliably dependable. This is ‘Silberfeder’ and it has grown slowly over the years and looks wonderful with the sun shining through it. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

747C29CD-531E-4727-AC10-E051BDA076E4That’s another week gone! I hope you have the time and the weather to get outdoors this weekend. Then check out the other Sixes this evening at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/


Six on Saturday 13/10/18

It’s certainly been a week of contrasts – Wednesday evening was unbelievably warm and I was gardening until it was too dark to see, today there are wind gusts up to 50mph and rain thanks to Storm Callum but it’s still ridiculously mild. I’ve been out trying to rescue what I can and now it’s time for a slightly soggy Six on Saturday.

1. I’ve started to gather my pots of non-hardy succulents together in anticipation of their move to the glasshouse for the winter. In the last couple of weeks Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ has sent up a couple of long stems which will, hopefully, soon have scarlet flowers. Exciting! Watch this space!

1EE68DF8-4750-4AC8-8752-0EC417114FE62. Tricyrtis hirta featured in a Six the other week (Jim’s?) but it’s the first year that I’ve grown them so here they are again. The common name is Toad Lily and as I couldn’t see any resemblance to a toad I asked Google why it was called this. Apparently, a Filipino tribe used to rub the sticky juice of the plant on to their hands and arms before going frog hunting. The frogs were attracted to the smell and were easier to catch due to the stickiness. Several stems have been blown horizontal but these are still standing.

C940F328-580B-4EDC-A7BD-E0DD89988679336C6630-0E6A-436C-A485-0C47B37E88C03. The Asters/Symphyotrichums are continuing to light up the garden. S. Novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’ has the most vivid pink flowers, stands really upright at about four and a half feet and, most days, is covered with wildlife.

E58B5DFB-3825-400E-B56F-FCFF2CEBAB164. Another Symphyotrichum, this one is from Picton Court Nursery, whose label is buried somewhere in the plant. Similar height to Alma with slightly smaller flowers this wind-blown photo doesn’t do it justice.

9C156EFB-E0AD-4770-9A76-65CC887B1FEA5. I’ve grown Geranium palmatum in a pot this year so that I can move it to the glasshouse for the winter. I’ve never managed to keep it from one year to the next so gave up on it for several years. I collected some seed a while back, sowed some and have kept the rest for spring sowing. Seedlings emerged a couple of weeks ago and the first true leaves are coming through. Should I leave them in this pot until spring or pot them on individually?

36FB440A-0514-4EED-BB0D-FFE045A5DEE86. My final variety of Hesperantha coccinea has started to flower this week. It’s called ‘Ice Maiden’ and is (nearly) pure white. It’s been a bit swamped by its neighbours but that’s the story of my garden.

11F8FE55-2766-4D00-8CFB-BCA1B6C175F0Another six selected and there’s still a lot of colour around.  I hope the weather improves as I’ve still lots of bulbs to plant in the ground, I don’t remember ordering that many! The pots are mostly done though. Thanks for looking in and enjoy all the other Sixes at our host’s site –


Happy gardening.

Six on Saturday 06/10/18

Autumn has well and truly arrived. The garden is colouring up well and the half hardy perennials are having a last fling. There’s still a lot of colour in the borders so I’m loathe to start clearing them out to make room for bulb and wallflower planting. Can’t put it off for long though! In the meantime, here is this weeks Six on Saturday (the pictures are Six on Friday due to the forecast which this morning I can confirm was accurate).  I hope you enjoy them.

1. I have waited weeks and weeks for Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ to flower. The leaves have, generally, grown very large and lush but now that the flowers have finally opened the leaves have started to wither and die. At least the amazing blue will be very visible! Some of the plants have got very tall and the flowers are way up where shorter people struggle to see them!

C71FCC86-01D5-4CE6-9A56-C54CE95276789B94514D-5806-42F6-8C05-F6C845A099782. The Salvias haven’t performed brilliantly this year. The Capsid bug attacks earlier in the year have meant that the plants have grown to a good size but without many flowers. The bug activity seems to have finally stopped and the Salvias are starting to look great. Let’s hope the recent cold nights aren’t repeated for a while. I bought this one, S. microphylla ‘Heatwave Glimmer’ at the Malvern Spring Show. I’ve taken some cuttings for insurance.

5E08F0BB-D272-4A2D-A5BA-4EB1ED3D6ED5F5A6526D-A517-4A07-972B-38368CF5AFEB3. Although Westonbirt Arboretum isn’t very far from me I don’t get there very often. I last visited three years ago, at this time of year, and loved the foliage colour of Euonymus alatus. The following spring I found a little one on a ‘reduced’ bench in a local garden centre and had to give it a home. It’s slowly growing and the leaves have been transformed in the last few days.

8AE3F02E-CC6D-4F77-B557-FA178E05573A4. I added a couple of Hydrangeas to the garden last autumn and they’ve really struggled with this summers heat and drought. This picture is of one that’s been in the garden for quite a while now. I can’t remember/find it’s name – all I remember is that it was a Japanese ‘star’ flowered variety. The leaves are smaller than usual this year but it flowered well and looks nearly as good now as when the flowers first opened. The pink is deepening with each passing day.

87FA2B53-2BEF-4144-BCCB-2E51E0C50FD65. The Michaelmas Daisies are continuing to add to the autumn colour. This is the first time I’ve grown this one. It’s about four foot tall and, until the recent high winds, stood strongly upright. The flowers are very large (for a M. Daisy) and an insect magnet, except when I took the photo of course! It’s Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘St. Michael’s. The novae-angliae varieties are supposed to be less prone to mildew – so far so good!

DFF18D57-8B76-4A18-A157-A2377B70D3906ABBB0B2-0BF7-4DA4-96A7-3E79C4021CBE6. At the other end of the height scale is this little beauty. It was labelled as ‘Little Carlow’ but clearly isn’t. It’s a keeper though.

F0245827-DB4A-4945-B6AC-FC8941325465It’s a wet, windy and cold day here today so I think I’ll be the gardening quilter and stay indoors and play with fabric. Hopefully, tomorrow I can be the quilting gardener and start planting pots of bulbs and spring bedding and start clearing leaves. I hope you have time to garden this weekend in between checking out all of the other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 29/09/18

After the gales last week it’s been a lovely week here, cold at night (near to zero degrees a couple of times!) but lovely sunny days. The Amelanchier leaves have changed colour almost overnight. The light through the plants is quite different at this time of year and the garden takes on a whole new personality. The half hardy plants seem to be doing particularly well now after the heat, drought, blackfly and capsid bugs. There’s still a lot of contenders for the Six but it’s tricky working out which ones to put in and which will wait for another week or so. I was hoping that Lobelia tupa would make it this week as there was a definite hint of red last week but the cold nights seem to have stalled the flowers. Maybe next week. Anyway, here are my choices for this week.

1. The climbing roses are having a late flush of flowers although they don’t seem as scented as earlier in the year. Is that due to the cooler weather? The flowers are all quite high up! This is R. ‘Graham Thomas’

74A4DF37-1B51-427D-8697-7F0DE1F92C79R. Crown Princess Margarita’

C883F12E-125A-4D48-980C-133F5B08975BR. ‘Snow Goose’

3691869B-6767-4556-9DBA-284C5A40175D2. Last autumn I went to Picton Court Garden and nursery. They hold the National Collection of (Asters) Symphyotrichum. The plants I bought have all done well with a few still to flower. This one is S. novi-belgii ‘Flamingo’. It was knocked for six by the high winds last week but the flowers are still beautiful


3. Cyclamen hederifolium has taken years to establish, slowly seeding around. Now they are popping up all over the place. They’ve been flowering for quite a while but I think they’re at their peak now.

4. I bought a rather sad looking Salvia uliginosa last autumn from a sale table. I took some cuttings but wasn’t too hopeful for their survival. The main plant didn’t survive but the cuttings did. I put them in a temporary home but didn’t get round to moving them before the hot weather arrived. They’ve made very large but light and airy plants. The Cannas with them were some spare divisions left in pots that, by the time I got round to moving them, had rooted into the ground. So there they stayed and although this particular Salvia and the Cannas need very different conditions they both seem very happy. (It doesn’t photograph very well, well not for me anyway).

5. When I was at Picton Court I saw Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ in their borders. I’ve never been much of a fan of Goldenrod but really like this airier version

6. I try to keep as many of the half hardy perennials as I can and over winter them in the glasshouse. Most years I find the dreaded vine weevils in the pots and spend hours picking them out of the compost (always missing a few). This year I thought I would try the nematodes and watered the second lot on this week. Time will tell.

2974DE6E-5C71-42ED-8AC2-93CB4F3C4804Another week, another Six chosen. Thanks for looking in.

It’s a special Six for me as it’s exactly a year since I joined in for the first time. I’ve learnt a lot, coveted a lot of gardens and have a long list of ‘plants I must have’ that I’m slowly working through all thanks to The Propagator and the other participants.

Dont forget to look at all the other Sixes at our host’s site