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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 15/09/18

The rain forecast for last weekend turned out to be the blink and you’ll miss it variety so I’ve been watering like mad again this week. Thankfully, rain finally fell yesterday and everything is starting to look much fresher again. This morning the sun is out and the sky is blue, for a while anyway, and it’s time for another Six on Saturday from my garden.

  1. Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’. This has been flowering for several weeks now and so I thought it was about time it made it into SoS. The lack of rain this year doesn’t seem to have had any effect on this plant at all, it’s a good six foot tall and hasn’t required any staking.

fullsizeoutput_5db2. Staying with the yellow flower theme is Kniphofia ‘Percy’s Pride’, a lovely understated variety of Red-Hot poker. I just wish the flowers would die a little more tidily.


3. The final yellow this week is Clematis tangutica ‘Bill MacKenzie’. I planted this a couple of years ago to cover some trellis that hides the compost bins. It had lots of lovely new growth in early March and was then hit really badly by the Beast From The East. It took a long time to recover but has more than covered the trellis and has been flowering for months. The beautiful seed-heads will still be there well into the new year.


4. It didn’t start out as a colour themed Six but it’s the turn of the pinks next. Hesperantha, or Schizostylis as I’ve always known them, are starting to flower now. I think it’s been too dry for them this year as there doesn’t seem to be as many flowers as usual and they are smaller and on shorter stems. I’ve four varieties but can only remember the names of two of them. These are the other two! A lovely soft pink –


and a stronger pink with darker streaking.

IMG_4178IMG_41795. A strong pink in the garden now is Anemone japonica ‘Hadspen’s Abundance’. It’s got a much simpler flower than ‘Bressingham Glow’ (SoS 25/8/18) but stays as a good clump rather than running.IMG_41756. And finally, I couldn’t resist this beautiful Geranium a few weeks ago. It’s called ‘Bloom Time’.IMG_4181IMG_4183The sun’s still shining so I’m off outside. There’s foxglove seedlings to move and loads of other ‘jobs’ to do. Thanks for reading this far. Enjoy your garden this weekend and don’t forget to get your fix at our host’s site     https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 08/09/18

The garden is definitely heading full speed towards autumn now but it’s been another dry week here and the water butts are heading towards empty again. There’s some rain forecast for today, so fingers crossed they’re right. I finally ordered some bulbs this week, mostly ones for pots. How do people mark where they have bulbs planted in the ground? I always think I’ll remember where they are but the following year end up either digging them up, sometimes damaging a bulb or two or else planting more bulbs too close. I’d be grateful for suggestions. In the meantime here are my six for this week.

1. I have a small border running the length of the garage by less than four feet deep. For several years I’ve grown Dahlias and Chrysanthemums for cutting in it but decided to have a change this year and make an ‘exotic’ looking border. I showed the Persicaria on then left hand side of this border last week. It’s very much a work in progress and, as usual, I’ve probably got too many plants in too small a space but I’m pleased so far. This is the view looking from the glasshouse door. There’s a banana in there somewhere and Lobelia tupa is threatening to flower!


2. Between the two Ricinus in the above picture is Salvia ‘Amistad’, overwintered in the glasshouse and planted back out in the spring. Despite being another victim of a Capsid Bug attack it’s finally flowering.


3. Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ has ticked over for most of the summer and has suddenly sprung into life. I love the leaf/flower colour combination.

63BE27D9-676E-4B7B-944F-BC514D3D8F2F4. In late spring I sowed seed of Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ and I. ‘Crimson Rambler’. Crimson Rambler started flowering in July and has continued to do so, on and off, but I haven’t seen sight of a flower on the much more desirable Heavenly Blue. There’s plenty of leaves!

3A8EECD2-5620-4FA9-90B5-3939AC7272CDEDD78A5C-39A0-4A49-AD2A-891430B107435. The berries on the Amelanchier have long been eaten by the blackbirds, ably assisted by pigeons but other berries are beginning to colour up including a later flowering honeysuckle

3678697E-F452-40F2-BD5B-4B301DFA2454Solanum jasminoides ‘Glasnevin’ (it was windy when I was trying to take these pictures!)

C1D1B1B2-2DD2-48CB-A8F7-D9198AABC67BPyracantha ‘Orange Glow’

97BF0EA4-C414-41DF-890D-F97284A79A51and Sorbus aucuparia ‘Autumn Spire’. I only planted this tree a couple of years ago and it’s suffered badly this summer with the leaves looking like this for a couple of months.

8487E585-39B6-41E5-A095-7D98E4C8E6206. The Michaelmas Daisies are starting to show their colours. ‘Monch’ has been flowering for weeks already and now Aster amellus ‘King George’ is looking great. It was a new plant from Picton Nurseries last autumn. ( I don’t think this one has changed it’s name to Symphyotrichum.)

1BCB5B11-FC57-422B-949E-A70EB0310E84072E6BFC-1304-4DEE-B521-A875DAEB739BI’m hoping for a day in the garden on Sunday and hope you all have time to get out into your gardens as well this weekend.

Dont forget to keep checking in at our host’s site for the latest Sixes as they get added


Six on Saturday 01/09/18

It’s been a calm week weather-wise, the wind has dropped, some sun, some cloud but no rain. Although containers etc need watering despite rainfall it was good to be able to ease back a bit for a while. At least there’s still water in the butts. The recent rain has also given a growth spurt to a lot of plants that were hanging on by the skin of their teeth which means that the garden isn’t looking too bad. It’s been a relaxing week propping up, staking and dead heading.

  1. I bought this succulent, Faucaria ‘Tuberculosa’, a couple of weeks ago but it’s still in it’s original pot whilst I decide where to plant it. I’ve been eagerly watching the two flower buds develop over the last few days and they’ve both opened this morning. Sadly, a slug has also been watching them and was still blatantly munching when I went out. No mercy was shown!

IMG_40792. Last week I mentioned the problem that I’ve had with Salvias, Fuchsias and other plants. Several Sixers confirmed that the damage is indeed Capsid Bug. However, a few of the plants are making a valiant effort to finally flower after months of nothing. This is F. ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’. It normally flowers non-stop from June until the frost but the second photo shows the damage a lot of the shoots have suffered from.

IMG_4085IMG_40863. The grasses are really starting to come into their own now. This is Chasmanthium latifolium. It’s a plant that quietly sits there minding it’s own business and just getting on with it, slowly spreading, not self seeding and not being cropped by the local cats! The Viburnum behind it lost all of it’s developing flowerheads to the Beast From the East and has been eaten and looked absolutely awful all season.

IMG_4087IMG_4089I don’t know if it was me or the plant that was shaking when I took the above photo.

4. Scabiosa caucasica came in a perennial plant offer I succumbed to earlier in the year. They like lime soil so should be very at home in my garden. I planted three of them in a clump and gave the other three away. One of mine succumbed to the drought but the others are flowering. However, they’re supposed to reach about 60cm and these are about 20cm (if they stand up very tall!). Maybe next year…….

IMG_40915. My climbing roses had a great start and then suffered very badly in the drought. I can’t get enough water to them (hosepipe extension?) so they’ve had to cope on their own. However, the rain that we have recently had has given them a new lease of life. This is R. ‘Graham Thomas’

IMG_40966. Although not a climbing plant I wind Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ up through a six foot trellis. It’s coped with the conditions well although I think the leaves are a little smaller this year. I’ve tried to make this bed have a tropical feel with tall Salvias (Capsid Bugs found them), a banana, Ricinus, Cannas, Zinnias and Heleniums. There’s also a Lobelia tupa that is thinking of flowering so will, hopefully, feature in a couple of weeks.

IMG_4095Yes, there’s some Beech hedging in there as well. I kept some spare plants in case there were any gaps in the hedge I planted a couple of years ago. There aren’t but I couldn’t bear to throw the spare ones away so planted them here. Seemed a good idea at the time! I keep telling the Non Gardener that I need a bigger garden. Apparently, I don’t – I just need to grow and buy less plants.

Another week, another Six, what fun. Don’t forget to regularly check back and see the other posts on our host’s site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/


Six on Saturday 25/08/16

Another Saturday, where do the weeks go? It’s been a mix of a week weatherwise – sunshine, rain, strong winds and cooler mornings and evenings. The recent rain has had a huge impact in the garden, the lawn is green (except for the dead patches!) and plants that have struggled for the last few months are suddenly growing again. I’m just hoping that we’re going to have an Indian Summer so that they can do their thing for a bit longer. The downside of the wetter, cooler weather is that the SnS are back and they’re hungry!

Anyway, down to business – here are another six things from my garden this week.

  1. A sorry tale to start with. I grow a lot of half hardy Fuchsias that I overwinter in the glasshouse. The ones that I planted in the borders have really struggled this summer, despite watering, and the ones in pots and tubs have been mixed. Several of these haven’t flowered at all, along with some of the Salvias and a few Geraniums. From the pictures below, can anyone help? Is it Capsid Bug damage? How do I get rid of them? I’ve tried pinching the tips out but the new growth is affected as well. The pictures aren’t great as it was rather windy!

IMG_4048IMG_40452. Another sorry tale. I’ve tried to grow Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea’ for four years now. Year 1 was great. Year 2 started great but the plant seemed to defoliate almost overnight. Year 3 also started great but the same thing happened again. Research suggested that Berberis sawfly is the culprit. The plant is towards the back of the border, the idea being that it would grow up above the plants in front of it. This also means that it gets obscured and so I haven’t noticed any caterpillars. This year, despite my best intentions it’s happened again so today I made the decision to dig it out and I’ll replace it with something else in the autumn. This is the advice given on the RHS website. The sorry specimen is below, post removal.

IMG_40603. On to cheerier things in the garden. The dry conditions meant that Athyrium nipponicum var. pictum, which was so beautiful earlier in the year, collapsed and most of the fronds died. The recent rainfall has revitalised it and also Geranium ‘Rozanne’ behind it.

IMG_40544. The dry conditions have made me rethink some areas of the garden. For the last few years I have planted out several half hardy Fuchsias in the bed around my small Birch tree. They’ve done well there in the past but this year have really struggled despite copious watering. I’ve decided that in the autumn I’ll remove them to the glasshouse as usual then plant the bed up with plants that will, hopefully, need little attention. It’s a small bed, fairly shady but the outer part gets some sun. I ordered a collection of ferns for dry shade from Shady Plants which arrived last week. They were beautifully packed and very healthy.

IMG_40515. I grew Ricinus communis from seed in the spring and they’re all about three foot high and single stemmed but one has really gone for it and is approaching six foot.

IMG_4055IMG_40586. The Japanese anemones are looking glorious at the moment, they don’t seem to have minded the lack of rain. This one is ‘Bressingham Glow”. If it has a fault it’s that it wanders rather than staying in a clump.


IMG_4053In the second photo the plant behind is one of several Cosmos that I have that have made exceptional leaf growth but no flowers. There was a question about this on GWQT but I didn’t feel that the answers they gave applied. I wonder if they’ll flower before the frost gets them?

That’s my Six for this week, thanks for reading about them. The forecast for tomorrow is awful so I may be the gardening quilter instead. Don’t forget to check back to our host’s site to see all of the other Sixes as they are added



Six on Saturday 18/08/18

Hooray! The water butts are all full, the grass is showing signs of recovery (it’s always making room for more plants so there’s not a lot of it) and the plants in the borders are looking much happier. We’ve had significant rainfall in the last week, mostly while away in Falmouth so all is good. Well, if I can have a tiny moan, it’s been rather/very  windy and pots keep blowing over………..

Anyway, time for this week’s Six on Saturday.

1. The only veg that I grow now are tomatoes and peppers in the glasshouse. It’s been a tricky year as it’s been so hot but the peppers have suddenly all come on at once. I grew one grafted bell pepper (to see if it was worth paying the extra), three regular bell peppers and one chilli pepper. There was, sadly, quite a period when the fruit either didn’t set or else fell off when tiny. I’m blaming the heat. I normally grow them at ground level but tried them on the bench this year so that they could have more light! Although there’s net to shade them I think they are too near the roof now.


70C9BDDA-5F80-43C8-8BC1-25A0F34BD2CCB9250786-B2FE-43CF-A9F7-BCE69F11906DI hadn’t noticed the bindweed coming up in the corner until I wrote this! My neighbour cultivates it along with brambles (sorry, blackberries).

2. After being away for a few days there was a lot of deadheading to do. The rain has brought all of the SnS out from their hidey holes but I didn’t think they were responsible for this damage to a fuchsia in a pot.

C6A4F8A2-D7D7-4195-BD28-EA8FFF013929There was indeed a slug in there but then I found these monsters

56FC1F4E-8E37-4255-9139-779E0C2CC83EElephant Hawk Moth caterpillars. I’ve never noticed them in the garden before and have never seen the moth. They’ve been re-homed in another part of the garden.

3. Whilst on the subject of monsters, this Dahlia has been left in the ground for the last two winters. It’s one of three that I grow in a small border for cutting. They grow to about a metre and a bit tall. Two of the three have struggled this year but this one is a good two metres tall with stems like bamboo canes! You can have too much of a good thing sometimes.

3C361E85-254F-4083-A3FD-B4860FEAE46D.jpeg4. The hanging baskets (all two of them) have survived the heat due, I think, to the automatic drip watering system. They’ve had the occasional top-up water when I’ve fed them but, overall, they’ve had far less water than I’d normally give them, half of which usually runs out of the bottom of the basket.

641D03CF-9C6F-4FCD-B87B-D44D05D1190F5. Behind this sleeper is a tiny border with a rather large Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ on my boundary with next door and a Lamprocapnos (Dicentra) spectabile. The front of the bed has snowdrops in the spring and then this Hakonechloa macra ‘Variegata’ grows through as the snowdrops die back. There’s a bit more not in the picture and it’s taken a few years of dividing and replanting of the original plant.

79A6DA33-8667-4DDE-8583-05CD284BF61A6. Is it me or are the Cyclamen through earlier this year? It’s taken years of lifting and moving seedlings around but  I have them in several areas of the garden now. They seed easily in my gravel paths. I love seeing them emerge from a patch of seemingly bare earth but they also, sadly, mark the end of summer to me.

4A440C1D-0E8F-45FD-A84C-D7FF934930DFTalk of the end of summer is a bit of a sad note to end on, sorry, so cheer yourself up by visiting other Sixers gardens courtesy of our host at



Six on Saturday 11/08/18

At last – rain, glorious rain! After a couple of false starts during the week it finally arrived on Thursday night. I could hear the garden cheering. There’s more forecast for us for the weekend so, hopefully, the water butts will fill and I will finally be able to give my potted acid loving plants something better than the hard water they’ve endured for weeks on end. I’ve had a wonderful time in the garden this week catching up with all of the dead-heading, staking, cutting down etc that hasn’t been done due to a manic July. The stronger colours of autumn are coming through now, altering the look of the borders. Without further ado, here are my six for this week.

1. A cool coloured plant to start with before the autumn heat selection. Clematis viticella ‘Alba Luxurians’. I grow mostly viticella type Clematis because I had a huge problem with wilt many years ago. This one grows on the north facing front of the house through a Pyracantha. It had got very large  over the years and so I removed half of the root the year before last. The early flowers are never sure if they’re leaves or flowers but as time goes on the flowers get whiter and the petal shape sorts itself out.

891E3675-D844-4C2C-A190-77D2CAE7C1432. The Allium ‘Christophii’ seedheads last well into the winter but they tend to fall over at this time of year as they dry and detach from the bulbs . I take some indoors but they are so structural it’s good to have them in the border as well. It’s taken me a while to come up with a solution – push half the length of a 12” thin green cane into the ground by the bulb then feed the rest of the cane up the hollow stem of the Allium (I cut the bottom couple of inches off of the stem first). Others have probably been doing this for years but I can be a bit slow……

Before –

C1C5B43D-C9D1-4A8C-BB7C-7182E378DB99After –

A3694BA2-7348-4BFF-9B48-FFAF6D5FA44D3. More by luck than planning this Lobelia x speciosa ‘Hadspen Purple’ (a new variety to my garden) looks glorious with Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily McKenzie’ (what a mouthful).

9C14D9CA-92B9-47E3-8A20-85AC885F47B54. Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ was hit badly by the SnS earlier in the season but the clump has come back really well considering. I’m hoping to divide it in the autumn. The flowers are an insect magnet. More ‘Emily McKenzie’ in this part of the border.


5. I’ve had a mixed year with Dahlias. The SnS hit some badly before the droughtish weather arrived, I haven’t been able to water some of them enough and their flowering is greatly diminished but some have done well despite everything. This one is ‘Nuit d’ete’. It’s a really dark, velvety red, the photo doesn’t really do it justice.We’re in Falmouth for a few days and I’m hoping to persuade the Non Gardener to visit the National Dahlia Collection garden. They suffered badly with the awful weather and were, sadly, unable to supply about two thirds of the cuttings that I’d ordered. I’m hoping to buy some plants instead! I wonder if he’ll notice them in the car?

99227BC4-15F7-4247-90FB-A3794EBA081A6. The first flower of  sunflower ‘Wahoo’ featured a few weeks ago. It’s getting into its stride now. There are more buds forming further down the plant. The bees love it and spend ages on the flowers and get covered in pollen.

F7075EFC-3D7E-49C1-9C8E-8422197ECF6C119531F9-23AB-41BE-8606-0D10907847BCSo that’s another week and another Six. It’s quiet work-wise so I’m hoping for lots more time in the garden next week. It may be a small garden but I’ve managed to make it lovely and labour intensive! I hope you get to spend some time in yours as well. Don’t forget to keep checking back to our host’s site to see the other Sixes and add more plants to the must try list.


Six on Saturday 04/08/18

Here in my North Somerset garden July finished with a very short burst of longed for rain sadly accompanied by gale force winds! I was in Belfast at the time admiring the green grass through the rain soaked windows while back home the Non Gardener was desperately trying to prop plants up and keep pots from blowing over too often. Since I’ve been back the rain has vanished and high temperatures have returned. In the few days that I was away some plants seem to have flowered and gone past their peak already but here’s six for this week, five looking good and one that could do better.

1. Zantedeschia ‘Red Charm’. Like Z. ‘Mango’ (SoS 14/07/18) I bought this rhizome at the RHS Malvern Spring Show.

FDEA2922-266E-4935-8D44-E0661327D47C2. I grew Eucomis bicolor from seed several years ago. I grew some in pots for a couple of years as I wasn’t sure how hardy they would be. The answer was very hardy and so I planted a group in a border. However, the slugs and snails love the new growth, the leaves that survived the munching grew so large that they covered their neighbours and the flower stems had to be staked. This situation carried on for a few years and then last autumn I dug the bulbs up and planted the largest ones in a couple of pots. The flowers have a slightly “off” smell and seem to attract flies rather than bees but the flower structure more than makes up for that. You can see how they get their common name of Pineapple Lily.

48D46DCE-D6FA-499C-80A7-CDFBAB6465BFE61E2C6E-9BED-4F61-8B31-A45D90E07B453. Geranium ‘Rosanne’ has been very slow to flower this year. It’s growing in a dry, shady spot and usually gives a long, good display. I’m assuming that it isn’t enjoying the exceptionally dry weather and the few flowers that have finally arrived are about half the usual size.

23E0F3B1-17CF-4DE6-A1A9-CFF92C7DFEA54. There are signs throughout the garden that the summer is starting to transition towards autumn. The first Anemone japonica flowers have opened, stronger colours are appearing and the Crocosmias are in full flower. This one is ‘Emily McKenzie’, I love the markings on the flower centres. Some Crocosmias can be a bit thuggish but I find Emily M to be well behaved. (Sorry, the first picture isn’t a great photo)


A03625E6-BA7C-4C86-828D-41C69AC94BC25. The first Michaelmas Daisy is in full swing – Aster frikartii ‘Monch’.

C6D8623F-A727-4ABC-B045-3B77C7C7097C6. Some years I can grow Rudbeckias from seed and some I can’t. This year I could! These are R. hirta ‘Rustic Dwarf’ and they seem to have thrived in the heat. It’s a shame that they’re just annuals as the yellow/mahogany colour combination is wonderful.

C794A909-D980-4961-B414-C714072D9624Having spent a lot of July not in the garden due to holiday, working away and visiting family I have severe withdrawal symptoms. I’m really looking forward now to a few quiet weeks where the garden can take priority. I’ll also have more time to read all of the Sixes! I hope you can find time to enjoy time in your garden this week as well.

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