Six on Saturday 04/07/20

Another week of mixed weather, although we haven’t had a great deal of sunshine here. Last weekends gusty winds didn’t do too much damage although the Birch tree lost a lot of leaves. It’s forecast to be another windy weekend and it’s mizzly here at the moment. Come back summer, all is forgiven.
Last week Granny showed a long view of her garden and it was lovely to see it. I always enjoy seeing the bigger picture of other Sixer’s gardens and Jim’s videos take it a new height. Even though it’s small I can’t actually see much of the garden from the house as we live on a corner plot so the garden runs narrowly along the side and the larger part is actually in front of the house on the opposite side of the drive to the front garden. Inspired by the above I thought I would show a different view of it each week and then focus on some of the plants in that area. Sounds like a good plan anyway.

  1. If I step out the back door and look to the left this is the view of the actual back garden – a patio area with a step up into a triangular area. There is a little froggy pond up here with some resident frogs but no tadpoles this year (by contrast, the froggy pond in the front garden is over run with baby froglets). The golden privet in the corner is in full bloom and getting rather large. I’m sure the neighbours would rather I gave it a prune. These photos were taken yesterday afternoon and there were three suet balls in the feeder a few hours before!

2. The fence on the right faces north(ish). On the far side of the pond is a little bed with some shade lovers in including this Heuchera ‘Binoche’. The white bits all over the ground and plants are the fallen privet flowers. It was also just starting to rain, hence the spots on the leaves.

3. I gave up growing Hostas a few years ago as they always ended up with tattered leaves. In a moment of madness I succumbed to an offer last year for five un-named Hostas. Three seem to be the same variegated variety, there’s a plain leaved variety and one with a much smaller habit than the others. Amazingly, they are all doing well so far. The frogs and hedgehogs must be doing a good job. This is the dwarf one.

4. The soil beneath the shrubs lining the fence is, not surprisingly, full of roots and quite shaded. There are a lot of Snowdrops in there that make a lovely early spring show together with some Hellebores. They are followed by the Lamprocapnos (behind the Hakonechloa in the first picture) and then Anemone japonica ‘Pamina’. Last year I visited the beautiful garden at Kiftsgate and bought a couple of plants, including Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii’. I have a spot for it in the (mainly) herbaceous border but it needed to be a bit bigger before taking its chances in there. I have stood the pot behind the Anemone in a space left after I heavily pruned the Garrya elliptica. It’s done really well and I love the flower shape and colour in the border. It’s very tempting to permanently plant the Hydrangea here but as the Garrya grows back it will cause the Hydrangea to lean forward so I’m fighting the temptation!

5. The little bed on the opposite side of the gravel path spends a lot of time in the sun. It’s amazing the difference in conditions over just a couple of feet. It also has a mains sewer pipe running underneath it so the soil isn’t very deep in places. I tried some Echinacea purpurea ‘lostlabelus’ here last year and they did well and overwintered. They have survived an early attack by SnS and the flowers are beginning to show. None are fully open yet but they are fascinating to look at at all stages.

Nearly there!

6. In the same bed, near the step down to the patio is the first Penstemon to flower this year. I’ve always called it ‘Garnet’ but the RHS have it as P. ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’. I’ll stick with ‘Garnet’! It’s narrow leaf shows that it is a hardy variety. The chimney pot behind was from my Nan’s house and used to be in my Dad’s garden. Memories.

That’s my zoned six for this week, I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe we’ll step out and look right next week. I hope the weather allows for some gardening for you (or sitting and looking at the garden) this weekend. Our chief, The Propagator, plays host to all the other Sixers so don’t forget to see what they are all up to at

17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 04/07/20”

  1. How lovely to pop into your garden this week. I can see so many wonderful plants, I’d spend hours chatting to you about them all. I love visiting gardens and even a virtual visit is better than none. I like this idea of examining one area in detail and often do it myself, focusing on a different area at a time. I believe that the thicker leaved plain hostas are less susceptible to the S&S but I’m not that inclined to test out the theory 😁. My variegated one is well chewed again. I must get it out of the pot this year and split it up as I reckon there can’t be much compost left in it which will be causing the plant stress. And Garnet is my first Penstemon to flower this year – I didn’t know that about the leaf shape so I need to go check on ‘Sour Grapes’ as I think that has wider leaves.

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    1. I tried growing H. ‘Sum and Substance’ a few years ago as it’s meant to be fairly tough. I got it to a reasonable size but the slimy ones hadn’t read the book, sadly. I read somewhere ages ago that the wider a Penstemon leaf, the less hardy it was. It seems to hold very true for me here in North Somerset

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  2. Very nice colours in your Six. Especially that hydrangea…
    I love lacecap hydrangea. Mine is blue though.
    I think it’s a great year for penstemon isn’t it?! I never have so many flowers than this year.

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    1. My soil is very alkaline so I can only dream of blue Hydrangeas. I have one that I bought last year (‘Blue Star’, from memory) that was such a beautiful blue that I’ve put it in a pot with ericaceous compost. It’s beginning to flower so may make next weeks six. I think you’re right about the Penstemons, mine have been very so-so for the last couple of years.

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  3. I do like a garden that’s packed with lovely plants. You walk along spotting one little gem after another, then spot several more on the way back, then look up and see some more. Then you step back and take it all in and that’s lovely too. I shall look forward to turning right.

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  4. It is Coleus. I also gave up on seed grown after ending up with about a dozen boringly identical plants. I bought some little plants from Dibleys last year, overwintered some of them and bought a few more this year.


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