Six on Saturday 14/11/20

I went into the garden yesterday afternoon to take some pictures for todays Six, took a couple and then got distracted by something in the glasshouse. Next thing I know it’s too dark to take photos – where did that time go? Between this mornings cloud bursts I’ve found a few more things to make a Six so here we go.

  • Since a short, cold snap a couple of weeks ago it has been very warm for the time of year and quite damp (an understatement some days) and a lot of the plants are rallying back into growth, just as I want to cut them back/clear them away. My usual procedure is to slowly work my way through the (mainly) herbaceous borders, cutting back the untidier, floppier plants so that the stronger standing stems have more room. Some of them can last through to the beginning of the following year, it just depends how wet it gets. This year I want to have quite a shift around in the main border and some of the plants need lifting and dividing but a lot, like the Bidens, are still looking too good to cut down.
Bidens ?

This plant was given to me just labelled as Bidens. I’ve tried to find the variety name but without much luck. It’s very hardy and is quite keen on colonising a large area of the border. It’s heading towards six foot tall and has pale lemon flowers. Can anyone name it for me? The flowers have a little more colour in the summer than now.

  • On the subject of cutting down – I have two compost bins, each just under a metre square. This system has worked well for years – fill the left hand one then, when full, decant it into the right hand one and start to fill the left hand one again. By the time it’s full again the right hand one should be ready for use. Most things are shredded prior to going on the heap so the bins hold quite a lot. However, (there’s always one of those, isn’t there) as I’ve planted up more of the garden (who needs grass) and have a passion for herbaceous plants there’s a lot more compostable material generated and I can’t bear to put it in the council green bin for someone else’s benefit. It all came to a head a couple of years ago when bin two wasn’t quite ready to use but bin one was reaching for the sky. Despite the Non-Gardeners best head scratching he couldn’t work out a way to put a third bin in that would still leave easy access to the other two. As a temporary measure I put a large dumpy bag, left from a delivery of something, in the corner at a right angle to bin two, emptied two into the new three, one into two and off I went again. This ‘temporary’ solution has now become a permanent feature and has worked very well. Crisis point was reached this week as bin three is ready for use and I want to use it on the main border. The main border is still jam-packed and needs the cutting down/dividing process to be started but bin one is full to overflowing. Hmmmmm. I spent a day emptying bin three into smaller, moveable bags etc ready to mulch when there is space (it seems so much compost but once I start spreading it I know it won’t really be enough) and then moved the other two bin’s contents across. Now I can start on the job I’d intended starting that morning.
Bin two doubles as winter storage for bigger pots not in use. Bin three is behind the wheelbarrow on the right.
  • I’ve shown several Heucheras recently and here’s another one. It’s a larger leaved one and seems very happy under the Amelanchier.
Heuchera ‘Guacamole’ in a sea of Cyclamen hederifolium and Forget-Me-Nots
  • Last year I bought a new to me trailing plant to go in a patio pot. It was labelled Muehlenbeckia gigas and it thrived. It trailed down the pot beautifully and then continued on across the patio. I took some cuttings to try to overwinter it and the main plant also survived really well in the glasshouse. I can’t find much about M. gigas at all but my experience this year is that this is a plant that will grow in drought, sun, shade, wet conditions……. It has smallish, rounded, bright green glossy leaves. I planted one in a pot with an upright Fuchsia and it trailed about two feet down the pot side and across the ground. I cut it back in the week to move it into the glasshouse and found that a couple of the wiry stems had gone up the back of the Fuchsia and twined up through a Cobaea on it’s support. It’s about seven foot tall! I cut most of it out and then thought to take a picture.
Cobaea scandens, still flowering, with M. gigas twining through

On a visit to a garden centre just before the current lockdown I found a much smaller leaved version that is now in a winter pot. I’m going to see if it will survive outside.

  • I am so envious when I see large specimens of Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’ as I haven’t been able to get mine to any great size. Vine weevils have been quite a problem and so I end up having to start the plants again. Nematodes have sorted that problem 🤞 and at last they are growing well. I also think I have had them in too small a pot. I have high hopes for next year.
Sheltering inside to stay dry
  • I have acquired a friend. He appears by my side virtually every time I start to garden. If I go to empty my bucket into the compost bin he usually flies behind me and then follows me back again. Beautiful.

The wind is blowing and the rain is pouring again so I think today is a day to be a gardening quilter. Have a great weekend, whatever the weather and keep safe and well. You can spend any spare time catching up with other Sixers courtesy of our esteemed host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

4 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 14/11/20”

  1. As I have just finished reading a book about Robins, it was touching to see your friend. What a charmer it is, I am sure it is getting you well trained to turn a little corner and find it a worm each time you come out to play in its garden. I think your Aeoniums look in tip top condition now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your beautiful Heuchera – I’m a fan!

    Your Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’ plants are beautiful. I could do with some pretty plants in the greenhouse – it’s purely a functional place at the moment and so drab through the winter months.

    How nice to have a little red-breasted friend in the garden. I used to have a little blackbird that followed me around as I was weeding the borders. I knew he was only waiting until I unearthed a juice snack for him, but it’s nice to be trusted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, there are a couple of similarities in our posts. Although the compost materials settle down dramatically, I still had at least 8 wheelbarrow loads from each of the daleks to spread around but, as you say, it’s never enough. As I was turning the fresher stuff from the main container into the now empty daleks, a robin appeared and kept dipping into the nearly filled one I showed, then he sat in the tamarisk tree singing quietly to himself. I do like the Bidens you showed at the start, very tall but elegant with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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