Six on Saturday 08/05/21

Last weekends storm was as bad as they had forecast, sadly, with a lot of rain. I tucked as many succulents as I could into the glasshouse and, just to confirm my madness to the Non-Gardener, brought pots of Tulips that were on the verge of opening indoors for 24 hours. It was worth it as the Tulips left out took quite a battering. The prevailing weather blows straight through the garden, the joys of a corner plot. There wasn’t any major damage done in the garden, luckily. The nights have still been cold and yesterday morning we awoke to a light frost. Fingers crossed it was the last one! The garden is quite a bit behind the same time last year – the Roses were full of bloom then (the buds aren’t showing any colour yet) and the main border had a lot of Foxglove spires (none have even started the upward journey yet). Pictures were taken in yesterdays sunshine as we’ve a whole day of rain again today.

  • Despite last weeks Clematis failure the other Clematis in the garden are forging ahead. This is C. ‘Guernsey Cream’. It’s planted against a north facing fence and has been there for many years. I subsequently planted a Birch tree in the border and now the Clematis gets too dry through the summer and is gradually diminishing. Last winters wet has got it off to a good start though.
  • I grow mostly group 3 Clematis viticella varieties as they are resistant to wilt but the following plant must have been mis-labelled. It took me a couple of years to work out why it wouldn’t flower (it’s a group 2 variety) and last year was its first proper outing. Earlier this year I replaced the willow obelisk that it was growing up with one that the N-G had made. It lost a few shoots but is coming back well. The flower colour is a little under-whelming but still very welcome at this time of year. I’m planning to grow a Cobaea scandens through it for later in the year.
  • I mentioned Tulips earlier and I think todays rain will probably finish a lot of them off. It’s been a shorter season this year but they’ve been beautiful.
Tulip ‘Tarda’ rather too well matched with some Violas
Tulip ‘Sonnet’ with T.’Lasting Love’ behind
Tulip ‘Cairo’ with T. ‘Suncatcher’ behind.

‘Cairo’ is more of a burnt orange colour than it looks in the picture. I like!

  • I’ve grown some fibrous root Begonias as houseplants for a few years and this year decided to add to their numbers. Some lovely baby plants arrived from a very well known nursery a few weeks ago and they have started to put out new leaves. Last week I noticed a few spots on a couple of leaves of a new plant and since then the problem has spread, including to a couple of the older plants that are near. I have two older plants in another room and they seem unaffected, so far anyway. After a Google search I think it is bacterial leaf spot which doesn’t seem to have a cure. Can anyone confirm this for me or are things not as bad as I think? If it is BLS then I can only think that it has come in on the new plants or could it have come in in a bag of compost? I’ve cut off the affected leaves, cleaning the knife between each plant and have repotted the plants in fresh compost.
  • Lamium orvala is one of those plants that just sit there quietly getting on with life. It is planted next to Amelanchier lamarkii ‘Ballerina’ and copes with deep, dry shade. If it has a fault it’s that it disappears in August but I can forgive it that.
  • My final offering this week is the re-built succulent tower. Last autumns wet weather caused some of the plants on the bottom tier to rot off so I took the opportunity to take it apart, pot the plants individually for the winter and start again now with fresh compost. I’d intended to buy a different bottom pot so that larger plants could be grown. Next year, maybe.
It’s not as crooked as it seems in the picture!

I don’t think there will be a lot of gardening done today, if any, but at least the nights look like they are going to be warmer 🎉.

Have a lovely weekend, whatever your weather. Plenty of time can be filled peering into the gardens of other Sixers. Check them out at

18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 08/05/21”

  1. I wish I knew more about the problem with your begonias but I’m no wiser than you. I had a stunning one that just collapsed over winter and whilst a coaxed a few new leaves out of it, these too are suffering. Maybe it’s the same problem as you’re having although I haven’t bought any new plants… A mystery!

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  2. Now that’s a proper obelisk…..beautiful. Your clematis are lovely with such big blooms. There is still so much to come in the garden, but later than last year. Google occasionally sends me photos of “this time last year” or a couple of years ago and the peonies were in full flower then.

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  3. When I think that my clematis are still very small and not a single flower bud!… Yours are really ahead, like many of the ones I saw in the Six this weekend. Lack of water and cold weather so far here in France
    The mix of tulips ‘Sonnet’ with ’Lasting Love’ is really nice !
    Last thing: your succulent tower is amazing! It makes me want to build something that looks like this, with your permission to copy of course …

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  4. Like Fred, I’m surprised to see Clematis in full flower, things in Belgium are also very behind due to the cold. Yours look lovely and healthy. Nice tulip combos too, and the succulent tower is fantastic, what a great idea. I love the little pinky-red beady one on top, what is it?

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  5. I grow a lot of Begonias so your concerns about bacterial leafspot made me sweat a bit as I hadn’t heard of it. Trawling the internet all the references seem to be from the US and it isn’t listed as a problem on the RHS entries about Begonias, so maybe it hasn’t arrived here or isn’t a problem here? I really don’t know. Some varieties are very susceptible to powdery mildew and that’s what I’d have thought your first picture showed though the others are less clear. I’m off to check mine over now.

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    1. I also thought that the problem was powdery mildew and it could be that in the first picture. I have had it before on a Begonia. The other spots showed no sign of mildew though and nothing was visible on the underside of the leaves. I’m crossing everything and waiting to see


  6. The obelisk is a beauty – how lucky are you to have a clever NG! These cost hundreds! I like your tulip colours too – Cairo is lovely and similar to Brown Sugar which really is scented. Tarda has lovely foliage I see. No idea about the begonia, have you contacted the nursery where you bought them from to ask about it? I would. Attach some photos too.

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  7. I particularly like the Sonnet and Suncatcher but they’re all lovely. I’ve never seen a succulent tower, but I do have a couple that you’ve got growing too.


  8. So glad to see that you are happy with t.cairo. It’s one I’m thinking of adding next year and I was wondering if it was burnt orange or not. Burnt is the shade I’m looking for. I don’t have many clematis and must add more so a venture into group two is on my list. Now I just need an obelisk! Much kudos to the ng for building three! Excused all gardening duties for at least a month I should think!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ng is literally the non gardener. He’s brilliant at building/making things but has no interest in gardening at all. He did dig the new bed for me as I was unable to at the time. The garden is too small for two gardeners so I’m very lucky to be able to do it as I like.

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