Welcome to this weeks Six on Saturday. It’s been a fairly dreary week with a lot of drizzly, mizzly rain so there hasn’t been a lot of time spent in the garden. I’ve concentrated my efforts around the patio area. I planted several large pots with layers of bulbs weeks ago and have been waiting for the summer pots to finally go over so that the seasonal pot swap can take place. Lots of the half hardy annuals have been potted up to over-winter in the glasshouse. I’ve had quite a problem with Fuchsia Gall Mite this year, and Capsid Bug in previous years, both of which result in a lot of frustration and virtually no flowers on the Fuchsias. I had decided to ditch the plants and take a break so that the pests would, hopefully, go elsewhere. Easy to say, much harder to do. I used to have over 50 varieties and still have 25 – 30 and have compromised by getting rid of the worst affected and keeping the others. I’ve cut them back harder than usual and will be extra vigilant next year. Enough of the problems and on with my (slightly soggy) Six
Every year I plant half a dozen large pots with layers of Narcissi, Tulips and Crocus or Iris reticulata. This year I’ve topped them with Pansies and Violas. I love their cheery faces.
Most of my garden isn’t visible from the house so the small patio area is a real focus spot and I try to make the most of it. There’s a level change that is edged with sleepers and behind one of these I have planted Hakonechloa macro ‘Variegata’. This looks wonderful from April onwards and is still really attractive. It also adds movement to this corner as the leaves move in the slightest breeze. When it dies back the under-planting of Snowdrops takes over.
A Fuchsia I am definitely keeping is F. ‘Lechlade Gordan’. I bought this last year and overwintered the main plant and some cuttings in the glasshouse. The plants have remained in their pots this year, grown really well and, more importantly, have resisted the Gall Mites. I’m going to try one or two in the ground next year. They aren’t showing any sign of dying back yet.
Foliage comes more to the forefront at this time of year and Pulmonaria starts to stand out. I cut them back hard after flowering as the leaves tend to be suffering with mildew by then. I also cut them back again towards the end of the summer to get fresh leaves for the winter. Unfortunately, the common P. officinalis has worked its way into P. longifolia. That will take a bit of sorting out. I might try to start longifolia again from cuttings and then dig the patch over and replant. I might, honestly.
My plant growing/buying eyes are much bigger than my plant growing area so I have to get inventive. Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’ grows up a trellis and is still flowering well. So well in fact that I hadn’t noticed that its neighbour, Lonicera fragrantissima, has started flowering already. It’s been so damp that I haven’t noticed its beautiful fragrance yet.
A fairly newly acquired Hedychium gardnerianum was overwintered indoors last winter and planted out in the spring. It’s grown well and several weeks ago I noticed a couple of flower spikes starting to emerge. The relatively mild weather means that they’ve been able to grow and this week the first one has opened. It doesn’t seem to have any scent but I think that’s due to the dampness again. Bring on some sunshine!
If the weather allows I’m hoping to lift the Dahlia tubers asap as the ground is so wet that I’m worried that they will start to rot (a problem I had last year).
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.
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.
I’ve shown several Heucheras recently and here’s another one. It’s a larger leaved one and seems very happy under the Amelanchier.
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.
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.
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/
After all of last weeks rain we’ve had some glorious sunny days this week but this has meant that the night time temperature has been around zero degrees several times. The frost has thawed quite quickly though. I still haven’t got the glasshouse properly set up for winter yet – where does the time go? The nights are supposed to be quite a bit warmer this week so I’ve got a bit of time to sort it out. Talking of time, it’s time for this weeks Six from my garden.
The colder nights have finished off most of the summer pots and I’ve been refilling some of them with bulbs and/or plants for winter interest. I’ve used the vine weevil nematodes again this year and have only found the little devils in a couple of pots of succulents which is a great result.
The Fuchsia flowers in the last two pictures belong to a large potted F. ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ that has been flowering since June. It hasn’t been too badly affected by Fuchsia Gall Mite and I’m going to give it a reprieve. It also hasn’t been affected at all (yet) by the cold nights.
The Hydrangeas aren’t showing as much autumn colouring as in previous years but this one adds a splash of colour in its corner.
A lot of the herbaceous perennials in my long border have finally given up the ghost and I’ll now be able to go in and start moving a few things around before it gets too cold. I was going to show Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’ last week but thought it would wait another week. Sadly, the frost arrived before I took a photo and the foliage has collapsed. The white flowers still show well though but I think the show is stolen by Symphyotrichum x frikartii ‘Monch’ which has been flowering for months – it’s an early flowerer but has normally finished by now (for me) – and the Miscanthus.
Further along the border the flowers of Knautia macedonica seem to be getting smaller but are still quite prolific. It’s a good doer.
The border is backed by a Beech hedge, planted three and a half years ago to replace a dying Leylandii hedge. I’ve been willing it to grow to enclose the garden and it’s getting there. It’s turning a lovely rich colour.
This Peacock butterfly flew into the kitchen the other day and sat on the sunny windowsill for a while. It’s wings look very ragged but it had no problem flying. Sadly, there have been very few butterflies in the garden this year, apart from the Cabbage Whites.
I find it hard to believe that it’s November already. I’m hoping that the weather holds up so that I can spend a lot of the latest lock-down outside. Best place to be. Have a great weekend, stay safe and keep checking in with our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/
I realised the other day that it’s over three years since I wrote my first Six on Saturday. I’ve missed a few weeks (though none this year – plenty of time on my hands) but writing my Six signals the start of the weekend, so let’s get the weekend started. It’s been a very damp week and I’ve spent very little time in the garden. Sadly, the weekend doesn’t look any better, especially today. At least it’s warm! If I can get out there I’ve still a ‘few’ bulbs to plant in the ground (the pots have all been done) but some ground needs clearing to plant the bulbs. That never-ending gardening conundrum. I’m sorry that the pictures aren’t great this week but it was wet and windy. That’s my excuse anyway.
I grew Cobaea scandens for the first time this year and it’s been a great success. I’ll definitely grow it again next year. The plants have never been covered with flowers but there’s been a steady show. This plant has been up one post, across the top and is heading down the next post.
There’s still a few flowers to come but it’s going to be colder next week, apparently, so I don’t know whether they will make it.
I’ve recently planted a couple of new, named Hydrangeas but the one giving the best show at the moment is an un-named one that I was given several years ago as a houseplant! I immediately liberated it.
I bought a large rhizome of Hedychium gardnerianum the year before last. I kept it in a pot last year and it grew well but didn’t flower. I overwintered it indoors and planted it out in May. It’s made a large plant and there are two flower spikes growing upwards. As with the Cobaea, I’m crossing my fingers that the frost holds off for a while. I think I’m going to leave it in the ground this year as it’s now got six large canes. I’m not sure I’ve got a big enough pot.
Clematis ‘Margot Koster’ flowered for several months this year, eventually bought to halt by a period of drought. After the last rainy period she put on lots of new growth and then lots of buds. They have started opening this week, despite the lack of sun. They are a paler colour but lovely to see at this time of year.
There are so many beautiful Heucheras, I wish I had room for more of them. This is ‘Caramel’ and it has large, lobed leaves that are a lovely apricot/caramel colour on top and quite pink underneath. I bought it last winter for a winter pot display with a fern and another Heuchera and then planted it out under the Amelanchier in the spring where it has slowly grown throughout the year. There haven’t been any flowers but it hasn’t needed any.
On Thursday Sorbus aucuparia ‘Autumn Spire’ looked glorious and I meant to take a picture of it. I forgot, of course, and the wind and rain overnight caused a lot of the leaves to fall. It still looked quite good on Friday. A Blackbird has eaten most of the berries.
I think it’s going to be too wet for moving and dividing plants but I’ll spend some time preparing the glasshouse for the colder weather and then I’ll catch up with the other Sixers at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/
The garden looks different every day now – colours are changing, leaves are falling, late flowers are emerging and space is opening up. It’s been quite damp this week but there’s been a bit of sunshine as well so the autumnal colours can be appreciated. I ordered some more ferns for the Fern Wall which arrived very quickly and have been repotted so now I just need the Non-Gardener to build the final section. No pressure! 🤣 Anyway, here’s my Six for this week. Don’t forget to visit the other Sixes courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com
The tomatoes and peppers have been cleared from the glasshouse, I’ve not had a great year with them. The space is needed so that I can start to bring in the more tender plants for the winter although, to be honest, most are still looking good outside at the moment. I used to grow tomatoes in a border in the glasshouse and, as the years went by, I would dig some of the soil out and replace it with compost ready for the next years crop. Eventually, the border became very depleted and I switched to growing in large pots stood on the old border. When I cleared them out this year I found little patches of this fungus in the ground around the outside of the pots. It looks like it belongs under water.
I grew Eucomis bicolour from seed several years ago and kept them in pots for a few years. Then I planted them out and the ones that weren’t eaten by SnS did so well that their large leaves flopped over adjacent plants. A couple of years ago I put them back in pots and there they have stayed. Their period of interest is really long and even now as they fade the ‘pineapple’ tops are still fresh and the mottled stems are beautiful.
In the back garden Froggy Pond is Iris pseudacorus ‘Variegata’ which, sadly, goes plain green as the season progresses. The pond is tiny so I restart this Iris every year to keep it under control. I’ve been waiting for the seed pods to split open which they must have done in the rain on Thursday.
Melianthus major is still looking good on the patio. I’ll move it into the glasshouse when a frost is forecast. My only complaint is that the lower leaves die back during the summer. Is this what they do normally or am I getting something wrong? I grew some short Cosmos in front of it to cover the stems.
Time for some autumn colour. Some of the Michaelmas Daisies have passed their peak but ‘Purple Dome’ has been very slow to get going this year. Slow to grow and slow to flower. I think I’ll move it next year because it should be a lot taller than it is. It rained just before I took this picture and the flower centres are little puddles.
A few years ago we visited Westonbirt Arboretum and the Euonymus alatus were looking glorious. I bought one the following year and it is growing slowly. Very briefly it turns a beautiful red.
It looks as if it is going to be quite wet here this weekend and I don’t think that I’ll be working in the garden much but who knows! Have a great weekend, whatever you have planned.
Brrrr, there’s definitely been an autumnal nip in the air this week but we have also had some lovely sunny days. It looks like a cloudy but dry weekend so, hopefully, plenty of gardening. There’s still a few (rather a large few!) bulbs to plant and I’ve finally managed to get hold of some wallflower plants although I don’t actually have any room to plant them at the moment. The local growers have, apparently, really struggled this year – along with the rest of us at times. Let’s get started with this weeks Six and don’t forget that there are plenty of others to see at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/
The Amelanchier dropped its leaves without them really colouring up and the Birch tree is heading the same way, sadly. Four years ago I bought a tiny Gingko biloba from a sale table and grew it on in a pot. With the dry spring that we had here I decided to plant it in the front garden as I thought that it would do better in the ground. Despite periods of drought, high winds etc it has done quite well and the leaves have now turned a lovely golden yellow.
Where do plant labels go! I know this Michaelmas Daisy was labelled, it’s one I bought on a visit to the National Collection at Picton House a couple of years ago. It’s planted at the front of the border but is very tall this year!
Heucheras have performed well this year and I bought a couple of new ones at the Malvern Plant Fair at the beginning of September
I had intended to redo the border by the glasshouse this spring as there is quite a lot of bindweed growing through from next door. However, with events I decided not to as I didn’t know then when, or if, I’d be able to buy new plants. I’m itching to get going now but it seems a shame to strip it out when there is still quite a lot going on.
The main border wraps around the small lawn and still has quite a bit to look at in it.
With the colder nights the leaves of this sedum have really coloured up. The chimney pot came from my Nan’s garden, via my Dad’s and the beautiful pot was a birthday present last year. Lots of memories.
Thanks for reading my Six, have a great weekend and stay safe.
Like most in the UK we’ve had a very mixed week weather-wise and so I haven’t got a lot done in the garden this week. I’ve taken the last of the tomatoes and peppers down in the glasshouse and so have some space to start moving some things in that need some protection for the winter. I have also moved a lot of my succulents under temporary cover from the rain but I was late doing this and some are looking a bit ropey. The glasshouse thermometer says it went down to 4.6 degrees last night so I need to get a move on this weekend. So……. here are my six for this week and you can catch up with other Sixers choices at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/
I’ve mentioned before that most of the garden isn’t visible from the house as it wraps around the side of the house and is, mostly, at the front. With lockdown and not being able to resume my workshops I spend a lot of time sat in the room with no name (dining room extension/conservatory/garden room?) looking out of the patio door down the side of the garden. This is a boundary with a long run of fence panels, a lot of which I have covered with evergreen shrubs and some climbers. However, there are two panels behind the Birch tree border that stubbornly refuse to be covered. It’s north facing, and very dry because of the tree. I have managed to establish some ferns in the ground (mainly Dryopteris varieties and a large Cyrtomium) alongside Hellebores, a Hydrangea and some Fuchsias. The latter are on the hit list as they have been very badly affected by Gall Mite. During lockdown I decided that a fern wall was the way to go and the Non-Gardener very obligingly built the first set of shelves which I duly filled. The second set of shelves are filling up and there will be one more, narrower, set to follow.
Choosing the ferns is the easy part, I haven’t gone for anything that gets over 20″ or less than 12″ and nothing that needs a lot of moisture. They’ve mostly done well but some of the Athyriums have struggled due to my lack of giving them enough water I suspect. I love them all but some stand out
I have quite a few ferns around the garden as well including one of my very favourites. I like it so much that there is one in the wall as well.
I showed this grouping in the spring and it still looks as good
Moving away from ferns the Tricyrtis are lasting well
Back to the start location to finish. Beneath the Birch tree is a Fuchsia that never gives me any problems and it will definitely be staying.
Have a great weekend, whatever the weather. I’m off to plant bulbs, pot up the latest batch of cuttings from the Hydropod, sort succulents……….. the list is, thankfully, endless.
The rain finally arrived, and then some! It rained all day Wednesday, was patchy on Thursday, back to rain all day Friday and today looks to be the same (tomorrow’s not a lot better). I usually take my pictures on Friday afternoon or early Saturday but not this week. I have just dashed out and this weeks Six are things accessible from the gravel path.
I’ve mentioned before that my Fuchsias have had quite a problem with Fuchsia Gall Mite for several years now. It started in the hardy bush types and I eventually removed them as they weren’t flowering at all. I also had many (around 50 at the peak) half hardy varieties and the pesky mites have gradually appeared in them as well. Pinching out the affected shoots is all well and good but you end up with plants with no flowers for a large part of the season. I have discarded the worst affected over the last couple of years and this year I’d (just about) made the decision that I would stop growing them for a few years but on Gardeners Question Time last week the curator of RHS Wisley said that they have found that there tends to be a couple of bad years and then it balances out a bit. There is also some evidence that the treatment for Red Spider Mite may help. My indecision has increased! The cooler weather has slowed them down and I have some flowers at last. Fingers crossed that the wind and rain don’t do too much damage.
I have several Honeysuckles in the garden including this one on a post by the glasshouse. I think it’s Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’. It’s an early blooming variety which means that virtually every year it flowers just as a plague of aphids arrive, ahead of the ladybirds. Or maybe that is just in my garden. I’ve thought about removing it but it shares the spot with a very healthy Clematis ‘Margot Koster’ so not so easy to do. The recent weather must have suited it and it’s having a very good go at flowering again.
As you can see in the above photo the Amelanchier near to it has lost most of it’s leaves. It’s a late to leaf, early to drop tree.
In the bed opposite the glasshouse door is a pleasing red, white and blue combination – well it was the other day, I wish I’d thought to photograph it then!
On the left of the above picture is a small Beech hedge growing in front of a trellis. On the other side of this is a “climbing” Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’.
The Ricinus have flowered well and have plenty of seed heads which provide a lovely shot of colour but I don’t think that they will ripen this year
The heads of the Michaelmas Daisies are bowing down with the weight of the rain in the flowers but they should 🤞come back up again. The shorter varieties fare better in this weather. This variety is supposed to be about 18″ tall but mine has never reached that lofty height, preferring to grow more horizontally.
That’s this weeks soggy six. I was going to unveil the Fern Wall, the summer project, but it looks very bedraggled (although I’m sure the ferns are loving the rain) so will keep that for next week. Rather a lot of bulbs have recently arrived and I’m going to make use of a rainy day by making a plan as to where they are all going to go (largely in pots) and in what combinations. That sounds such a good idea😂.
There’s been a very chilly feel to the air this week and the night-time temperature in the glasshouse has been down in single figures most nights. The forecast rain failed to materialise, bar a few light showers and I am still doing quite a lot of watering. Leaves are starting to change colour, although some trees seem to be dropping their leaves before any change has happened – stress I suppose. My garden (the Non-Gardener insists that it’s nothing to do with him 🤣) is definitely in autumn mode now.
I have longed to visit Knoll Garden in Dorset and yesterday finally got there. It’s a naturalistic garden renowned for its use of grasses and hardy perennials, and also has some lovely trees and shrubs. It is such a peaceful and relaxing garden and I loved every bit of it. Oh, and there’s a nursery as well! Here’s a little taster
Back to my garden now. I planted Ricinus communis seeds back in the spring and they have all done well though some are a bit wind battered. I planted three quite close together at the back of the house. The soil is not very deep here and I thought it would restrict their height and that they would branch and grow together. They didn’t listen when I told them my plan and are now approaching eight feet tall and haven’t branched at all. Being so tall they ended up nearly horizontal in the high winds a couple of weeks ago, hence the ugly canes. They are a talking point though, even if completely out of scale.
Several Clematis have been encouraged back into growth with the recent warmth, producing small clusters of flowers. I chose this one as I love the perfect points on each petal (technically they have sepals I think).
The Michaelmas Daisies continue to flower
A major feature of autumn are the seed heads and some of the Clematis ones are very attractive. This is a seed grown herbaceous variety.
I bought a few new (to me) grasses yesterday but an existing Miscanthus is looking really good at the moment. I bought it many years ago and it has slowly clumped up to make a beautiful, very well behaved plant at the back of the border.
The weather looks fair for the weekend and I have quite a few plants to find homes for so I’m planning a weekend at home in the garden. Thank you for reading my Six and don’t forget to read how the seasons are affecting other Sixers’ gardens at https://thepropgatorblog.wordpress.com/
Rain seems a very distant memory and parts of the garden are showing signs of drought. It’s definitely been a year of all or nothing. The solar powered drip-watering systems have kept the glasshouse and the pots and tubs in good condition without a lot of supplementary watering being needed but some herbaceous plants in the borders are going over very quickly now. The forecast is for some rain next week but it doesn’t look to be any amount so I’ve filled the water butts with the hose as the watering systems run from them, not the mains. Despite the lack of water there is still a lot of colour in the garden so without further ado here is this weeks Six on Saturday from my garden.
I have a few different Salvias, some in pots and some in the ground. ‘Hotlips’ is currently going for border domination but the flowers are mostly plain white at the moment and I think this is going to be its last season in the garden. I’m sure I can make better use of the space. However, Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is looking really good (better than it looks in the picture) and is very hardy.
Also looking good is Salvia greggii ‘Strawberries and Cream’ in a pot on the patio.
In the same border as S. ‘Black and Blue’ is an obelisk with Clematis ‘Black Tea’ and C. Dr ‘Ruppel’. ‘Black Tea’ has flowered on and off but ‘Dr Ruppel’ hasn’t had a single flower until now.
It’s been another bad year for me and Dahlias. I planted most of them in the borders and there’s too many hiding places for slugs and snails. However, D. ‘Honka Fragile’ has finally flowered. It’s just a shame that there’s virtually no leaves beneath! The canes were put in back when I thought the plant would actually grow upwards. I think I’m going to block plant the Dahlias next year. I used to do this and had a much better display then.
I’ve grown Tricyrtis formosana for a couple of years. The SnS are very attracted to it as it comes into growth but it’s one of those plants that quietly sits in the corner then you suddenly notice that it’s flowering.
I would like to grow more Hylotelephiums and was hoping to get some at the plant fair at Malvern last Saturday. Sadly, the only one I could see there was ‘Autumn Joy’, which I already have. The variety below is taller than ‘Autumn Joy’ and has larger individual flowers.
Another sure sign of autumn is the appearance of Hesperantha (I prefer Schizostylis) flowers. This is the brightest variety I have.
A bit more subtle is ‘Mrs Hegarty’
I’m getting itchy fingers! I want to start moving plants, redesigning areas, planting bulbs and all of the other fun things. It’s just a little bit early yet…..