Six on Saturday 03/12/22

Winter certainly arrived this week with daytime temperatures only reaching around 5C and then falling down to near zero for several nights. At least it’s been dry with very little breeze. The big news from me this week is that I have finished planting all of the Tulips (plus a few other things as well). Between the weather and work it has taken a lot longer this year but, finally, all of the half hardy things are tucked up in the glasshouse and a lot of the Begonia and Eucomis corms are dried off and ready to go in the loft for the winter. This weeks main garden focus is to dig the Dahlia tubers up and get them dried off and packed away in the loft as well. In the meantime here are six things that caught my eye as I worked in the garden this week.

  • Impatiens auricoma x bicaudata has been flowering in the glasshouse since June. It suffered in the exceptional summer heat and lost a lot of its leaves but it still kept flowering. With more plants moving into the glasshouse I’ve run out of room for the large Impatiens and so I’ve cut it back to about 8″ high. I’m not sure if it will survive the winter (there are cuttings on a bedroom window cill) but it has two choices.
  • Next to the glasshouse is an arch with a Honeysuckle and Clematis ‘Margot Koster’ climbing up it. Margot is having a final flurry of flowers and the tiny snails are having a feast.
  • The other end of the arch has a piece of trellis attached to it and I grow Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ through it. It reaches over six feet tall and has been flowering for weeks and weeks.

I hadn’t noticed that the winter flowering Honeysuckle had started to flower until I took this photograph.

  • The weeks of rain destroyed the flowerheads on most of the Hydrangeas but H. macrophylla ‘Dancing Snow’ is still looking good. The flowers were white when they opened and then slowly turned lime-green. They are now this lovely soft pink.

The fern in front of it is Dryopteris sieboldii.

  • Mahonia aquifolium ‘Pamina’ was given to me as a small plant many years ago. It’s not the showiest of Mahonias and reaches for the sky regularly. I started cutting it back a few years ago in the hope that it would bush up. It grows back quite quickly but has no intention of thickening up. The berries from the spring flowers show how it got its common name of Oregon Grape.
  • Fatsia japonica is that lovely mix of an exotic looking yet really hardy plant. The bees have been enjoying the flowers for a couple of weeks. They’ve passed their peak (the flowers, not the bees) but stand out well against the glossy green leaves.

I think it’s going to start being more of a challenge to find candidates for SonS now that the weather has taken a turn for the worse but I shall keep trying.

Thanks to Jim at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/ for hosting Six on Saturday. Head over there to see what the other Sixers have found to show us this week.

Six on Saturday 26/11/22

On the local news the other day they said that we had had something like 130% of Novembers rainfall up to the 20th of the month. And it’s still falling! However, the sun was shining yesterday so that seemed a good opportunity to take this weeks pictures.

  • I’m going to start indoors this week as the Thanksgiving/Christmas Cacti are in full bloom.
  • A couple of weeks ago I showed a picture of Euonymus elatus in its full glory

Just before the leaves fall the red fades to yellow. Most of the leaves have come off in the heavy rain/strong wind but there’s a few left to show the effect.

  • The Alstroemerias seem able to take whatever the weather throws at them and keep flowering regardless. This is A. ‘Summer Lovely’
  • I’ve found it hard to find plants that will grow happily in the little froggy pond. It gets quite shady in the summer which doesn’t suit a lot of aquatic plants. Others just get too big and go for pond domination. I planted Scirpus cernuus in the spring and it’s done well. It’s common name is the Fibre Optic plant which suits it. The Duck Weed has also done well this year 😔
  • Hesperanthus ‘Ice Maiden’ has been flowering for weeks and, although a bit battered by the weather, is still flowering well. When it first comes into flower the blooms are very nearly white but, as time has gone on, they’ve developed a definite blush.
  • Yesterdays late afternoon sun made the Beech hedge look as though it was glowing.

A fairly quick Six this week as I’m off now to run my last workshop of the year.

Thanks to Jim at https://gardenruminations.co.uk for taking over the reins. That’s also where you’ll find all of the other Sixes. Have a great weekend.

Six on Saturday 19/11/22

Rain, rain and too much rain. It’s such a shame that it can’t be evened out over the year instead of the cycles of all or nothing that we seem to have now. After a rather wet week we had the first proper frost with the temperature dropping to – 1.8 degrees C outside last night.

  • We had a day out at Westonbirt Arboretum yesterday and, despite the above moaning, it was dry a with some sunshine. We’ve not been there for a few years so it was lovely to make a return visit. Most of the Acers have dropped their leaves but there was still a lot of colour to be seen.

  • Where the leaves had fallen there were lovely pools of colour on the ground.
  • On Thursday, between the showers, I managed to empty some of the patio pots, repot the Salvias, Lobelias, and other half hardy plants and get them in to the glasshouse to overwinter. I then planted the pots up with spring bulbs. There’s still quite a few pots to do and bulbs to find a home for but it was good to make a start. I’ve been using nematodes to control vine weevils for a few years and they are very successful but I now seem to have a new pest to deal with. I’ve mentioned several times that there have been an awful lot of rose chafers. When I turned the compost heaps earlier in the year I removed, literally, hundreds of the grubs. Numbers of the beautiful green beetles were a lot, lot lower this summer but two of the six patio pots had their grubs in.
  • In the front garden Sorbus aucuparia ‘Autumn Spire’ has coloured well this year. It’s past it’s best but still worth a place in this weeks Six.
  • In the back garden Betula utilis ‘Snow Queen’ looked beautiful against the blue sky yesterday morning.
  • Most of the Salvias are still flowering well. I planted several under the Roses to help prevent Black Spot. It seemed to work pretty well and I’ll definitely do it again next year. S. microphylla ‘Delice Feline’ is still covered with purple/blue flowers.

Thanks for reading my Six and thanks to Jim for doing a great job of hosting. Find him and the other Sixers at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/

Six on Saturday 12/11/22

Thank goodness the end of the week has been drier. We’ve had quite a lot of rain and the little bit of lawn that hasn’t been dug up is fairly well waterlogged. There’s a lot of leaves to be collected and bagged and toadstools appear, seemingly, overnight. It’s a speedy Six this week as we were out last night and I’m working today so here we go.

  • The Dahlias have stopped flowering and just need a frost to cut them down. I’m going to plant the bed with Narcissi and Wallflowers. I bought some bare root plants of the latter a few weeks ago and have put them in pots until there is space to plant them.

I’ve just noticed the toadstool on the left of the picture.

  • The Euonymus is really colouring up now. The sun wasn’t shining when I took the picture but I think that if I leave it until next week then the leaves will be falling.
  • The wet, warmish weather has led to the Echinacea seed heads germinating in situ. This happened a few years ago but I found that the seedlings didn’t transplant very successfully.
  • Alstromerias have done fairly well this year, even in the heat/drought. They stopped flowering a few weeks ago and I thought that they were done but they have put on a growth spurt in this mild weather and are flowering again. This is A. ‘Summer Breeze’ with Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’ behind it.
  • I finally had time to clear the HHA climbers out of the glasshouse and take down the shading. I’ve cleaned the glass and started getting it ready for the winter. The Non-Gardener has been doing some work in the house and had some PIR board left (like Celotex). I’ve lined the shady side of the glasshouse under the staging with it. It’s not in place yet but I use polycarbonate sheets on the other side so that light can get through.
  • In spring 2021 I sowed seeds of Asarina and Maurandya and they grew and flowered well in the glasshouse. When they died back in the winter I could see that they had made small tubers and so I left them in their pots, covered with fleece. Come the spring they came back into growth and have looked really good this year. This week I cut them down and emptied them out of the big pots (needed for bulbs) and was pleased to see that the tubers have increased in size. This is a Maurandya.

The forecast is good for the weekend and I’m looking forward to a day in the garden tomorrow. Thanks for reading and have a good weekend. Our new host, Jim, can be found at http://gardenruminations.co.uk/

Six on Saturday 05/11/22

We’ve been away for a few days during which time the garden succumbed to heavy rain and strong wind. It’s looking rather battered but at least I won’t feel so bad about cutting down/removing some things to make room for the bulbs. The Dahlias seem to have reached the end of their flowering as have most of the Michaelmas Daisies. However, there are still quite a lot of interesting things happening so here are this weeks Six on Saturday.

  • The recent warmer weather has favoured the Roses and ‘Graham Thomas’ has had a late flurry of flowers.
  • Jasminum variegatum grows up the south facing back wall of the house. It’s one of those plants that sits quietly in the background just getting on with looking good. It’s easy to overlook plants like this so I thought I’d let it have its moment today.
  • Most of the grasses look good well into winter and Hakonechloa macra aureola is no exception. It’s leaves move in the slightest breeze and the flowers add another interest at this time of year.
  • I sowed a few varieties of Cyclamen seeds in Autumn 2020 and there was a reasonable germination rate. I didn’t realise that slugs were particularly fond of Cyclamen seedlings but those that survived are doing well.
  • In the spring of 2020 I sowed some seeds of Eryngium pandanifolium. Three germinated but, as they grew, I made the decision to only plant out one. It’s a vicious plant and I’m going to move it further back into the border. I was hoping with the summer heat that it would flower this year but….. maybe next year.
  • Before we went away I moved a lot of the succulents into the glasshouse as I could see that a lot of rain was forecast. It turned out to be a good move. Here’s one of the mixed bowls.

The plant at the front is Sedum furfuraceum.

Work today then I’m hoping that the rain that’s forecast for tomorrow doesn’t arrive 🤞as I plan to start the bulb planting.

The other Sixers can be found chez Jim these days at https://gardenruminations.co.uk/

Six on Saturday 29/10/22

It’s the end of October, where has the time gone? It’s warm for the time of year so, despite rather chilly night temperatures earlier in the month, there is still plenty of growth and colour in the garden. A reasonable amount of rain has fallen and the border soil is finally damp to dig. I still haven’t managed to plant any bulbs yet but I have a short break coming up and on my return will cut down and empty the summer pots so that I can get on with that job.

  • The Dahlias are definitely slowing down with the lower light levels but there are still some flowers. I posted a pink waterlily type a few weeks ago that I have labelled as ‘Christine’. I also have another (better, I think) pink waterlily variety that I’ve been trying to put a name to. Research has shown that it’s definitely ‘Christine’. So I still have an unnamed pink waterlily Dahlia!
  • Continuing the pink theme is this Aster. I bought it as a plant a few years ago labelled as Aster novi-belgii ‘Starlight’. I hesitated as I mainly have novae-angliae varieties as they are less prone to mildew. As most of my Symphyotrichums are taller ones I succumbed to this dwarf variety. When I later looked it up I found that it’s a seed-raised variety that can come in several colours and grows to 8 ins (20cms). The picture on the label showed bright pink flowers and my plant is indeed a bright pink. For the last couple of years it has been a lovely dwarf plant at the very front of the border. This year it is about three feet (one metre) tall! Very pretty though so I’ll move it further back in the spring.
  • This Aster, name unknown, has remained dwarf in stature. It doesn’t spread much, probably too much competition from its neighbours. The airy grass seedheads in front of the Aster belong to Eragrostis trichodes. They’re so airy that they hardly show in the picture!
  • As I turned around after taking the above photo I noticed the late afternoon sun shining through the seedheads of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Red Head’.
  • The fern border under the Birch tree is disappearing beneath the falling leaves. I’ll wait until most have fallen then clear it up. Immediately in front of the tree is Fuchsia ‘Lottie Hobbie’. The heat and drought meant that it was very slow to grow through the summer and I wasn’t sure that it would amount to much this year. It’s maybe not quite as tall as usual but is covered with tiny flowers.
  • Against the fence at the back of the above border is the Fern Wall. As for many plants, it’s been a tough year for the ferns and some have been very late into any amount of growth. One variety falling into this category is Coniogramme emeiensis. As other varieties are shutting down for winter this one is shining out.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to check in with our new host Jim at Garden Ruminations http://gardenruminations.co.uk/ to see all the other Sixes.

Six on Saturday 22/10/22

I mentioned a lack gardening last week as I was working on a quilt. Grannys Garden asked for a picture. It’s a Storm at Sea quilt with a Mariners Compass.

It’s been another busy week. I was at a talk last night and am at a workshop today so here’s a very quick Six from the garden. It was a very showery day yesterday so the garden looks rather soggy in the pictures.

  • I’ve spent many years moving Cyclamen hederifolium seedlings around the garden and now they are appearing everywhere, including in places quite a way from existing plants. Maybe the ants do move the seed around (I’m sure I read that somewhere).
These plants are along the side of the house.
  • Parthenocissus henryana is slowly colouring up.
  • Lamimum maculatum ‘White Nancy’ is one of those plants that look good every day of the year. It spreads at a considerate speed, suppresses weeds, has gentle white flowers and the silvery leaves look good all year round. This plant is growing under the Amelanchier in dry shade. What more could you ask of a plant?
  • In the main border Persicaria ‘Fat Domino’ continues to produce new flower stems alongside the fading ones.

  • In the spring I applied a thick bark mulch to the Ferns in the Birch Border as it gets very dry under the tree. It certainly helped through the heatwave and the ferns have done well.
This section of the border shows the diversity of the beautiful fronds.
  • The half hardy climbers in the glasshouse really suffered in the heat with some defoliating. I thought I would be removing them very early but they have staged a bit of a comeback. The Rhodochiton is looking the best it has all year

The problem is that the shading is still up and definitely needs to come down. I need to clean the glass, evict the spiders and clear room for over-wintering cuttings, succulents etc. I also need the large terracotta pots containing the climbers for bulbs. I’m going to have to get ruthless 😔

Right, I’m off to the workshop now. Have a good Saturday and catch up with other Sixers thanks to our new host Jim at Garden Ruminations (I must learn his link).

Six on Saturday 15/10/22

It’s been a working and quilting (sort of work as well) week this week so virtually no gardening has been done. I took the pictures for this weeks Six between the bursts of rain so welcome to this weeks slightly soggy Six on Saturday.

  • One night this week the temperature dipped below 4C. Nearly all of the Amelanchier leaves have fallen and the Birch leaves are turning yellow and falling as well. We also had the first autumn mist on Thursday morning. The warmth of the house walls and the stones and gravel are keeping the temperature up on the patio and the pots are still colourful. I’ll need the pots soon to plant bulbs in.
  • On the shadier side of the patio is this trough.

When I planted this up in May I put an over-wintered cutting of my favourite Solenostemon at each end. It’s called S. ‘Burgundy Wedding Train’ and at this time of year you can see why it has that name. Growth-wise it’s beaten it’s cousins by a long shot.

  • In the main border the Michaelmas Daisies continue to add height and colour.
Symphyotrichon ‘Little Carlow’ with S. novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’ behind it.
  • To the left and photo-bombing the above photo is Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’ which seems later flowering this year. The flowers are a lovely dark pink colour. They’re just starting to go over now.
  • The Dahlias are slowing with the cooler temperatures but are still producing a lot of flowers. This weeks star is D. ‘Rawhide’. I bought this as a new, and quite small, tuber this spring. It’s been a bit slow to get going but has now been flowering for several weeks. Definitely a keeper.
  • The Euonymous alatus has grown well this year, seemingly unaffected by heat or drought. It’s something else that will get too big for the garden but I’ll think about that in a few years time, I might have won the lottery by then and have my dream, large garden 🤣. The leaves are starting to colour up and the tiny fruits are not so inconspicuous now that they are red.

I’m hoping to finish the quilt this week then I shall have plenty of time to garden and, who knows, maybe get some bulbs planted. I hope you’ve enjoyed my Six, there’s plenty more at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 08/10/22

It’s the time of the year when there’s still quite a lot going on in the garden but if something isn’t picked for this weeks Six then it could well have gone past its best or have been spoilt by the weather by next week. With crossed fingers I’m holding back a couple of things that are looking good right now in favour of things that won’t be worth a second look next week. I’m sorry that the photos aren’t great but it was rather windy and just beginning to rain when I took them yesterday afternoon.

  • First up is a question. Here’s the background – last year Epiphyllum anguligar had one beautiful and beautifully scented night-time flower. Not sure that there was anything around to pollinate it I gently dusted it with a paintbrush and a seedpod eventually developed. This has slowly grown and recently has started to soften. It now feels very soft/squishy. Has anyone grown one of these? What happens next? Will it burst and the liquid leak everywhere or will it fall to the floor?
  • For various reasons I delayed sowing the annual and half hardy perennial seeds this year. As the end of May and beginning of June were quite cool this didn’t affect most varieties but Cobaea scandens seedlings sat and sulked for a long time and, although they coped with the summer heat and drought fairly well, haven’t put on the growth that I’ve had in previous years. One plant is finally starting to produce a few flowers but there isn’t going to be time for a grand display. The cooler nights though have turned the foliage a lovely deep red/purple.
  • Another annual climber that I’ve grown for a few years is Ipomoea lobata and, again, it hasn’t done very well this year. I put two plants on this Clematis obelisk by the garage side wall and they’ve been flowering for weeks, just nowhere near as many stems.

  • I grew the annual climber Cardiospermum halicacabum (Love in a Puff) for the first time this year. Again, it was slow to get going and when it first flowered I was somewhat under-whelmed as the flowers are tiny. However, the seed pods are beautiful and I’ll try it again next year. There is also a Cobaea on this wall but it hasn’t done well. I’ll try the combination again next year.
The little white dots are the flowers!
  • At the front of the same border is a clump of Hesperanthus coccinea ‘Snow Maiden’, the nearest to a white Hesperanthus that I’ve seen. It does have a touch of pink about it though.
  • This is a plant that I decided to leave for another week last week and it’s gone past it’s best. I moved Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’ to the back of the border last autumn as it was taller than expected. Given the lack of rain this summer it’s done very well as this is a very dry corner at the best of times.

The Salvia in front of the Solidago is ‘Black and Blue’.

Cuttings in the Hydropod are rooting well and many are ready to be potted on so that’s one of the first jobs for the weekend. I also need to clear some of the summer climbers out of the glasshouse to make room for the overwintering plants, especially some of the larger pots of succulents. There’s still no room to plant any bulbs so they’ll be staying in their boxes for a while longer.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to look at the other sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 01/10/22

No doubt about it, autumn is here. After this summer’s weather I didn’t think that there would be very good autumn colour (based on what I’m not sure) but some of the trees around here are colouring up really well so, hopefully, I’m wrong. There was a useful amount of rain yesterday but I’d managed to take some photos of the garden a while before it got too heavy.

Things are starting to slow down in the garden. I’ve taken some cuttings, some of which have rooted and been moved on, I’ve finally put the plants that are large enough in the ground so I decided for this weeks Six to stand and stare – to take in the overall picture and to appreciate the colour and texture that is still looking good. Here are six areas of the garden (it’s also the whole garden!) and one plant from each.

The patio area looking up to the back corner of the garden

There’s a sleeper step up to the top of the garden where I have some Hostas in pots. The colder nights mean that their leaves have started to turn a lovely buttery yellow colour.

Hostas and Solenostemon ‘Camp Fire’
  • If you were to then turn around this would be the view. Just out of shot is the fern wall behind the Birch tree.

On the right, against the back of the garage are two more ladders for the succulents.

Pachyphytum ‘Dark Red’
  • Walk through the arch and you’re in the glasshouse area.

On the right is the shed and side wall of the garage. I grow Ricinus every year but it’s been too dry for them this year and only one has amounted to anything. It’s made up for the others though as it’s taller than the garage.

  • Through the arch (with the Honeysuckle growing on it) by the glasshouse and you come to the main border and Dahlia bed. Here’s the right-hand side area

The narrow border on the right has a mixed hedge and then the drive. It’s a very dry spot and I’ve struggled to establish plants here. Over the last couple of years I’ve changed the planting to mainly Hylotelephiums and grasses.

  • And here’s the left-hand side.

The tall Michaelmas Daisy is Symphiotrichon novae-angliae ‘St Michael’s’

The flower is actually a more purple-blue than it looks in the photo
  • Finally, round to the front garden.

The climbing Roses are still putting out a few flowers

Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’

It’s been good to stand and stare and it’s made me appreciate how well the garden has done despite this years challenging conditions. There are gaps where plants have been lost but they don’t show when looking from a distance and will provide new planting opportunities.

The photo at the very top is Dahlia ‘Edge of Joy’. It’s a weak plant and I feel it’s on the wrong side of joy and am a bit disappointed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini tour around my garden. There are lots more gardens to see at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/