Six on Saturday 30/12/17

New Year’s Eve eve! Where did that year go? Looking back, I’ve managed to keep on top of most of the garden most of the time so I’m happy. Joining the six group has been great fun and I look forward to the ‘visits’ to other gardens each week. I don’t think my small garden will provide enough material for weekly blogs in the new year but I’ll see how it goes. Here’s this weeks offering.

1. It’s been really windy here, yesterday and today, and the taller seedheads have been badly hit. After I took the photos this morning I cut most of them down.

2. Another casualty of the high wind. I don’t grow many roses but have five David Austin ones plus some Clematis growing up ropes and posts in the front garden. Sadly, the first post has rotted off and blown over. I’ve propped it up for now but will have to speak kindly to the non gardener about replacing it. I’m a bit worried about the rose roots though. This particular one is ‘Graham Thomas’. As it’s growing up a post it reaches six to seven foot high and flowers all summer and well in to the autumn.


3. I deadhead the roses very regularly through the season to keep them flowering and so they don’t develop many hips. These belong to ‘Graham Thomas’ and a small cluster flowering variety called, I think, ‘White Swan’.


4. Hakonechloa macro ‘Variegata’ grows at the front of a small border. I bought one plant many years ago and have slowly divided it. The border is contained by sleepers and the grass looks lovely as it grows up and falls over the edge. In between the clumps of Hakonechloa I’ve planted snowdrops. As they come up I cut the grass down, then, as the snowdrop leaves start to go over, the grass covers them up. The snowdrops don’t show up very well in my photo but they are there!


5. This evergreen fern grows at the base of the Birch tree. It looks so glossy and goes through to March/April when I cut the old fronds off. I don’t know the variety, another sale table plant, so if anyone has any suggestions…..


6. A plant not in my garden. We spent Christmas in Cornwall and while out for a Boxing Day walk came across these Snowflakes, Leucojum, growing in the hedgerow. Beautiful.

BD0D5D1D-3418-47AC-97ED-1796A20D3353I’ve enjoyed sharing my garden with you, thank you for dropping in. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year with perfect gardening weather.

Thanks to our host –

Six on Saturday 23/12/17

It’s been such a mild week with lots of misty, murky weather and a distinct lack of sunshine. We gardeners are never really satisfied with the weather we’ve got!

I think I’m finally on top of the Christmas preparations and so thought I’d steal some time to get my fix of Six on Saturday.

1. I’ve several large pots planted up with layers of bulbs and topped with either Violas, dwarf wallflowers or Bellis. These Violas looked very sad in last weeks frosty weather but have rallied this week.

FFA56546-5391-4C71-AA83-0E2905106F012. I also fill several shallow pans with single species of Crocus and Iris reticulata. As they come into flower I put them by the patio door to look out on. Little rays of sunshine, whatever the weather. They’re coming up really well.

C3B5E050-B1BF-4762-8A2B-03C24821A5943. Whilst on the theme of bulbs the snowdrops seem to have appeared overnight. I’ve waited patiently for several years but now have several good sized clumps – some singles and some doubles. I don’t know the names, sadly.

BBAEAB2A-3799-4414-B062-EFBEBDE032F6Narcissi are also through well in some places


4. Last weekend I cut all of the old leaves away from the hellebores. I’ve bought a few plants but most of mine are seedlings that I’ve grown on and selected. I used to diligently collect the seed and sow it in pans, prick out etc. Now I realise that they are really a posh weed and pull handfuls of seedlings out each year. As it’s been so mild this week the flower stems are beginning to rise up, especially on H. foetidus.



28412277-4D9F-4E38-9456-5A36791A09F1The last photo shows a sale table purchase. The label said it was an unnamed double flowering one. We’ll see!

5. Griselinia littoralis ‘Variegata’ grows in quite a dark corner. The variegated leaves really brighten up this bit of the garden. In a hard winter the leaves can go a bit black but it always recovers come the spring. It’s a good seaside plant, apparently.

1DCF5115-B1EF-4D98-ACDD-724D4BF73B2F6. Many years ago I planted two hollies – ‘Golden Queen’ (a male) and ‘Silver Milkmaid’ (a female). It took years for them to reach a good size but they got there eventually. Sadly ‘Golden Queen’ eventually got too big despite, or probably due to, regular clipping and had to make way for drive widening. Luckily, although I can’t see it in a neighbouring garden, there must be another male variety nearby as I still get good crops of beautiful red berries on my remaining plant. I meant to take a picture of it’s bountiful crop earlier this week but it’s been too dark in the mornings to do so. Since then the birds have been regular visitors and it’s been stripped! I managed to find these few berries on a low branch.


A seasonal plant to end on. Merry Christmas and thank you for reading my six. I hope to find another six next week but it’s getting harder!

Thanks to our host. See his latest six at

Six on Saturday 16/12/17

I managed to squeeze in an hour in the garden this afternoon but had to come in as I could no longer see anything! A head torch for the Christmas list?

It’s been a cold week here in North Somerset with several hard frosts and the last few bedding begonias and similar have finally succumbed. I went outside after this mornings frost had cleared to find todays six and have a mixed bag to share

1. Frosted leaves always look good. This is a foxglove. I gather up seedlings growing in the ‘wrong’ place, grow them on in a small area for the summer and then replant in the autumn. I have a lot of giddy plants in my garden.


2. I was given a rather sorry specimen of Mahonia a few years ago. It was labelled as ‘Pamela’ but I haven’t been able to find any reference to this variety. I suspect it’s pallida but if anyone has any other suggestions…….. It’s never flowered, was bare most of the way up and was growing so lopsidedly that I took the plunge at the beginning of last summer and cut it down to about six inches. This drastic action was followed by the usual pep talk, feed and mulch. It worked!  It just needs to flower now to secure it’s future but I can’t see any buds yet.


3. Talking of Mahonias – a recent acquisition is Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’. I’m all for proper names but really?

Anyway, the foliage is very different for a Mahonia, soft and almost fern like. I’m looking forward to seeing it grow and flower (it’s had the warning).


4. Any flowers at this time of year are a welcome sight and if they have a perfume then they’re definitely winners. Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is one such shrub. It gets a bit big for my garden and so has regular thinning. To earn it’s place it supports a Clematis viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ in the summer. I cut this back in November so that the Viburnum can have it’s moment. It’s near the back door and the scent carries really well.

5. Another wonderfully scented flower is the very understated Lonicera fragrantissima. The flowers are tiny and appear on and off throughout the winter and early spring. It’s not a hugely attractive shrub for the rest of the year but more than makes up for it at this time of year.

0EDD0403-FC1A-4B05-AF6F-6153C0F6E1ED6. Having a small garden means that I like plants that grow upwards and am always on the lookout for supports. I found these at a local forestry timber yard. They were an end of season reduction and so three came home with me. They’re tucked into a sheltered corner for the winter and will go into a border in the spring

8F25E64C-BA6E-4091-A38D-FE973F7EC594That’s my six for this week. I don’t know if I’ll have enough to keep posting weekly but we’ll see how it goes.

Don’t forget to check out our host’s site at where you can check out all the other sixes.

Six on Saturday 9/12/17

Doing this blog really focuses my attention on what is happening in my garden. It’s going to get tougher as the winter weeks go by.

1. I was so pleased with myself as by the end of last weekend I had finally managed to plant all of the bulbs. The last few stragglers went into pots, to be positioned  in the spring. And then these arrived!!!

B8AC0C00-AB39-4AEA-8815-637FC7AAB9FEIrresistible Alliums from the Parkers sale. Plus a free bag of mixed daffodils. I’m not a fan of mixed bulbs but, unless I can find a good home for them, I guess they’ll end up in pots. I no longer plant tall daffodils in my borders as it’s quite windy here and they tend to end up flattened and they have too many leaves that take too long to die back. The shorter ones get covered up by the herbaceous plants as they come up.

2. More work! I told myself that I wasn’t to buy anything that could only live in a pot and that wasn’t fully hardy. Then I saw this Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’ and developed temporary amnesia. I don’t heat my greenhouse, just rely on lots of fleece, and so it’ll have to live in the corner of the conservatory for the winter

09FB58D6-EF15-4768-B175-2AA225346E443. A lot of the seed heads are looking a bit bedraggled after the windy weather this week but the Japanese anemones are still looking good. This one is ‘Hadspen’s Abundance’ and is quite prolific. I bought it at Hadspen Garden many years ago. A few years ago I pulled the fluffy seeds from a couple of seed heads, laid them on a pot of compost, covered them with gravel and left them in the coldframe for the winter. Come the spring there were dozens of little green shoots. I grew some on to flowering size (two years I think) . They were alright but nothing special.  I’ve kept a couple though as they’re ‘mine’.

71CD3B87-0B58-4B67-8B75-B03BE9B87FC8 4. I’ve featured this Begonia before but can’t believe how good it’s still looking considering the frosts that we’ve had. The leaves are not as red as they were but are still handsome. I was going to put it in the greenhouse to see if it would overwinter but…….


5. Years ago I visited a garden in the depths of winter and fell in love with the leaves of Arum italicum pictum. I was given a small clump which I duly planted. Once the leaves start to look tatty in the spring I just pull them and the spathes off. However, seedlings are now appearing all over the garden and it’s beginning to become a pest. And how do the little tubers get so far down in the soil? Whilst googleing to check that it is indeed a tuber I see that the name has changed to Arum italicum subsp. italicum ‘Marmoratum’.

A13A3282-BFBC-4D61-B44F-8DC8A01BE6566. Several Clematis are still flowering. I usually cut mine back by about half at this time of year to tidy them up a bit and then give them the proper prune in early spring but can’t bear to do it yet

11F08FD7-F9F5-4CAA-B9ED-0F6811770CE3That’s my six. Thanks for looking at them and thanks to our host

Six on Saturday 2/12/17

Brrrr. A very chilly start to the new month. We’ve had several frosts here now and things are definitely looking more like winter. I’ve a whole weekend off and intend/hope to spend a fair bit of it in the garden. There’s still tulip bulbs to plant, half hardies to move in to the greenhouse, dahlias to dig up and store, leaves to gather (I’ve only a small garden, where do they all come from?) the list goes on……

Here’s my six – three plants I’ve not featured before, two repeaters and one tragedy.

1. Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Variegatum’. Another plant that looks good 365 days of the year. There’s no open ground where I want this plant and so it is in a large pot which, obviously, restricts its growth. It gets a reasonable number of flowers but they don’t seem to have a great deal of perfume to them. Very pretty though and the autumn/winter foliage is a gorgeous colour. It holds onto most of its leaves through the winter


2. I took pity on this un-labelled Hydrangea at a plant sale late last year. I repotted it and kept it in there until early summer. It wasn’t looking very happy and so I planted it out, gave it a stern talking too and watered it regularly as it’s under the Birch tree. It sulked for ages and then suddenly decided it wanted to live. It has three very late developing flowerheads which have faded to this lovely soft colour. I have high hopes for next year. The only problem is that I’m more a fan of lacecaps!

EFD44A91-4D5D-470A-A955-BF28DD9C51953. Another pity buy. The soil is very alkaline here so it’s rare to see Rhododendrons etc growing in the ground. I keep saying I mustn’t buy anything else that has to live in a pot. I must listen to myself! This one has bright pink flowers and adds a touch of the exotic in the spring. I love the promise in those big fat buds.  I just tuck it in a corner for the rest of the year as it’s spread sideways rather a lot.


4. I’ve posted this one before – Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’. I’ve “trained” it up a piece of six foot trellis and, despite the frosts, it is still looking good and has lots of flowers.

04D4F60C-4AEB-4267-838E-4426CD5AD54D5. I posted a photo of the trunk of my Birch tree last week. The sun was shining yesterday and the view up through it was too good to miss

1E69119F-8860-4443-BCED-8AB748E409EA6. Tragedy! Back in the summer I made an impulse purchase of  Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ while on a nursery visit. It was about a foot tall and had several little ones. It spent the summer among other pots by the back door and looked very happy. With the cold weather looming I decided to move it to the greenhouse last week. As I picked the pot up the whole thing keeled over and onto the ground. Vine Weevils! Given the size of the ****** things I reckon they were in there when I bought it. At completely the wrong time of the year I’ve taken cuttings, replanted the original stem base with it’s tiny remaining root hairs, planted the top section (having removed a lot of leaves and I might take more off yet) and even planted the mid section of stem in desperation. The whole lot are now indoors in the warm. Fingers crossed something will survive.


Thanks to our host for hosting this, I really look forward to the Saturday snapshots of peoples gardens



Six on Saturday 25/11/17

The frosty weather definitely arrived this week. The dahlias, half-hardies and summer bedding are looking very sad and the leaves have fallen. Tomorrow’s job will be to get all the fuchsias, tuberous begonias etc into the greenhouse for the winter. I miss being able to go out into the garden in the week at this time of year – it’s very dark by the time I get home. Anyway, here’s this week’s six.

1. I have a long list of trees that I will plant in my lottery winnings garden – Parottia persica, Acer griseum, Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’, Paulownia tomentosa……. It’s a long list so I won’t go on.  In the meantime I have an Amelanchier, a newly(ish) planted Sorbus and a Betula jacquemontii ‘Snow Queen’. When I planted the birch I knew it would have a limited life due to its height (and proximity to the house) but as it started to get too big I couldn’t bear to cut it down and so I pollarded it. I do this every few years and it’s still looking good. I heard a bit of GQT last week and they said not to do this! I’m glad I hadn’t heard that before. Last week I washed the trunk and cleaned off the last few peely bits. It’s beautiful! This photo doesn’t do the colour justice.

E667A5F4-530D-4633-BC59-A2B5FA040AE62. When we bought this house we planted a Leylandii hedge – I can hear the sharp intakes of breath and cries of disapproval. It lasted just over thirty years, was kept to about eight foot high and provided the security needed. For the last few years of its life it suffered patchy die back and so last year it was cut down and the roots grubbed out. I immediately planted a beech hedge (well it will be one day) in its place. It’s growing really well and I’m loving the colour at this time of year. I have a long (relative to the size of the garden) herbaceous border in front of it and gained about half a metre of border back in the process.

9F5C64D3-D1F7-4FA5-B002-72EB241492E53. I love fuchsias of all sorts and have grown several hardy ones in the garden for many years. They usually get cut down each year but that keeps them in check size wise. For the last few years I’ve had a problem with them not flowering and, on closer inspection, found that they were suffering from, I think, fuchsia gall mite. I don’t use any chemicals, although I don’t think there’s anything available to amateurs to kill this pest, and so tried cutting the plants back down as soon as I saw signs of the problem but it wasn’t very successful. As the plants weren’t putting energy into flowering they started to turn into Triffids – they got huge! The problem seems to get worse each year and so a few weeks ago I took the decision to dig them out. I’ll have a few years rest from them then try again. The half hardy fuchsias don’t seem to be affected so far. What I have gained is two areas of new planting opportunity. I’ve filled this one with bulbs for the spring.

146D1741-38C1-4233-9D1C-6AD866911A264. I shred and compost virtually everything (not the fuchsias!). I temporarily had a glut this summer and nowhere to spread it and so stored it in my coldframe, covered with a tarpaulin. I used it on the newly cleared areas but as I was digging it out I came across so many cockchafer larvae! I’ve never noticed more than one or two in my compost before. These were in about four bucketfuls of compost! Yuck!

68116DC8-48B4-4CA4-8DD8-E53AFB0AFE065. Various Salvia cuttings tucked up in the greenhouse. I was a bit late taking these at the beginning of October but they’re doing well. There are more further along the bench – all that potential for next year. The problem will be where to put them all.

9D2D5164-B494-4175-ADFF-D79FA8A856AE6. Seedheads. I leave them as long as possible. They’re so lovely when they have frost on them. I pick some of the allium seed heads, especially A. christophii, earlier in the season. The ones in the second photo are Rudbeckia ‘Rustic Dwarf’ brown from seed in the spring

That’s my six for this week. Thanks to The Propogator for hosting this.

Six on Saturday 11/11/17

Autumn has well and truly arrived this week with a couple of frosts, high winds and rain. It’s  starting to look a bit sad in some parts of the garden. I picked the last of the dahlias (knocked back by the frost but not blackened) and the chrysanths in the week. I must try to get the remaining bulbs in tomorrow! I’m sure they’re multiplying in the bags. I had very serious garden envy from other people’s posts the week before last but here’s what’s still looking reasonable in my little patch.

1. I know it’s appeared in other people’s posts but Salvia ‘Hotlips’ just keeps going. I’ve a couple in the garden and intended digging them up and overwintering them in the greenhouse. I’m tempted to leave one in the ground to see what happens. This one is with Salvia ‘Amistad’

B7B3FC2E-84AD-4F34-A06F-C613F2CF5A3E2. A Hydrangea, not sure on variety as I was given it as a cutting a few years ago. It flowered well earlier in the season but has started again quite enthusiastically

ABEC7BB1-9478-40DB-8492-7F0A8B8205583. I left a group of Cannas in the ground last winter – not deliberately, more forgetfully. They appeared above ground quite early this spring but the slugs and snails feasted on them several times. They eventually managed to get to a reasonable height though. Now that I’m thinking of digging them up to overwinter them they’ve decided to flower.

DB4DF4C3-4EAA-4639-B7B1-29B0DFA463C14. I love Heucheras. They mostly do well in my garden although some get a bit crowded out due to too many plants in too small a space. This one is ‘Lime Marmalade’ and it’s such a bright splash of green, even at this time of the year.

6AD8E030-B8BF-46AA-A4A6-217B01E64BFB5. Sorbus  aucuparia ‘Autumn Spire’. I planted  this last autumn as it enables me to have another tree, this time  with autumn colour, that doesn’t take up too much room. It’s only got a couple of berries on but that will, hopefully, improve as it settles in. It definitely has a spire-like habit and the leaves have stayed on well

18E474A1-5A2B-429F-8C21-97841B1CC84E6. I don’t know my fungi names at all but these bright orange toadstools(?) have appeared in several places in the lawn this week. The photo doesn’t really do justice to their bright colour. They also look wet even when it isn’t!


That’s my lot. Thanks to The Propogator for hosting Six on Saturday. I enjoy reading all of the posts.

Six on Saturday 28/10/17

Autumn has really settled in this week but there’s still a lot of colour from flowers and leaves to enjoy. I’ve been planting bulbs where I can but still can’t bring myself to pull out summer bedding that’s looking good. I mentioned my similar dilemma the other week about emptying containers to plant up with bulbs and winter/spring bedding. Someone replied that the answer was easy – buy more pots. I took the advice (thank you John Kingdon). Anyway, here’s this week’s six

1. An example of the bulb planting dilemmaC93912E4-C775-418A-AB66-00D33B12CA99

2. Fuchsia ‘Lottie Hobby’. I’ve had this plant for many years. It’s evergreen in all but the hardest of winters (we’ve not had one of those here for a while) and is quite often still in flower at Christmas. The Heuchera leaves in the photo show how small Lottie’s leaves and flowers are.  I cut it to the ground each spring to stop it getting too tall.

3. Gingko biloba has been on my wish list for a while and I found this one on a sale bench last autumn. The autumn leaf colour is gorgeous.

A197C0BA-E608-43F9-8560-3DD612EA0E984. Ammi majus. I first read about this plant in a Christopher Lloyd book. He recommended autumn sowing but I never manage it! They do quite well from a spring sowing though. Most of mine have passed their best but a couple are still going strong.

1F4D821D-3014-43EF-92AA-5C46398C97A05. Another clematis having a final fling. It’s ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ and lives in an Amelanchier. There’s a lot of flowers a lot higher up!

A291F7E9-9293-431B-A80F-8A1A9011C2716. A Hydrangea. I can’t find the name label any more. It’s a star flowered one, I’m fairly sure it had a Japanese name. The leaves are bronze in the spring and the flowers are white/pinky-red. And then there’s the autumn colour! It’s not a really strong grower but that’s probably as well in a garden this size.

F72CA003-A6DB-4EAD-A73B-29EEFBC4BE0FThank you to The Propogator ( for hosting this.

Six on Saturday 21/10/17

I went out into the garden nice and early today to take some pictures before Storm Brian hit. I’ve moved several of the pots into the greenhouse for 24 hours while the wind blows through. Even the large pots were blowing over in the high winds the other week. Here are my six for this week.

1. Nerine bowdenii. I’ve tried growing this a few times with no success. I think I’m guilty of too many plants in too small a space and so they get crowded out. This year I decided to try some in a pot. Five bulbs, one flowering stem. Not very impressive success rate – it is beautiful though.73FD6CD5-A732-4F4B-BB5A-0CCF1BB2A0512. I have quite a lot of clematis (mostly viticella) growing up and through plants and supports. Several of them seem to be having a final fling including ‘Margot Koster’. It’s growing through a honeysuckle.

E728B98F-3853-420F-9700-945D2FDB2D543. A sedum, not sure which variety. It’s been an absolute bee magnet for weeks. It’s going over now and the colour has been darkening over the last week. I have several clumps of this as I took some cuttings from a friend’s plant a couple of years ago and they all took!52988725-68EC-4C80-821A-9325E2DC9DE14. I bought Geranium ‘Rozanne’ a few years ago as the label said that it would flower in shade. It’s growing between an Amelanchier and a large Pieris in a shady north facing border. It maybe gets a bit leggier than if it was in a more open position but has flowered all summer long.

5BCCE288-ECE1-4B3B-AC3C-798E3E494F755. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’, I think! A beautiful plant virtually every day of the year

62C9A376-B3E2-47B9-A833-9C2BBEBDA5AF6. Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’. I don’t have room for many roses but grow a few up posts and ropes, including this one. As it grows against a post it reaches a height of about six feet. It’s flowers well into November usually and was looking good this morning but I doubt there will be many flowers left in the morning.

03F64CFB-45AA-4BF9-9E4D-F9756DB4B9F3That’s it for this week. Thanks to the Propogator ( for hosting this. I’m really enjoying seeing snapshots of other people’s gardens and also sharing mine.

Six on Saturday 14/10/17


Autumn is definitely arriving in my little North Somerset garden. My Amelanchier lamarckii ‘Ballerina’ has shed virtually all of it’s leaves already but the clematis growing through it (Madame Julia Correvon I think) is putting on yet another good display of flowers. Anyway, here’s my six for this week

1. The pots on the patio still have quite a bit of colour in them given the time of year. It’s always a dilemma when to strip them out and fill with spring bulbs and bedding

IMG_20582. Talking of bulbs…. I was a bit late ordering mine this year and so only received them a week ago. So much promise in those bags! Thats not all of them either, but that’s another story.

IMG_20573. Another patio pot that’s still looking good is this Begonia. I can’t remember it’s name, it’s a giant form of semperflorens. I didn’t really believe the blurb so only bought one. I wish I’d potted it on once more as I’m sure it would have grown even bigger. It’s flowered non-stop all summer and the foliage is wonderful, even given how windy it’s been here this summer. I’ll definitely be getting it again next year.


4. I really like Persicarias and have had Red Dragon for a few years. I find it difficult in a border as it can be a little enthusiastic. Having acquired a new piece of trellis last year I wondered if I could persuade the dragon to grow upwards instead of outwards. I planted a couple of small clumps at the base last spring and it did okay but has really gone for it this year. Obviously, it doesn’t cling but once a week I tuck the new growth through to the other side and back and it’s topped six feet!

IMG_20685. A proper climber this time, Clematis tangutica ‘Bill MacKenzie’ has been in flower since early June. There’s still some flowers but it’s the seed heads that are so beautiful at this time of year. I grew Eccremocarpus scaber through it which worked really well.

IMG_20616. And finally, another Michaelmas Daisy from my visit to Picton Garden and nursery –  Symphyotrichum ericoides ‘Yvette Richardson’. A little daintiest than some of the others I bought.

IMG_2067That’s my lot for this week. Thanks to The Propagator for hosting these sixes.