Six on Saturday 4-12-21

The first #SixonSaturday of winter, so some wintery scenes for my Six this week. Thankfully, we’re based on the south slope of a hill, nicely protected from the big storm last weekend, just lost a few tree branches. But I was a little surprised to see November snow a couple of days later. Made for some nice pics of the garden though, so here goes. Clematis seed heads have featured before on my blog, but perhaps not so cute as this, each one wearing a little wooly snow hat.

There are many perennials still on show in the big border, too, echinops standing tall despite the storm and also sporting fluffy snow caps.

There have been a number of days in this last week when the pond has taken on it’s winter jacket…a fair covering of ice, with green leaves of the water lily still hanging on underneath.

Next to the pond is my December gunnera. I think this must be the first year in the 16 I’ve been here that some of the leaves have managed to stay standing into December…they are just about hanging on. The horticultural advice for this plant is to cover with a number of the leaves to protect from frost. Most years I have to hack half a dozen new buds of this specimen in spring to stop it romping further down the garden, so it gets treated fairly harshly to keep it in check.

I’ll finish this week with a couple of winter highlights. Blackbirds are slowly finishing off the cotoneaster berries: there are still a fe left to bring colour and cheer.

Perhaps a little early, pieris is beginning to bud. This one almost never produces fresh red leaves, it’s looking like it wont this year either, but the flowers will come in just a few more weeks.

That’s my #SixonSaturday this week, have a great weekend in the garden, if you can get out into the weather. Stay safe, keep yourself and others safe by following the science and wearing a mask, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 27-11-21

It should be late autumn, but winter seems to have arrived: storm Arwen is bashing about outside (Friday evening), I’m in bed with my first heavy cold in 2 years, and I’m hoping to get this blog up in case we get power cuts later….very high winds and a sprinkling of snow, I think the leaves will be gone by Sunday. It seems apt to make this week’s #SixonSaturday theme be the turn of another season, and plants that are defying that turn. I managed to get out to grab a few photos this morning, while it was calm and sunny. I’ll start with some survivors. A yellow buddleja always does me proud feeding the last pollinating insects, I think it’s beaten them to the end of season this year.

I cleared some leaves away from the veg bed and found a few wonderfully colourful radicchio underneath. Fabulous colour, if I can keep the wet leaves off, they will end up in a mushroom-radicchio lasagne later this weekend.

There has been a fair bit of cool dry weather lately. I think that might be why this fern is decaying with a delicate colour-fade this year, quite different from the usual frost-driven brown mush. Worth contemplating for a while….will be gone in this storm…

Until perennial cornflower started doing it’s own thing by seeding itself in top spots, I didn’t realise it would flower into winter. This one was chopped back hard in September and has rewarded me with a couple more cheerful blooms.

I grow a diminutive small-leaved hebe that nicely fills part of a ‘low maintenance’ border. It very seldom flowers, but it does provide cheerful ever-green all year. Dry, warm, and not-too-wet autumn seems to be suitable weather, it’s decided to flower.

It took me many year to realise I was growing Himalyan honeysuckle. This plant loves dry, shady corners of my hillside garden, pops up often, and is flowering away now. It has a certain ‘waterfall’ kind of elegance, and good strong colour.

That’s my #SixonSaturday this week, have a great weekend in the garden, if you can get out into the weather. Stay safe, keep yourself and others safe by following the science and wearing a mask, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 20-11-21

15 deg in mid-November means that there’s still lots of colour, and pattern around. I must admit ‘colour and pattern’ is a bit of a loose theme for a #SixSaturday, but here it is…..

First up, there are still roses in flower, battling away to keep going and going. These ones last for months. I love their pretty little blooms, sadly they have no scent.

Rather than clearing a big patch of hosta, these have been left to decay away, producing a rather satisfying pattern as the stems melt away into the earth.

Some lovely autumn colour next, from iris foetidissima, a fairly plain and simple summer flowering iris, but at this time of year the seed heads are interesting a colourful.

Activity is calming down in the pond now. Spiky ‘water solidiers’ have sunk into the depths. Water lily is still in leaf, and a few local invaders are doing there thing. The pond will need an early winter clean out pretty soon, but we’ll wait until the leaf fall is nearly over.

Talking of leaves, this year has produced a rich variety of bright colour, that is now falling before it fades, leaving a multi-coloured lawn, and lots of promise for leaf-mould to come (once it’s all been raked up and put into the leaf holder).

Last but not least, some more pink…not-very-hardy geraniums are still outdoors in pots. This weekend looks like it might drop cold, so they will be moving into the greenhouse soon for their winter holiday.

That’s my #SixonSaturday this week, have a great weekend in the garden, looks like the weather will still be mild across most of the UK. Stay safe, keep yourself and others safe by following the science and wearing a mask, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 13-11-21

I didn’t publish a blog last weekend, as I was privileged to experience glorious Autumn colours in the wonderful Scottish Borders. It has been a fabulous autumn in southern Scotland, so here’s a bonus image of Stobo Castle gardens before I even get to my #SixonSaturday for this week.

WOW! Whoever designed the garden is probably long-gone, but what a fabulous legacy! Stobo Castle is a spa hotel, but it doesn’t say anywhere that the garden is private, so I’d recommend a look if you’re near Peebles any time.

Now I’m back home and starting to wade through the vast arrays of collapsing border plants. But there’s still things to look at, little pieces of joy that make mid-November in the garden worth a look. First, still standing this year (because we’ve only had 1 frost) is my boisterous gunnera. Soon to collapse but, for now, fighting on.

To complement the green, here’s a bit of colour. I can’t quite decide whether this is wallflower is newly flowering, or if it’s been flowering all year. But I noticed it as I cleared a big tub of cosmos away. What a worker!

For my next little joy, I showed the flowers of clematis tangutica a few weeks ago. Always a late flowerer, and soon to be chopped, but now it is full of gorgeous seed heads. I’ll leave a bit longer as I’ve seen sparrows collecting these to line their winter roosting pockets.

This is the first year I have grown ammi, from seed. These promised to give that lovely floaty white thing, in mid-late summer. They have been at their best later than advertised, but I think they are worth it. I will try to sow the seeds earlier next year.

My final two are certainly, ‘wow still going’ blooms. The first is some kind of daisy-type plant, probably north American, maybe a Shasta Daisy? This year I did deadhead vigorously and a few of the plants were kind enough to deliver late flowers. Nice.

Last, and I know I’ve shown these recently, but what’s not to love? Calendula…..still at it. I remember a trip about 10 years ago trekking in Nepal in November, and they were growing there, so perhaps it’s not surprising that they manage eastern Scotland too.

That’s my #SixonSaturday this week, have a great weekend in the garden, looks like the weather will still be mild across most of the UK. Stay safe, keep yourself and others safe by following the science and wearing a mask, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 30-10-21

As we almost draw October to a close, it has to be a Halloween theme for my #SixonSaturday this week. After failing to grab shots of scary spider webs, because the pouring rain and wind had ripped them away, I give you pumpkin….well actually a lovely squash…just the one on a plant grown up the outside of the greenhouse wall this year. I think we are are much on the outer edge of squash-growing territory. This one will likely feature in a veg curry pretty soon.

I tried to find something spooky in the garden, this is the best I managed, the creepy tops of echinops seed-heads stalking the border.

With no frosts in evidence yet, calendula are bobbing their cheerful, festively coloured heads in the pouring rain.

Not ghoulish, but soon to be ghosts (it seems to be controversial that they might overwinter in the UK), there’s the odd butterfly pottering about still. Red admiral has appropriate seasonal colour and is enjoying nectar from the still-flowering hebe.

Another splash of October colour from the nasturtium, they look a bit ragged now, but this one seems to have one of those creepy-clown-face grins that suits the theme.

FInally, we’re approaching the end of the eating apple harvest, and this is what’s left…try not to notice the one or two dark decaying specimens…my creepy Halloween finale.

That’s my #SixonSaturday for another week, hope you enjoyed the view. Stay safe, keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 23-10-21

In a week when I’ve had a few days away in the mountains, bathed in the misty chestnut hues of autumn, it was startling to come home to a garden still showing off it’s vibrant colours. Here are some of my best reds this week for #SixonSaturday.

In the greenhouse, a few toms and chillis hold on, with most leaves stripped off the bright sun is achieving some ripening. You can’t get redder than this.

Having dug the last of my potatoes on Friday, one of the veg beds has had its cardboard jacket put on for winter. In the other, there is still much deliciousness, including a favourite patch of rainbow chard, this one’s one of the best.

I’ve grown more and more nasturtiums over the last few years. When the sweetpeas die back, I have these in the same pot and they grow up and over the drying sweetpea stems. This year it looks like they will make it until November. A new mix this year has thrown up some extra-red flowers.

Despite a major sulking period in the middle of a wet spell in August, what appeared to be a poor showing from autumn raspberries turned out to merely be a delay. The fruit are huge, shiny, juicy, and starting to fill my freezer. I can feel some jam-making coming on soon.

There are some plants that sit in the middle of the border looking boring all year, then they do this: smokebush doing its rich smoky purply-red thing.

And last, but by very no means least, I’ll try to keep adding a dahlia into my six until they have all finished….will this be the last week? Has got to be one of my favourite flowers of all this year.

That’s my passionate red #SixonSaturday for another week, hope you enjoyed the view. Stay safe, keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 16-10-21

As we descend into the dark months, I’m taking cheer from the pinky-purple warmth of autumn blooms, and a few summer survivors that are still going. To start, a rather suprising hanger-on, chives having probably their 4th attempt at flowering this year.

Made slightly bedraggled and tatty by the season (a bit like me), I can’t resist showing what is probably the very last flower from the grown-from-seed dahlia. This was the first year I tried growing dahlia from seed. The result has been a bit mixed, but is fun. I’ll do it again.

On the more elegant side, I grow several fuschia, not sure how much I like their fussy form. But flowering well into October, their delicacy and detailed beauty does bring joy.

A second summer champion is osteospermum. In my Fife garden, these are grown in pots so that they can be wintered in the greenhouse. The rich purple is set off well by the rich green leaves that are sometimes evergreen.

Hesperantha flower for just a few weeks at this time of year, when they come into their own, I always wish I’d got more. They seem to spread very slowly indeed.

I will finish this week with a stalwart of the season. I wish it hadn’t changed it’s name, I keep having to look this one up: hylotelephium.

That’s my #SixonSaturday this week. Trying to get into the garden on bright weekend days, there’s lots to do, though the storms have started. Have a good gardening weekend. Stay safe, keep gardening, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 9-10-21

This was a week when the weather changed for the cold and breezy, then changed back to Indian summer with a couple of very strange days of warmth, but drizzly rain. Doesn’t make for much joy in the garden, yet the raindrops on the still-resiliant blooms are lovely. So this week’s #SixonSaturday focuses on wet stuff, mostly pastels. To start, echinops are doing their best to stay in bloom, rain drops seem to cling to each little set of petals, seedheads still look very good too.

Foliage can looks gorgeous in the rain, the soft leaves of purple sage almost look shiny. Sages have had a wonderful time in this warm summer, it must be time to dry some soon for my Xmas stuffing.

Many plants that show up in my garden have invited themselves. Mallow is a plant that is around locally in hedgerows, and it popped up near the brick path this year. By now, the leggy stems have been chopped back a couple of times, yet still they flower. Delicate, and pretty.

The gardening blogs and programs suggest that hardy geranium will re-flower after a chop back in July. few do, but this little pink beauty came back this year. I’ve been getting lots of physio to fix my dodgy knees, I can finally get down to see low-growers like this one.

Perhaps the warm autumn has perked up the large hebe shrubs again, several are having another go at flowering. Flowers and glossy leaves do give a very nice display in the rain.

Finally, this is the second Saturday in October, and STILL I have cosmos that are bursting into flower, with many buds following on behind. Keep dead-heading, it seems to really do the trick while the frost stays away. What a joy!

That’s my #SixonSaturday this week. I do hope the sun comes out before the next working week begins. Stay safe, keep gardening, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 2-10-21

An active weathery week has heralded proper autumn. Now that October is here, with high winds, driving rain, and day-time temperatures finally down into ‘normal’ figures, I’m shivering away, trying to keep cheerful by enjoying the beginning of the garden’s autumn colour. This week will be an autumn-foliage-filled special for my #SixonSaturday. My first this week is hypericum: leaves are losing their chlorophyll in a fascinating pattern, starting with red blobs symmetrically placed along each leaf. I wonder why?

A large cotinus is well into it’s autumn glory, green tones merge with purple as the winds tousle the broad leaves.

One plant that is barely showing the season yet is gunnera. Sitting by the pond overflow, the plant is statuesque, with leaves about 50cm across and the whole plant a couple of metres high and wide. Still looking lovely and green, I suspect one morning soon the frost will wilt it.

I always forget that alamancia has autumn interest. It is such a good value plant in spring, with delicate white blossom, and comes back into it’s own now, with vibrant, almost orange foliage.

Even garden perennials can do their thing towards autumn brightness. This vibrant red is provided by a couple of peonies: having hidden themselves in broad sight in dark green cloaks all summer, they finish with a colourful flourish. I’ll chop them down eventually, well into winter.

Last of my six this week, it’s hard to stop absorbing the limey brightness from a small old-fashioned mulberry tree. Each year it provides a few little fruit, but now, WOW, what wonderful colour to start a weekend on.

That’s my #sixonsaturday for this week. Hope the weather works out for a gardening weekend. Stay safe, keep gardening, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.

Six on Saturday 25-9-21

Indian summer has stayed with us in Scotland. Days are still warm and sunny with 19 deg C temperatures. As we move through the equinox and the light starts to fade, the miracle of giant courgette plants and sunflowers continues. This week I’ve chosen yellow-and-orange as a cheerful, warm, sunny theme, as we brace ourselves for the dark nights to come.

My first this week is the wonderfully wildlife-friendly buddlija weyeriana. This plant grows tall, like many buddlija, with yellow bobbles holding lots of tine flowers, that can last well into October to provide much needed nectar for Autumn pollinators.

On the more summery side, a mixed bag of nasturtium seeds has resulted in about 10% of this year’s flowers having a bright yellow flower, with red central streaks. Refreshingly bright on a dull day.

Clematis tangutica is next. For years I let this romp around a corner of the house with flowers up on the roof, then a friend pointed out that it could be chopped down to knee high each winter and the flowers might end up in reach next year….bingo. Here they are, each one a delicate yellow, leaving a springy seed head that will be used by small birds to clip off and make cosy roosting pockets for the winter.

Now for the late flowering big-guns. I’ve grown a rudbeckia in a pot this year, in the hope that i can nurture it in the greenhouse through winter. They should be hardy but I wonder if the winter wet gets them. This one is blooming away and looks like it will do for a while.

I may have shown this gorgeous dahlia before. I tend not to go for the big blousy ones, but this plant has been producing lots of delicate yellow-orange (or perhaps they are apricot?) flowers for what feels like months now, I love it!

To finish this week’s six it has, of course, to be the giant sunflower. This one was planted in a shady corner that I cleared for the first time in years. The soil must have been very rich, and the sun quite a struggle to find…the plant solved the problem by growing to about 9 ft tall….I had to stand on top of a bench to get anywhere near the flower. What a wonderful specimen!

That’s my #sixonsaturday for this week. A quiet weekend awaits me, where I’ll enjoy what must surely be the last warm weather. Stay safe, keep gardening, and don’t forget to follow the crowd on twitter and via the web from links to the originator of #SixonSaturday, the Propagator himself.