Monthly Archives: July 2021

Six on Saturday 31-7-21

This weekend starts with an ‘extra’ July Saturday, and thus an extra July #SixonSaturday too. I’m still loving the unexpected warmth, the threatened rain this week was heavy, but not flattening, and has perked up the parched borders. Back to blooms this week, and to limit my currently bewildering choices, I’ve chosen a colour theme: yellow. About 10 years ago I was given a tiny piece of mimulus to pop into the pond. Now the pond is swathed in a band of the stuff, right round the perimeter, lasting for weeks on end, with facinating flowers that each have their own insect landing lights.

Out of the pond and into the shady borders, St. John’s Wort is a local native and self-seeds as a smallish shrub. Nicely fills a space, has lovely flowers, and great berries into Autumn.

A related plant, but somewhat more sun loving is a larger-flowered hypericum, the variety of which I don’t know the name of. Flowers are teacup sized and full of detail.

On a sunny wall I grow a Californian native, that has travelled with me since I bought my first little flat years ago in Newcastle. Fremontodendron is a small tree with a long name, and somehow makes it through a Fife winter when growing against a south-facing and cosy wall. Similar sized flowers to the big hypericum, but on an actual tree growing about 3m tall…..NICE.

Back to the dry sunny borders for my last couple of favourites. Bobbing about above the border are a group of giant scabious dressed in pale yellow flowers. Loved by bees, and a gentle speader, these plants tend to move around the border rather than clogging it.

Last for me this week is a real garden border thug. Loosestrife will take over if left to itself, but the swathes of bright tall stems filled with flower and worth losing a few smaller plants to. These are ever cheerful, and make a great statement when plonked into a vase.

That’s all from me this week, stay safe folks. I hope your summer is delivering on warmth and garden joy, wherever you are. 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 24-7-21

A week of summer heat. Even in Fife the temperatures got to 25 deg C this week, followed by a fair few cool nights when the sea haar came in and took until midday to burn off. We’ve had 10 days with warm sunshine so far (shhhh, think the weather is due to break….). My garden has held up, despite the dry and warm weather. I use the can to water sensitive clematis and some of the delicate annuals, a sprinkler on the veg bed, everything else takes its chances. Somehow the slug and snail fest seems worse than usual, I wonder if the little critters are using my dahlias as their main drink of the day? With that in mind, and while they are still gorgeous, I’m going to choose dahlia as my #SixonSaturday this week.

A new try this year, Mignon Purple has huge blooms on a long stem. My partner loves these, but I’m still not sure.

There is something understated yet lovely about the singles, this is Happy Single Flame, with wonderful bronze foliage setting off simple flowers (and bees love them).

My first ever white dahlia, I like My Love much more than I’d expected too, she almost lives up to her name.

Until realising ‘it was a thing’ via Gardener’s World, and a friend who had a seed packet, I’d never thought of trying to grow dahlia from seed. A few plants are well on their way now, this is the first to flower. I like the simple plant form, and this one is covered in flowers.

Back to showy now, this year I invested in a few tubers from more ‘upscale’ suppliers. This is the lovely Summer Flame. I have just the one plant, but it is full of rich oranginess, very pleasing.

Last and by no means least, WOW, Babylon Red is a tall plants with really huge, really really red flowers. This one greets me every morning at the greenhouse door. I hope there will be more blooms after the first flush, stunning.

I grow almost all my dahlias in pots so that they can can a good start in the greenhouse before moving outdoors. They’ve done a great job so far this year, adding colour and joy to the mid summer garden.

That’s all from me this week, stay safe folks. I hope your summer is delivering on warmth and garden joy, wherever you are. 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 17-7-21

In a stark yet satisfying contrast to last week, I’m writing my #sixonsaturday garden blog on a wonderfully warm summer evening. 9pm, in Fife, and its 22 deg. This kind of summer’s evening is full of delicate scent, long-suppressed joy, and just a hint of nervousness that we’ll have 3 days of this summer and then it will be gone. To celebrate, my Six this week will focus on some of the hots reds that are showing off this week.

I’m not a huge rose fan, and despite my neglect this summer has really come up roses. They are spectacular this year, including this big blousy red variety. I don’t know the name but the scent is gorgeous.

Next is a more dainty proposition by far. Knautia macedonia is shaking her rich blooms in the evening light.

Pelargonia are enjoying the heat of the full sun on the stone courtyard each day. These are on year 3 or 4, I winter them in the greenhouse and they deliver for me each summer.

I’ve been augmenting salads for a week or so now with a range of spicy nasturtiums. This year, a pack of mixed seeds have given quite a few plants with rich red flowers that look and taste stunning in a green salad.

Apart from some slug and snail damage, I’m doing well with dahlia this summer. My new trick is to grow them on in the greenhouse until 30cm tall, or more, before hardening off. This has resulted in stronger, sturdier plants that are flowering earlier than in many years. First, a ‘real red’.

And for my sixth and last bloom of the week, a darker richer, red. That’s my #sixonsaturday for the week. I hope your summer is delivering on warmth and garden joy, wherever you are. 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 10-7-21

I’m not sure how much gardening is going to happen today. Ah, summer in Scotland: outside is grey, damp, drizzling….perhaps I’ll pop into the greenhouse and feed all the lovely veggies in there. On that note, veggies are now ready and the first harvests are coming in. I love this bit of the GYO year. So here they are, my #SixonSaturday features edibles today.

On a recommendation from a friend, I’ve gone for one courgette plant in the greenhouse this year, leaving the rest to shiver away outside. The strategy has paid off and courgette Atena is already delivering for stir-fries and pizza topping.

This year I’ve, as usual, chosen a few new tomato varieties. I was promised by the wonderful ‘Real Seeds‘ that Latah would be an early fruiting ‘sprawly bush’ (rather than a cordon) that fruits very early. And so she does. Here’s my first fruit, just a couple more days and I’ll be able to try these.

Outside, this year’s cool May and sunny June have been loved by several varieties of lettuce. This lot will soon go over, I wonder if I remembered to sow some new ones? There’s so much to eat here, anyone got any recipes?

I’ve tried a few different varieties of tattie too this year. They were all planted very late, the first being Shetland Black. The stems have just a hint of red in the centre, the tatties themselves are the deepest blue, with white flesh and a simple purple ring near the skin, but inside the flesh itself. Very hardy, small, excellent roasted whole….will be looking forward to the harvest in another few weeks.

There are lots of peas ready, or at least on their way. I think these are Kelvedon Wonder. The pods are beginning to fill with sweet delicious fruit. I find it hard to cook peas from the garden as they are so sweet eaten in a salad, straight from the pod.

Last, but by no means least, this year’s strawberry harvest is rather late, but just about managed to make it to UK tennis season. The fruit are large, sweet, glossy, fragrant, and carefully netted to avoid the blackbirds sharing too many (they get the tiny wild ones that I use for ground cover in other parts of the garden). I will need to pick more today, to try and get in there before the wet weather damages them.

That’s my edible #SixonSaturday for this week. Will be back to the blooms next week as so much is growing. 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 3-7-21

The thing about summer that I always forget is just how fast the garden grows, how floriferous it gets, how quickly things flower. Summer feels like it will last forever, and at the same time each blooms lasts just a few hours or days. There’s so much to choose from. Unusually, I’ve gone for a set of pale blooms this week. First, whitest of white, Canterbury bells are really going for it this year, I’ve ended up with mostly white ones.

Also purest white, a large climbing hydrangea on the garage wall, takes it’s time, flowers slowly, but stays in flower for months on end. Each petal is picked out against the dark background.

Heading just a touch towards pink, my favourite rambling rose is a real thug, but grows us its own support, makes a haven for small garden birds, and smells divine in the first couple of weeks of summer.

The peony season is almost over. I don’t know the name of this variety, but it’s huge blooms are rather rose like, delicate, yet very robust.

Moving away from white a touch, this year’s lupins were late, but have stood tall and strong even in high winds. I’m hoping for a second flush in a couple of weeks, if I’ve time this weekend to start the deadheading of some of the other plants.

Last, but by no means least, I’m not sure how much I love alchemilla mollis, but the ground cover this plant gives can be a blessing (or a curse), and the blooms look lovely in a vase with a few larger, more robust flowers.

That’s my pale #SixonSaturday for this week. If you like Six on Saturday, do join in, there are lots of contributors on Twitter, and more via the regular blog from #SixonSaturday initiator, the great Propagator himself.