Monthly Archives: September 2021

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.

Six on Saturday 18-9-21

I am finally willing to admit that it is really autumn now. What’s great, though, is that the weather has been warm and clement and thus there are so many flowers smiling their colour and form at us. I’m going to focus on pink colours for this week’s #SixonSaturday, here we go. First, hot pink comes from knautia macedonia, this plant has been blasting out stunning colour in the middle of the border for many weeks.

I sowed many different colours of cosmos this year. The warm summer, and the wet spell in August has suited them very well. I had lots to choose from for the pink theme, a duo-tone little number has got to be my favourite this year.

Back to the hot pink theme, with burst of brightness from the rose. I don’t know the variety, sadly, there is no perfume. But this one is a shrub rose that flowers for months when deadheaded regularly.

Japanese anemone is a lovely autumn flower. This one sways away in some of my shady borders, robust to winds, pale enough to glow in the evening light (despite the melancholy of that evening light come awfully early now.

A good friend gave me a few snap dragon seedlings this year, most of which have romped along, some in striking colours, some more delicate. A very pale pink shows how the pastels can really show off the interesting form of the flower.

Last, but by no means least, the real hero of the season is colchicum. This garden makes them thrive. A few years ago a generous neighbour gave me a dozen clumps. They have spread to really fill the front of several borders. Always a nice surprise when some of the summer growth splurge of other plants is cleared away.

That’s my #sixonsaturday for this week. I’m off to show some family visitors round the garden today, I’ll be sharing all the wonderful plants with them this 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 11-9-21

After the shocking Indian Summer heat of early this week, there’s much hope for still not using the A-word for this week’s #SixonSaturday. Whatever the season, it is time to show off some of the ripening greenhouse harvest. A range of new tomatoes were tried this year, with various levels of success. Mille Fleures was advertised as having dozens of little toms on single trusses. There were huge numbers of flowers, but not that many set, though those that did have been sweet and delicious so far.

For year’s I’ve struggled with what kinds of tomato to grow on the greenhouse bench. There’s about 1m of height, too high for a typical bush, too low for a cordon. offered a couple of what they called ‘sprawling bush’ varieties this year. This one is Latah, and has been just the trick, filling the spaces near the windows very nicely, about 1m high, quite sprawly, and producing early and very sweet fruit.

My next two varieties are of the more traditional cordon type. Jen’s Tangerine have delivered middling numbers of very orange-yellow fruit, which looks great in a mixed-tomato bowl or salad, tasty too.

Last of my favourite toms for this season are Trixie, with fruit on long trusses and a wonderful rich red colour and sweetness. It’s been a very warm summer in Scotland, the toms have done their best and I’m currently looking for recipes to use them most deliciously.

Other plants that have really benefitted from the heat have been chillies. All are still ripening. Regulars in my greenhouse are pyramid, pointy and fairly mid-heat, these will go into most dishes.

I will finish this week with the most exciting new plant in the greenhouse this year: Chinese Dragon’s Tail, these are very fiery, even more so if they are left to ripen to a full red. Great in a Thai curry or jamabalaya.

I hope you enjoyed my greenhouse six for this Indian Summer Saturday. 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 4-9-21

The garden and I are determined to hang onto the end of summer. This week I suspect we have hit peak dahlia. I’m therefore dedicating this week’s Six to #dahlialove. First up, this year a friend gave me some of her spare dahlia seeds. I’ve never grown dahlia from seed before, but I certainly will again. This pair of blooms show the possible range. Most of my 6 plants are now pretty large, not all have flowered, but those that have are prolific, with the simple bright flowers loved by bees and hoverflies.

Sticking with the simple flower, theme, I have very much enjoyed growing “Bishop’s Children” this year. Again, simple flowers, each produced on gorgeous purple foliage, and each plants has a slightly different colour form. My next two show some of the range.

In previous years I have shied away from the full fluffy gaudy dahlia, partly because they are not very insect friendly. This year I really fancied trying a few. My last 3/6 for this week demonstrate what a great decision that was. They are are in pots, scattered around a large area of pots in a hot sunny corner next to the greenhouse. One of the plants has blooms so dark they almost look chocolate, against pale green foliage that really sets them off.

The next, I was very unsure of on purchase, and even as the first flower opened. I’m almost converted to the huge blooms (bigger than an outstretched hand), and duo-colour. Here she is.

Finally, I am head-over-heels with one plant, purchased for a pretty penny from one of those ‘posh plant’ suppliers. But this one was SO worth it, showing off an intricate pattern of spiky petals, each one a mic of peach-pink. It is so delicate, and so simultaneously blousy. This beauty is one of my favourite flowers of the whole year.

I hope you enjoyed my six for this late summer Saturday. 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.