SixOnSaturday July 14th

The August slump has arrived a few weeks early this year. Temps are a bit lower this week and finally the tomatoes and squashes are starting to set some fruit. The lawn is browning up nicely. Nothing a few days of steady rain wouldn’t fix.

Here are my Six.

1. Giant purple dahlia. I’m not sure I like dahlias. Peer pressure made me pick these up in a weak moment . The package photo was such a pretty pink! I planted this one in a pot with soft pink lilies which will probably turn out to be vibrant orange, for maximum clash of colour!!! The photo does not do justice to its purply magenta intensity. What’s nice is that there is no sign of lily beetle.IMG_20180710_075533

2. Eryngium *Blue Hobbit”. A little cutie that was eaten by rabbits last year but has re-emerged this year, happy and healthy.img_20180706_100548-e1531488104565.jpg

3. Veronica ‘Goodness Grows’. This  plant is at least 20 years old and just keeps on giving. This is her first of many flower flushes. Some sort of yellow flowered sedum behind.img_20180713_143529.jpg

4. Hydrangea ‘Blue Billow’, beloved by bees. The whole shrub is usually humming with them. Naturally there are none at all in the photos I took today.IMG_20180713_143508

5. My trusty chipper. Purchased on Craigslist for $100, brought home in the back of my Subaru.IMG_20180713_130607

6. Reclamation of my water view. One day you look out of the window and realise that everything got huge when you weren’t paying attention. So you call the man with the chain saw.

At 9am (Before)… IMG_20180711_105523

At 5pm (After). Still a work in progress, a lot of chipping yet to be done. A forest of sumac, a huge pussy-willow tree, and a crab apple pruned to the ground. Yikes! The viburnums in the centre of the photo still to be reduced by at least half.  Now we can see the river. IMG_20180712_152812

Still lots to do before September planting can begin.

Six on Saturday is a weekly treat courtesy of Mr Propagator. More contributions may be found in the Comments section of his twitter post.

Have a great week!


SixOnSaturday July 7th

Hello Sixers,

I hope you are all surviving this July heatwave.

As an experiment this year, I mulched my vegetable garden with salt marsh hay. I have to say I was skeptical, expecting to have hay sprouting everywhere, Au contraire, the weeds are minimal, and the straw seems to be helping retain moisture in the soil. It’s not the prettiest, but the price was right and it seems to work!

My Six this week reflects an unusually weed and pest free bounty!

1. Really Red Deer Tongue lettuce. I had to have this for the name alone, but it is tasty, beautiful and does a better job than most lettuce in the extreme heat we’ve been having.img_20180706_095156

2. Fennel in a pot. I love fennel but so do rabbits and groundhogs so I usually grow some in pots as a backup. img_20180706_095938

3. Tomato. This one is a variety called Vilms that I am trying for the first time. Looking good so far. I also grow Bellestar ( small size determinate), Opalka paste, Paul Robeson (brown beefsteak), Prudens Pruple (pink beefsteak), Goldie (large orange) and Principe Borghese (medium sized for drying). So far they all look really good.img_20180706_095114

4. First little baby squash. I think this one is a Giant Blue Hubbard. We’ll see what it grows up to be.img_20180706_094750

5. These are Lincoln peas. I can never get enough fresh peas. One of these years I’ll plant the entire garden in peas.img_20180704_070245.jpg

6. Another ‘new to me’ – Latte sweetcorn. Inter-planted among the strawberries, which I am planning to pull out as they are aging, not very gracefully. The corn looks nice and healthy and is beginning to tassel. So far so good.img_20180706_094946

These are my Six this week, it could so easily have been sixty-six!

Six on Saturday is a weekly treat courtesy of Mr Propagator. More contributions may be found in the Comments section of his twitter post.


SixOnSaturday June 30th


Summer is in full swing. So many wonderful things happening in the garden.

  1. Roses. Here is my favourite of the day. Beautiful form and colour; classic, strong rose perfume; blue-green foliage; great name.                                                                   Rosa “Cuisse de Nymph” or “Great Maiden’s Blush”


2. Clematis. Here are “Jackmanii”, (sultry deep purple velvet)img_20180627_142027-e1530298859574.jpg

“Durandii”, perfect cobalt blue with tidy lemon centresimg_20180627_142020-e1530298993936.jpg

and “Niobe”, richest wine red.img_20180627_141959.jpg

3. Daisies. These are Oxeye daisies but there are many look-alikes in my garden.IMG_20180627_112639

4. Sweet Peas. IMG_20180627_142624

5.Poppies. This is “Elka” a white bread-seed poppy that is always the first of the annual poppies to pop.img_20180629_114141

6. House wrens, coming and going from their nest in a little ornamental wooden lobster-pot marker.

Midsummer is passed, make the most of the long days. Enjoy the warm weather, we’ll soon be thinking about coats and boots…..

Six on Saturday is a weekly treat courtesy of Mr Propagator. More contributions may be found in the Comments section of his twitter post.

Six on Saturday June 9th

A very quick post as I prepare for a couple of weeks away from the river. I was going to write a post about all the things I’ll miss,  full of bursting buds and new growth. Instead I seem to have settled on sunshine and moonlight.

1. A river of gold-en thyme.img_20180608_141734

2. More gold, a baby tulip poplar tree that I will not live long enough to see at maturity. I’ll plant it anyway , for the ‘next people’.img_20180608_142103




3. Golden spirea. A pesky weed really, useful in contrast with it’s neighbours.img_20180608_141427

4. Golden eyes. Liquid sunshine. img_20180608_1421421

5. Achillea Moonshine.img_20180608_1421531

6. Peony Moonstone again, fully open and glowing.  img_20180608_141408

Six on Saturday is a weekly treat courtesy of Mr Propagator. It is helping me to pay attention to the treasures of each season.

More contributions may be found in the Comments section of his twitter post.

SixOnSaturday June 2nd

Fashionably late to the party this weekend. Too busy gardening! Better late than never I suppose…

1. Peony Moonstone. My current favourite. Strange that some of the buds are turning pointy, and opening with ragged fringed petals. Last year all were the classic open bowl shape as in the first photo. No idea why. Heavy fragrance.img_20180601_122645



2. Hosta. Time to divide these boys, they are about 4 feet in height and diameter. Time for a plant sale…good way to recycle plastic pots.



3. Chamomile Bodegold. Very large 2nd year plant. I collect the flowers for tea. There are always a million seedlings around for next year.img_20180601_170117


4. Blue perennial Salvia. Good in any group planting. Here with Coral Bells, Sedum Lacecap Hydrangea and Baptisia australis.img_20180601_170015.jpg

And here with Clove Pinks, Peony, Red Twig Dogwood and a prostrate spruce.



5. Red rhododendron, backed by a holly bush that needs a haircut!img_20180601_170056


6. Hydrangea Nikki Blue. Especially grateful to see the first flower buds after the very cold winter we had.img_20180601_1705131


Six on Saturday is a weekly treat courtesy of Mr Propagator. More contributions may be found in the Comments section of his twitter post.


Six on Saturday May 26th 2018 Red, White and Blue.

It is Memorial Day weekend and what with the wedding last weekend, a bit of Red, White and Blue seems appropriate.

img_20180518_1516201. Chaenomeles. Very lovely this year, although I had to prune it before the buds opened as they are always hiding under the foliage. I’m trying to keep it to a manageable size anyway. 

img_20180516_12571012. Return of the rose. This is Zephirine Drouhin. I thought she was a goner, between the winter and the hardy geranium, but when I got in there, bright red new shoots were emerging. This is not a grafted rose, they don’t do well here in our winters, so she should grow true to form.




3. Viburnum Opulus, (Snowball Viburnum) grows in tree form in my garden. It’s very showy and very large! Makes wonderful cut flowers, not scented and no pollen. Very helpful for those of us suffering with seasonal allergies. Viburnum Plicata Mariesii, the Double file Viburnum is a lovely standard shrub. White flowers in Spring, berries in Summer, mahogany leaves in Autumn and a wonderful sculptural form in Winter. This one is an offspring from my first plant which succumbed to the heavy snow and ice we had a couple of years ago. She generously left me 6 or 7 suckers of which I kept just this one. I also have Dentatum (Arrow wood Viburnum) and Trifolium (Cranberry Viburnum) but they are not as showy at the moment.



4. Deutzia. Beloved by bees. Easily propagated by cuttings or layering.



5. Ferns. Supporting my White story, Cinnamon Fern and Japanese Painted Fern


There are also a few wildings creeping in here and there. They are most welcome!

img_6165-e1527103654307.jpg6. Blue, Dragon Flower. It is the perfect Royal Blue. This photo doesn’t do the colour justice and I have no idea of its botanical name. Bought as an annual several years ago and now it is about 2 feet across, in the toughest part of my stony, gritty herb garden. Shown contrasting nicely with Lemon Verbena.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I contributed to #SixOnSaturday, created by Mr propagator.  More contributions can be found in the comments section of the host: