SixOnSaturday September 26th Beginning Autumn.

Its time for another SixOnSaturday. From the garden, six things. In the comments section of the host you will find other Sixes to make you smile. In the featured picture you will see my favourite sign of the changing season. The pre-migratory feeding frenzy begins.

 1. The garden is showing signs of the seasonal change. A couple of chilly nights is all it takes. The Magnolia Stellata (which may be on its final season if we have a tough winter) is turning to gold with bright red berries. Caryopteris Blue Knight, all a-buzz, lights up the understory.

2. The Blueberries are starting to show their colours.

3. Gleaming beads of Callicarpa or Beautyberry. Apparently you can make jelly from them. I never have.

4. The very last squash is hanging on to the Ilex Verticilata, whose red berries will have been eaten by blue jays long before the squash is ripe.

a nice trailing of Virginia creeper and a wild rose are also in residence.

5. Goldenrod is just amazing this year.

6. and it is time to start picking the winter vegetables. Here are some leeks, Bleu Solaise. There’ll be lots of soup on our winter menus.

The tomato plants have been pulled, the compost and ground cover crops have been planned and discussed. All that is needed now is to get on with it! I did break out the chipper today to make material for next year’s paths so that’s a start. These dog days are so beautiful, it is hard not to just stand and watch them go by.

Have a wonderful week in the garden!

SixOnSaturday September 19th

It’s Saturday again and time to celebrate 6 things from the garden. To see more Sixes please visit the comments section on website of the host

  1. Bunnyproof beans in baskets. Too high for the rabbit to nibble. And the only chance of getting bush beans this summer.

2. Protected peas in pots and hanging baskets. Out of reach and finally beginning to flower and fruit.

3. Composted tomato seedlings look hale and hearty (until the first frost knocks them down).

4 Crazy Cosmos. #1 is reaching for the sky and flowering. #2 is pretending to be a tree. At 6 feet and growing the trunk is 2″ in diameter. There are no buds or flowers. #3 is a spindly 10″ tall and #4 gets eaten regularly by said rabbit.

5. Larkspur legacy from the seed package given by the vet at my dog’s passing.

6. Sweet surprise. Found growing in my so called lawn, a sweet autumn clematis seedling. I haven’t grown this plant or seen it in the neighborhood. Thanks birds!

Have a great gardening week!

SixOnSaturday September 5th. Wonderland.

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things:

Of Sunflowers; Russian Giants, Lemon Queen, Jerusalem Artichokes and Elf Minis


Where spiders lurk…….


Of sneaky squash, hiding baby fruits among other plants, Here in a winterberry…..


here under a hydrangea…

Here staging an assault on a viburnum

Here hanging like fairy lights in the reeds.

No cabbages or Kings, but salad things: lettuce, spinach, bok choi and cilantro

This is truly Wonderland!

Six smiley September garden things on a Saturday.

This theme is hosted by the Propagator and inspired by Alices everywhere.

To see more posts from gardeners everywhere please visit the comments section of his

Blog and provide a link to your own Six.

Have a wonderful week!

SixOnSaturday August 29th. Food for thought.

According to my spread sheet we are 2 weeks away from autumn. There is a light chill in the morning air. Harvest every day is the name of the game. Between the rabbit and me, all will be gathered in, nourishment for the season ahead. (He had my cabbages last night….)

We’re also getting in a few outdoor social events while the temperature is reasonable. Dining with friends on my deck this evening. Food for thought…

Here are 6 things to celebrate in and from the garden. For more contributions that celebrate the season pop over to the host site;

1. Potato salad. Just a few pounds of Desire potatoes moved to make way for beetroot seedlings.20200828_152516

2. Caprese. Tomato harvest is slowing down but the peppers and chillies are coming in strong now.20200828_152540

3. Zucchini for the grill.20200828_152226~2

4. Happy herbs are used in all our salad dishes.20200828_151952

5. A mixed bouquet of late roses, zinnias and sunflowers. For the soul.20200828_152302~2

6. The seasonal gatherings have begun. Not just my gatherings, but also that of the soon to be migrating birds. Egrets, cormorants and yellow legs. At low tide they rush to catch whatever fish they can, building strength for the journey. They hang out here at high tide discussing trade winds, weather patterns, who’ll be first to leave and stopping off places en route. This will go on for a couple of weeks and one day they will be gone. Except for the great blue heron, who is always the last to leave.20200828_085252~2Enjoy your late summer garden. These are the days of wine and roses…..

SixOnSaturday August 22nd. Consequences.

It’s so dry. We’ve had a dry mild winter followed by almost no rain this year. The garden is baking. The drought is having serious consequences.

1. Struggling to live without sufficient rain, Mr Magnolia has his first bad case of magnolia scale. The scale insects suck the sap from the tree, attach themselves to the branches and die. The next generation is incubated inside the dead bodies to emerge in the autumn and repeat the cycle. In a last ditch attempt to interrupt the next generation’s progress I will be resorting to a neem spray. This will have to be done at night in order to avoid the millions of bees, wasps, ants and other insects feasting on the leaking sap. And must be done exactly when the disgusting crawlers hatch. Mostly I believe in letting pests and diseases sort themselves out but in this case it’s a big old tree and I want to save it if possible. Of course if drought is our future this will be a short lived remedy and a dead magnolia by this time next year.20200821_131922

2. Sadly no sweetcorn. Those dastardly squirrels have had it again. Last week they ate the hazelnuts, leaving the shells artfully arranged around my vegetable garden bench. This week the ears of corn are empty. Still attached to the stalks. But gone.20200821_132053

3. Tomatoes are taking a break. Temperatures are too high for them to ripen. It’s OK, they have produced a fantastic crop this year. And they will pick up again next month. We haven’t bought any vegetables for weeks. Here’s a salad.20200821_142546

4. Not all consequences are bad. Winter squash is ready for harvest quite a bit earlier than usual. The plants are still setting fruit.20200821_131906

5. Zinnias and sunflowers are thriving.20200821_121557

6. And here is our almost-rain for this week. No-one here got rained on during the passage of this cold front. (Begins regular early morning rain dance regime….)20200819_180833

Six on Saturday is a weekly theme hosted on his blog by the Propagator himself. Six garden things on a Saturday. What could be better?

SixOnSaturday August 15th. Giants.

It’s Friday evening and time to think about SixOnSaturday. Six notable things from the garden. To see other gardens visit the comments section of the Prop’s site

1. Leading the pack we have wild  mullein. It is easily 9 feet tall. Most mornings it serves as breakfast buffet to downy woodpeckers and goldfinches 20200811_095553~22. Next up goldenrod at 6 feet tall. It came in from the marsh at some point and really, really likes its spot in the sunny dry border. It is at least twice as tall and bushy as it’s wild siblings.20200811_095547~23. Cosmos Purity. Taller than me and finally getting around to flowering this week.20200810_1340134. Nicotiana sylvestris. A favourite of mine although I must confess I can’t smell the supposedly strong evening perfume. 5 feet and growing.20200810_1341395. Phlox David. Large and vigorous and home to a million bees. 20200810_1340556. Last but not least the giant purple people-eater. No name, I don’t like the colour, but for some reason I have 2 of them and boy do they know how to fill a tricky corner. One of them has about 12 flowers the size of frisbees. The other is in a shadier spot where it occasionally gets a light trim with the mower and it is still covered with flowers and buds.20200728_075155~2Enjoy these beautiful late summer days. Harvests are rolling in, plans being laid for next year. Life is good!

SixOnSaturday week 52

We are at the end of my garden calendar year. Week 52. Here are Six things on a Saturday to mark this auspicious moment. Take some time to check out the other participants’ sixes in the comments section of the host’s blog:

1. Tropical storm Isaiah ripped through last night toppling corn, pepper plants and sunflowers. Staking took place at sunrise.20200805_133438


2. The storm laid to rest a very large and unruly Viburnum opulus that I had been planning to cut back to the ground when the weather is cooler. Its 90 degrees today but I made a start.20200805_132838

3. Naturally it laid itself down on top of a baby apple tree that bears it’s first single fruit. The apple tree will recover. The apple itself looks a bit haggard.

4. Scrambling through said viburnum was a Blue Hubbard squash which may or may not survive the onslaught of my trusty little battery operated chain saw. The dangling fruit is now on the ground until it ripens (or is nibbled by varmints).20200805_132928

5. In other news week 52 is usually marked by the start of the tomato harvest. This year however we are already in full glut mode and clearing space in the freezer for the overflow.20200807_073115

6. And finally a fountain. A fun little solar powered toy for the birds. It needs a bigger pond as the water spills over the edges in the slightest breeze. That will be taken care of.20200805_130455

Then on to week 1 and all it brings in harvesting, planning, sowing, ordering bulbs, summer pruning, spreading compost and generally setting up for the season to come.

Enjoy your gardening week!


SixOnSaturday July 25th. Summer things.

In a steamy week when we finally had some real rain, bee magnet Echinops Ritro went from punky to rumpled.20200724_15053920200724_150514Nicotiana Fragrant Cloud lived up to her name.20200721_091550Oriental Lily was scent-sational.20200724_150431A bonus poppy popped up.20200721_091332The first sunflower shone.20200722_133111And Zinnias sizzled20200724_145621Just summer things doing their summer thing.

Check out other summer sixes and even some winter ones in the comments section of the host’s blog.


SixOnSaturday July 18th. Harvest.

My gardening year ends and begins with the harvest of the first ripe tomato in week 52. Don’t ask why, it is completely random. Its when I turn my focus from pruning, planting and sowing and onto harvesting, making and growing plans for next year. In my garden today it’s week 49 and harvest time.

1. I’d not tasted garlic until going to college. I will never be without it again. This is my ‘runt’ row from odds and ends of bulbs and cloves that I wasn’t 100% sure were even garlic. The ‘good’ row has even bigger bulbs and is taking a bit longer in the ground to mature properly. 20200715_114419

2. Cucumber time is here. Picking at least 4 a day from 2 plants. I’m learning to pickle them.20200715_113729

3. Chard is not a vegetable we eat a lot. I find it bitter. I grow it because it is gorgeous and fool proof. Recipe suggestions anyone?20200715_114232

4.Summer raspberries. Polana is an autumn raspberry but by spring-pruning only half the plants you get 2 harvests. Or so I’m told. These are delicious.20200715_113712

5. Our Blueberry bushes are loaded. The first ones are ripe. I’m waiting for a calm weather day to take the nets off for the first picking.20200703_161001 And here’s the first pint.


6. Meet my bean isolation unit. It is a  last ditch attempt to outwit the rabbitzen and have a bean harvest. Hiding inside are pole beans and black beans. They are getting big and fat now (the rabbits, not the beans) and have added all my parsley and carrot tops to last week’s menu. There’s a sturdy fence on next year’s shopping list. And probably a replacement beagle in the spring.20200715_113859

Those are my Six for the week. You may find many others in the comments section of the host’s blog