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 June 13th. Well behaved.

Six garden related things on a Saturday that make you smile. Simple. Hosted by the Propagator himself. More Sixes for your enjoyment can be found in the comments section of his blog:

This week I’m highlighting some of my favourite stalwarts. In my high maintenance world of crushing drought, finicky onion seedlings, crop rotation and thieving bunnies these are low maintenance standouts.

1. First is Abraham Darby. A David Austin rose with golden apricot petals and a tangerine scent. The shrub is compact and tidy with pretty foliage.20200608_133419

2. On a tangerine theme, my first ever seed grown California Poppy. The grey foliage offsets the mango colour nicely. The whole effect more subtle than expected. I’m growing it next to pale lemon Xanthos cosmos and blue cornflower in a dry sunbaked bed. Looking forward to seeing the whole  in action in a week or two. I’m hoping for an impressive show and much orderly self seeding.20200610_101916

3. Daylily. I’m not a fan of ‘lilies’ as they are known around here. The ubiquitous straggly wild orange ones are almost impossible to avoid. I do like this dainty golden one standing guard over my pumpkins. Don’t know its name. It requires nothing from me.20200610_092617

4. Foxgloves. All self seeded, on patrol under the very disappointing dwarf apple trees that don’t give fruit.20200610_092554

5. Anemone sylvestris. Lovely ground cover in a shady spot, lovely in a vase, perfectly trouble free.20200610_100834

6. Kousa Dogwood. A tree that doesn’t fail. Keeps in its corner, flowers when it’s supposed to. Makes fruit for the wildlife and has great winter foliage. And did I mention I’ve never had to spray it, rescue it or prune it?20200610_100959

As I prepare to head out to net blueberries, pull bindweed and hack back the redbud tree (again) all in a howling wind, I give thanks for my well behaved few. And remind myself to be on the lookout for more….


SixOnSaturday April 25th 2020. Unusual?

After a mild, sunny Winter, a cold, wet start to Spring and 6 weeks of lockdown the bulbs are coming up on schedule and as usual. 6 things on a Saturday to prove it!

1. Apricot parrot tulips. These were planted years ago and reliably appear every spring. Every spring someone snips off the almost ripe buds and leaves them scattered on the ground. It’s not a person. Is it a bird? Is it a rabbit? Is it a bug? I’ve never discovered the culprit. It only happens to these tulips. All the others are untouched.



2. This is a relatively new tulip for the garden. Red Appeldoorn. It’s a big classic unfussy red that I dearly love.


3. Narcissus Thalia shows her pretty face. I need to add more. These have de-naturalised over the years from a host to a scattering.


4. Cheerfulness on the other hand is clumping up very nicely and full of buds.20200420_143930


5. The stream of muscari has returned, as usual, despite being re-routed last year. 20200420_144504

Muscari latifolia has become more of a pool than a stream. 20200420_144204


6. A dwarf fernleaf dicentra (bleeding heart) that I vaguely remember buying back when the world was normal and one could browse the nurseries for little treasures. It’s about to be consumed by a hulking great mallow and a massive mullein. That’s probably why I haven’t seen it in recent years. Normally there isn’t this much time to micromanage. Job for the next warmish dry day will be to move at least one of them.20200420_143952


And just to keep things in perspective, this last photo was taken a week ago. April 18th. I hope this isn’t the new normal.


Six on Saturday is a weekly session of virtual garden rambles hosted by the Propagator himself. Explore the comments section of his blog and join the garden party. Stay safe in isolation. I must confess I’m enjoying it!

SixonSaturday. September 21st: Golden Days

The September marsh is ablaze with goldenrod and sumac. There’s a golden theme this week.

1. Caryopteris. Abuzz with pollen-packed bees.IMG_20190916_163441

2. Clematis durandii, perfectly blue with sunshine yellow centres. IMG_20190916_163534

3. Jerusalem artichoke or sunchokes; marsh wildings stealing space from Japanese anemones. IMG_20190915_101644

4. Golden Bantam corn. The rabbit missed a few. IMG_20190918_153919

5. Butternut squash. IMG_20190917_104058

6. Golden fleshed first gleaning of Laratte and Desiree potatoes. IMG_20190917_104025

More Six on Saturday garden snapshots can be found in the comments section of the host,  www.


SixOnSaturday August 3rd. Seasonal shift.

We had 2 heatwaves in July. The rest of the month was really hot but didn’t quite make “official heatwave” status. It is humid from dawn till dawn. My water barrels are empty. There are rabbits everywhere. The beagle is too hot to bother them. The algae in the river stinks at low tide. On the plus side, it is too hot and dry for mosquitoes. A couple of good thunderstorms would be very welcome, but so far the garden is loving it! It is lush and green when I’d expect baked and brown. Here are my six specials from the garden this week.

img_20190727_092004.jpg1. Anemone japonica ‘robustissima’. As the name suggests this is a very hardy individual,  taking over the marsh-front border with gusto. It throws up its tall flower heads in late summer, and will flower prolifically from now until frost. For me it is the first floral  harbinger of fall. In a couple of weeks it will be infiltrated by wild jerusalem artichokes, causing me to chunter on about ‘clearing out’, ‘redesigning’, ‘no more pink and yellow combos’ and so on. But it will still be August, too hot & humid for such intense activity. By the time the weather co-operates I will be ‘over it’ for another year.  

IMG_20190727_0915422. Germander. Teuchrium Chamaedrys. This one is also a sign of summer’s end. A lovely edging in the sunny border. Some years I clip it. This does not feel like a formal edging year. In a normal climate it would be evergreen. It is a nice alternative to boxwood, which is not really hardy through our winters.

img_20190727_092059-e1564583559934.jpg3. Phlox. Another harbinger. I don’t know which one this is but it is medium height and hides all kinds of ugly rose stems and burned out clematis vines.

IMG_20190727_0915214. White lace-cap hydrangea. This was an element in my first white garden. It is the nicest hydrangea, first to flower and repeating until frost. The white flower is so clear and clean. Sadly it is now being thirsty-ed out by the thuggish redbud tree and will have to be moved to another part of the garden. Another job for the Fall. I’ll take cuttings as soon as the current heatwave is over….I’d hate to lose it as I’ve never seen a prettier one.

IMG_20190727_0917245. Crookneck Squash. One plant, still too many squashes!

IMG_20190727_0917036. Onions! I have at last grown a decent crop. They are not show quality by any means, but they are big enough to slice rather than pickle! It’s only taken 30 years…..these are no-dig which I am turning to more and more.

So there you are, Six on a Very Hot and Sticky Saturday! For more gardening excitement visit the propagator’s site and have a wonderful week.

SixOnSaturday August 4th

August brings in more hot, humid days with brilliant sunshine. While the rest of the US is reeling from heat, fire and flood we are enjoying embarrassingly perfect weather. Enter the Bold and the Beautiful.

  1. Lilies. As anticipated the coral pink with orange accents clashes perfectly with the unexpectedly purple dahlia in the same pot. They are  good in a vase with the coral phlox below so they will be planted close by as soon as they’ve done floweringIMG_20180725_084444

2. Sunflower. There’s very little yellow allowed here. I make an exception for sunflowers in August and September. This one is “Elf”, a dwarf variety with full size flowers. I also grew “Italian White”  which is a paler lemon yellow. img_20180801_1033591.jpg

3. Hydrangea. This one came from a florist in a pot with shiny paper. 3 years later after the coldest winter on record, it flowers! The flowers are gorgeous, pure white and massive! I have a lot of blue mophead hydrangeas too. img_20180725_1012051.jpg

4 Zinnias. I just love these complicated showoffs! Benarys Giants. They have to live in the vegetable garden ‘cus they don’t play well with anything else!IMG_20180801_095607

5. Phlox are dominating the garden at the moment. I’ve lost the name of this short coral pink one, img_20180801_0956301.jpgand this one is David, much taller, approaching 6 feet.img_20180801_103518.jpg

6. Abraham Darby. One of the most spectacular roses I’ve ever grown, strongly scented. Now in the second flush of flowers. Rubbing noses with my little hedge of germander.img_20180801_1038351.jpg

These are my Six. Hope you all have a great weekend and take a minute to see what Mr Propagator is up to on holiday, at