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 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 May 16th. Space Invaders

The weather has finally turned and temperatures are close to normal. My tender plants have been able to transition to outside with a few exceptions.

The good news is that cooler temps are good for weeding and generally taking stock of what’s where and what needs to be gone.

So here we go, six weedy things on a Saturday.

1. Aguga reptans Bronze Beauty. The evil spawn of a cute little 6 pack purchased many years ago as a ‘manageable groundcover’. It now covers all available bare ground and has happily naturalised in my so-called lawn, creating purple polka dots 5 feet in diameter.20200507_104122~2

2. Ground ivy, its weedy cousin, has escaped its natural habitat in the lawn and now has a stranglehold on the harder to reach areas, popping up allover the borders especially behind thorny things.20200507_103018~2

3. Heartsease, which arrived one summer to my great delight. It is very pretty and a useful herb. (If one could ever take enough time off from weeding to study and make use of it).20200507_103234~2

4. Golden Spirea has joined its friend Ajuga in the escape from the border and plans on world domination.20200507_103128~2

5. Beautiful in early spring. Wild violets grow huge leaves by July. Their grip on the soil makes them almost impossible to remove.20200507_103027~2

6. And finally some sort of salvia. Given to me as a solution to a hot dry bank it prefers the greenest and most perfect part of the lawn, where it most resembles a pile of poop,until it throws up a flower stem or 2 in June.20200507_103004~2

They say the garden reflects the personality of the gardener. Tough as nails, hard to get rid of, obstinate, makes her own rules……they might be right! View more gardens and personalities in thw comments section of your host the Propagator himself.

Garden on!

SixOnSaturday April 11th. Reconsidering orange.

Six gardening things on a Saturday. Hosted by the Propagator himself.

1. My Nanking Cherry bushes are now in full bloom. There’s a recipe for cherry blossom cordial that I may try, given all the extra time I have at the moment. If it would stop raining for a couple of hours I could harvest some flowers and still have plenty left to make cherries.20200410_142806

2. My recalcitrant Helleborus Niger or Christmas rose has finally flowered. Just in time for Easter.20200410_143209~2

3. Early daffodils are opening up. Golden yellow King Alfred, an unknown white and orange small cup, 20200405_161007~2Jetfire with orange trumpet20200405_161028~2 and Tete-a-Tete. 20200405_161019~2Most of my daffs are Ice Follies and Thalia. These orangy ones are few and far between and end up in a vase.

4. I’m growing California poppies from seed this year. The little feathery plants are adorable but will have to be carefully located.20200407_064305

5. I neglected to sow Benary’s Giant zinnias last year in favour of Queen Red Lime. I thought it would be more tasteful. Just disappointing. I missed my big brash Benarys with their screeching colours and neon orange star-shaped stamens and this year they will be back. Probably in the vegetable garden.03740_1024x1024

6. Tulip Praestans van Fusilier on parade in vermilion orange jackets are out and about.20200410_142705

Purple wasn’t welcome in the beginning. I was all about pink, white and blue. And green if course. And yellow if only on the pale lime side. Gradually purple has insinuated itself in the form of precious violas, hellebores and clematis. It is a wonderful foil for spring greens and the rosy shades I’m fond of. I am sorry to have missed out on it for all these years. As a result I am reconsidering orange. In moderation, where it is justifiably an accent. Strange times indeed!

Stay safe and well out there and continue to follow the rules. Thank goodness for the garden!

SixOnSaturday March 14th. A little alliteration to brighten the situation.

Finally there is a Spring rain. Colours are accentuated yet softer. Grey and brown snags take on a brushed, washed hue of colour. Faded feathers are exchanged for bright. Goldfinches gleam, bluejays brash, clash with courting cardinals. Here are Six for the week…..

1. Blushing blueberries. Hard to see in the photo but the twigs are covered in tiny magenta buds. 20200313_154117

2. Cornus cloud. A halo formed by lemon yellow pompoms.20200313_154728~220200313_154619~2

3. Going for gold. The pussy willow shown last week is loaded with golden pollen.20200313_154017

4. Hazel haze. Long and loaded and wiggling in the breeze. Fading now from brass to bronze.20200313_15482820200313_154907~2

5. Rain barrel refill.20200313_093049I have 3 of these 55 gallon barrels. I close them in the winter so they don’t freeze solid and crack. Starting to fill them today as it’s raining properly for the first time this year. Each one will fill up in 15 minutes or so.

6. It’s time to sow.20200313_145616 So there they are, Six things in the garden on a Saturday. You will find much more gardening gorgeousness in the comments section of the host’s blog. Do have a read and join the conversation.





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 24th. Green and growing.

Summer is at its height. The harvest continues at a ridiculous rate. Some things in the garden are taking advantage of the hot,  sultry days.IMG_20190821_0827071. Pumpkin and squash reaching out across the marsh,  looking for support from the phragmites that my neighbour  so optimistically cut down to the ground in spring!

IMG_20190821_0824432. Wild grape growing at a mile a minute along the tops of a red paper dogwood.

IMG_20190821_1041033. Tall elder branches bend to touch the earth,  under the weight of almost ripe berries.

IMG_20190823_1505584.Nicotiana sylvestris, growing full throttle, loving the late summer heat.

IMG_20190823_1454535. Goldenrod preparing for glory, at 6 feet tall and still growing….

IMG_20190820_145036IMG_20190820_1452106. Praying Mantis, enjoying our tropical climate. A rare and ethereal tourist.

Visit thepropogatorblog.wordpress to see what’s going on with gardens everywhere.

SixOnSaturday November 10th TREES

I’ve been giving some thought to Mr Propagator’s search for the perfect tree. I am fortunate to live among many beautiful trees. If I could only have one,  it would be a cherry. Either a sweet or a sour fruiting cherry. I’ve tried and failed with both. My location and climate just won’t do. I’ve had crops that were amazing, followed by sudden death.  No photos of the remaining discouraging stumps. I’m moving on.

For my Six this week I give you trees and thoughts of trees.

1.Skyrocket juniperIMG_20181109_081810The juniper above was planted a few months after I moved here, 25 years ago.  It was 15 feet high. Last year the snow and ice tipped it over at a 45 degree angle. After cutting 10 feet off the top of the central leader, tying it in and hoisting it back upright all is well. At only 2 feet wide it’s a great punctuation point in my wild Kingdom. I’d sorely miss it if it hadn’t recovered. Green all winter, a soft landing for fledgling sparrows in spring.

2. Baby Red OakIMG_20181102_162312I have no oak trees on the property. I was given this little red oak sapling which spent the summer looking unremarkable in its pot. The autumn colour is so amazing I’ll be planting it out this month. In a few years it will make a lovely red statement in my mostly orange and gold autumn landscape.

3. Hawthorne IMG_20181102_162318This hawthorn was also a gift. I’m not sure which hawthorn it is but it will make a fine addition to the ‘back 40’. Please excuse the black bin bag covering on my rain barrel!

4. Magnolia Stellata IMG_20181104_130649

Magnolia Stellata is supposed to be a lovely, graceful tree. Mine is a thug, 4 hefty trunks requiring 3 or 4 prunings a year. But it is a thing of beauty in every season and hard as nails. Pure gold at the moment.

5 Blueberry IMG_20181104_130418

Not really a tree, but high bush blueberries come close. Today the leaves are red patent leather.

6. Hazelnutimg_20181104_130337.jpg

Another good 4 season tree. There is the nut harvest of course, with its attendant wildlife, but also long straight canes  to be used as bean supports, fantastic gold and cerise autumn colour. In winter there are fragrant catkins (which can be seen already if you look closely). Easy to propagate, has no pests that I know of, winter and drought hardy.

These are my Six. I can’t wait to see which tree the Propagator chooses. I have a feeling there will be more than one. ‘Cos “more plants innit!!”

This weekly meme is hosted by the Propagator. Pop on over to his site to read musings from around the globe.