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 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 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. 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 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