Six on Saturday 13th November

Some of my Six points today don’t look particularly Novemberish because, although I have been complaining quite a lot about the advent of winter, I guess even I have to concede that it’s not actually that cold yet. I’ve only worn my big coat once, and that was only because I was walking round a steel works.

Anyway, on to my points, and I’m starting with a transformation. Our neighbour has had some tree surgery work done and it’s made a massive difference to us both in terms of light.

I can’t imagine how dark the back of his house must’ve been before the tree was felled. My home office is in the back bedroom and it’s made my work space much lighter, and we actually get sunshine in the kitchen now. I can’t wait to see the difference in the summer. We’ve offered to go halves with him on getting some more huge trees reduced in size and that should be happening in February, so watch this space!

Next up are some impressive fungi. These are so big that I can see them from the aforementioned home office and I decided they needed to be featured here. I went down the garden to photograph them this morning and they’re really quite spectacular. I’m never sure whether you should get rid of fungi or not. I guess I should google whether they do any harm.

I featured these nerines in the last Six I did before they’d opened up. They’re new to me so I didn’t know what to expect but I’m delighted with them. They’re such a welcome splash of colour when most of the rest of the garden is snoozing away. They came from granny’s garden, so wherever she is, I hope she can see them and they make her happy.

I included this in my last Six as well but I thought it was worth including an updated photo because the flowers have emerged and they’re really something quite special. They look like they should have fairies sitting on toadstools underneath them sheltering from the cold.

I’ve included a glorious splash of purple in my last two points. First is the last remaining verbena flower. They’ve got such cheerful colouring and, continuing the fairy theme, can’t you just imagine a fairy wearing these as a hat? What a beautiful fairy hat that would be. That fairy would be the toast of the town sitting on her toadstool underneath the fatsia Japonica wearing her exclusive verbena bonnet!

Whereas the verbena is clinging on to its final flower, the erysimum is still covered in flowers waving around in the November breeze. This was a sale table find and it flowers reliably, and beautifully, every year.

I won’t be doing my gardening today, but if it’s dry I might try to get out tomorrow to do some last minute tidying and make use of the last green bin collection of the year. I hope you all have a fabulous fun filled weekend, but maybe you’ll find some time to check out other Sixes on the Propagator’s blog.

Six on Saturday 23rd October

Hi! I’m supposed to be doing my Tesco online shop, but the website’s been down all day, so here I am instead, having taken a sojourn in the garden to do some autumn tidying and found that, actually, there’s still plenty of botanical goings-on out there that are worthy of reporting.

It’s a mix of seasons out there so I’m going to start with a couple of reminders of summer that are still lingering on out there with hope in their hearts. The first is specifically for my aunt with whom I share a love of these gorgeous giant begonias in apricot shades. She sent me a picture of one of hers earlier this week and I reported back, with some envy, that mine were fading fast, but, look ……

….. this definitely isn’t fading!! How does nature know how to create something so beautiful?! I was intending to clear the wheelbarrow planter that the begonias lived in this summer, but I couldn’t resign this to the green bin.

The second point is cosmos. I grew these from seed and they’ve got huge!! I planted them in between my sweet peas (which were a bit of a flop this year) and my runner beans which were whatever the opposite of a flop is (flap?) I cleared the flop and flap and then had to prop the cosmos up once their bed fellows’ support had gone. Such a pretty colour and there are dozens of buds waiting to burst open. Fingers crossed that the weather stays mild enough to facilitate some late magenta blooming.

Moving on to more autumnal offerings and I decided to share some white frothiness.

On the left is my favourite eupatorium. I’ve a feeling I wrote a few weeks ago that the flowers of the eupatorium were somewhat of a let down after their beautiful purple and green foliage during the summer, but actually, this year the flowers are gorgeous and far more plentiful than in previous years. There’s something of a bubble bath about them.

Bubbling away next to the eupatorium is my fatsia japonica. The leaves are definitely the star of this mottled beauty, but the flowers and weird raspberry-esque fruits are worthy of a mention. They really are most unusual and eye-catching.

Next up, I’m forced to reluctantly admit that winter is on its way by the appearance of hellebore flowers in my birthday planter. Hopefully they’ll get a bit bigger because they’re currently hidden under the profusion of leaves and it would be nice to see them poke their little heads out to look around. I have another hellebore which bears velvet-like purple flowers, but there’s no sign of those appearing yet.

My granny is the link between these final two points, the first of which I think is appropriate to continue my winter theme from the previous point. I may be wrong because I’ve never grown these nerines before, but they look to me like they’re gearing up to do something! They came from granny’s garden after she passed away and I really wasn’t sure where they’d like to be, so I planted them here in the space left by a geranium that I removed, and kept my fingers crossed.

For the final point I’m thinking positive, and forward to next summer. I bought this rose after granny died because it shares her name, it’s Sheila’s perfume. I think I shared a photo of its flower in an earlier Six, it has stunning rhubarb and custard coloured petals and an amazing scent. I pulled out a tree rose that had some kind of infestation and put Sheila in its place. It had been in its pot for some time whilst I found space for it, so I was worried it might not thrive, but here you can see some promising new growth so I’m hopeful for success next year.

Right, I’m off to check Tesco’s website to see if I can update my order for tomorrow or if we’re going to get a bag of cat litter delivered!! Whilst I’m doing that, why don’t you pop over to visit the Propagator to see his Six this week?

Six on Saturday 9th October

Chronologically we’re rapidly heading towards my least favourite time of year, it’s definitely getting colder and greyer, however, thanks to climate change, it’s still warmer than it should be at this time of year. I know climate change is a bad thing and I do my best to limit my carbon footprint, but I have to admit that the milder climate suits me. I was not designed for cold weather, and with the current fuel crisis looming (if not already here) it’s looking like we’ll either be cold or broke for a significant proportion of the next few months.

Anyway, the so far milder weather means that the garden is still doing its very best to keep going. My cosmos, despite growing in a really odd direction because they were competing with the runner beans for space and light, are still covered in buds. The weather forecast is looking mild for as far as the BBC are daring to predict so I’m hopeful that these may still emerge before the first frost.

I’m cheating slightly with my next point. Strictly I suppose these should be two separate points, but I’m lumping them together under the topic of ‘pink’. I thought the roses and the honeysuckle were done for the year, but I spotted some flashes of colour whilst staring out of the window of my home office yesterday, and on closer investigation this morning I discovered these.

My third point could be entitled ‘the ghost of pink past’. These snaps are of the remains of my pink damask. If I was Monty Don or friends, I’d probably wax lyrical about them adding autumnal structural interest or some such gardeners’ talk, but actually they do still add something to the garden, even if it’s just to provide perches for various garden wildlife.

I didn’t include my fuchsia Delta Sarah in the ‘pink’ category, partly because it starts off life as purple and only turns pink later on, but mainly because I love it so much that it deserves its own discussion. It seems most happy in the new planter. I didn’t get nearly this many flowers last year. I did prune it back quite hard this year, so maybe that gave it a boost. You can see in the background that my hebe Purple Pixie, which was the very first sale table plant that I bought, is also still in flower (just!). The nepeta to the right, not so much! This planter has been dug up so many times by (I assume) foxes and a couple of the plants are definitely not appreciating it!

Despite the milder weather out there, there is no denying that we are, in fact, entering autumn, and nowhere in our garden is that in more evidence than my new-this-year blueberry bush. This is blueberry Calypso and it produced the biggest, juiciest berries I’ve ever seen. You can see in the background that there are a couple still on the bush (or rather, there were! They’ve now joined the others in the freezer). It’s turned the most beautiful red colour now which I’ll enjoy until the leaves fall.

Finally, a sign of the winter to come. My eupatorium has got its flowers. These will hang around until Christmas time before the whole lot dies down to twigs. I leave the twigs there until the regrowth in the spring is a reasonable height, as protection from roaming foxes and foraging squirrels. The flowers are quite dainty and pretty, but it’s the leaves of the eupatorium which are its main raison d’etre.

That’s my Six for this week. Why not pop over to the Propagator’s blog to check out some more.