Six on Saturday 16th July

Has anyone seen Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? It starts in the summer holidays with Harry sat on a swing in suburban Little Whinging, Surrey with normal summer activities going on around him in the park, and a radio somewhere is discussing it being the hottest day of the year. Well it feels like that today! I’m sat on my egg chair in the garden and I can hear normal family life going on in one neighbour’s garden – the kids on the trampoline, the dog wanting to jump over and kill me and the parents discussing what to have for dinner. On the other side our solitary neighbour is whistling to the birds, and someone somewhere is playing summer tunes. Back to Little Whinging, and soon Harry’s cousin Dudley turns up and starts taunting him, but then the sky turns black and the calm is shattered as the pair are forced to run for their lives when the dementors of Azkaban swoop in. It seems to me that the forecasted heatwave for the next three days is the real life version of the dementors waiting to swoop in and end the current summer happiness on my street!

Anyway, at least it’s only three days till normal British summertime is resumed, and in the meantime, here’s some pictures of pretty garden regalia to occupy our time until the heatwave sucks all the joy out of us.

First up, here’s one of the few inhabitants of the garden that might actually thrive in the heat, my olive tree. It’s covered in flowers, but I’m not holding my breath because although it’s had flowers before, it’s never produced any fruit.

My hebe Purple Pixie is flowering nicely. It looks bluey-purple in the photo but is a deeper purple in reality. This was my first ever hebe which I rescued from the sale table at Notcutts several years ago. It’s doing well even though I’ve moved it a couple of times and it’s in complete shade.

I’m glad I nipped out on my lunch break earlier in the week and took photos of my pink damask flowers which emerged all of a sudden, because, as I’ve lamented before, they’re beautiful but barely last more than a couple of days. They’ve pretty much done their thing already for this year. The remaining ones are certainly not going to survive 40° on Monday.

I found half a packet of nigella seeds in the greenhouse earlier in the year and decided to sow them without really expecting much success, but now I have a pot of them! This was the first one that opened. I really love their layered petals and the delicate blue hue.

This gerbera has unexpectedly survived two winters. I didn’t even notice a bud this year but one day this week I went outside and found this flower. Lovely surprise!

Finally another discovery this week. I pulled out some dreaded herb Robert that had managed to find its way into my hanging basket that houses my nigrescens and found that said nigrescens is flowering. This is the first time it’s done that, so now I have high hopes that I may get some berries on it in the autumn. How exciting!

So there we are for another week. I’m off to think happy thoughts to summon my patronus (which, by the way, I’m pretty sure would be a cat, but I can’t be sure because I didn’t get my Hogwarts letter) to banish the heatwave and save my pots from death by dementor’s kiss! For anyone who doesn’t obsess about Harry Potter like me, apologies because that will make zero sense to you, but hopefully you’ll have enjoyed the flowers. Why not pop over to the Propagator to check out some more?

Six on Saturday 9th July

I haven’t done a Six for a few weeks. Not sure why! I don’t think I’ve been particularly busy, I’ve probably just been faffing and procrastinating and ran out of time! That sounds like me! I’m making the effort today because there is so much to document at this time of year. I’ve been out in the garden today weeding and pruning and generally trying to make it look a bit tidier, but it really is too hot out there to do anything much. I did manage to finally plant out my grown-from-seed cosmos and some erysimums that I salvaged from the sale table a few weeks ago, but I drew the line at planting out the magnolia and the buddleja that are patiently waiting in their pots because it’s too hot to be digging!

I’ll start with a couple of pink offerings. First a hardy geranium. These grow really well in our garden and it really is pretty impossible to kill them! They’re self-seeding all over the place, but I’m letting them because they’re kind of nice, they fill spaces well and, as you see, they’re good for pollinators.

Next is a first. I couldn’t get a decent photo of it, but this is a flower on my leptospurmum. I’ve had this for a good four or five years and I had no idea (or I’d forgotten) that it was supposed to have flowers. It’s never had one before and when I saw this one, I was so surprised that I went to check it hadn’t just fallen on it from another plant, but no, it’s definitely attached!

Moving on to orange now with a close up of a giant begonia. This is in our wheelbarrow planter and it’s supposed to be apricot! I’d be quite concerned if I had an apricot this colour, but I’m quite pleased to have this growing. The plants came from QVC and are supposed to be an apricot mix – so far they’re mostly this colour with one yellow one.

This one, I know is generally considered a weed, but my mum potter it up for me from her garden last year because she likes them, and I have to agree. They add a lovely splash of colour to the front border and they look particularly cheerful in the sunshine.

Speaking of looking lovely in the sunshine, these pansies are positively glowing! I planted up several pots with pansies and violas a few weeks ago, but they haven’t done very well on the whole. This pot is one of the few successes and I can see it from my home office and it cheers my heart all week.

I’ll finish with another success. In fact, it’s a bit too successful and it’s difficult to move along the path past it, but I don’t care because it looks beautiful and is good for the butterflies. It’s such a vibrant purple colour. When I finally plant out the second buddleja that I have waiting, I’ll make sure I put it somewhere with plenty of space!

There’s my Six for this week. I hope everyone’s enjoying the good weather and that some gardening is being done in between sunbathing and ice cream eating! Don’t forget to check out the Propagator for other Sixes.

Six on Saturday 11th June

I’m away this weekend on a girls mini break so I’m being organised and drafting this post in advance so I can just press send on Saturday when I’ll be mostly hot tubbing, afternoon teaing and Prosecco/Pimmsing! I decided I had to do a post this week because there’s a riot of colour and gorgeousness occurring outside our back door and it really needs sharing.

I’m amazed by how much pink there is, and I’ve even added to the existing pink. I really don’t like pink (especially baby pink) anywhere but in plant form, but four of my six points this week are resplendent in pink.

First is one of my new purchases. Have you ever seen more beautiful leaves anywhere in your life? I haven’t. This gorgeous coleus came from a garden centre in Liphook last weekend when I went to visit my mum. It was just impossible for it not to come home with me. It’s in a pot on our bistro which I can see from my home office, and it’s next to ….

…. my second point, and second pink purchase from Liphook. I have to have a dahlia every summer, and just look at this beauty. Shocking pink and shockingly gorgeous!

Taking a break from the pink with a more sedate yellow is this rose. It’s rose Sweet Memories and it’s in one of granny’s pots. No doubt I’ll share it again once it’s fully open, but there is something special about the anticipation of a closed rose so I wanted to share it now.

Another new purchase, but this one from closer to home when we took a trip over to Notcutts. I had a voucher for fifty percent off any plant over £30 which I used to buy a magnolia (still in its pot – not sure where to put it!) and I couldn’t resist this coprosma. Very autumnal colours and completely up my alley! Need to find somewhere for this too.

Back to the pink, and it’s a fuchsia. This is the oldest fuchsia that I have, and it’s the most reliable! I’ve got some fancy pants plant food from QVC and I think I’ll try it out on this fuchsia and see if she benefits. Fuchsias always make me think of my grandad and bring a smile to my face.

Finally, and sticking with the pink, our peonies are flowering. Baby pink, I know, but they’re so flouncy with it that I don’t mind the colour. They remind me of those ruffled over pants that people used to put over babies nappies in the 70s. They’d been threatening to burst into bloom for more than a week and then they chose the day before the heavens opened in biblical fashion, to show their wares, and then promptly collapsed under the weight of the rain! I’ve propped them up as best I can and reminded myself that I should listen to Monty Don when he tells us to support plants before they need it, not after!

Right then. I need to go and pack some clothes for this weekend and, importantly, check that I’ve got the Prosecco and Pimms ready. Hopefully I’ll have time in between hot tubbing and scoffing scones to have a peruse of other Sixes over at the Propagator’s blog. Have a great weekend all.