Six on Saturday 19th October

Here I am! I’ve been AWOL for a few weeks so I’ve made a special effort to take some pics to share. I find my enthusiasm for being outside wanes considerably at this time of year so I’ve spent next to no time in the garden recently. I wandered out this morning to check my cuttings (they’re fine) and had to avert my eyes from everything that needs doing.

Anyway, on to my Six. Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s blog for more Sixes.

1. Fuchsia

The hardy Fuchsias are still going strong.

The top one is Delta Sarah and was new this year from Gardeners’ World Live. I had one last year which didn’t make it through the Winter, but this one’s bigger so hopefully it’ll cope better.

I’m not sure what variety the bottom one is. This did make it through last Winter and flowered beautifully all Summer. It’s in a pot outside our kitchen window so I can see it every day.

2. Autumnal Blueberry bush

The Blueberry bush had a very successful season. I got loads of yummy blueberries, which surprised me because the year before it did nothing! Now the season’s over its leaves have turned the most beautiful red. This is also outside our kitchen window so I see it every day.

3. Rose Hot Chocolate

This Rose did amazingly well this year too with loads of repeat blooming. It’s in the shade but it doesn’t seem to mind. It’s still trying to give me one last flower now. Don’t know if this will come to fruition – guess that’s all down to the weather in the next couple of weeks. Maybe I should chop it and bring it inside. I’m planning to prune it quite hard once it’s definitely finished because it’s got quite leggy so I guess it might not be happy with me next year.

4. Wet Marigolds

I hate Winter weather, but I do appreciate how pretty the rain can make the garden. I think these wet Marigolds, which are in my wheelbarrow planter, look almost like leather after a recent downpour. They’re all still going strong at the moment adding some brightness as I gaze out of our back windows.

5. Berry watch

Three different colour berries.

The top shrub we inherited with the house so I’m not sure what it is, but it has these lovely orangey berries every Autumn/Winter. Maybe it’s a Pyracantha?

The second is my Callicarpa Bodinieri that I bought about this time last year. I couldn’t resist the glorious purple berries so I had to have it. It doesn’t seem to have grown very much yet, but it could potentially get pretty big in time. I hope it does so I get even more of those beautiful berries.

The last plant is also reasonably new. It’s an Ilex Verticillata. It had red berries when I bought it sometime at the beginning of the year, it had them all through the Summer, and it still has them now! I think it’s a bit confused because it’s only supposed to fruit between October and November!

6. Patio Planter

Last but not least, an update on my patio planter with which I’m so in love! I’m so glad I made this planter to cover the ridiculous gap in the patio. As you can see, everywhere’s wet and the falling leaves make it seem so Autumnal and gloomy, but there are my Stipa, my pink Cordyline and the four Hebes just stoically getting on with the job of looking divine and cheering my day. There’s even a couple of Begonias in there that were left over when I planted my hanging basket that are still going strong. This is definitely one of this year’s success stories.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks. I’m off out later to catch up with a special friend who I haven’t seen for far too long.

Six on Saturday 20th July

I trundle along through life, as one does, trying to make the best of the virtues with which I was lucky enough to be born and appreciating the opportunities and joys which come my way but I’ve always been of the opinion that I missed my vocation (who hasn’t?) The problem was, I didn’t actually know what my vocation was. Well, folks, I think I may have found it this morning! Far too late to do anything about it (mortgage to clear, holidays to book, plants to buy) other than use it to brighten up my life and living room, but it’s quite a revelation to have found something that I appear to excel at without really trying, and which I really enjoyed. Of course, you good people might disagree once I reveal the product of my new found talent (self esteem, it would seem, I do not excel in) but I’m very pleased with it so I shall studiously ignore any criticism!

It started off when I went for a pootle around the garden to snap some photos to use for a Six post and I noticed that my Sweet Peas had produced more beautiful flowers. Monty Don advises to cut your Sweet Peas every eight to ten days to ensure a steady stream of blooms throughout the Summer, and I only gathered my first posy on Monday so I wasn’t expecting more just yet.

This was my first display.

They really don’t last long. They’d mostly faded when I looked this morning.

I was really enjoying my pootle, checking out progress in my veg plot, marvelling over the colours in my Coprosma and squinting at the tiny purple flowers appearing on my Callicarpa Bodinieri (which I assume will give rise to its purple berries in Autumn), but it started to drizzle so I got on with cutting my Sweet Peas (which is number one of six).

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I got quite a good bunch, as you can see, but as I was gazing at them and drinking in their heavenly scent, I thought to myself, some yellow would really look good with these to break up the pinks and purples and highlight the whites, why don’t you get yellow Sweet Peas?

So, I decided to add some and headed for my Coreopsis Grandiflora. As I wandered down the garden my Ox-Eye Daisies waved at me in the breeze. Yes! I thought, daisies look stunning in bouquets, so I gathered up both (number two).

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As I headed back up the garden to collect my Sweet Peas, my eyes were drawn to my Cosmos. Apt, I thought, given that my Sweet Peas and Cosmos were raised from seed side by side in the greenhouse (number three).

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The colours in the Cosmos bring together the colours in the Sweet Peas and the Coreopsis perfectly. I love those little star shaped stamens.

We have an abundance of hardy Geraniums in the back garden. More and more every year as they self seed to their heart’s content. I may have to divide some of them somewhen, but for now I decided to include them in my posy as a nod towards their ever presence. They are quite attractive with their veins of dark purple. Another plant that is self seeding all over the place is Oxalis. Considered a nuisance by some, we don’t have enough of it (yet) for me to be troubled by it. These two pink pals are number four.

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Any good bouquet has a Rose in it. I hesitated at first, because I do love my Roses as nature intended them, but after umming and ahing for a while I decided that the two Roses which best matched the colour scheme had enough blooms to spare a couple for my display, so here’s number five.

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Do you spy my little green snips in the background? These have come into their own recently – they’re perfect for the delicate little cuts needed for Sweet Peas and their tendrils.

Finally I decided that if weeds will insist on making repeat appearances in the garden, so much so that I can’t possibly keep on top of them, then they may as well make themselves useful. Number six, then, is wonderfully weedy!

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One of these isn’t a weed it’s one of my Hare Tail grass ears that I got from Gardeners’ World Live, but it seemed to fit with the the rest of these goodies so I included it. Apart from that, there is normal grass and a flower from Herb Robert, but I don’t know what the blue and yellow flowers are. The yellow looks like a tiny Cowslip (but definitely isn’t) and the mystery blue is lovely and delicate. Several of them have appeared in our path.

So there you have my Six, and soon I get to reveal the finished arrangement, but first a couple of ‘along the way’ photos.

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I love this. It reminds me of place mats that you used to get in the eighties and nineties that had drawings of plants with their scientific names written on in scrawny writing. I’m sure most households of my family had some of these (and I suspect some still have – waste not want not).

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Here they are all bunched up, as they were when I brought them in.

And now, the big reveal ….. drumroll …..

I really need to get one of those light box things for taking photos rather than having to balance tea towels on various kitchen utensils to get a decent background!

Here they are in situ, up high on the wall because the Sweet Peas at least are toxic to cats, and even if they weren’t, I don’t want my beautiful arrangement to be chewed by feline teeth! I hope you’re not disappointed after all my self indulgent hype up!

I couldn’t decide whether they looked better with or without flash so I’ve included both. The two on the left are with and the one on the right is without.

If you want to check out more Sixes, pop over to the Propagator’s page and have a snoop in his comments.

Toodleoo.

Six on Saturday 13th July

I’ve been AWOL from Six on Saturday for a couple of weeks now so I’ve made time to showcase six of my best flowers today. Luckily the Propagator doesn’t enforce participation so I’m pretty sure I’ve got away with my absence. Check out his blog for more Sixes.

I’ve gone all amateur photographer today and I’ve been taking close up pics of some of the prettiest flowers which are blooming at the moment in the garden so I’m choosing close ups as the theme of this week’s Six.

1. Rose Campion

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Oh I do like a close up of a flower glistening with water! These are such a shocking bright pink that I’m quite surprised no planes have mistaken them for the airport landing strip given that we live on the flight path! They were another gift from our cleaner at work’s garden – very generous she is with her self seeded plants.

2. Hebes

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a sucker for a Hebe. I have to blinker myself when I go through the Hebe aisle at the garden centre, and if I see one on a sale table, well, it’s coming home with me!

The one on the left above is Hebe Purple Pixie and I think it was my first ever sale table purchase. It flowered beautifully last year and is just starting to bloom again now. It lives in the shade and it seems quite happy with that situation. The one on the right is Hebe Celebration. It was also from the sale table last year and is actually still in its pot. It’s almost as shocking pink as the Rose Campion! I think I might plant it in the front garden tomorrow. The one in the middle was from a pack of four Hebes and it didn’t say which variety any of them were. It’s the only one of the four which has started to flower so far.

3. Roses

I have a few Roses in the garden, these are just three of them, all from various sale tables. I’m not sure of their names. It’s probably hard to tell the sizes from the photos, but the red one on the end is actually really small. That opening flower is probably only about an inch tall and I love how it looks like a mini version of a red Rose that a nervous young man might buy for his starry eyed sweetheart on a first date.

4. Buddleia

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Another sale table find. There’s a theme to my garden centre shopping! We’d wanted to add a Buddleia to our garden to try to attract butterflies. It was the tiniest little plant and I squeezed it into a tiny space next to our fence but it’s done really well and is flowering beautifully. I need to prune the Holly bush next to it because it’s in danger of crowding it. I think the Buddleia would benefit from something to grow up as well because it seems to be flopping over slightly.

5. Sweet Peas

These are one of my biggest successes of this year. I grew them from seed in the greenhouse and I made my own support, and now they’re rewarding my hard work with beautiful blooms. I’ll see how many have opened tomorrow and I may cut them to bring indoors. They’re toxic to cats so I have put up a wall mounted shelf of sorts in our living room in anticipation that the cats can’t get to so we can enjoy them inside all Summer. No doubt I’ll show you a pic on a future post.

6. Cosmos

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Another success from the greenhouse. I sowed these at the same time as the Sweet Peas. I planted them behind my birthday planter because the Cosmos I grew in a pot last year got really tall, at least four feet, if not more, so I thought we’d be able to see them over the planter, but these have only grown about a foot high. I love this photo, it looks somehow ethereal. Not of this world. Like it belongs in some kind of parallel fairy universe. Just beautiful!

What a lovely Six! I love all the colour in mine and everyone else’s gardens at the moment. Long may it last.