Six on Saturday

A bit late today due to a community bulb planting work party! It was fun working with other like minded gentle village friends, and 2000 Tete-a-Tete later we were all ready for a much needed cuppa! I came home and this Tradescantia (Andersoniana Group) ‘Iris Prichard’ was begging to be photographed as my first offering on this beautiful Saturday.

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Wisley Cream’ in full flower and which has grown at remarkable speed to clothe a 6’x6′ trellis in just 3 years. Flowering a little earlier than the books say it should but it goes on all winter regardless of weather conditions. It is facing North so it brightens up a dark corner of the garden. Strongly recommended for its flower power.

Salvia x jamensis ‘Hot Lips’ just never stops flowering until the first hard frost shocks it into dormancy for another year. Such fantastic plants which are trouble free, perfect for pollinators and easy to maintain if you cut them back in two stages, a third now and a third in early April, otherwise they can get a bit leggy and straggly. This one has been moved around the garden three times and didn’t flinch.

The hardy Chrysanthemums didn’t like the rain last week and are showing a few signs of wear and tear but a Queen Bumble didn’t mind in today’s sunshine.

I love the changing shades of autumn colours on the Beech hedge. By trimming it in August it keeps its leaves over winter and provides welcome shelter for the garden birds. It also gives us more privacy and a wind break as this part of the garden is very exposed.

I moved the Tulbaghia violacea into the greenhouse weeks ago to dry it off for the winter but it is still warm enough for it to reward me with more beautiful violet flowers but also a sharp oniony smell when I open the greenhouse door in the morning. Ah well, you can’t have everything, beauty often comes at a price!

Have a great weekend


Six on Saturday

Over here in the Cotswolds, we are enjoying unseasonably warm weather which is extending the gardening year well beyond what we would normally expect. Yesterday, we took some friends to visit Bourton House Garden near Moreton-in-Marsh on a sunny, warm afternoon and we were in short sleeves!

Amongst the many unusual plants they display there, my favourite was ‘Poor Man’s Rhododendron’, Impatiens sodenii, the dramatic but frost tender perennial relative of Busy Lizzie, but huge, up to 8′ tall. Bourton House Garden was full of them in all colours.

The chrysanthemum I retrieved from my Grandad’s garden when he died in 1991 is still going strong and is now immortalised by a local nursery which propagates and sells it as Chrysanthemum ‘George Simons’. As tough as any hardy chrysanthemum can be, this very tall cultivar survived the attentions of my Grandad’s chickens during the second world war and is now spread around friends and family to keep it going.

I am the Plant Guardian of Chrysanthemum ‘Romantica’, a button chrysanth which went out of fashion many years ago but which is worth saving if only for its sheer exuberance at this time of year. It is smothered with hundreds of small pinky white flowers which shine through the gloom of an autumn day.

Clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ is beginning to open for her winter show. She will carry on flowering until February draping the arch with her waxy bells and shrugging off anything the weather throws at her.

Another Chrysanthemum local to the area is ‘Bretforton Road’ which, I believe, was found by Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers literally growing on the roadside and named accordingly by him.

Finally for this weekend, a tray of self-sown Delphinium requienii seedlings dug out and potted up ready for next year. I have had a lot of interest in this plant since my friend Yvonne introduced it to me earlier this year. A biennial form which does not get eaten by slugs and snails. Tall spires of pinky mauve flowers in May and June make this a real winner.

Have a great weekend.