Six on Saturday

Crocosmia are in full bloom now and bring a real zing to the garden. Here backed up by the dark Physocarpus ‘Diablo’ and behind a clump of Iris sibirica for support.

I love garden Phlox and have quite a few now, but they do shout ‘old fashioned’ and ‘out of date’ for the modern garden. Mine don’t last very long in flower either so it is a brief joy but I won’t be getting any more!

The Rudbeckia laciniata are huge this year, well over 2 metres, and the flowerheads themselves also appear to be larger. They seem to respond to weather conditions and vary from year to year in height and cone size.

Cheap and cheerful Liatris spicata love the rich soil in the rose garden and bring in the bees and other pollinators. One of the most underrated summer flowering bulbs in my opinion. Always ramrod straight, open from the top downwards so always look good and will grow almost anywhere in sun.

This is my ‘prairie’ border where I grow tall Leucanthemums, Helianthus and Verbena bonariensis as well as Silphium perfoliatum and a few others to create a focal point and vista from the kitchen window. It takes the border through August and most of September before I need to do anything with it.

Lysimachia ciliata ‘Firecracker’ is an odd plant. the yellow flowers don’t seem to belong to the dark foliage. It is rather persistent and can be invasive if not constrained but I like it all the same. It pops up here and there and if I don’t like where it has wandered to, I just pull it up. It doesn’t sell well at plant sales!

Have a great weekend


Six on Saturday – missed again!

I have discovered that my hitherto punctuality is a thing of the past and I am now pretty hopeless at remembering to update my blog as promised. Could be an age thing, could be the distractions of family and friends last weekend (a two year old granddaughter demanding attention from the moment she wakes up doesn’t help!) or it could be the red wine, who knows! Anyway, I promise to do better from now on, to which end I have taken the photos today and uploaded them so I just have to write the words. No excuses then!

In the meantime, here are the ones I meant to post last week.

Named after the house in Shropshire where King Charles II allegedly hid after his defeat in the Battle of Worcester in 1651, this David Austin bred repeat flowering rose, (apparently with the scent of Myrrh but I couldn’t possibly comment having never smelt the real thing) is on its second flowering and doing better than the first. It has the great attribute of holding its head up rather than drooping like so many David Austin modern roses do. A gorgeous coral pink with glossy green leaves, it is a stunner.

At just £2 for a bag of 5 bulbs from Morrison’s, I rate this summer flowering bulb for its height and form, bee friendliness and sheer exuberance. It is rated as perennial but if it isn’t, I haven’t lost much and had a wonderful first and last summer.

This unusual Kniphofia ‘Green Jade’ is about as reliable as any red/orange and is not as difficult to place in the garden. It combines well with most colours and fades into the background. Bombproof, thrives on neglect flowers for weeks on end and easy to tidy up in the spring. I just wish it had tidier flower heads, it always looks a bit scruffy!

This is one of those Dahlias that started off life as a ‘Bishop’s Children’ derivative and has morphed into it’s own semi variety. It stays in the ground, comes up every year without fail, battles the slugs and snails in April and May and comes good in July and August. It’s tough, pretty and never lets me down; a metaphor for the best thing in my life.

This Salvia was grown from a demonstration cutting discarded at a Plant Heritage meeting seven years ago. It is one of those plants that you love to hate. It smells awful, it has an enormous appetite for water, it is not particularly attractive and yet it just won’t die! It is supposed to be H3 meaning it won’t take a frost, but I leave it out all year and despite the initial leaves often getting frosted, it soon sends out more as if to say “you can’t kill me!”

And another plant which hasn’t read the book. Cannas are also H3 so should be ‘lifted, dried and stored carefully in a frost free place over winter’. Frankly, can’t be bothered. If you plant them deep enough they easily survive an average Cotswold winter and come up unscathed to flower from August to October with these head turning colours.

So that’s it for this/last week. Sorry I was late…again. I will improve…promise!