Six on Saturday

It’s Rose time! ‘Camille Pissarro’ looking a bit like raspberry ripple ice cream. Certainly good enough to eat!

The rose garden in early morning sunshine. The different scents of roses and sweet peas plus the constant sound of pollinators buzzing around collecting pollen and nectar makes it a magical place for an early morning cuppa.

Bulb pots emptied and replanted with summer bedding plants. Bulbs dried in the greenhouse and ready to be stored in paper bags in the shed until September.

Nigella damascena in full flower now and looking good with the acid yellow feverfew. These two are both prolific self seeders and I find myself taking out more than I keep, otherwise they would be everywhere. I like to garden with a light touch and try to make it look as natural as possible, particularly in the cottage garden borders.

The little pink fox grape, Vitis labrusca ‘Isabella’ is covered in bunches of tiny flowers which should, in theory, become delicious purple grapes in September. I had just one bunch last year but winter pruning and another year’s maturity has resulted in incredible growth. It almost beggars belief how much growth these grapevines can put on in a single season, some of the new stems are already a metre long.

Finally, a friend of mine asked me to try to get Fuchsia ‘Lady in Black’ cuttings to root in my Hydropod propagator as she has tried conventional methods without success, Looks like we have liftoff!

Have a great weekend


Six on Saturday

Absolutely delighted with this self sown hybrid Dahlia which has just come into flower. A seedling picked at random from one of last year’s pots of overwintered tubers. It looks good enough to be a named variety so I have called it ‘Radiant Heat’ !

I have been very impressed with these Calibrachoa this year. I have given up on the big blousy trailing petunias in favour of these mini ones and they have proved to be a great success in the baskets.

There is no blue quite like this chicory, it is unique and very easy to place. It combines well with most other colours and is tall and statuesque, a good 2m and still growing. The flowers close at night so I assume it is pollinated by bees and other day flying pollinators. It is certainly a popular pit stop in our garden!

The heat on the patio was intense this morning, reflected off the stone walls and paving, but the roses, nepeta and veronicas are revelling in it. I will be on a 2 hour watering session this evening though. Good opportunity to combine with a cold glass of Sauvignon blanc I find!

There has been some recent debate on forums about the virtues, or otherwise, of Agastache. This ‘Liquorice Blue’ has been with me for years and is a valuable addition to the early summer border but some people say it looks like a weed, having nettle-like leaves and relatively insignificant flowers, For me, its value lies in its attractiveness to pollinators, particularly bees, which find it irresistible.

Just one of many roses gracing my garden at the moment. The air is filled with scent and the sound of buzzing busy bees. This one is ‘The Generous Gardener’ which has the most wonderful pink buds opening to creamy white flowers and a delicious citrus scent.

Finally, (and I know it is the seventh image!) is the evergreen Agapanthus africanus which has only just come into flower, 6 weeks later than usual. Summer has finally arrived!

Have a great weekend


Six/Ten on Saturday

I missed last week’s posting due to grandparent duties so I have a bumper crop this week starting with the scrumptious Rosa ‘Camille Pissaro’ newly acquired from Style Roses. Always difficult choosing roses from a catalogue but this one didn’t disappoint. Camille himself was an 18th century French painter and this probably looked like his painting apron!

Good old Geranium ‘Rozanne’ mingling with Nepeta faassenii ‘Kit Kat’, and just about anyone else she can find on her sprawl across the border. Good at hiding the less attractive underparts of roses and carpeting the ground to prevent weed seed germination.

Another new addition for the rose garden is Clematis x triternata ‘Rubromarginata’ AGM currently smothered in hundreds of small but delicious almond scented flowers. I may have underestimated this clematis as I had assumed small flowers – small height. Wrong! She is going to be huge next year, easily outgrowing her allotted space and may have to be moved while still young enough to cope. If you like marzipan, you’ll love the fragrance.

I found a tiny self sown seedling of Verbena ‘Bampton’ when I was clearing the ground for the new rose garden, potted it up and replanted it in May. It has rewarded me with a wonderful display of its rigid wiry stems, dark green foliage and tiny purple/pink flowers for weeks and shows no sign of slowing down. A good strong perennial self seeder.

The last of my Thalictrums to flower is the wonderful ‘Rochebrunianum’. Fully 2m tall and literally smothered in delicate purple flowers with bright yellow stamens, it is a sight to behold. Adored by bees and other pollinators she makes me happy every time I see her.

Apologies for the tall picture but I wanted to get the flowers and foliage for this one. It is Penstemon sub serratus (we think!) grown by local nurseryman Kelvin Freer from donated Cottage Garden Society seed last year. I say ‘we think’ because opinions seem divided over the species but whatever it is, I am happy to give it garden room. It is proving to be robust and long flowered and like every Penstemon, adored by bees.

Just acquired this Tulbhagia violacea from a National Trust garden after failing miserably to germinate any from seed earlier in the year. I love their elegance and delicacy but, sadly, not their smell. They are not called Society Garlic for nothing! A South African native, they are not quite hardy in the UK unless you live in balmy Cornwall so they will be kept in a pot and transferred to the greenhouse for the winter. I am led to believe they ‘clump up’ like agapanthus and can be split every few years.

Sweet Pea ‘Betty Maiden’ from last year’s Which? Gardening trial are doing very well again and deserve a place in any pastel colour scheme, The delicate mauve and white flowers opening from lemon buds are just gorgeous and one of the best scents I think too.

Not particularly liked or fashionable these days, the ubiquitous Centranthus ruber or confusingly called Red Valerian, is all over my garden in cracks and crevices. Growing out of gravel and dry stone walls, it seems to be able to survive on a starvation diet of pretty well nothing. I certainly never water it or feed it and in fact, ignore it completely. If it pops somewhere I don’t mind then I leave it and if I don’t, it is easily pulled out. A lovely addition to a garden despite its almost ‘weed’ status. It comes in pink, red and white and seems to blend in with most things in my garden.

Last, but definitely not least, my current ‘Plant of the Year’, is Diascia personata, a tall version of the popular rollin’ & tumblin basket or edging plant, which went to the top of my lust list after coming across it at an open garden last year. You know that ‘I’ve got to have it’ feeling? It was one of those! It has performed so well and flowers so profusely I am going to spread the word among my fellow cottage gardeners by taking loads of cuttings for dispersal.

That’s it for this week. Hope to keep this up, I’m quite enjoying it again!