Six on Saturday: the terrace


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I have not talked about the plants on the terrace before. It is only accessed through the house and as such is completely private and not open for my NGS opening.

South facing, it is walled in three places and consequently very sheltered. Comprising a deck with raised beds the plants came from my old garden and are more suited to the hot spot with better drainage. Anyway less chat, here’s the six to share with you and The Propagator

1. Jasmine ‘Clotted Cream’

The aroma is heady in the evenings, really lovely. It is borderline hardy and loses it’s leaves over winter.


Just plain old Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis but it’s very happy and looks lovely in spring covered in blue flowers.

I use it in cooking but even Nigella would struggle to use this much.

3. Sanguisorba officinalis

I love these claret coloured pastilles bobbing about.


Silver toned foliage of Olive tree. Olea europaea. This was a tiny example when planted and now it is about 2m tall. I love the foliage.

5. Scented leaves

Have I mentioned how much I love a scented leaf? In my dolly tub I have Geranium/ Pelargonium tomentosum, Lemon Verbena and Geranium/ Pelargonium gray lady Plymouth . Not especially interesting to look at but tactile and soft as puppy ears, Geranium tomentosum is also strongly mint scented. Lemon Verbena is like sherbet lemons when crushed.

6. Wonky Topiary

Not meant to be wonky but I now see that it is. Buxus.

Better put my goggles on next time!

That’s it, my Six for this Saturday. Thanks to the Propagator for hosting, enjoy your weekend, wherever you are. D.

Little helping hands


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Brother Dorris and his family visited from New Zealand for a few days. Yesterday, before they left for the airport they helped me do a few jobs in the garden.

The best little helper, helped me plant some seeds: Red Pak Choi, French breakfast radish and Calendula.

The best kind of help.

In the run up to my Open Garden at the end of September, in aid of The National Garden Scheme I have got a phenomenal amount to get done. This little bit of help has got me started on the task ahead.

Thanks. Have a safe trip back. D.

Six on Saturday: it’s August


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It is August yet the weather seems to think otherwise. I took these pictures yesterday morning when they were blowing in the wind and covered in rain, rather than basking in any glorious August sunshine. Hey ho, it could be worse, it could be today! What a shocker. Truly atrocious summer weather.

Here’s the six:

Six succulents. Some are Sempervivums I hear you cry.

I don’t have names for any of these apart from Aeonium zwartkop (that’s the fourth one). These grow well in coastal regions in the UK but here in my garden on the Herts. /Bucks borders, mine survive, rather than thrive.

The succulents are precious to me and they are carefully placed in the house over the winter months as they are not at all hardy and they hate our wet cold winters. Don’t we all.

The Houseleeks or sempervivums are left outside but under glass to protect them from the worst or the weather. They are quite tough really.

I enjoy these every Summer and forget how annoying it is in the Winter to find space for them.


This is the third year for Althea cannabina and it has hit its stride. Wonderful, wafting in the wind, oodles of soft pink, mallow like flowers, taller than me. I wouldn’t be without it. Here it has fronds of Molinia Transparent and Coreopsis Verticillata Moonbeam behind it.

3. Echinacea ‘Delicious Candy’

I purchased this last August, drawn to its luminous colour and name. It is beginning to bulk up. Cathy remarked that these do not do well in her garden ( frankly the only thing, everything she grows looks so good) after one appeared earlier this week in my IAVOM. Echinacea do like an open site and with room to bulk up, to thrive. They only lasted one year in my last garden.

3. Echinacea purpurea

This is their time. Flowering when the roses are recharging their batteries. Good with grasses. Just great for bees.


This pile of green leaves may not look very interesting but trust me, it will be a stunner this autumn. Vitis coignetiae or Crimson Glory vine. It is climbing over the garage wall and has reached onto the roof. It will be in for a major chop soon enough.


The willow like foliage is what I grow the perennial sunflower for. Helianthus salicifolius. It will have small daisy like flowers in the autumn and will reach 2.5m tall.

The yellow flowers I like less. I am even considering pinching out the flowers as they will detract from the shaggy texture which is so intriguing. Alas the wind is battering them today.

6. Echinops

These pale Pom poms are taking over. Echinops ritro white. I like them less than E Veitch Blue but these are better suited to my heavy soil. In case you are wondering what is in the centre of the picture, it is the bird feeder made by Alex Moore.

I love how it is fully surrounded by plant life now.

Joining our host The Propagator who is on his ‘olidays. Enjoy !

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend wherever you are. D.

In a vase on Monday: new month, new flowers


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As we move into August the garden is beginning to alter. The roses are largely in a void period, preparing for a second flush. Hemerocallis are nearly finished. The Verbena is getting taller and taller mostly at 1.5m and falling over in the wind. The geraniums, alchemilla and Euphorbias need deadheading.

Newly flowering however are Persicaria Echinacea, Echinops, Coreopsis and Shasta daisies.

I decided to pick a few samples and line them up in my favourite ‘April’ vase by

From left Echinacea purpurea, Verbena bonariensis. Echinacea Delicious Candy, Coreopsis moonbeam, Dianthus carthusianorum . Rose Lark Ascending. Echinops ritro, Echinacea purpurea Magnus, Persicaria amplexcaulis Firetail, Echinacea. Purpurea Fatal Attraction. Lastly a tiny pink flower, just seen, Althea cannabina.

What is in your vase today? What does our host Cathy have in her vase today. Take a look, join in.

Have a great week, wherever you are. D.