Six on Saturday: 19 September 20

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There has been some beautiful weather here this week but noticeably the evening light is dropping sharply by about 1900hrs. Consequently the temperature has dropped sharply overnight. As a result the mornings are dewy and the light is just plain lovely.

My six to share with you lovely readers and our host The Propagator are snapshots of the garden in the autumnal light.

Morning light with Verbena
Sunlight warming the wall with Vitis coignetiae
Shafts of light on the yet to open Leucanthemella
White penstemon illuminated in the sunlight
Foliage of variegated Indian bean tree
Catalpa bignoides pulverulentum

Still plenty of colour from the white Sanguisorba canadensis,, Verbena, Rose A Shropshire Lad, and the pink from the plant formerly known as, Sedum Autumn Joy
The incredibly beautiful Aeonium
Drifts of fluffy Stipa Calamagrostis

More than six this week but I’ve kept the narrative to a minimum, hoping that’s allowed.

Have a great weekend wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Six on Saturday: 12/9/20

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Did the earth move? How was it for you? Double entendres, you know the sort: nudge nudge, wink, wink. Well on Tuesday the earth did move.

We had an earthquake which measured 3.6 minor magnitude. The only casualty here was Gertie the goat who toppled off the beam on which she was placed. Poor Gertie.

Goat down.

Joking aside, it has been a strange week but the weather has been improving and people are mentioning an Indian summer. My six on Saturday to share with you and The Propagator are some of the prettier sights of the week.

Drifts of self sown Verbena

I realise, as I stroll around, that Verbena bonariensis is one of my must have plants. I love its vibrant purple colour and its tall swaying stems which bring butterflies into the garden.

Californian poppies

This is a second flush of Eschscholzia. A packet of seeds are such good value. I love their warming orange colour against green and purple of the verbena and nepeta.

Dahlia Bishop of Auckland

Dahlias are super at this time of year. They might be a bit of a faff, all the lifting, storing, mollycoddling but catching the rays like this, they are unbeatable.

Dahlia Downham Royal
Clipped hedge and topiary

This is a good time for clipping hedges to get them neat and tidy for the winter months. When everything else is bare and brown the structure of these are the backbone of the garden. It is a busy time of year and this trimming is worth the effort.

Hedges

I am enjoying the combination of Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle below the mega growing Vitis coignetiae.

Vitis and Hydrangea

Finally, before the clock strikes midnight and is no longer Saturday my last fave from this week is Sanguisorba canadensis.

Sanguisorba

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend, wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Six on Saturday: 5/9/20

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I have had little time in my garden of late, for various reasons including the inclement weather. I had moved my Aeoniums and species pelargoniums out of the worst of the weather into the shelter of the summer house but had not had opportunity to move them back out into the open. In just a couple of weeks the foliage has changed. My six to share with you and The Propagator include these.

Aeoniums back in the open air

It fascinates me how the lower light levels quickly change the black foliage back to green. Plants are so cool. If you look at the tiny rosettes of Aeonium atropurpureum cristata, front right above and centre below you will see how the once almost completely black rosettes are now green with black edges. Hopefully they will have time to revert to black before they come in the house for Winter.

Aeoniums on 19 August

Foliage is beginning to show seasonal change. This is my small blossom tree

Showing distinct Autumnal foliage matching last nights sky.

Night sky over the barn roof

The foliage of Crimson Glory vine is not crimson yet but it is definitely turning.

Vitis coignetiae

Thoughtful colleagues have dropped a trug of produce to me . These squashes are grown from seed and are ornamental gourds. Stunning in this mornings light.

A blast of sunlight
Ornamental gourds

September is when the grasses come into their own. Calamagrostis, stipas, Molinias all have a place in my garden.

Stipa tenuissima
Molinia Transparent
Calamagrostis Karl Foerster

These all tolerate my very exposed garden and do not need staking. They capture the low level autumn light unlike any other plant. If you don’t have any grasses, I highly recommend them.

Finally, flowers. Flowers still going are roses, dahlias, rudbeckias and Seseli as well as Asters and the reddening flowers of ice plant, formerly known as Sedum.

Formerly known as Sedum Autumn Joy
Rose a Shropshire Lad
Geranium Ann Folkard

Geraniums were cut back hard about a month ago and are flowering again.

These are my six this evening. Have a good weekend wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

Goodbye August, hello September

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The end of August somehow marks the end of the Summer holidays and the slide towards Autumn. 2020 is a strange year and many of us won’t have had anything like a summer holiday yet the nights are noticeably drawing in and our gardens are showing seasonal signs of change.

It is not all bad as September and October can be beautiful months with wonderful light and I for one am looking forward to observing and sharing the seasonal changes so goodbye August and hello September.

August

Six on Saturday: 29/8/20

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When life becomes very challenging and in the case of this week, frankly unfair, I usually can divert my mind and seek distraction from my garden. I can easily lose half the day or an evening working. It always does me good to be outside, to breathe in the air and fill my head with plans. That’s the thing with gardening, it is so very optimistic, always looking forward. This week has been one of those tough ones but the weather has been against me and I have been trapped in by Storm Ellen and Francis. So much rain, damaging winds, ghastly.

The most I have managed is a bit of dead heading and a wander about. These are my six to share with our host The Propagator and you.

Cardoon

The ornamental artichoke, Cynara cardunculus has been dead headed and has put on a couple of new flowering heads. What a colour, arranged like a purple flat top. I have picked some of them and hope they will dry.

Dahlia Downham Royal

The wind has broken the stems of some of the bigger dahlias. This one has defied the weather and is still standing Dahlia Downham Royal . Good strong stem and great colour.

Dahlia Bishop of Auckland

Another dahlia that has managed to survive the weather and is flowering well is the Bishop. This has attractive dark foliage and super single red velvet petals. This is its second year and is definitely a keeper.

Foliage

The thing about the Forest pansy is the wonderful heart shaped foliage in rich red. So striking. Here it is, its foliage dripping wet but noticeably curled. I am not sure why it is curled, probably as a reaction to the high winds.

Across the garden

The claret coloured Joe pye weed is flowering as too are the white Sanguisorba canadensis. These are a favourite, a later flowering sanguisorba that need no staking and who cope exceedingly well with my heavy clay soil. They have even self sown in places.

Sanguisorba canadensis
Distinctly autumnal
Weighed down by the weather

Apples have been literally shaken out of the tree and are scattered all over the lawn. Usually the apples are not ready until late September or even late October so this is not a natural drop.

The garden looks distinctly late summer, autumnal even. The light is lower and the skies are grey. Saturated by the heavy rain, shaken to the core by the winds. The main damage has been stems broken on dahlias and the willow leaf sunflowers which are very tall have been scattered into weird shapes spread over the border.

Helianthus salicifolius

The forecast for the bank holiday weekend is unseasonably cool, a mere 14 degrees today which is not summer but a bit drier and calmer at least.

These are my six. Wishing you a speedy recovery, you know who you are, and for the rest of you I wish you a good weekend, wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.