Six on Saturday: kaleidoscope


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Hello June, goodbye May. The garden has exploded into a kaleidoscope of colour. Above is the first of my Six on Saturday. Eschscholzia. They are self sown from last year and have popped up in drifts. I couldn’t have created this show if I had tried.


The Propagator asks us to share six sights from our garden on a Saturday, a fun thing to do. Try and join us. His blog has any instructions you might need. My Six today are colour themed.

2. Purple

Of course it had to be Allium Purple Sensation. Old hat maybe but still a great colour.

Aliium christophii

Allium shubertii

3. Pink

The first rose to open is the strongly scented Gertrude Jekyll. If she wasn’t so thorny she would be perfect.

Astrantia Roma

4. Yellow

The pineapple scented Cytisus battandieri. I do not favour yellow in my garden but I enjoy this for its scent and silver foliage rather than its colour.

5. Black

Less black more deep claret to be honest. One of my favourite shrubs, Sambucus niger.

Just look at those dark leaves.

6. White

Perennial poppies this one is perhaps Perrys white. Shining and clear. Here’s a thing, before the marigolds and Eschscholzia did their thing I was planning a white planting show. Hey ho, there’s always next year.

Wishing you all a great weekend. Enjoy this summer weather. D.

In a vase on Monday: everything but the sink


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Everything is here. Cerinthe, Geum Mrs Bradshaw, Geum Torally Tangerine, Iris sibirica, Allium Purple sensation, Anthriscus sylvestris Ravenswing. A mad mix , just like the borders.

Chosen plants but not necessarily where I planted them. Cerinthe is self sown. Anthriscus is self sown. Geums have shrunk and then popped up nearby. I love this about these plants. With this in mind I did not want to arrange them in the vase.

So this as random as they appear in the garden.

That’s it. A collection of flowers from the garden to share with you and Our host, Cathy. Hoping you had an enjoyable Monday. D.

Six on Saturday: favourites


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Good morning. I am joining The Propagator with a quick six, favourite sights in my garden.

First is a shrub I purchased from a garden in Winslow. A family were about to complete the sale of their late mothers house. A developer had purchased the property and the place was about to lose its garden to concrete and brick. The family invited Winslow & District gardening society their local garden group, to attend at a certain hour on a given day to dig up plants from the garden for a donation in aid of their chosen charity.

You can imagine the scene as gardeners in anoraks, armed with trowels and garden forks arrived. Hellebores, snowdrops, ferns were the main plants of interest. A polite-ish dig-up began.

Whilst the garden was under siege, I got talking to a lady who turned out to have been the owners longterm carer. She handed me a scraggy shrub in a pot. Take this for your garden, it is something special, I cannot remember what but I always had to pay particular attention to watering it. Inwardly thinking, yuck that looks dreadful, I politely accepted it and made a donation of £5.

I planted it in the ground in about February this year. Clearly delighted to have space to send its roots, it is now flowering happily.

It is New Zealand lilac, Hebe hulkeana or right now, Happy Hebe.

2 .

This is the outlook from my chair where I enjoy my morning coffee. Purple Cerinthe in the foreground with masses of Eschscholzia poppies behind. These are all self sown. Bargain.


These may not have been fashionable at Chelsea this year but I don’t care, I still love Allium purple sensation.


The border in morning light before the sun gets to it. The contrast of green with the dark burnt orange from Euphorbia griffithii Dixter.


I have always admired Iris sibirica for its royal colour and neat form, somehow refined. I planted these last year and am delighted to see they made it.

6. Another view of a different part of the border.

Again before the sun reaches it, this is a pleasing gentle froth of green, pink and white. Persicaria bistorta, Anthriscus sylvestris Ravenswing and Thalictrum Elin.

Wishing you an enjoyable long weekend, wherever you are. D.

Chelsea flower show


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Sloane Square, ready. Sun shining, tick. May 21st, it must be the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Alliums may not be top of the pops at the show this year but they are still number one for the bees.

Artisan gardens are hugely popular. Green Switch by Kazuyuji Ishihara rightly achieved an eleventh gold and drew the crowds.

Glorious acers and moss and room to park the motorcycle. A natural combination. Perhaps. The planting is exquisite.

The garden created by Tom Stuart Smith for RHS Bridgwater Garden, Salford Greater Manchester was full of wonderful planting combinations. Supposedly highlights of the 154 acre garden to be completed in 2020 this will most certainly be worth a visit.

Cornus kousa

The show gardens are covered in great detail by the BBC. I found their coverage somewhat obtrusive today.

Sure the film crews have a job to do but actually they were in the way on several gardens we were trying to view. RHS you seem to have forgotten that the paying public want to see the gardens not the back of the camera man and his equipment.

The D-Day 75 garden was a poignant tribute to the last surviving Normandy veterans. I am not sure if it has had any coverage. Designed by John Everiss it is hoped that the garden can be rebuilt on a site above Arromanches by 6/6/19 as a tribute to the veterans who now are approaching 100 years of age. DDay 75 is the link to the crowdfunding page.

M&G investments are once again sponsors of this years Show. Their garden by designer Andy Sturgeon was masterful. Described as green planting, I rather liked some of these planting combinations.

A brief roundup of my visit. Lots of glorious sights.

To finish


Good night. D.

Six on Saturday: some faves


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May is possibly the most exciting time in the garden. So much is happening. You can almost hear the growing. The ferns are unfurling and that is where I shall start.


Harts tongue Asplenium scolopendrium

This is a plant which came to me from Rambling Cathy a couple of years ago and how established it looks now. The freshness of the green is strong and those tongues look at their most interesting as they uncurl.


Horse chestnut trees Aesculus hippocastanum

There were 5 of these in 2015 and I took the decision to have two of them removed to enable these room to grow. They are looking at their most majestic now. Growing below them, in the dry shade is my number 3

I know it is a weed, I know it may make a bid for total control but I love it. I shall cut it back hard and remove some of it next week.

Cow Parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris

4. From green and white to hot orange, these are self sown orange Californian poppies.

Eschscholzia Californica

Today is overcast and they haven’t fully opened but their vibrancy is working hard to brighten the sky.

5. More poppies

Another poppy trying to brighten the skies.

The centre seems so bright and yet the outer petals live up to its name Papaver Patty’s Plum. I love the fat hairy buds on perennial poppies.

6. House leeks

Newly potted sempervivums. I love these plants, so many variations, all beautiful.

My six favourites today to share with you and our host The Propagator .

Do share your six with us or if you haven’t got time at least take a few minutes to scroll through some other bloggers joining this popular meme.

Enjoy the weekend. D.

In a vase on Monday: hedgerows and bonnets


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From the title, some of you may immediately know what I am going to have in today’s vase: Cow Parsley and Aquilegia. You are not wrong.

A froth of cow parsley in its own cream pot.

Shades of purple bonnets from Aquilegia in the tiny cream pot sharing space with Cerinthe.

In a separate old syrup of fig bottle is stand alone Allium Purple Sensation. Too stylised a form to share space with the froth.

In the fourth vessel, another old cream pot is a mix of blue starred Borage, Anthriscus sylvestris Ravenswing which is, most certainly, a refined form of cow parsley blessed with burgundy stems.

There is yet more Cerinthe which is having a bumper bloom. There are candy floss pink sticks of Persicaria bisorta. The taller purple flowers are from Thalictrum Elin and the whiter froth is from Sweet cicely.

If you look carefully, there is also the just about to open, lilac coloured sprig of Hebe hulkeana or New Zealand lilac. This is the first time it has flowered.

A complete contrast to my green and white effort Last week.

Please now take a look at Our host Cathy to see her vase and those from other bloggers all over the garden world.

Have a great week and thanks for reading. D.