Six on Saturday | Mid October Edition

It has been a strange month so far. Some sunny and even warm days, some cloudy days and Storm Callum was rather a pain bringing lashings of rain and gale force winds. Although the new conservatory roof was finished, the storm managed to find a gap to blow in some rain causing wet interior walls and ceiling.  Bummer! I think I shall wait until the spring to get the painter and decorator in to finish off the room and I actually quite like the bare plaster. Meanwhile in the garden it is all looking a bit soggy, and I really need to give the lawn one last mow. Most of the flowers have finished with a few exceptions, so let’s have a look around and see what is happening.

  1. First things first. The new roof. Conservatory transformed into an Orangery. Just need some citrus trees to complete the look. Still needs painting inside and out, but for now I am happy to just have the space back so I can bring the tender plants indoors. And I am already thinking of visiting a local nursery to find a little lemon tree.
  2. Fatsia Japonica (Japanese aralia / False Castor oil plant) – as seen above.  Fatsia japonica produces unusual white flowers in late autumn, normally October to November time. Strange, other-worldly looking, compound umbels of creamy-white flowers which seem, mysteriously, to attract hosts of lazy wasps in late autumn. A good source of late nectar though.  Followed by sooty-purple seedheads.
  3. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans) which is a perennial shrub native to Mexico and Guatemala. It has spent the entire summer outdoors next to the herb beds, but now I have brought it indoors and it is flowering beautifully with lovely post-box red flowers.
  4. Hosta. I have had this hosta for years, but boy does it suffer in this garden. By August it was in tatters, despite my using the horrid blue slug pellets, garlic spray and eggshells. It didn’t even throw up any flowers this year, surely a sign of distress? Now in its dying days. Decision to be made. Do I finally condemn it to the compost heap?
  5. Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’. (Himalayan honeysuckle.) This multi-value plant has bright green bamboo-like stems in winter, along with delicate, white pendent flowers amidst tasselled, ruby-coloured bracts in summer. Finally, in autumn, soft bunches of dark purplish-black caramel flavoured berries (loved by birds) appear. Currently in a pot. But depending on how well it fares through the winter, I might try to find a space for it in the garden next year.
  6. Yellow. Leaves are turning in the garden, these are from the yellow iris  (Iris pseudacorus) and the forgotten creeper, but they do add some buttery colour to the garden at this time of year.

Today is a lovely day, bright blue sky, sunshine and NO wind! I have spent a couple of hours weeding the borders, dead-heading plants and pruning the winter honeysuckle (I know it is not the ideal time of year, but at least now I can see the branches) and the Goat Willow trees, accompanied by the sweet song of a friendly robin (header photo). I’d love to get rid of the Goat Willows and replace them with a couple of Crab Apples, but I suspect getting the roots out won’t be easy. And I am still deciding on what to plant in my raised beds next year.

The most colourful part of my garden at the moment is the Gravel Garden / Sunny Wall Border. I am a little worried about all those seedlings in the pebbles. Are they flowers? Are they weeds? Have a lovely week and if you fancy visiting a few more gardens then pop over to the Prop and you’ll find tons in the comments – including some lovely spring gardens from the Southern Hemisphere.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. My pineapple sage is in a pot and flowering bright red like mad. Funny how a little £1.99 pot of something can flourish and provide colour and other things just sit there. Lovely post.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Mine was quite cheap too – five herbs for £10 from the Eden Project. I hadn’t realised this one is tender, but for that kind of money it is not so serious if it doesn’t survive the winter. I have never seen such a pure clear red.

  2. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    The new orangery looks great. I’ve also been peering at a mass of seedlings in our gravel path and wondering ‘weed or plant?’ Whatever they are they can’t stay there.

  3. The flower of that Pineapple Sage is such a wondeful colour of red….

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is. Pure clear red. And hard to photograph! I bought it for the herb bed, not realising that it is very tender.

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    The orangery looks nice. I’d be surprised if you had any problems with the leycesteria, in my previous garden it needs constant control!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I might see if I can get it into the border then, might have to wait until spring otherwise I will probably dig up the bulbs!

  5. Ali says:

    I have been doing exactly the same today – weeding and deadheading and having a good tidy. Your pineapple sage is lovely! There’s still colour and brightness in your garden.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I suppose I will have to bring the Pelargoniums inside next week as cold weather is forecast, not that we get a lot of frost here, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Need to buy some greenhouse staging for the Orangery first though to stand all the pots on! Any thoughts on a good, but not too expensive company?

  6. Chloris says:

    How exciting having an orangery, it will add a whole new dimension to your gardening, I hope you are enjoying the warm sunny weather that we are having at the moment.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well orangery is probably a bit of a posh name for what will be a garden room / greenhouse with furniture 🙂 Rather windy here today, but we have had some nice days recently. Can’t complain.

  7. Hooray for the conservatory/orangery being finished. How lovely to have a lemon tree of your own – I think you should definitely go and buy one. My fatsia japonica always does really well, despite (or because of) total neglect on my part apart from cutting off any dead leaves. It was originally a house plant, but really loves its shady spot in the garden. If I was you, I’d be consigning the hosta to the compost heap… The yellow leaves of the iris and the creeper look lovely, and must be quite cheerful on a dull day.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think you might be right about the hosta!

      1. I gave up trying to grow them – the battle with snails/slugs never seemed to be won. Other people manage to have beautiful healthy ones in their gardens -I don’t know how they do it.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I must admit the S&S are getting me down somewhat. I never had this problem in my last garden, which had very light sandy soil. I now check that a plant is resistant to them, as much as possible, but some ‘must haves’ slip through.

        2. I was just the same and ended up with lots of plants that the S&S were not interested in. It didn’t stop them coming into the garden, but at least they weren’t feasting on my carefully tended plants. Luckily they don’t care for agapanthus, so I could have plenty of them, which I love. 🙂

        3. Heyjude says:

          Note made about the Agapanthus. I love those!

        4. 🙂 I am thrilled to have them in the garden here – planted in the ground, not tubs!

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