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. beetleypete says:

    Love the Robin, and some nice colourful plants too. We have had some lovely sunny days, but almost everything is still just a drab green around here.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not sure if it is the same Robin, but one visits every day and sings its heart out. Lovely birds.

      1. beetleypete says:

        We have ‘our Robin’ too. It comes close to the house, and often sits on a garden chair, if one is out there. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          Oh, that’s nice. I love to see them on a bench.

  2. Sadje says:

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks for visiting Sadje.

      1. Sadje says:

        My pleasure.

  3. fredgardener says:

    Nice Six Jude ! Why don’t you split your hosta and move it to another place? This would be a last chance…?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I shall have to get it out of the pot first Fred! I’ll try washing the soil out and then trying to ease out the root when I get a nice day. Maybe in the ground it can fend off the predators better!

      1. fredgardener says:

        Fingers crossed for you ….🐌…

        1. Heyjude says:

          Oh, Fred, I can’t believe you added a snail 😜

  4. I like the flowers on the fatsia. Solid foliage plant and good for pollinators.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Plenty of bees on them this afternoon too.

  5. I see you have featured Fatsia flowers too – they give a bit of interest in the winter don’t they? Lovely picture of your gravel garden. I have similar concerns over flower seedlings vs weeds. I was wondering if it’s ok to give our lawn a last cut too – the ground is quite wet but the grass is quite long to leave all winter.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My neighbour cut hers this afternoon, despite it being wet. Mine is more in the shade though so VERY wet. I didn’t attempt to cut it. Had another go at cutting down the Jasmine instead!

  6. Give the poor hosta a chance to do better next year. Hot summers are very hard on hostas.
    I love that you still have color and flowers blooming. Freezing temps and frost has done everything in here. But still no color in the trees. It’s as green as if it was spring.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a beautiful hosta but gets attacked badly by the S&S so it looks awful. I’ll try and get it out of the pot and split it, plant some in the border and see if it thrives. 😊

  7. restlessjo says:

    I love the idea of your Orangery. A bit of a leak will save you watering? 🙂 🙂 The Japonica looks a bit big? We’ve been looking at plants here too but don’t want to buy anything till the painting’s done and Mick has ‘designed’ the back patio. Creamy pink or rust coloured bougainvillea for the pergola on the roof? Bought a pretty little myrtle, just for now. 🙂 Mixed weather here too. Don’t mind but I’d like it to be nice for the youngsters arriving next weekend.

    1. Heyjude says:

      That Japonica has been cut down each year since we moved here! It will probably need another chop next spring. I like the peachy bougainvillea. It must be nice to be able to have different plants to what grows up north 😀

  8. myplaidheart says:

    Jude, your photos are always so lovely. Even though it’s October, your garden is chugging right along. Beautiful.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you for the lovely comment.

      1. myplaidheart says:

        You are welcome. 🙂

  9. Your orangery looks great as does the gravel garden. At least seedlings in gravel are easy to remove once you’ve identified the rogues

    1. Heyjude says:

      Very true. They have to have shallow roots as most of the pathways have weed membrane underneath.

  10. Your poor hosta really does look in a terrible state, but your robin is gorgeous.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hostas always look like this when dying, but it was in tatters long before this stage. Full of holes 😦

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