Six on Saturday | November Edition

I have been struggling this last week to even get out into the garden, let alone take any photographs. It has been wet. Wet and windy. Very windy. So windy I had to bring indoors the bird feeders after they all blew off their hooks. I’m not happy, the birds aren’t happy either. And my orangery is still letting in the rain. Sigh…

My six this week are from my own garden. Which is very green. The grass is still growing and it has been far too wet to mow, so it is now looking like a little field. In fact I have been contemplating whether to just allow it to be a mini meadow and sow more meadow seeds into it. Already daisies rule the roost, followed by dandelions and clover. My Kilmarnock willow (header) and Corkscrew Hazel trees still have their leaves despite the wind. Probably not for much longer though.

So this week I am going to show you what is going on in the ‘Woodland border’ which is actually best in spring so this will serve as a contrast to that time.

  1. Heuchera ‘Lime Marmalade’. Heucheras have become the mainstay of my shady areas, along this border and under trees. They come in all sorts of colours and also flower in summer which gives them they name of ‘Coral bells’ as the flowers, although tiny, are little bells. This plant is evergreen so provides colour all year round, unlike Hostas which die off in the winter. Also unlike Hostas, Heucheras do not seem to suffer from S&S damage although I do sometimes see a few nibbles.
  2. Ferns are primitive, non-flowering plants that mainly reproduce by spores. There are dozens of ferns along this border, growing in the rock wall in little nooks and crannies. Most are the common Hart’s Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) which is evergreen. All I do is cut back any blackened leaves in spring. There are a couple more in the border, one I think one is Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)  and another is Dryopteris filix-mas, the male fern.
  3. Bugle Ajuga reptans.

    ‘It is a blacke herbe and it groweth in shaddowy places and moyst groundes.’–    William Turner, 16th century physician and naturalist

    A ground cover plant which I have planted along this border in an effort to prevent the self-seeding of Herb Robert and Dove’s foot cranesbill. This plant is an evergreen perennial  with spikes of purplish blue flowers growing from dense mats of dark green leaves with purple highlights. As you can see it does get nibbled, but hopefully enough has taken root now that it can spread without being totally destroyed.

  4. Primula. Yes, I know this is a spring-flowering plant, but in this garden they seem to flower throughout the year. That is if they don’t get eaten! I’d like to buy some of the common English primroses next spring – they might be more resistant to the munching monsters and they also look much more natural. The Primulas in my border were once tulip pot toppers.
  5. Two new perennial plants. Bought last week in a sale at Heligan gardens. I tried not to be tempted but at 50% off for large plants which tend to survive any munching, I couldn’t resist. First is Veronica longifolia ‘Oxford Blue’ (Speedwell) which is a low-growing, clump-forming herbaceous perennial that produces blue flowers with a white eye, similar to Forget-me-nots throughout spring, summer and autumn months. It will be nice if this can establish itself in this border as I don’t have much colour other than in the spring.
    The second purchase was Geum coccineum ‘Koi’. A hardy perennial which has lively orange flowers above downy, softly scalloped, semi-evergreen foliage from early spring to summer. This plant should add some height to the border as well as colour.
  6. Finally, Ivy. A variegated type which is growing up the fence. It doesn’t seem as vigorous as most ivies and it doesn’t have the distinctive ivy leaf shape. I think it might be Hedera canariensis ‘Variegata’, but that’s purely a guess from looking up photos on Google. Ivies are good winter plants as their flowers provide late nectar to insects.

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 which might cheer you up if you are having to hunker down because of the stormy weather this weekend.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. restlessjo says:

    Heucheras are lovely! I especially like the rusty coloured ones. I’d bring you some but Cornwall is a bit out of the way on my journey south. 😦 😦 OH back yet?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am building a bit of a collection up and I want to have some in the courtyard. Have my eye on several beauties. OH not back until Tuesday and then he’ll be back again in a fortnight. It’s a bit lonely up here on my own.

      1. restlessjo says:

        I bet you’re good at packing cardboard boxes! Our house is pandemonium and I’ve just spent ages on the phone to an old friend. I could have used the time but I’m sure we’ll get there in the end. Several farewells for light relief from the packing before we go. Hope OH is winning the battle. WhatsApp if you like? Sending hugs 😃 xx

        1. Heyjude says:

          I am an expert box packer and also a ruthless declutterer. Do not pack anything you know you will never use in Portugal. Have you got a completion date?

        2. restlessjo says:

          23rd. So many photos and postcards! Some will stay in storage with friends. Flying out 25th 😃😃

        3. Heyjude says:

          My daughter’s birthday! Seems everything has gone smoothly for you. So, it is for real. You will soon be an ex-pat. Now you will have to get learning Portuguese! Exciting times ahead. 😀

        4. restlessjo says:

          I just put a Collins teach yourself dvd in the box 😃

        5. Heyjude says:

          Some good phone apps I think too.

  2. janesmudgeegarden says:

    What a shame about the Orangery. I hope those pesky builders find a solution soon. I can’t grow ferns or Heucheras here as I don’t have enough shade (one day hopefully) but I do have Ajuga repens making its presence known under a few larger plants. Your plants look so lush from all that rain.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I am surprised my plants aren’t all rotting away from all the wet! Luckily they are all planted in raised beds so hopefully that helps a bit with the drainage, plus I am buying plants that like moisture – although one or two others might slip in 😉

  3. pommepal says:

    Green leafy plants always can be relied on for filling the bare spots in winter, this collection are beautiful and varied. Hope the leaking orangery can soon be fixed. I’ve started the daily watering regimen recently, it is getting very dry, then last night we had 2mm rain, not enough, but hope we get some more. How is your weekend going? Hope the wind and rain has stopped

    1. Heyjude says:

      A blustery weekend so far PP, with a lot of rain yesterday and in the early hours of this morning. Now sunny and bright and dry for now! Just watching the Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday procession. The military bands are so very good.

      1. pommepal says:

        Sounds like typical English weather

        1. Heyjude says:

          Typical here that’s for sure!

  4. Robyn Haynes says:

    Lovely photos. I have just become reacquainted with Ajuga. I see it comes in several different coloured foliages now

    1. Heyjude says:

      Can’t wait to see this one spread a bit more and flower in spring.

  5. Chloris says:

    You have lots of lovely foliage. I think ferns and heuchera make a lovely combination.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I aim to add a few more Heuchera to this border next year, once I can mark out where the bulbs are that I planted last year!

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ahh Hazel will come into her own soon!

    1. Heyjude says:

      You like her when she is all bare and twisted 😀 Actually there are loads of catkins on it at the moment. Must get another photo.

  7. cavershamjj says:

    I like your heuchera. I don’t have that one. Very bright, i can that would work Well in a shady spot. Adds to list…

    1. Heyjude says:

      I hate to add to your wishlist, but have you seen this site?

      1. cavershamjj says:

        Don’t! I actually have a few young heuchera plants coming to me soon.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Haha! The nice thing about them though is that they are pretty easy to divide when they get a bit woody.

        2. cavershamjj says:

          Yes, good for cuttings too.

        3. Heyjude says:

          I have never tried that.

  8. Lora Hughes says:

    These are all such nice plants. How do the bugle weed & speedwell fit in w/the other plants? I’m trying to imagine heights, etc. Actually, I would love to see a picture of the whole border!

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are all planted in a raised bed built from granite stone and about 30cm high. You can see pictures of the border in this post:

      1. Lora Hughes says:

        I can’t see the bugle weed (which I love) or the speedwell, but now I can imagine them in that raised bed. For me, having them up a little bit would make them easier to see & appreciate. Really love the stuff spilling out of the bed & down the granite wall. Lovely. Thanks for digging up the shot.

        1. Heyjude says:

          The bugle and the speedwell weren’t in the bed when those photos were taken. I’ll do another post on the wall in spring when the bulbs should be in flower.

  9. susurrus says:

    Oh heck! I’m not referring to the green, which is lovely, but the frustrations with the birdhouses. Nice to see Heuchera ‘Lime Marmalade’. I can imagine how well the colour would lift a shady area, as you once mentioned it did.

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