Six on Saturday | Early February Edition

After last week’s frigid temperatures this week has been much milder and wetter. The sun did shine at times encouraging me to go outside and have a poke around. But the week ended with 67 mph winds courtesy of Erik which blew over my camellia in its pot. I went out to rescue it late at night and was almost blown off my feet! The grass that didn’t get its last mow in November is now long and wet. Very wet. No mowing here yet. And once more I am wondering whether to remove it all, but I do need some space for the rotary drier so I can’t cram more plants into the space. There are signs of last year’s new perennials coming through so I hope they are not surprised by any hard frosts, unlikely as it seems down here, last year’s blast has not yet been forgotten and I regularly hover as night falls with fleece in my fingers.

  1. Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ – planted in a bowl in 2017 this iris first emerged last spring just in time for the first snowfall this far west in three decades! I wasn’t sure about whether or not to remove them after flowering, so left them alone. Does anyone know if it is better to remove and replant? Or plant into the ground? A pretty royal-blue with a striped white throat and bright yellow central band on the falls.
  2. Geranium ‘renardii’ is a very attractive plant forming a soft mound of sage green scalloped-edged leaves and the almost white flowers have a network of delicate purple veins in early summerThat’s right. SUMMER! May and June! I have had this a couple of years now and it has never flowered in summer – just creates a pretty velvety hump. I think I need to give it a good talking to.
  3. One of the Sempervivums (hens and chickens) that I bought last summer after being smitten by those of a fellow blogger. (You know who you are). This is ‘Blue Boy’ which changes from blue-grey in the summer to a rusty tone in winter. Even though it is very wet here I have planted them outside in loads of grit and in little pockets where I hope the water doesn’t linger.
  4. Seen usually in summer with big pinky-mauve flowers, this is Erigeron glaucus ‘Sea Breeze’ a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common name seaside fleabane, beach aster, or seaside daisy. I spotted a ladybird on the foliage so just had to take a photograph. I have hardly seen any ladybirds since moving to Cornwall. I have no idea why not. The foliage is looking good so I hope this means I shall have lots of flowers in the summer. And lots of ladybirds.
  5. Another plant bought last summer is this pretty Yucca  gloriosa  ‘variegata’ (Spanish dagger)  with its cream, green and pink stiff spine topped leaves. The variegated version of the original yucca was first introduced to Britain from the Carolinas in the U.S.A and is fully hardy in the UK and long lived. It is not a desert plant despite its looks so water it during a dry spring or summer. I can’t wait to see it flower, though that might not be for a few years.
  6. Finally, English Marigold (Calendula officinalis), the pot marigold, ruddles, common marigold or Scotch marigold which has been flowering since last summer and still has one flower and several buds so I think it deserves another place in the SOS. The showy daisy-like yellow flowers have been a beacon in the garden all through the winter. But as it is currently growing in the pink and purple bee and butterfly bed I fear it must be relocated.

Please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ for more gardening tales of the unexpected.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. pommepal says:

    I’ve heard others bemoan Erik hope he has gone now. A lovely collection for mid winter Jude I can imagine the excitement at seeing the ladybird, not so many around here now either and I don’t use chemical sprays so don’t know where they have gone. Have you thought of replacing the lawn with bark? We took out almost all the lawn and put bark in the front and white chip in the back. A friendly neighbour runs over the small strip of grass out front when he, occasionally, mows his lawn.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Now that is a good suggestion PP. I could always plant masses of spring bulbs first and then cover with the bark. I don’t use the dryer during the winter months so that would work. Do I remove the grass first or just put a layer of bark on top?

      1. pommepal says:

        We put a weed mat down first on top of grass then thick layer of bark. Not had any problem with grass coming through. Some people spray the grass to kill it but we don’t like to use chemicals. But don’t think the bulbs would come through either. When doing the beds and borders (20 years ago now!) we put thick layer of newspaper and cardboard down to smother grass and weeds then covered it with thick layer of compost and mulch. Ground so poor and hard back then had to use a mattock to dig holes for the plants. Younger and fitter back then

        1. Heyjude says:

          I used cardboard to kill off the grass to create the gravel garden area, so I could use that method. Takes a long time though. I wouldn’t use membrane if I want to plant bulbs. I have bark under my trees (without membrane) and it seems to keep down the weeds quite successfully.

  2. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely lovely pic of the iris. Hope the worst of the weather has passed.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Still very windy down here, but Erik has gone. Sunshine and showers today and hailstones!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        😕 Hope the hailstones aren’t huge, like those I’ve experienced in Sydney — they are devastating to plants.

        1. Heyjude says:

          No these have been fairly tiny, but noisy 😀

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’ve had a renardii for years and the foliage is lovely but flowers very few.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I wonder why that is? Pretty flowers too.

  4. Some pretty colours even in the midst of winter – lovely photos and hope the wild wet weather hasn’t caused any further damage to your gorgeous garden!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have realised that plants in this garden need to be able to withstand wind and/or be low growing! Only damage so far has been the camellia, which is now in the conservatory and where it will remain until it finishes flowering!

      1. Camellias are so beautiful so am glad that yours is safe and well in the conservatory! The Araluen Botanic Park up in the Perth Hills, which we love to visit, is noted for its camellias. Being elevated (in comparison to the low lying coastal strip) it has a milder micro climate which is apparently very well suited to the growing of camellias 🙂

  5. I’m a big fan of Erigeron so would be really interested to see what your is like.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s the large pink daisy with the yellow centre. There might be a photo on the site somewhere, but hopefully I shall have some to show this year!

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