Six on Saturday | National Gardening Week

National Gardening Week 2019 is held between April 27th and May 5th. And is run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to raise awareness of gardening and horticulture, and to encourage more people to take part in the healthy and productive outdoor activity of gardening. Focusing on edible gardening it is appropriate that I have just taken delivery of some tomato and chilli plugs which will be grown in the Orangery.

At this time of the year we are often between the early spring flowering bulbs that are so welcome after a dull, dark winter and the summer perennials, roses and shrubs. Blossom on trees is fading, tulips going over. Time to look at the foliage in your garden perhaps? The many shades of green, the textures and the shapes of leaves. Green forms the backbone of my garden; it is a calming colour (along with blue) and important if you want to create a peaceful, meditative space.

  1. Ferns. I have a few lot. All the ones in the garden are inherited and the majority are Hart’s tongue ferns that grow wild in the Cornish hedges. I cut all the blackened leaves off in February allowing the fresh bright green stems to unfurl. This one though is a different type. Rougher looking it usually dies down during the winter and in spring the leaves unfurl out of brown hairy fronds. I think this is Dryopteris filix-mas – the Male fern or Basket fern which grows along the ‘Woodland border’ in the shadiest part. Or it might be Blechnum spicantthe hard fern. I’ll post another image once it is fully opened and maybe someone (Jim?) might recognise it.
  2. Eryngium alpinum ‘Blue Star’ is in one of the raised beds and produces pretty silver-blue, cone-shaped flower umbels above whorls of spiny, basal bracts, supported by strong, grey-blue stems in late summer, but for now I can appreciate its rather lovely leathery-looking foliage.
  3. Another interesting plant with jaggedy-divided, prickly bright green leaves in the same bed is Echinops which I planted last year, but didn’t flower. Growing strongly now I am hopeful for some pale blue spiky globes later in the year.
  4. Close by, under the Corkscrew Hazel is an Epimedium. I haven’t seen this one in flower yet, but I think it is an orange one. The new leaves are very beautiful though and I must remember to get underneath and cut off the older ones.
  5. Another fern, this time growing under the Kilmarnock Willow tree is, I think, a Shuttlecock fern or Ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris. It has a lovely delicacy about it.
  6. Finally, the red-blushed tips of the new leaves of a hardy Fuchsia. This plant suffered at the hand of the ‘Beast’ last year and I thought it had died, but new shoots eventually appeared at the base of the plant and now it is back to the size it was previously. I hope there will be lots of flowers this summer.

Forget-me-nots have successfully photo-bombed most of the shots today, but their time is up. I have already been pulling them out of the raised beds as I badly needed to plant some new herbs and perennials that can’t wait much longer. I have also been removing dozens of Borage seedlings as I know that they can be thugs in the bed, shading out other plants. It hasn’t been the best of weeks to get outdoors though, being a bit on the chilly side and today is no different, a chilly wind is blowing although the sun is out and the sky is blue! 

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Tina Schell says:

    Wonderful images Jude – I especially liked the ferns – they are more difficult to capture than most people think. The young unfurling fern is perfection

    1. Heyjude says:

      Especially difficult on a windy day! I am always striving for the perfect unfurling frond!

  2. Pit says:

    For me it should be “National Gardening MONTH” – at least! 😀 I always enjoy the pictures of your gorgeous garden.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Aw, thanks Pit. There is always something to be done in the garden, though at the moment my back is not helping me.

      1. Pit says:

        Speedy recovery for your back!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Nothing speedy going on here Pit, 6 weeks and no improvement. Looks like a visit to the doc is in order, if I can actually get an appointment that is!

        2. Pit says:

          I’m sorry to hear that. Don’t wait too long with back pain. I hope you can get an appointment quickly. Again: get well!

  3. Colline says:

    Looking beautifully green.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is lovely and fresh at the moment Colline. Hope spring is on its way to you by now!

  4. Ferns are so beautiful. Great photos.

  5. Oh, I love that gravel walk with the low stone wall – the perfect garden stroll.

  6. Ali, The Mindful Gardener says:

    Gorgeous foliage, Jude! It looks so fresh, doesn’t it? And I like the forget-me-not photo bombers.

  7. Eryngium’s are my new favourite plants. Glad your Echinopsis is taking off this year I think mine has disappeared.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I hope the Echinops flowers this year! I have planted them for the bees.

  8. Jim Stephens says:

    Nowt like putting me on the spot. On the first one I think you’re nearest with male fern but I suspect it’s the scaly male fern, Dryopteris pseudomas, which has much scalier stems (bright orange scales) and at this time of year is a lighter green than D. filix-mas, almost yellowish in fact.
    Number 5 is not Matteucia if it’s a wild fern and I don’t think it’s quite upright or symmetrical enough either. I’m inclined to think it may in fact be the real male fern. They’re a bit of a nightmare are ferns. Close ups of the sori later in the year might clinch it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Jim! No 5 is cropped – it is much more upright. But I will try and get better photos and close ups as the year progresses.

  9. cavershamjj says:

    Good morning. Very encouraging to see your sea holly leaves. I have some that I hope are sea holly but have begun to doubt. I took root cuttings from a plant I thought was an eryngium but after realised it might just be a spiky weed roughly where the eryngium was. I have 6 or 7 good size plants from those cuttings so I hope they are! The leaves look very like yours. Fingers crossed….

    1. Heyjude says:

      Indeed. I have been known to allow weeds to grow before recognising that they are in fact weeds!

  10. Lovely photos, Jude and a nice collection of green plants. You’re so right about green. This long weekend we’ve been four hours west of here out to Roma where, after so many years of devastating drought, they finally got lots of rain last week. The landscape has changed from brown to green overnight and it is so beautiful. It must give heart to the farmers.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Amazing how quick the landscape can change with some rain. I hope this means that awful drought is over.

      1. Not over yet. They would need regular rain over a few months to really break it but this rain has certainly brought some relief and the capacity to plant winter crops and grow pasture.

        1. Heyjude says:

          A good start then.

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