Six on Saturday | Woodland Border

It hasn’t been a bad week for gardening, a few showers, but mostly at night, and a couple of breezy days, but I managed to get the lawn mowed and some weeding done (though that is ongoing as I watch the bindweed and cleavers make their way up anything they can get hold of) and the new herbs are in the raised herb bed. All this is taking time though as I am having to move very carefully on account of the sciatica. It doesn’t seem to want to go away this time and I did eventually cave in and visit the GP who confirmed it is in fact sciatica and will arrange a physiotherapist for me. Meanwhile I have stronger painkillers to help me sleep at night, though so far they haven’t been that successful. Meanwhile the sun shines and the pots need watering!

There are quite a lot of flowers to choose from, including Alliums now taking the place of the tulips, but this week we’ll have a look at what is happening in the Woodland Border. That’s the shady walled edge from the Orangery to my shed that receives late afternoon sun at this time of the year.

  1. Commonly known as maidenhair vine, creeping wire vine, lacy wire vine, angel vine, mattress vine, mattress wire weed, necklace vine, and wire vine, Muehlenbeckia complexa is an ornamental plant in the Polygonaceae family, which is native to New Zealand.  At least I think this is what this plant is. I haven’t noticed it before and apparently it produces small, greenish fragrant flowers in the autumn, so I shall make a mental note to keep looking at it. It is growing behind the winter honeysuckle so hard to see.
  2. I planted several Bugle ( Ajuga reptans) plugs, also known as carpet bugleweed, in the wall a couple of years ago to try and create ground cover in order to stop perennial weeds from growing. It isn’t spreading as quickly as I had hoped, but at this time of the year it produces pretty blue flowers and mine has a pink-purple-white variegated foliage so looks good all year round. Soon the Sweet Woodruff which also carpets this space will be in flower too.
  3. All along the wall I have planted Polyanthus – the group of Primula that is sold in garden centres and supermarkets in spring to be used as bedding plants. They are hybrids of P. vulgaris (Primrose) and P. veris (Cowslip). I used them as pot toppers for tulips back in 2017 and later replanted here. They do get munched on by the S&S, but occasionally the flowers look good for a short while.  They seem to flower pretty much all year round here, but definitely look better at the moment.
  4. I also bought six Primula Candelabra plants last May which were very small, but very cheap. I thought they had died or been eaten as they disappeared, but now most have returned and flowering beautifully. So far they seem to be the same colour though which is a shame. I discovered that P. candelabra are deciduous which means they die back in the winter, but they do return reliably each year for a great spring display and often flower into early summer.  I will keep my eye on these too.
  5. In among the many ferns on this wall are Heucheras. They seem to survive S&S attacks much better than Hostas and add much needed colour to the border. Right now several are beginning to flower and produce dainty little flowers that give rise to the common name (especially in the US) of Coral Bells. I have several colours, but Marmalade and Lime Marmalade are my oldest plants and I have split them several times to produce new plants. Although they often die down in winter they do come back looking as good as ever.
  6. A new plant for this area is Geum ‘Bell Bank’ which has a very pretty dusky pink flower that matches perfectly with Heuchera ‘Marmalade’. Like most early flowering  Geums it hangs its head demurely and this one has also turned its back on me! But it is supposed to straighten up and open wider as the year goes on. Another plant to watch.

A dry weekend is forecast with temperatures rising. By next weekend I hope to have removed the forget-me-nots from the other raised bed and have planted the perennials that are waiting to go there. 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. Never heard of Geum Bellbank before. Will have to keep an eye out for that. That primula candelabra is very pretty.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Even prettier now it has two storeys!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    My sympathy on the sciatica. It is a dreadful ailment and I hope the physical therapist can advise exercises to relieve it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I must admit the pain this time is really getting to me. And my left leg is practically numb!

  3. All very pretty Jude, and looking quite spring-like. I wish I could find a ground cover which would smother the weeds. Our recent rain has given everything a boost and my rose garden is flourishing, even though we are two weeks away from winter. Sadly, this includes the weeds.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, funny how weeds manage to resist being eaten by the S&S or damaged by winds!

  4. Sorry to hear that you have sciatica, Jude. Do you ever practise yoga? I just always remember that triangle post is recommended for sciatica (feel free to ignore unwanted advice!) I love Geum ‘Bell Banks’. It has been on my wish list for a while, I just need to find a supplier. I love a downward-looking geum.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I last practised yoga in my twenties Ali! A shame I didn’t continue! I have tried a few stretches but at the moment it is very painful so I think I should wait to see what the physio advises.

  5. restlessjo says:

    So sorry about the sciatica, Jude! Frustrating (and painful!) when you just want to get on with the jobs. 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a b***er Jo. I have never known such pain other than childbirth! Now my left leg is practically numb – such an odd sensation.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Nothing other than pain killers? Does Tish know any herbal remedies? 😕🍀🌹🌻💕

  6. n20gardener says:

    The collage of six photos looks so wonderful and the maidenhair vine looks particularly good. I have ‘Marmalade’ so interesting to hear about ‘Bell Bank’. Hope your sciatica improves soon and that the physio gives you some good stretches.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks N20 🙂

  7. Lora Hughes says:

    I love a candlabra primula. Mine always spread wonderfully & were in many colours, but as they’re so beautiful, a single colour display would be an eye catcher. The maiden hair vine is so delicate. I hope we see blooms on it later in the year.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’d be happy if the candelabra spreads!

  8. Coincidentally I was researching yesterday whether maidenhair vine can live outside because I bought one with the intention of keeping it as a houseplant, but neglected to check whether it’s safe for cats (which we have). I can’t find a definitive answer on that, but now I’ve seen yours I think I won’t risk it and will plant it outside instead and stick to cacti indoors which the cats aren’t stupid enough to eat 😂. Good to know about the primula too – one planted itself in my garden this Spring and I wondered whether it would be perennial or not. I hope your sciatica eases very soon 😁.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well I have no idea where this vine came from or even if it is indeed the vine or an impostor! I have a lot of native plants in this garden!

  9. Love your Heucheras – gorgeous foliage colors!

  10. Cathy says:

    Thanks for sharing your woodland border Jude, and I hope your sciatica improves soon

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cathy.

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