Six on Saturday | Where is Summer?

Approaching midsummer’s day and we have yet to experience anything like summer. Unlike many parts of the UK it hasn’t been too bad down here in the west country this week. Yes it has rained and yes the temperatures are well below what they should be for this time of the year, but we have had some sunshine and I have managed to dry my laundry outdoors! Seeds of new hellebores have been sown along with some lettuce and parsley, but I am afraid they might all be washed out! And one of my new clematis ‘Prince Charles‘ was damaged by the wind on Monday and Tuesday taking away 12  flower buds. That causes me to have a sad face. 😞

This week I shall show you six things in (or around) the raised beds at the bottom of the garden. It’s a little wild at the moment!

  1. Painted Sage. An annual sage, grown primarily not for its insignificant flower, but for the colourful bracts borne on upright stems in summer. These modified leaves are blue, pink or white. This is in the herb bed alongside some variegated sage.
  2. Tulbaghia violacea or ‘Society Garlic’ is one of the prettiest and best summer edible flowers, with a garlic flavour but no aftertaste. I bought these from Sarah Raven and they should have sweetly fragrant lilac-pink flowers, however mine look almost white. I am hoping for a lot more flowers, but I think it needs more sun.
  3. Euphorbia oblongata is a long flowering foliage plant with brilliant sulphur yellow flowers and bold, strong shapes. It is really a short-lived perennial and although I bought 5 seedlings last year they didn’t come into flower until this spring and are now taking over the entire bed! It is supposed to flower until December so I intend to remove a couple of them and pop them into containers to move elsewhere. As with any euphorbia take care when cutting this plant as the milky sap is poisonous and can irritate the skin. I have it growing alongside Eryngium and Echinops so I hope to see them all in flower together at some point this year.
  4. Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ (Balkan clary) is a lovely deep purple flowering perennial with tall spikes. I have planted this to accompany the  plants in #3 and I hope that in future years it will bulk out a bit.
  5. Centranthus ruber or red valerian comes from the Mediterranean and was introduced to the UK in the 1600s and has now naturalised here. It tends to self-seed everywhere in pavings and walls where the deep tapering roots can cause damage. In fact in the Western Cape, South Africa it is considered to be an invasive species. The most typical colour is a brick red or purplish red, but can include deep crimson, pale pink, and lavender. Centranthus ruber ‘Albus’ (about 10% of individuals) has white blooms and I have that one flowering in the front courtyard. It is a good source of nectar from May to October for bees, butterflies and moths like the Hummingbird Hawk-moth.
  6. Common Daisy (Bellis perennis).  You may be wondering why I am including this one in my six as I am sure pretty much everyone will have this familiar wildflower growing in their garden and especially in the lawn as it favours short grass,. This humble plant can be seen flowering almost all year round and I am actually quite fond of it allowing plants to seed in the cracks of my paving and also in my very weedy lawn. Usually a daisy has composite flower heads – the yellow disc in the middle (‘disc florets’) and the surrounding white ‘ray florets’ (which look just like petals) but this one (on the left) growing next to my compost bin, appears to be a double flowering type caused by some form of mutation.
    BTW The name “daisy” is considered a corruption of “day’s eye”, because the whole head closes at night and opens in the morning.

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. Su Leslie says:

    Hope summer arrives in earnest soon Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Me too Sue! Haven’t sat outdoors with a book yet this year!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Oh no. One of life’s great pleasures. ☹️

  2. I get lots of red valerian growing out of cracks in front walls along our street. It’s one of the plants I see several day moths on a lot.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love plants that attract the insects. Only once seen a hummingbird moth though and too quick for me to get a photo.

  3. I think your summer has come here. We are having the most glorious days, 21° C today and a beautiful blue sky. The nights are still cool though. That’s a lovely salvia.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’d be happy with 21 degrees! Sunshine today though still a cool wind. Off up the hill in a moment to capture some foxgloves (if they haven’t been entirely battered).

  4. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Well, Jude, two things: I didn’t know Society garlic comes In white, and nor did I know that it’s edible.
    It was – 3.8 here this morning, but in the afternoon I was out gardening in sunshine in my shirtsleeves! I’ve planted Bellis Perennis in my garden and am waiting for it to come into flower.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Bellis Perennis is lovely, I almost bought some this spring but decided I had spent enough on plants this year. Didn’t stop me buying roses the other day though…

  5. Your raised beds are lovely Jude – I like the idea of the “Society Garlic” with the flavour but no aftertaste. My dad says they have had wild and wet weather all week up in Yorkshire so I suppose a little sunshine is a bonus but do hope it really warms up for you soon (well not too hot!). We’ve had wild storms here most of the week but is is winter and we are happy for the rain 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Rain is welcome for the garden, but not so much the wind accompanying it. Wind does a lot of damage here 😦 And I really do need some heat for the tomatoes and chillies!

  6. beetleypete says:

    We had summer in late February here. Three very nice days, as I recall. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  7. Sue says:

    Well, at least you haven’t had it as bad as some, and your garden looks good

    1. Heyjude says:

      The garden is looking rather overgrown already! I think maybe I put too many plants in, but never mind. Some will die, some will get eaten by the S&S which are having a great time in the wet! And some will be removed and planted elsewhere. I just have to stop taking cuttings! (And buying new plants). 😂

      1. Sue says:

        There’s always an answer, Jude!

  8. fredgardener says:

    Original mutant daisies and thank you for explaining the name of daisy = day’s eye. I learn every day.
    Btw, your painted sage (# 1) is beautiful

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Fred! The painted sage is quite unusual and seems to avoid being eaten by the S&S 🙂

  9. How colorful, Jude. I love the Euphorbia oblongata. That chartreuse color! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a lovely colour, I just planted too many together so now I need to get some out!

  10. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    I like red valerian but don’t have any. I remember waiting outside a village hall one evening prior to giving a talk and watching a hummingbird hawk moth enjoying some growing in a wall. The Society garlic is rather pretty. May have to look it up on SR’s website.

    1. Heyjude says:

      This valerian has come in on its own invitation, as has the white one in the courtyard! I don’t mind as long as they behave themselves 🙂

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