Six on Saturday | Autumn has arrived

September started off quite chilly and I was dismayed by how quickly the days shorten. Dark in the countryside really is dark. No street lights here. In contrast though the stars are bright as was the  “micro harvest moon” (so named because it is the smallest it has been for a while on account of being at its furthest point in its orbit around the earth). We had a lovely week of warmth followed by rain and wind this week, but in that brief interlude I decided on another minor project. Well two really, but one will wait until next year. Photos have been taken in between some very heavy showers!

  1. Project #1 has been to remove the top end of the lawn which really served as an alternative pathway through to the raised beds at the back of the garden between the two trees there – Kilmarnock Willow and Contorted Hazel. I had widened the beds beneath these trees when I moved here and have mulched them with bark chippings each autumn which seems to help keep weeds away. Now the beds have been joined together and I shall buy some new stepping stones so I can still take a short-cut. I have a few plants in mind for this new space, but will probably wait until spring to plant any.
    Summer 2019

  2. In the spring I bought two replacement Penstemons for those that didn’t make it through the winter. P. ‘Garnet’ which has been flowering non-stop all summer and still is, and P. ‘Sour Grapes’ which has grown well, but not flowered. Until this week when I noticed one flower spike with the most beautiful iridescent lilac and blue petals.
  3. Another plant that has really taken off this year after being destroyed by the beast from the east in 2018 and taking a long time to regenerate, is this Fuchsia. This is a cutting from my late mother-in-law’s garden in Shrewsbury. A hardy tall shrub I was hoping it would do well here. Now, at last, maybe it will. It was the only one not to suffer from the horrid rust that all my fuchsias in the courtyard had.
  4. Dahlia ‘Edge of Joy’ has been far from joyous. Despite having dozens of flowers they have never looked particularly good, tiny snails have made their home in her foliage and earwigs have nibbled every petal produced. That’s it then. Mind made up. No more Dahlias for me.
  5. Cyclamen hederifolium which I planted under the willow last autumn have reappeared. Well the flowers have. The pretty leaves will come later. I bought a pack of white ones from ASDA yesterday which I will plant close by. I’d also like to buy some spring flowering Cyclamen coum for this spot.
  6. Spring Bulbs. Over 500 of them have now arrived. I might have gone a bit overboard, but I want to plant a load in my raised bed which is now made over for perennial plants and I hope that they will naturalise. Sticking with a vague blue and white scheme I have gone for crocuses, muscari, iris reticulata, and glory in the snow around the edges, with narcissi and contrasting tulips in the centre. Nothing has yet been planted except the bulbs bought for the shallow round pots which are designated for the courtyard – predominantly dwarf narcissi as they did well there last year. Tulips won’t be planted just yet, but most will be in pots. This year I am going for 6 different colours which I will plant separately rather than mixing several together as I normally do. These will be mainly on the patio, with two pots destined for the courtyard. And I also have last year’s bulbs to find a place for. OOPS! Maybe on the top of the tulip pots!

I hope you all survived the gales and thunderstorms and torrential rain that hammered its way across the UK this week. Not a week for gardening, but I did manage a quick look around on Thursday when the sun shone for several hours. Got to make the most of it now.

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:

    I’m in awe of your plant knowledge Jude, but even more your visualisation skill. I’m starting to think garden planning is a bit like chess in terms of being able to think so far ahead.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My son (who is still here) is amazed at how much work the garden is and all the planning involved. He thought you just stuck a plant in the garden and that was that!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        😱 … you’re saying it’s not? 😉

    2. Susan K. Hagen says:

      I admire your energy and share your frustration with dahlias. But, they can be lovely.

      1. Heyjude says:

        There are some beautiful flowers and I love to photograph the different types, but I will admire those grown by others from now on! There are many lovely plants that the S&S leave alone that I can concentrate on 😀

  2. lolaWi says:

    your garden is beautifully. it must be glorious when in bloom! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      There are still a lot of things in flower, but many ‘gone over’. Spring is probably the nicest time – April and May.

  3. Can’t wait to see your bulb bonanza. I’m sorry that dahlias are a failure – my grandfather used to show them at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, so they’re always a bit evocative.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I knew Dahlias would be tricky given the amount of S&S in my garden, I wasn’t expecting earwigs to be such a problem though. Still, nothing ventured nothing gained.

  4. Suzanne says:

    I do enjoy your garden posts, Jude. Many moons ago, when I had an extensive cottage garden Penstemons were one of my favourite inconclusions.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are not plants I have had before, but such good doers! Flowering for weeks except for last year in the dry and heat when they flowered and died very quickly.

  5. Have fun with all those bulbs!

  6. I love the Dahlia ‘Edge of Joy’ and the Penstemons. My garden has taken a bit of a bettering this weekend with all the wind and rain we’ve been getting (and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up just yet!).

    1. Heyjude says:

      It has been extremely windy here today and I am quite used to the wind here!

  7. I have Fuchsia. Do you grow yours in sun or shade?

    1. Heyjude says:

      The one in this post is shaded by a small tree but in full sun during the summer. The ones in the courtyard are in an area that doesn’t get sun at all, but is quite light.

  8. Tina Schell says:

    Well I’m sure most of your followers know Jude, but what was the Beast from the East/?? I’m guessing something similar to our hurricane Dorian earlier this month? In any case, your gardens are looking lovely. So sad to see summer end.

    1. Heyjude says:

      In March 2018 we had a massive storm come over from Russia bringing with it really cold temperatures and lots of snow. For the first time in decades it even snowed this far west in Cornwall, bringing devastation to many of the tender plants grown here. Usually we only have a couple of fairly mild frosts.

      1. Tina Schell says:

        Mother Nature can be quite a demon when she wants to be. It seems recovery is complete by now though

        1. Heyjude says:

          Mmmm… there have been rumours of another hard winter this year, but I hope not!

  9. cavershamjj says:

    Glad I’m not the only one with a bulb planting backlog! Good idea to colonise your lawn with cardboard. Much easier than digging it up. Do you find it easy to plant through?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I used it on a raised bed before so didn’t need to plant through. I’m hoping by next spring it will have rotted down quite well. I am only going to plant small bulbs this year.

  10. n20gardener says:

    I see we do have the same problem. Lovely to think of those bulbs flowering next year! I am going to dig a trench on my veg plot to plant out most of my tulips – it could be a slippery slope if it works well. Less veg, more flowers! More hederifolium are also needed here. When will it end?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I don’t think it ever does! Despite my resolve NOT to buy any more plants this year I have just ordered a couple of Skimmia japonica! Females, as I have a male already and have been looking for a female for several years so I can have a plant with berries!

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