Six on Saturday | The Woodland Border in August

The Woodland Border runs alongside the next door barn and faces north west so is very shady. In fact during the winter months when the sun is so low it never receives any direct sunlight. At this time of year though parts of it are in the early morning and the late afternoon/evening sun. The main colour in this border all year round is green. Ferns and foliage plants dominate, though throughout late spring and early summer additional colour comes from the numerous pink Geranium x oxonianum. Now they have become a bit straggly and it is time to cut them back. Some may put on more flowers before the winter arrives. This area of my garden is predominantly a spring border, with early bulbs and hellebores and primroses, but this is what it looks like now.

(1) Himalayan Honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa ‘Golden Lanterns’)  is a vigorous, upright, thicket-forming deciduous shrub with bright, golden-yellow, heart shaped leaves and, from summer into early autumn, pendulous racemes of white flowers with burgundy bracts followed by red-purple berries. I have mine growing in a container but it flowers best in full sun to light or open shade so I need to find a more suitable spot for it. A rooted cutting has been planted in the new border close to the twisted hazel tree.

(2) False Goat’s Beard (Astilbe × arendsii  ‘Weisse Gloria’  and ‘Fanal’). Astilbes are shade and moisture-loving plants, bearing masses of ferny foliage, from which elegant plumes of feathery flowers appear from late-spring. They do best in woodland garden schemes where their pink or white blooms provide a splash of colour.

(3) Unknown clematis – this adds a splash of colour to the border close to the conservatory. Last year it was badly mauled by earwigs.

(4) Lysimachia punctata / Yellow Loosestrife /  Whorled Loosestrife is a vigorous plant, spreading from underground stems. It makes plentiful upright stems that support whorls of yellow flowers and is pretty tough. It makes a good ground cover but being tall can suffer from blasts of wind in my garden and end up flopping over the wall. I’m considering making some changes to this border and this might be one plant to go. Maybe to be replaced with a couple of Astrantia?

(5) Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ also known as fish mint, fish leaf, rainbow plant, chameleon plant, heart leaf, fish wort, or Chinese lizard tail grows in moist and shady conditions. It is an attractive low-growing shrub, bearing a striking carpet of variegated red, cream and green leaves from late-spring. Its summer flowers are simple, white with prominent centres.


(6) Bird bowl set amongst baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii) also known as angel’s tears or mind-your-own-business. It prefers shade and moderate moisture and loves my woodland border! The masses of tiny leaves clothe slender spreading stems that root as they run, forming a dense deep-pile carpet. As it covers the ground it will run over rocks, fallen logs, and so on, clinging to their shape and in my border it grows up the granite wall and intermingles with the ferns. It can be quite invasive and prevent other plants from growing well so I regularly have to pull lots of it out.

A large part of England is undergoing a mini-heatwave this weekend. It’s not so hot down here in the south-west and we suffer from a lot of sea fret / low cloud when it is humid. Too hot for gardening though and perhaps it is sensible to stay out of the heat. I shall be seeking out a shady nook and enjoy putting my feet up and reading a book, hopefully!  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. Sue says:

    Lovely plants, as ever!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Sue. Not my most impressive border in summer, but I have slowly added more plants to the mix. I seem to have lost motivation this year though despite being in the garden more.

      1. Sue says:

        Oh, don’t beat yourself up, Jude

        1. Heyjude says:

          I won’t. It’s just there are lots to do and I don’t seem to have any energy or enthusiasm.

        2. Sue says:

          Well, I have NO energy in this heat, just sitting or lying down, wishing the days away until it’s cooler

        3. Heyjude says:

          17 degrees here and cloudy. no danger of heat exhaustion.

        4. Sue says:

          Ach, I’m really in the wrong place…

        5. Heyjude says:

          The south east / London area does seem to get the worst of the heat. My daughter said it was still 31 degrees in her garden at 8pm yesterday!

        6. Sue says:


  2. beetleypete says:

    The temperature has ‘dropped’ down to a more manageable 27 C here today. Compared to yesterday’s sweltering sun and 36 C maximum, it feels remarkably Spring-like. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. susurrus says:

    It’s nice to see the border in summer. I don’t envy you getting the yellow loosestrife out. It does spread, but during the weeks it is in flower, it’s a marvellous sight. It grows wild in a churchyard not far from where I live and is flowering now, though whenever I go past, I remember its peak and imagine it in flower.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s nice when the new leaves appear as they are pretty whorls and it’s nice when it first flowers, but then it flops and now it’s got rust so not so good.

  4. margaret21 says:

    You get your feet up this weekend and enjoy that garden! It looks as if you need a break.

    1. Heyjude says:

      As I suspected we have been in a sea fret all day! So I have stayed inside.

      1. margaret21 says:

        The weather. It rarely gets it right, does it?

  5. restlessjo says:

    I really don’t know how you keep track of them all, Jude. Have you got a sea of little labels out of sight? Or just an excellent memory? I do like that yellow asthilbe. Fighting a little black bug that’s much too fond of my climbing vine flowers and all round heat exhaustion. Feet up with a book’ll do me for now. 😎💕

    1. Heyjude says:

      Cloudy and 17 degrees here, so no danger of heat stroke. I do actually have a list of all the plants in the garden, on the blog 😁 and every time I buy a new one I update the list. Easy peasy 😂

  6. fredgardener says:

    Enjoy the fresh air … I must admit that 40° C is too much. 🥵
    Nice pics as always Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      About 17 degrees here and cloudy!

      1. fredgardener says:

        My dream right now !

        1. Heyjude says:

          Ah, but you are on holiday right? Then you actually want some heat.

        2. fredgardener says:

          Yes but 30° is ok, 40° is too much … especially at night but holidays are a good family time 😀

        3. Heyjude says:

          Yes, sleeping when it is that hot is impossible. You need good air con!

        4. fredgardener says:

          Sadly I don’t have ( or in my car 😂)

      2. The yellow leaves of ‘Golden Lanterns’ are very tempting. I grew the basic Leycesteria in the past but it took a lot of pruning to keep under control. I hadn’t thought about a pot though. The bird bath picture is lovely

        1. Heyjude says:

          The Golden Lanterns is pretty even without the flowers. I had heard that the basic one can be a thug which is why this is in a pot. However I have planted a cutting in a border. I may live to regret that decision!

  7. The leaves of the Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ are very attractive indeed and the carpet of mind-your-own-business is lovely – although I may give it a miss as I have enough of a battle keeping the vinca under control! I foolishly cut and edged the front lawn at lunch time (the neighbours were out so it seemed a perfect time). I soon regretted my decision. It’s far too hot out there!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not hot here! Covered in sea fret, but that means the grass is a bit too wet to mow.

  8. March Picker says:

    Such a lovely setting for that bird bowl in that lushness. The views of plants in your shady border must bring you joy, Jude. Stay cool there.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha… no heatwave this far south. Instead we have sea fret / fog! Usually the case when the rest of the country bakes. It must be because we are virtually surrounded by water. The sun is just coming through again now (7 pm) after disappearing at 11 am today!

  9. Your astilbe is looking very healthy. I hsve one underneath a couple of hollyhocks which has done surprisingly well but is past its best now. I used to have yellow loosestrife, I wonder where it went to.🤔

    1. Heyjude says:

      The astilbe isn’t looking as good today! I hope they bulk up a bit because they do look good en masse. The loosestrife has rust so it is going… apart from that I feel like I ,del>need want to change things along here.

  10. “have”, sorry.

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