Six on Saturday | September Joy

This week the weather on Monday and Tuesday turned out lovely, despite cloud coming and going. I should have popped down to the beach, but the garden called. So much to tidy up at this time of year.

(1) A gardener’s lament. Bessara elegans: Type: Tender Perennial Corm. Common Name: Coral Drops. These tiny corms were purchased three years ago and planted in a pot. The first summer the grass-like foliage appeared, but no flowers. The second year I was excited to notice 3 or 4 flower spikes appear, only to see them get munched by the slimy assassins. This year I placed the pot on a bench outside and watched the foliage grow again. Then some flower shoots with tiny buds. I checked it carefully for S&S and all was well. When a storm was forecast I brought the pot into the conservatory. The flower spikes increased. The buds swelled. At last the beauties I have been waiting for with 6-8 flowers per spike. Often gardening is a game of patience, which I am not particularly good at. Bessera Elegans is not frost hardy, so make sure to bring inside over winter and put back out as soon as the last frosts have vanished. Problem? I wish I had planted more bulbs!

(2) Remaining in the conservatory my next choice this week is an Echeveria – possibly ‘Purple Pearl’ ? – this plant has grown sideways and now hangs over the pot which is a bit concerning as I keep waiting for the stem to break! Question to those of you who grow succulents, should I cut the head off myself and attempt to replant it? There are roots making their way down along the stem. Meanwhile I do have a few babies.

(3) Moving outdoors now to the herb bed where we find the Garlic Chives. I planted these a few years ago, but every year they got covered by the Forget-me-nots, then the Nasturtiums and Borage and they never flowered. This year I cleared everything away from them and replanted them at the edge of the bed and voila – flowers! Very pretty and the bees think so too.

Of course the nasturtiums have come back, but fortunately the chives are taller now!

(4) And talking about Nasturtiums. I have never needed to plant any as there are plenty self-seeded ones all over the back of the garden. Mainly orange, some yellow and this one,

but I do admit to sowing some dark red ones a few years ago and sometimes one or two reappears. There are so many lovely shades of nasturtiums, maybe I will grow more next summer.

(5) By the edge of the raised herb bed is a wonderful annual decorative Painted Sage or Salvia horminum. For some reason it self-seeded on the wrong side of the bed, in the shale of the path. I left it to do its thing, though occasionally I do tread on it. I did plant both pink and purple ones last year so it was so nice to see this reappear.

(6) And another look at Hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ which has taken a while to get going in its new bed, but is now flowering beautifully.

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:

    Pleased to hear you have good weather, Jude!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I only wish it could stay like this until next March!

  2. susurrus says:

    I love what you have done with the coral drops. Wonderful shadows too!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Susan. Inspiration struck as I wanted to showcase the flowers but background plants really got in the way. I wasn’t too sure about the shadows, but then thought they almost double the amount of flowers you see.

  3. bushboy says:

    Beautiful Jude. Love the first photo

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Brian, a lovely flower with unusual green pollen!

  4. That header photo is especially stunning – so sharp and every detail clear.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Meg, I am very happy with the result in using the white background. I ought to do that for other plants! Hope all is well downunder, I think an email from me is long overdue! And it doesn’t seem at all likely that I will be visiting this year, or even next!

  5. janesmudgeegarden says:

    More congratulations from me on the photos of the Bessara elegans, which I have never heard of before. It’s a beautiful composition and I want to draw it! I wondered what clever technological wizardry you had used, so was surprised to read that it’s a piece of paper!
    Your border looks lovely too – full and bounteous.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was a photo of the Coral drops that attracted me to them, so pretty. I hadn’t realised at the time how long it would be before I saw them flower, but they are so beautiful. I tried photographing them as normal, but because they are so dainty the true beauty was hidden, hence the white paper!

  6. Very pretty, as always. Do you use your garlic chives in cooking? I have a huge clump next door to the salvia and I often pick a few leaves to add into a dish. They’re nice in a potato salad.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I haven’t used the garlic chives yet, but I do sometimes remember the cha cha chives for scrambled eggs!

  7. March Picker says:

    September Joy is a perfect title. Those coral drops are amazing — and your photo of them could be fine art! This is the first year I tried a couple of new shades of nasturtium, with mixed results. Peach melba was way too yellow for something with peach in its name, and the other was forgettable as well so the hunt for new varieties continues!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Dark red ones are nice, but they don’t self – seed as much as the orange.

  8. pommepal says:

    A beautiful selection Jude. Your dainty coral bells were well worth waiting for, a lovely photo. Yes you can cut the Echiveria off and replant, new babies will come up around the base, also any leaves (not sure if that is the correct name) that fall off can just be laid on the soil, or the tips pushed in a short way and in no time you have a bunch of new babies. Hope your weather is staying fine.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks for the advice PP. I have never had any success planting the leaves, they always rot.

      1. pommepal says:

        Maybe too wet and cold in your part of the world. Try putting in a tray of sandy mix in a sunny spot in your conservatory.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I need to go to the garden centre and buy some sand or John Innes compost as I’ve run out. But, yes definitely need a gritty mix.

  9. Cathy says:

    That photo of the bessera is wonderful Jude, and your experience has encouraged me to be a little hopeful for mine, which is is in the Coop. It flowered minimally last year when it was new with virtually no foliage either, but has not shown at all this year. We drove past a mature H Vanille Fraise just the other day and it looked spectacular, so that will be worth waiting for!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Do you remove the corms in winter or like me just stop watering?

      1. Cathy says:

        Mine stay in the pot and I stop watering – last year was the first season so I didn’t really know what to expect

  10. Catherine says:

    The Coral Drops are incredibly beautiful and what a fabulous photograph with the strong shadows behind them. I’m glad that they’ve flowered for you this year, I’m not sure I would have persevered with them over that period of time. Well done.

    The Garlic Chives are pretty, do you make use of them in cooking Jude, or keep them as a garden plant?

    H. ‘Vanilla Fraise’ looks great in the border, it’s flowering well. I was despairing a few weeks back about my H. ‘Limelight’, but I was looking at it earlier today, and it’s not only flowering well, but it’s grown now to around 4 feet tall. I’m happy – but I’m planning to move it in late autumn and I think this will set it back for next year. Can I ask when you moved yours into its current bed?

    Lovely six again this week, it’s always a pleasure to pop in here for a look.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I haven’t used the garlic chives yet as this is the first time they have grown so well and I admit that I grow herbs mainly as a garden plant for the flowers for bees. S&S leave the herbs alone too which is good. I planted the hydrangea into this bed last September and cut it right back. It struggled to get going in the spring, but looks lovely now. Early morning sun and dappled shade seems to suit it.

      1. Catherine says:

        Oh I think I’d be too much of a coward to cut a hydrangea right back! It does look great though.

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