Six on Saturday | Autumnal beginnings

What a week! Brilliant sunny, almost summer day on Monday became a winter’s day by Thursday with strong winds, hail and cold temperatures. Poor plants! Having basked blissfully in the sunshine at the beginning of the week they were tossed around mercilessly by the end. So these photos were taken early in the week.

(1) First up are the naughty sheep that keep escaping from the fields into the farmyard next door and because the farmer leaves the gate open most of the time they have wandered into my ‘wild garden’ and helped themselves to some of the plants on the Cornish hedge and the small bed next to the oil tank. Geraniums, Eryngium, Hebe and Osteospermums seem to have been favourites, though lavender was left alone, but the spider plants that have been outdoors all summer took the brunt of it having most of the leaves munched!

(2) Aeonium ‘Zwartkop is a branching shrub with magnificent, almost black-purple, succulent, polished leaf rosettes with a lime-green centre, at the ends of its branches. These spend the summer outdoors on the ‘Zen Patio’, but come winter I bring them into the conservatory, though this year I am tempted to leave one pot outdoors under the shelter of the potting bench with some polycarbonate on the top to keep out most of the rain as last year they suffered indoors.

(3) A recent new addition to the dappled shade bed is this Hardy Geranium ‘Anne Thomson” which is a lovely deep magenta colour with a black centre. Hardy geraniums do well here as they are mostly left alone by the S&S as long as I find the right place for them. Two or three have been moved around the garden until I found their happy spot!

(4) Another plant now flowering in the same shady bed are the Cyclamen which were planted a few years ago. They are spreading as leaves are appearing everywhere under the Kilmarnock Willow tree, but not as many flowers yet.

(5) I have mentioned this Eryngium before. Mine appears to be one variety that has the most disgusting smell! During summer when it is flowering the heads are covered in flies – not butterflies! Now though the purple stems look quite nice. I thought I had removed this from the raised bed but I obviously didn’t get it all out. They do tend to have quite deep tap roots! I’ll have another attempt at removing it next spring.

(6) Pelargoniums. I like these plants and their many different flowers, but some of these were quite old in flower years so last year I took a lot of cuttings and started many of them as new plants, they have been slow to grow for some reason, but now they are looking good. I kept them on a bench this year, in full sun.

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. Those are very naughty sheep! I hope they don’t get at your plants again. It reminds me of the time I looked out of an upstairs window to see a group of sheep heading across the lawn followed by a sheepdog and a couple of running farmers. I couldn’t believe my eyes! They had been loading them onto a lorry behind our house when the sheep decided to leap over the fence instead.

    That eryngium looks similar to the one I have, but I haven’t noticed any bad smell. I’m going to give them a sniff next time.
    The cyclamen look great, and obviously happy if they are spreading around.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha… yes, the sheep are good at leaping over fences and walls it seems! Just as well the cattle don’t try that! My eryngium doesn’t smell now, but it does when it first flowers, so you’ll need to check next year.

      1. Ann Mackay says:

        I have some similar-looking eryngiums too (‘Blue Cap’) but hadn’t noticed a smell – but then I have cats, so usually blame them for any pongs. The naughty sheep reminds me of the sheep coming into our garden when I was a kid – Mum was furious when they ate her tulips! Later a cow ate her few veggies – I think she may have given up after that!

  2. Cathy says:

    Sadly I have no successful experience with eryngiums so have no concept of their smelly habits…

  3. Anne Thomson is a beautiful colour. Quite the star.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, she is quite a beauty. I look forward to seeing how well she does next year.

  4. Leya says:

    Aeonium ‘Zwartkop‘ is a favorite of mine – but, sadly enough it never works for me. Doing something wrong…but I keep trying. Your garden is always a treat – even the sheep… Thank you for the peep. My pelargoniums are also in full flower now. Love their scent and diversity. How do they spend the winter?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hi A-C. My aeoniums spend summer outdoors in pots, as do the pellies, then I bring them into an unheated conservatory from November to avoid the excessive wet. Aeoniums need light during the winter, but kept on the dry side. I have left scented leaved pelargoniums outside, but we hardly get any frost in this part of the country.

      1. Leya says:

        I see, well this last winter we had no winter…so maybe we are moving towards frost free winters as well.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Yes, ours was very wet and often that is what kills a lot of plants, rather than the cold.

        2. Leya says:

          True. Geraniums for example.

  5. Can’t help but love your naughty sheep!

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