Six on Saturday | Birthday Blues

As a child I always looked forward to October as it is my birthday tomorrow, now there are far too many years to want to count them! And it comes around too quickly. I could swear I was only 45 last year! The weather is usually still fairly clement around this time and the OH and I always used to try and go away for a week to celebrate. Not so this year. A cautious meal out will be about all that we do and maybe a walk on a beach if it is not raining. And we won’t mention Storm Alex…

(1) Starting with a blue flower and one of my favourite colours is this Michaelmas Daisy or Symphyotrichum novae-angliae as the New England autumn-flowering ones are now called. Yes. A bit of a mouthful. We’ll stick with asters! So far this pot is flowering nicely.

This one below is from the popular Island Series of dwarf Michaelmas daisies with semi-double violet-purple flowers with golden centres, this series are dwarf plants growing 30 – 60cm high and therefore suitable for containers or the front of the border.

(2) Last time to feature my Hydrangea ‘Vanille Fraise’ which was late to start growing, but finally caught up and the pretty creamy-white pyramid-shaped clusters of flowers are now beginning to turn delicate shades of pinks, hence the vanilla strawberry name. I’ll give it a hard prune in spring to about one or two pairs of buds on each stem. To be honest the colour is not dissimilar to my bog-standard white mophead which I have had for years.

(3) Autumn is the time for the Persicaria to take centre stage – well they have been flowering since August, but looking good now too. I planted some in the Cornish hedge and some in my Bee and Butterfly bed. They are not the same, but they look very similar. They make an excellent ground cover and the flowers are very pretty changing colour as they age.

(4) Something we all find in our gardens at this time of year are spider webs! I’m not keen on spiders, especially the big black brutes that find their way into my home at this time of year, but generally I try to ignore them and pretend they are not there.

(5) This next plant is a bit of a bonus. I grew several chilli plants in my conservatory last year and kept a couple over the winter, cutting them down and watering sparingly. One began to shoot again in the spring and I have had quite a bumper crop from it. It has been outside until recently when the winds began to blow it over. Unfortunately in the conservatory it gets covered in white fly which is a nuisance so I have put it back outdoors. It is ‘Early Jalapeño‘  and you can pick them green or red. They are good for cooler climates but they are not particularly hot and I do like a really hot chilli. Destined for the compost bin once I finish harvesting it.

(6) And a last outing for my Osteospermum ‘Tresco Purple’ which is a hardy one, though not hardy enough to withstand snow! So let’s hope we don’t see any of that down here again. I cut this plant down close to the ground in spring so it takes a while to begin flowering again, but I find it I don’t crop it the flowers get smaller and smaller. And it flowers wonderfully for months as long as I keep dead-heading it. This one is on the sunny wall in the Gravel Garden area. This photo was taken late Thursday afternoon in a brief spell of sunlight!

I hope that everyone is staying safe in these uncertain times, and those of you who are having to go into stricter lockdown measures then let’s hope this helps to keep the spread down. 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. Happy birthday, hope you enjoy your scaled-down celebrations.
    I did a plant profile of Symphyotrichum novae-angliae for my RHS course. It won’t be one of the Latin names I try to remember for my exams though. Bit too much of a mouthful.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Josh. Yes, some of those Latin names are difficult. Hope the course is going well.

      1. Thanks, one more assignment finished this weekend, so that’s soil, composting and nutrients rapped up until I sit the exam. Managing plant health next. Should be useful.

  2. BeckyB says:

    I thought you were 45 this year! Wishing you a very happy day today, and loving your six yesterday. So gorgeous xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha… sadly not! My eldest son is though 😱

      1. BeckyB says:

        oh my!! My 93 year old neighbour and my Mum say it is when they turn 60 that you really feel your age – – so you have lots of time yet!

        1. Heyjude says:

          But surely your mother does not have a 60 year old child?

        2. BeckyB says:

          He was 59 this year, so almost!

        3. Heyjude says:

          I didn’t know that you had a brother, but then there is no reason why I should 🤔

        4. BeckyB says:

          I am the youngest, and must admit I do not talk to them as often as I used to so have not really mentioned them much recently.

        5. Heyjude says:

          Same here with my brother, who lives in Plymouth. My other brother, who I was closer to, sadly died in 2011 aged 63.

        6. BeckyB says:

          Oh I’m so sorry to hear that 😔

        7. Heyjude says:

          He had very severe MS.

        8. BeckyB says:

          Horrid 😦

        9. Heyjude says:

          It was very sad. But he had a great sense of humour which he kept to the end.

        10. BeckyB says:

          Fabulous, so glad he retained that and that you have the memories

  3. Su Leslie says:

    A belated happy birthday Jude. I hope you enjoyed the day and had a great meal.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Still my birthday. No cake though 🤔

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Did you go out for dinner? I got no travel, no restaurant and no cake this year ☹️ Am planning to gift myself a road-trip soon.

        1. Heyjude says:

          We went out for lunch yesterday and had a walk on the beach in very windy conditions! Today was very blowy still and raining so I enjoyed watching the French Open tennis on TV. I may buy a cake tomorrow 😁 And I am definitely going to go somewhere next year!

        2. Su Leslie says:

          Sounds nice — despite the weather

        3. Heyjude says:

          It hasn’t been bad and my son phoned from Queensland which was lovely. I had hoped to be with them this winter.

        4. Su Leslie says:

          Hopefully next year … 🙂

        5. Heyjude says:

          I really hope so! Those grandsons are growing fast!

        6. Su Leslie says:

          Fingers crossed for you

  4. Cathy says:

    Hope you had a lovely birthday, Jude – October is definitely a better month for birthdays than December!! Those short asters are definitely more appealing to me than the taller ones

    1. Heyjude says:

      We used to have a week away as it is also our wedding anniversary, but have been unable to do that since 2016 with one thing and another.

      1. Cathy says:

        Life gets in the way sometimes, doesn’t it?! We normally have a city beak that we can get to by train for my birthday, but I am unsure about this year…

        1. Heyjude says:

          We usually go to a town or city so we can go out in the evening for a meal without having to drive. Eating out is not a priority at the moment though.

        2. Cathy says:

          And eating out is part of the going away experiece, isn’t it?

        3. Heyjude says:

          I think so. Not having to think about menus and shopping for a few days, plus exploring local markets for local specialities. Now we can’t just walk in to places it spoils the spontaneity.

        4. Cathy says:

          Exactly 🙄

  5. I hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration on Sunday! I admired your photo of the spider’s web with the raindrops on it! Lovely photo. It reminds of a night sky! I have been wondering whether I should cut back my Osteospermum but have been too scared to do it in case I lost the plant. After having read that you cut it back in spring, I think I will give it a try. I will try and propagate some more plants in the meantime. The Osteo and the seaside daisy are a lovely combination.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The osteos are easy to take cuttings from. Sunday was a dismal day, but I enjoyed watching tennis with my buck’s fizz 😁

      1. Good to hear that the Osteos will grow grow easily from cuttings. Glad you took it easy on Sunday!

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