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. beetleypete says:

    Have a wonderful birthday tomorrow, dear Jude.
    The spider web photo is very good.
    We have had a lot of those large black spiders in the house lately. Julie hates them, but hunts them down and batters them to death with a fly swat!
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      I must admit they don’t live if I see one! I can cope with the smaller ones.

  2. Pit says:

    Happy Birthday to you!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Pit xx

  3. restlessjo says:

    Poor old jalapeño plant. That’s not much of a reward 🙄. Happy birthday for tomorrow, Jude. Hope it’s nice enough for you to at least have a stroll out 🤗💕

    1. Heyjude says:

      I might repot it, see how I feel 😉

  4. Lisa says:

    You taught me something new. I didn’t know Michaelmas daisies were the same as asters! I only read about Michaelmas daisies is British novels for some reason.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It does seem like an old fashioned name for them, but one I love. Maybe because I had a brother called Michael. 😊

  5. Happy birthday Jude! Hope you have a lovely day tomorrow. I gather you’re going to be 46 😉. Glad to hear you are a hot chilli fan. Me too,

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha, yes, if only! 😂

  6. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I am really jealous of all the colour you still have:)

    1. Heyjude says:

      The asters help and the osteos just seem to carry on, though the flowers will get smaller.

  7. pommepal says:

    G’day birthday girl, hope you are having a good one and the weather is ok for a gentle beach walk. Love the asters, especially the first one with the ridiculously long name. I’m having a Skype tonight with my English girl friend, we’ve been close friends since school days, she is horrified about the virus and preparing to go into isolation again. So sad. Stay safe and well Jude and hopefully we can make future plans and actually do them next year

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Pauline. We went out for lunch today and a beach walk even though it was blowing a hooley! Still feeling the sand in my mouth! The way the government has handled things here makes me so angry. And so many people think they are entitled to carry on as normal. We don’t go far and keep our distance and only I go shopping. I’m not holding out much hope for next year, but I am hoping I will be able to get over there again. Hopefully you’ll be able to go to NZ soon. I know my son will be pleased if air travel between you and NZ begin again. So far he’s still on 2 days a week with Qantas.

      1. pommepal says:

        Pleased to hear you’ve had a good birthday outing and that your son still has a job of sorts. Could get better now the states are opening borders and kiwis can come here, though we can’t go there without quarantining yet. My daughter may get over here for a visit I’m hoping by Xmas
        It is the Queens birthday Long weekend and last weekend of school hols, 27deg and clear blue sky and the roads are blocked with traffic heading to the beach… We are staying home….

  8. Beautiful! Happy Birthday. It must be the week for birthdays – you, my sister, my mum and my sister’s partner. Have a lovely day on Sunday.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Carol. October seems to be a popular month for birthdays. Must be on account of Christmas and New year being around 40 weeks previous!

      1. That could be the reason. Our first grandchild is due at the end of October! But I don’t think that’s how it came about in their case. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          First grandchild – how exciting 😊

        2. It is! We’re all on the countdown now.

        3. Heyjude says:

          We recently had our 8th, another boy so 4 all now. A shame we can’t visit him at the moment; they are not new borns for long. Are you close by?

        4. About 90 minutes drive away but easy enough to go when we want. Congratulations on your new baby. I hope you get to see him soon.

  9. March Picker says:

    Glorious asters, Jude! May your birthday be joyful and your upcoming year be filled with adventure and love.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Gosh I really hope so!

  10. Happy Birthday! 🎉🎊 GGHI’S birthday is on Wednesday and our #1 son’s is on Thursday and one of our grandsons has his in a fortnight…..good month October. You did well to take your photos in the sunlight. Lovely colours and beautiful web. Do you not use the technique of……..Glass over spider, slip paper under and throw spider out the back door? Anyway, enjoy your day and I hope the rain stops for a few minutes at least. 😄👍

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks GG. Good job I got out to the garden on Thursday as Friday was awful. I do sometimes use that method of collecting spiders, but not at midnight when I see one scurrying across my bedroom floor 🤣

    2. Heyjude says:

      Happy birthday to GGHI 🥂 hope you manage to get out for a meal to celebrate. 🎂

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