Six on Saturday | October

Another week of wind and showers and intermittent sunshine. Temperatures dipping dramatically in the evening so the woodburner has come back into use. I try not to switch on the central heating until the last possible moment as we have oil here in the countryside not gas, and it can be expensive to run. Definitely autumnal now. The tops of the surrounding hills are brown as the bracken dies, but the rest of the countryside is still green.

So what, if anything, is still looking good in the garden.

(1) There are patches of colour around, but some you have to go looking for as in these Calendula officinalis, (the pot marigold, ruddles, common marigold or Scotch marigold) which are flowering happily in one of the raised beds. The herb bed actually, because calendula was historically used for medicinal and culinary purposes. Calendula oil is used in some beauty products and you can sprinkle the colourful petals into a salad. These were sown in June directly into the bed after I removed a dead Rosemary plant.

(2)ย Close to the herb bed I have several herb pots containing mint. This is Ginger Mint (Mentha arvensis) and I love the way this particular one flowers with little balls of blue at each of the leaf nodes.

(3) Another plant that can be considered a herb is St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This one seems to pop up all over my garden, but is easy enough to remove from where it isn’t wanted. At this time of year the black and red berries are nice to see.

(4) A few of my Hebe (Shrubby Veronica) plants are having a second flush of flowers too. I need to cut them back a bit now by about a third, so I wish they would actually stop flowering! These shrubs from New Zealand love it here. They usually flower in the summer months. There are many different species and colours and I rather fancy one of the darker leaf varieties and I am considering some of the dwarf varieties for containers in the courtyard next year.

(5) This hardy Fuchsia is also having a second wind after I removed the sprawling Buddleia in the summer. I have no idea what type it is, but it is a large shrub so possibly a magellanicaย . Again once it stops flowering I will cut it back for the winter and then cut right back in spring to try and encourage a more bushy plant.

(6) And last, but not least, are a couple of pots of Violas which somehow jumped into my shopping trolley. I will plant them on top of the tulip pots once I brave the chill to get my bulbs planted. Late this year, but I haven’t bought many bulbs as I am experimenting with the ones I bought last year and left in their pots to see if they re-appear.

Life is full of uncertainties right now, but gardens still offer some respite from the bad news. I have lots to do still in clearing beds of decaying plants and cutting back the Jasmine, but the French Open (tennis) has had me glued to the TV this week so I am hoping there will be some clement weather during the week to come.

(The header photo to the left is a watercolour effect of the sunset last night)

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:

    Day 17 of day and night rain here now. I don’t even want to look outside.
    Can you guess the forecast for the next three days?
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, dear, Pete. I’m thinking you need to move for the sake of your health. Mental and physical. It’s not even been that bad here!

      1. beetleypete says:

        It is certainly ‘exceptional’, Jude. Moving is not an option now though, not with Julie’s family so close.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Stay close, but away from Beetley? ๐Ÿ™„ Different direction?

        2. beetleypete says:

          East Anglia has been spectacularly unlucky with the weather lately, all over. I think I am going to have to learn to live with it. Buy some scuba gear perhaps? x

        3. Heyjude says:

          That’s bizarre. It’s not as though there are any hills your side of the country. I wonder what’s causing it?

        4. beetleypete says:

          Apparently, the ‘depression’ is stuck over the North Sea, so affecting most of the East Coast as far as Scotland. It looks like a big blue circle on the weather news. The next lot of rain is heading here from the west, so you might get some of that first.

  2. Cathy says:

    I have not heard the term ‘ruddles’ for calendula before – is it regional? The ginger mint looks really pretty – is it as rampant as the more common mints? I have noticed some wild mint growing by a local lake recently, ‘water mint’ probably. I was interested to read about your plans to cut back your hebe as I acquired two plants last year andhadn’t yet checked up on maintenance. Do you just chop back a third, or judiciously prune individual stems?

  3. Catherine says:

    Lovely post – with a lot of great colour. The black and red berries are so vibrant – autumn all the way. Love your watercolour effect sunset!

    I hope youโ€™re successful with your tulips. I left a few smaller varieties in pots this year but read somewhere that you shouldnโ€™t regrow potted tulips in the same soil. I emptied the pots a couple of days ago and replanted in fresh compost. The bulbs looked healthy enough, but I wasn’t sure what to do about the bulblets attached. Took some off and left a few on. Like you – itโ€™s all experimentation. Good luck – hope you’re successful with yours. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have tulips coming up on pots that were planted in 2016! No change in compost. We’ll have to wait until spring to see. I have bought a few new bulbs just in case ๐Ÿ˜Š

      1. Catherine says:

        So I could have saved myself some compost! We should have had this conversation last week before I changed it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

        1. Heyjude says:

          Well I’m sure it won’t hurt.

  4. Su Leslie says:

    Gorgeous pops of colour everywhere. I planted several different hebes a few years ago and they all died โ€” ironic that yours are thriving so far from home.

    1. Heyjude says:

      They seem to spring up all over the place here! Easy to take cuttings too. It is funny though that yours died, well not funny for you. Or them! Too shady?

      1. Su Leslie says:

        It was a long time ago when I knew even less about gardening than I do know, and yes โ€” possibly too shady. I really should try agIn; there are some lovely plants at the local nursery

        1. Heyjude says:

          Well now’s the time for planting. How’s the garden design going?

        2. Su Leslie says:

          True! The design is evolving, and work is slow because it is so incredibly windy. Got lots of seeds germinating though, and have a couple of new raised beds to fill.
          Oh, and a massive pile of mulch to move around.

        3. Heyjude says:

          Tell me about wind! If I had known how windy it is here I would have thought twice about buying this property.

        4. Suzanne says:

          Good drainage and in full sun, so they don’t become too leggy. I found them ok as long as I pruned them straight after flowering. Look lovely in grouped together, Have fun with designing the new garden ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. restlessjo says:

    Do you use the ginger mint in cooking or salads or just leave it to be pretty? The calendula are happy colours and those berries look so healthy! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Come on, Rafa! One last time ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      I use all my mints in cooking, but I also let them flower. Bees love them. I hope tomorrow’s match is as good as the semis.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Novak hasn’t been himself this tournament but he’ll ‘bring it’ for Rafa. And hopefully my man can keep up ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        1. Heyjude says:

          Hope so. Their meeting in Sydney was awful.

  6. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Love the water colour effect. I love calendula and they have done best in the polytunnel this year where they self seeded. I think they like the slightly drier warmer conditions there:)

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have Indian Prince which have self seeded and just bought some new ones for next year. They are such cheerful plants.

  7. Love your โ€œwatercolourโ€ sunset!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks. The filter on the phone is quite interesting.

  8. Suzanne says:

    Wind is impossible to get away from when we live on a narrowish island! Rain etc I can handle just don’t enjoy windy conditions. St John’s Wart certainly worth growing and so is mint. Vietnamese mint is another strong herb and one I use more in summer salads. I have inherited [to work on]the herb growing area at the Community Gardens and pulled out a fair bit of mint and will need to go in search of more herbs in the coming week or so.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I love growing herbs, even if I don’t use them in cooking, the bees and other pollinators love the flowers.

  9. Ann Mackay says:

    Lovely colour still in your garden – but the watercolour effect on the sunset is stunning. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hah, those Cornwall violas are athletic little devils if they can jump into a trolley! The white ones are quite pretty.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I know. Happens to me all the time!

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