Six on Saturday | Mid-October Edition 2020

The month is flying by and soon, sadly it will be that time of year when the clocks go back and darkness descends at 4 p.m. Not my favourite time of year. But it’s not been a bad week down here, lots of sunshine midweek and a chance to plant some tulip bulbs IF they had arrived. A bit more tidying up of the jasmine and the Japanese anemones and a visit to the local garden to try and find some shallow pots for my other bulbs. If they don’t get planted soon I probably won’t bother!

Some things still colourful in the garden so let’s have a look around:

(1) Whilst clearing out the anemones, what should I find but this little chap, happily feeding on a bramble leaf. The Knot Grass caterpillar, Acronicta rumicis though it can be confused with the brown-tail or yellow-tail caterpillar. The body can vary in colour between a light gingery brown to almost black with clumps of rusty brown pinnacular hair. The broken line of white sub dorsal patches and the wavy white sub spiracular line with reddy/orange spots are distinctive. Source: Wildlife Insight | nature photography

(2) In the courtyard on the steps are these Skimmia japonica.  A compact evergreen shrub with simple, aromatic leaves and terminal panicles of small white or yellowish flowers followed, on fertilised female plants, by shiny red berries; most have male and female flowers on separate plants. I have had a male (Rubella) for several years and yearned for a female to join him. Last September I purchased two females: ‘Nymans‘ with red berries and ‘Kew White‘ with white ones. Or so I thought…

Kew Green‘, or ‘Fragrans‘ are also males in case you were wondering which to buy.

Two more plants that live on the same steps are:

(3) Hakonechloa (aka Japanese forest grass) has the distinction of being one of the few grasses that thrives in shade. Mine is H. macra ‘All Gold’ and if you look closely you can see the slender flower spikes that are now turning brown. It is doing much better in this spot, where it never receives any direct sun, than in my back garden.

(4) Heuchera ‘Ginger Ale’ looking a bit darker now than when it was first bought. I love the way Heucheras change colour throughout the year. This one seems very happy here. I might move my rescued Tiarella to the courtyard now it has recovered.

(5) In the back garden this  unnamed White Rose has just started to flower. I pruned part of this rose hard in the spring as it was growing taller than the fence and all the flowers were at the top! It has still managed to grow tall and has just flowered now. You guessed. At the top. Now I have cleared the area in front of the fence on which it grows I shall try and prune it back hard again next spring and attempt to tie in the resulting shoots.

(6) The Garden.  A shot of the back garden from the Zen Patio with various splashes of colour. The oriental bittersweet climber looks its best at this time of year, those chartreuse coloured leaves a highlight of the garden and contrasting nicely with the purple verbena and asters.

I spent a rainy day cleaning the conservatory in readiness for any tender plants to come inside. I am leaving the pelargoniums outside as long as possible as last year they suffered badly from white fly. In fact the scented ones will stay out all year under a bench. The Agave you can see in the pot will come inside as will the Aeoniums.  We have an electrician in next week for a couple of days replacing downlights and installing new smoke alarms etc. so without any electricity I should find plenty of things to do outside. As long as it doesn’t rain…

(The header photo to the left is a coloured pencil effect of my newly cleaned conservatory)

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

27 Comments Add yours

  1. margaret21 says:

    I love the caterpillar. Though you may not, quite so much …

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m oblivious to caterpillars, no moths or butterflies without them. I did move him though as I needed to cut down the bramble. Hope he found a new home.

      1. margaret21 says:

        I’m sure he’s quite self-sufficient.

  2. restlessjo says:

    Your conservatory looks a nicely busy hodge podge and I can well imagine you pottering away in there, surrounded by green. Hope you’re feeling better today, Jude? All about nurturing, plant life, isn’t it? Probably why I’m not very good, but I do enjoy to look. 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      All the recycling bags are in there now, instead of cluttering up the hallway. Don’t know why it’s taken us 4 years to think of that 😂

  3. Your garden is still looking great. The white rose is beautiful. I tried giving my jasmine a mid summer chop thinking there would be less to do later. I’m not sure it’s made any difference at all.

    1. Heyjude says:

      And the trouble with a mid season chop is less flowers. Actually mine had hardly any flowers this year.

  4. beetleypete says:

    The white rose is very nice. We are back to dull and damp here, and like you, I am not looking forward to when it is dark by 4 pm. The evenings feel so tedious then.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  5. fredgardener says:

    I’m very fond of Hakonechloa and the variety I will choose is Hakonechloa ‘Alba aurea’. All I have to do is order it and find a place in the shade … Pretty rose with blue sky behind

  6. Pit says:

    Great picture of that caterpillar!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Pit, unlike moths and butterflies they tend to stay still 😊🦋

  7. Lisa says:

    Beautiful caterpillar!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I thought so too. Took a bit of time to ID him 😊

  8. The caterpillar is rather beautiful and a bit late in the season, I would have thought. Lovely, white rose.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The rose might get a very hard cut back in spring to try and get it to flower lower down. And having watched Monty last night I’m going to try and sort out the pink rose on the front of the house.

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Hi Jude, how are you? Your garden’s looking lovely, not an easy thing this time of year. The tiarella looks like stained glass, I might have to get one next year!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Gilly, lovely to have your visit, I miss your posts. You must show me the results of your garden makeover some time. We’re good, but missing travelling.

  10. Catherine says:

    What a pity about your Skimmia ‘Kew White’ that isn’t. I’ve had quite a few mislabeled plants and it’s both annoying and disappointing. Your white rose is lovely even though it is clearly misbehaving. I’m sure you’ll bring it under control next year.

    Lovely shot of our garden, you still have a lot of excellent colour.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have written to the company that supplied the skimmias, but yet to receive a reply. Annoying, yes, as they were not cheap plants.

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