Six on Saturday | 22 May

I had two sets of new arrivals this week. Some are perennials for the extended gravel garden, others are annuals for patio pots and some tomato, aubergine and sweet pepper plugs. It’s not been the best of weeks for planting things outdoors with wind and rain and now gales, (nor ideal for photographs, hence the blurriness this week), but needs must. I just hope they will survive.

Six things already showing signs of happiness are:

1)  Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’ is a mat forming geranium with large lobed leaves that are very aromatic with small magenta-pink flowers that are held up above the foliage. This one has been in at least four different locations (right plant, right place is not always easy) before finally making its home in the woodland border and this year it is looking its healthiest ever.

2) Galium odoratum/ Sweet Woodruff is a ground cover herb, with star-shaped whorls of leaves and lacy white flowers which brighten up a shady spot. It spreads by runners so can become invasive, but I am happy to allow it to do its own thing under my winter honeysuckle and it stops most weeds from appearing with the exception of bindweed which grows through anything! You can see in the header how far these can spread. It is just beginning to come into flower.

And be careful when weeding as the leaves look awfully like cleavers, just not sticky!

3) In the autumn of 2019 I planted Camassia quamash (x20) which are a vivid blue, with tall, bold flowers, Camassia cusickii (x5) a vivid sky blue camassia, tall and elegant and Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii ‘Alba’ (x5) spires of creamy-white flowers.  Several appeared at this time last year. This year not many have come back, but this I think is one of the C. cusickii which is a gorgeous colour.

4) My Weigela ‘Wine and Roses’ is also flowering now and I am so pleased because it doesn’t flower every year. I have two of these shrubs that should reach 4′ – 5′ (120cm – 150cm), but mine are much smaller than that. They are planted in two different parts of the garden. One is close to the Kilmarnock willow tree so gets sun in the morning (1), the other is close to the Zen patio in full sun (2).

Edit: May 2022 – this is ‘Minor Black’ which is a hardy, dwarf deciduous shrub with a compact habit.  I found the original label!

5) Whistling Jacks / Gladiolius communis byzantinus grow wild in Cornwall and the  Isles of Scilly and are a delightful magenta colour. They always flower at this time of the year, and as always mine are bent in the wind!

6) Staying with the pink-magenta theme let’s take a look at this lovely little Geranium sanguineum which I think is ‘Max Frei’ an  early-flowering dwarf geranium which forms a low spreading hummock of small, rosy purple-pink flowers that smother the bright green foliage all summer long. Cut back hard after flowering has finished and it will grow back. Mine doesn’t stop flowering until well into autumn so I only dead-head it. Best grown in full sun for the most flowers.

This year’s flowers all seem a couple of weeks behind what they normally are. The alliums have yet to open whereas last year at this time they were in full bloom. Here’s hoping for some warmer weather to come!

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. I really enjoyed your garden photos and some of the colors and color contrasts, such as the weigela with the blue flowers. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, those blue forget-me-nots get into every photo at this time of year ☺️

      1. I love them. 🙂

  2. Jane Lurie says:

    These are gorgeous, Jude. You have the magic touch! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Jane. I spend a lot of time walking around talking to my plants, especially the ones that are not doing as well as they should.

  3. Very pretty, as usual! I like the sound of sweet woodruff. A super spreader of the good kind and keeping weeds at bay, which is what I need in my garden.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I probably pulled a lot out in my first year as I though it was cleavers! It does look lovely when in flower and unremarkable the rest of the time. It dies back in winter.

  4. Gorgeous photos 👌🙏🌷

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks, glad you enjoy them!

  5. Cathy says:

    I enjoyed reading this, Jude, especially after finding my own galium is settling in and beginning to spread. Interesting to read about G sanguineum as I would never have considered deadheading it, but it sounds as if it is worth it. And ‘whistling Jacks’? What a curious name! 😉 They don’t return here

    1. Heyjude says:

      Cousin Jacks are the name given to Cornishmen who have migrated elsewhere (miners usually) I guess this name has the same connotations though why whistling? I wrote a post about them on my flower blog which shows them in profusion. I am still waiting for mine to bulk up, but at least they do come back each year.

      Flowers on Friday

      1. Cathy says:

        That’s really interesting to read, Jude, thanks

  6. Your garden seems a little ahead of mine which I also feel is several weeks behind the last few years. I envy your G. byzantinus – I have no luck with them. I like the dark Weigela, mine is a pale pink variegated one

    1. Heyjude says:

      We are usually 2-3 weeks ahead of the rest of the country, but definitely behind this year. I didn’t mind the dry, cold April because we didn’t get frosts this far west, but May has been miserable.

  7. n20gardener says:

    Oh, I wish Whistling Jack could grow wild here! It’s a great colour, always good to have a bright colour to go with the Spring greens.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You could grow them in pots and take them inside during winter. I do that with gladioli murielae.

  8. BeckyB says:

    you have been planting some gorgeous plants. I finally decided my 4ft sunflowers had to leave the greenhouse, but I waited until the weekend as those gales at the end of last week. Just yikes!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Your sunflowers are 4ft already? I planted mine out last Friday – tiny things that will probably have been eaten already!

      1. BeckyB says:

        I had a very early sowing moment!

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