Six on Saturday | Summer?

What summer? August here in the south-west has been rather cool (average 18°C) with some dull grey days, breezy days, overnight rain, mist and intermittent sunshine and showers. Despite which I have managed to do a bit of tidying up in the garden. And making plans.

(1) Houttuynia cordata ‘Chamaeleon’ is an attractive low-growing shrub, bearing a striking carpet of variegated red, cream and green heart-shaped leaves from late-spring. Planted in my ‘Woodland border‘ close to the shed where it receives very little(if any) sunlight this has slowly built up over the past couple of years. It likes moist soil and makes excellent ground cover through borders or around boggy pond margins. Apparently the leaves have a strong orange scent when crushed, but I haven’t tried this out. I believe you get more intense red if it is in a sunnier spot.

(2) Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ grows in one of the raised beds. Each year I think I will remove it as the spiny, deeply-divided, grey-green leaves are very tatty, but then the heads appear and the tufty blue flowers open and the bees and butterflies arrive.

(3) Japanese Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is one of three types of JA I grow. The taller pink one is by the patio and although I removed a clump or two last year I need to remove some more! It does add colour to the late summer garden though. In the raised bed I have two clumps – one is ‘Wild Swan’ (60 cm H), a pure white flower with attractive lavender-blue bands on the reverse of their petals   – the other is ‘Pamina‘ (90cm H), which is deep pink and just starting to come into flower so we’ll have a look at her another week.

(4) Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ as shown in the header photo this starts off as a pure white and gradually turn a delicious raspberry pink. This year has been the best flowering so far. I do cut this back hard at the end of the year and again to about two shoots from the base on each stem in April.

(5) Physostegia virginiana ‘Bouquet Rose’ is often called ‘the Obedient plant’ because it turns it’s flowers to the sun. Elegant, tapering spikes of soft pink foxglove-type flowers are carried on upright stems and although it is supposed to grow to a height of 80cm mine has well exceeded that this year!

(6) Chocolate Cosmos / Cosmos atrosanguineus has lovely rich reddish-brown petals that feel very soft and velvety. I have one plant growing in the ‘Bee and Butterfly’ bed and I cover it with wool over the winter months. Each year I think I have lost it and then it appears throwing out tall stems of this lovely flower. So lovely something (I suspect earwigs) has been munching on one of them. I bought another plant this May and have it in a pot which will come inside the conservatory over winter, just in case!

It is good to see Rosa Gertrude Jekyll putting on another display, no less than six flowers seen this afternoon. And Rosa Graham Thomas looks to be having another go at flowering too and there are many more plants just coming into flower now which will make an appearance next week.

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 planted ordinary cosmos seedlings a couple of weeks ago and they’re doing well. It’s been very warm this weekend, mid 20s, so I’m watering them every day to keep them going. I hope my windflower blooms as nicely as yours is.

  2. bushboy says:

    Love the Chocolate Cosmos as does others Jude. Great flowers and garden photos 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Brian. I am very fond of the cosmos. As is something else it appears 🤔

      1. bushboy says:

        The Cosmos at mt besties place are always in the garden. Planted once and forever to appear 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          She’s lucky!

  3. Suzanne says:

    So, a normal UK summer then? 😉 One positive is the garden loves rain than watering from the hose. Your garden is looking great, Jude, you have something to show for all your hard work.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Doesn’t really feel much like we’ve had a summer this year. One week of very hot weather in mid July, but it’s so crowded here we didn’t go anywhere. It’s a good job I have my garden!

      1. Suzanne says:

        Gardening is a rewarding and wonderful distraction 🙂

  4. fredgardener says:

    My Vanille Fraise has the same colours at the moment. On the other hand I found that this year the flower stems are heavy and long so they drop more. Very pretty Physostegia and superb Chocolate Cosmos

  5. restlessjo says:

    Do love the Cosmos, Jude, and I’m adjusting to British summer. A better option than forest fires, but permagrey is a little wearing. Good thing I have a sunny nature 🤗💕

    1. Heyjude says:

      We’re not doing too bad for blue in between the clouds. Hope you are having fun in Nottingham. Back to Leeds tonight?

      1. restlessjo says:

        Yes, proper rain in Leeds this evening 🤣☔💕

  6. Ann Mackay says:

    Your garden is looking wonderful despite the ‘summer’. It’s cool and grey here too and I’m wishing for a bit of sunshine so that we can sit outside. But the moister soil and cool weather has made the garden easier to work in and the plants are loving the rain – mixed blessings!

  7. I’m growing echinops for the first time, and the jury is still out. It’s still looking a bit grey. The anemones are lovely and the chocolate cosmos is very pretty.

  8. So wonderful photography , beautiful photos flowers 🌷🙏👏🌹

      1. You are welcome 🌹🙏

      2. So welcome 🙏🌷

  9. I know what you mean about the summer. At least it’s been dry for a couple of days now. I’ve not tried leaving Chocolate Cosmos in the ground. Could be one less pot in the glasshouse this winter (I’ve another one in a pot).

  10. Gosh you have featured six lovely plants this week. I’m admiring all six! I do like the chameleon; it’s name is a mouthful! The cosmos is a pretty colour, isn’t it? I planted a tiny obedient plant last season, which flourished and flowered much to my delight! Better still, I have noticed that it has multiplied, so hopefully there will be more flowers in summer!

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