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. beetleypete says:

    Well done with your garden, Jude. No summer here at all this year. It’s raining as I type, though 18C and humid. 2021 seems to be a year that I have written off, for so many reasons.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s been a pretty crappy year Pete. Lockdown until the spring, then the G7 and then hoards of tourists have made life a misery. I feel like I have become a hermit as all I do is grocery shopping and a visit to the library!

      1. beetleypete says:

        Join the ‘Beetley Hermit’ club! 🙂 x

  2. margaret21 says:

    Well, summer or no summer, that garden of yours is pretty damn’ gorgeous.

  3. Is your Number 1 otherwise known as persicaria, or is that a totally different plant? They are very similar. My Chocolate Cosmos died rather quickly a couple of years ago and I haven’t been successful trying to grow them from seed. Apparently, another heatwave is due soon but we won’t hold our breath.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not a persicaria, though I do have a couple of those. Must try and get photos. I wouldn’t mind a bit of warmer weather – haven’t sat outside at all this year!

  4. What a lovely selection of plants all looking splendid despite our awful summer. I particularly like the Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ and need to find that for next year. 🙂

  5. Here in Eastern Washington State, we are just this week experiencing cooler days and almost chilly nights — but no rain — almost like September after a horrid July/August. However, smoke haze smothers the gardens to the point I don’t dare go outside, even with a mask.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The weather has been awful in many places this year, I can’t begin to imagine how people have coped with the horrific heat, the fires, the floods. I do hope it improves for you soon.

  6. Hmm, I planted two Wild Swan JAs earlier in the year. Now where have they gone? A lovely Six. Your pink Obedient Plant is very pretty indeed as is the Chocolate Cosmos. I have one flowering at the moment and I was pondering what I should do with it over the winter. I may dig it up and put it in a sheltered spot.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The chocolate cosmos are tender plants, so I’d put it indoors if you get frosts.

  7. Did your Vanille Fraise make enormous flower-heads and then flop unashamedly to the ground? Mine did. Perhaps too good a year for it! The obedient plant seems better behaved, as one would expect, and is very pretty.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My Vanille Fraise flopped dreadfully in the first year which is why I cut it right back. It seems to be much stronger by doing that even if it takes longer to get started.

      1. Will try that, as it really looks silly otherwise! Thanks for the tip.

  8. Love the Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ and the Japanese anemones.

  9. Sowmya says:

    Beautiful flowers

  10. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I am happy to read about your chocolate cosmos, as I planted one late-ish last summer and then it disappeared. Hopefully it will reappear as yours has done.
    I’m very fond of Echinops. Have planted a few, but they’ve been very slow to establish.

    1. Heyjude says:

      My cosmos is always slow to get started. Good luck with yours! The echinops took a few years to start flowering well.

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