Six on Saturday from Sussex

A warm weekend forecast for Sussex – an excuse to delay any early Autumn planting and enjoy what is still looking good in the garden and for me it’s the blues, or are they silver, or perhaps grey? Anyway they seem to come into their own at this time of year.

Definitely blue? Euphorbia and Hosta Halcyon. Both in pots and the Euphorbia has been looking good since it flowered in Spring.

Silver? Artemisia, not sure which one. I bought it as a tiny cutting in a yogurt pot at a Hardy Plant Society get together. My local group does a Talking Plants programme when members open their gardens for other members for a good natter about plants over coffee and cake.

This one seems to combine grey and silver. Helichrysum petiolare grown from cuttings taken last autumn. A great plant for pots and hanging baskets that will go on looking good until a sharp frost.

A steely blue – Eucalyptus gunni. Hoping it will put on enough growth for me to cut some for flower vases in the house or perhaps for the Christmas wreath!

Perhaps more green than blue in this seedling of Melianthus major sown last year from the Hardy Plant Society seed exchange. The bench it is sitting on is painted with Farrow & Ball pavilion grey!

Another Artemisia – Powis Castle, it’s pot is in the shade so would probably be a “whiter shade of pale” if I moved it into the sun.

That’s it folks. I’m off to pick some stems of Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff just in case you were thinking “where’s the colour”! Don’t forget to see what the Propagator has for us this week.

Six on Saturday from Sussex

Inspired this week by Carol Klein’s book Grow Your Own Garden I checked out some Francoa in the border to see if there were any offsets to “harvest” for new plants. This is Francoa Molly Anderson. It was grown from seed from the Hardy Plant Society’s seed exchange. I’ve also got Rogerson’s form. They both flowered well this year, although I’ve read they don’t always come true from seed.

Digging round with a spade.

Out onto the grass it didn’t look too promising on the offsets front, but I went ahead and, although they didn’t look much like new growth, I came up with these. Not very inspiring, but decided to get them potted up.

Hopefully they will turn into new plants, even though I don’t really need six new Francos! That done, I turned to cuttings…..

Under this cloche are Ballota, Mallow and Eleagnus Quick Silver. In the one behind are Cistus, Rosemary and Phlomis. Then I pricked out some Gypsophilia Monarch White seedlings. A good couple of hours on the propagating front. Hoping to impress the Propagator this week!

six on Saturday from Sussex

Decided to avert my eyes from dwindling flower displays and dusty vegetation and go in search of some bright, fresh foliage for my sos this week.

Heuchera Lime Marmalade takes pride of place on patio table. Good plant but scorches a little in full sun and has been doing much better here in the shade. Promised myself I would resist starting a collection of these (vine weevil being the main enemy for pot growers) but, heyho, this is variety number six already.

Hosta Fried Bananas – bit of a silly name – but a good colour and the one and only flower spike I get each year is just appearing from the centre! Worth it though, as it has a lovely scent.

The Japanese grass with the unpronounceable name – Hakonechloa. I’ve two pots of these which I loaned to my son to flank some patio doors but they had to be rescued by me for a spell in the plant “hospital” to recover from neglect! Won’t be returning them until he gets more handy with the watering can!

Still to be relied on for good colour from late Spring and all through the winter – Dwarf Bamboo pleioblastus, now sixteen years old but with no ambitions to go wandering further afield in the border.

Like the Propagator this week I grew this Ricinus Red Giant from seed and expected it to get much bigger than it is but put it down to being in the inevitable pot! Anyway, the foliage is good and the red stems, from which I guess it gets its name, are lovely and pick up with the leaves of its mate New Zealand Black.

Last but not least is Leycesteria Formosa, which I’ve featured before but may not have mentioned is good for cutting for a vase – lasts for a long time and keeps its good colour against the unusual flowers.

That’s it for this week but don’t forget to check in with the Propagator.

Six on Saturday from Sussex

Pleased to be joining the prop and SOS team again after a long break. Starting today with my little “hot” border – all in pots are:- Ricinus NZ Black and Red Giant grown from seed; Fuchias Mrs Popple and Tom Thumb (from cuttings); Dahlias Bishop of Llandaff and a good mauve one (name long lost and just coming back into flower after some dead heading) it returns year after year in the same pot. Also here are Heucheras Palace Purple and Chocolate frills. Hoping the display will keep on going into October.

Begonias on steroids:-

Fimbriatta, and white Pendula

Best of the blue hostas? – Halcyon with a Hydrangea from a cutting taken 2 years ago.

Dianthus Gran’s Favourite in flower again after a few weeks rest! Raspberry ripple ice cream!

Cosmos Cupcakes Alba with Salvia Vatican White, both from seed sown in April. The Salvia is lovely but does have a certain smell which makes you wonder if you’ve missed your daily shower and deodorant!

Hope everyone has had a good gardening week. Looks like it’s going to be a hot Bank Holiday weather-wise. Thankfully there’s some water in the butts to keep the pots going.

Six on Saturday from West Sussex

Took a break from caring for poorly OH to get into the garden and was cheered by all the new growth.

Sweet peas, including Cupani, Royal Wedding and Blue Shift doing well in the terrarium which is meant for indoor use but standing up well to outdoor conditions and giving some protection from recent gales and heavy rain.

New shoots on climbing rose Cecile Bruner.

Eleagnus Quick Silver coming into growth. Thought I had lost it when I repotted it earlier in the month and found the telltale grubs of Vine Weevil, but a new pot and clean compost has saved the day! Next to it on the obelisk is Clematis Pink Champagne alongside an euonymus.

Cornus controversa Variegata – new leaf against a grey sky.

Fresh new shoots on Euphorbia schillingii – waiting for me to look it up to see what conditions it likes in the garden.

Back in the house where I’ve spent too much time lately but cheered by my mini greenhouse on the kitchen windowsill. Cosmos as usual the first to germinate, especially the variety Cupcakes which I’m trying for the first time after I admired it at How Green Nursery in Kent when on a visit with my local Hardy Plant Society group back in the summer.

Thanks again to our host The Propagator for inspiring me to get back in the garden and started on a new growing year.

Six on Saturday from Sussex

It’s time for a Tete e Tete. Always the first narcissus to flower in my garden. It’s the best narcissus for pot work and baskets, troughs etc……..

At the front door with a yellow viola.

In a hanging basket. Looks like the basket needs some repair work!

Just getting going in a blue box with summer flowering “edgers”.

In a stone trough, nasturtiums planned in here for later,

This time in another blue box on patio wall with some cotoneaster berries still hanging on.

With a spring collection on patio table.

What a fabulous week of weather! Great for the big spring clear up. Thanks to The Propagator for inspiration as always.

Six on Saturday

I’m back! Encouraged by a short break to Cotswolds and a visit to Painswick Rococo Garden I’m feeling optimistic about my own garden in the New Year. So, with apologies to The Propagator for my absence here is a touch of Spring from Gloucestershire.

A bank of snowdrops to greet you at Painswick. Their first day of opening on Thursday.

Magic! Love the colour.

A tabletop for galanthophiles!

An invitation for later!

More magical buildings!

Pruning in progress for the many fruit trees.

A belated Happy New Year to all sixers and hope to be back again next week from my own garden.

Six on Saturday from Sussex

Friday was the only bright day of the past week so ventured out with iPad and wellies after days of gales and rain. So this week it’s evergreens and how they keep the garden together after the “froth” of summer has disappeared.

Two cypresses semperviren Totem at the front door with box balls and pyramids in pots. The sempervirens were a birthday present and stood just over a metre when they were planted. Last summer they were attacked by some white mildew substance but I cut away the worst of it and there doesn’t seem to have been any problems over the past summer. The Buxus has been in the same pots for about 7 years. They get some blood, fish and bone in April and plenty of water all year round. They’re clipped on Derby Day of course!

Cupressus sempervirens pyramidalis in the back garden. Reaching for the sky. Sometimes I regret not having it properly clipped but I think it would need a cherry picker to do the job properly now that it has reached this great height and it would be difficult to find a level surface to stand any ladder or platform beneath it as the ground slopes away here, which is probably what creates the good drainage that these Cupressus enjoy. There have been a couple of snowfalls when I’ve gone out with a broom and long cane to shake the snow away before it damages the shape. But worth it!

Behind the cupressus and enjoying the same sharp drainage is Cordyline Australis. Growing back to a good height now after having been cut right down after a particularly bad winter here some years ago which left its centre rotting!

One of two potted bays either side of the patio door. I decided to cut them into “mop heads” when they were quite mature. Unfortunately they don’t match but they are still a good statement in the winter garden and they edge the windows as we look out from the lounge.

A potted Fatsia Japonica coming into flower. A brilliant plant for a shady corner with its lovely glossy foliage all year round.

Another Buxus, this time planted into the border. It has taken several years to get to this size (from a cutting) and start to make a statement. It has grown much more slowly than those in pots. Perhaps it doesn’t enjoy the competition of life in the border.

Well that’s it for this week. Christmas approaches and it’s this weekend that many of the houses around here are emblazoned with Christmas lights. Love them or loathe them they do help to pierce the winter gloom for a few weeks. Thanks to The Propagator as always.

Six on Saturday from Sussex

Murky November days make me appreciate the ivies in the garden. They suddenly come forward from the summer background to bring some light and texture to the winter scene. So here is an ivy sos for this week.

Forming a collar around this pot, which houses a fountain (unfortunately not working this year as pump needs some attention). The ivy is one of several planted when we moved in to trail over the red brick walls that form the patio wall behind this pot.

Winding its way up the handrail on the steps up into the garden. Again, from original planting to hide the brick walls. When it gets too rampant I cut it off, sand down the posts and rail and repaint, then let the ivy start its journey back up the post. Looks like that job will be needed by next summer!

In a pot on the top of the steps, the late afternoon sun catches the variegation on this one. Also in the pot are winter pansies (bit quiet on the flowering front at the moment) and dwarf narcissus Tete e Tete.

Always a good component for winter wreaths, cheering up a dull fence at the kitchen door.

Another borrowed ivy runner from the patio wall. I featured this one earlier in the summer when it was joined by a golden hop growing in a pot next to the obelisk. Will bring the hop back to do the same job next summer and/or add a morning glory? Must remove the pot of finished lobelia behind the obelisk. Has anyone noticed how good the trailing lobelias are when grown in the shade? They seem to last much longer than in a basket in the hot sun.

This one was planted 17 years ago, along with climbing roses, to mask some nasty orange larchlap. It took a while to get going but makes a lovely “fence” now. the larchlap panel has probably disintegrated under there! You can probably see that it is under attack from what The Propagator calls “bloody jasmine”,which is growing through from my neighbour’s side. Have had a good hack at the jasmine about a month ago but will have to go back and start ripping up the runners that are invading the border in front of the ivy! Heyho!

That’s it for this week – off to rake up some leaves before the wind gets up. Don’t forget to check out The Propagator this week.

Six on Saturday from Sussex

Autumn lingers on and the first of the leaves are being bagged up for Leaf Mould. Check out the Propagator for more tips on this! There’s a mix of Silver Birch and my neighbours Acer in here. When it’s full I’ll put some holes in the bag and tie it up for storage behind the shed. I find it takes a year to produce the mould that I use for top dressing my hydrangeas in their tubs in Spring.

The show goes on…….with Cotoneaster horizontalis stealing the scene and here in close up……

Behind is Lonicera echoing the leaf arrangement of the Cotoneaster.

More fire against a grey sky. We inherited this cherry in our front lawn when we moved in 18 years ago. Now it has spread horizontally across the lawn and is approaching the path up to the front door. It softens the view of neighbours’ houses from our kitchen window and gives us privacy throughout the summer when we sometimes sit out on a bench below the window to get the morning sun. It holds a bird feeder for bluetits and a robin and it is lit with white lights for Christmas. In Spring it is always loaded with pale pink blossom. Couldn’t be without it!

Pale and interesting! An unknown Hydrangea “acquired” as a cutting! This was its first year in the garden (not in a pot this one!) and it is growing away well. The flower starts out white and then takes on a pink hue as it fades.

Indispensable Bamboo pleioblastus variegatus. Low growing and very slow spreading, keeps its bright colour all through the winter behind the dark dome of a clipped Box. In March I cut it right down and give it a feed and by June it is up and going again.

With thanks to our host The Propagator that’s it for this week folks.