Six on Saturday – The Builders Are Coming …….

Mirabilis longiflora 'Angel Trumpets'

September, how did that happen?  This “time passing” malarkey is quite disturbing sometimes.  It is Six on Saturday time once more.  What Andrew Lloyd Webber is to musical theatre, The Prop is to the Meme.  But much more handsome.  Take a look at his blog and marvel at some of his greatest hits, the divas and the divans, complete with hissy fits and jazz hands.

“What has any of this got to do with builders?” you may well ask.  Well, the invisible leak in our roof has now become invisible “leaks”, and we are (yet again, using a different builder) going to try to get it, and its new buddy, fixed.  As we live in a three storey house this means a substantial amount of scaffolding.  Which in turn means (dum, di, dum, di, dum) scaffolders and builders.  Don’t get me wrong, they are noble professions, but in my experience they have little regard for what I hold dearly, that is “plants”.  Last time there were tears.  I am expecting more.

“No we definitely won’t be going over there”  “Nor there”  “Five foot (how quaint) from the front and rear, all will be safe”.  I could see the head honcho’s eyes glowing red as he attempted to placate me.  As we are having a royal visit next weekend, yes Her Not So Royal Highness, Peggy of the municipality of Creigiau, is visiting with her entourage.  There will be absolutely no hope of doing anything during this sojourn except fanning and curtsying.  Which means I made a start today.  In a feeble attempt at damage limitation I have started shuffling pots.  The following is what I saw (apart from a lot of sneaky slugs and mud) whilst I toiled and prayed for mercy.

Firstly we have the elegant and fleeting flower of Mirabilis longiflora ‘Angel Trumpets’.  Grown at extraordinary speed from seed this year, so fast that I have taken several cuttings already which are thriving.  It is currently languishing in amongst yet-to-flower salvias.  I don’t think I have placed it correctly.  It is pencilled in for a shuffle next year.

Crocosmia 'Coleton Fishacre'

Now we have Crocosmia ‘Coleton Fishacre’ just beginning to flower.  This was a bit of a surprise as I thought it was C. ‘Emily McKenzie’.  Now I wonder where she could have got to?  The scaffolders are definitely not going anywhere near this bed.   I have yet to give the builders my “do not throw anything, liquid or solid, on the borders, do not stub your fags out in my pots” instructions.  For them to ignore.  Obviously.

Armeria pseudameria

Although I only have a mini greenhouse, it is going to have to move, along with all my cuttings, sown seeds and newly potted-ons.  This sixer (all the best things come in sixes) of Armeria pseudarmeria  (that I have been spelling incorrectly according to the semi-diety of the RHS) may have to take its chances in the big bad world.  Needs to toughen up a bit before the winter.  Might be a good thing.  See, I’m looking on the bright side already!

Persicaria filiformis

This Persicaria virginiana var. filiformis, Fili to her mates, is just coming into its own after struggling through the winter.  All we need now is a size 12 steel toecap ……….. but of course this will not happen as neither scaffolder or builder will be anywhere near this area.  Grown primarily for its foliage, which I have always thought resembles a psychological ink blot test (beaked bird, possibly evil with big boots on), but also has the most delicate, and charming, red flower spikes.


This little chap was not happy about his home being shifted.  He lives in amongst the greenery of Dahlia ‘Peggy’s Pearler’ which is being very slow to flower.  There will be trouble if there is no action by next week.  I may have to stick some plastic ones on.  She will never notice.

Dahlia coccinea

Lastly we have Dahlia coccinea, the paintbrush washed orange and red petals are glorious. This bloom sits alongside standard deep red flowers.  It is known to be a variable plant, this might be a reaction to weather or perhaps just an attention seeker.

That is it for another week.   Don’t forget to see what everyone else has been up to at Chez Prop, who I thank for being a wonderfully magnanimous host.

With a fair wind, plenty of tea and chocolate hobnobs, with my menacing look saved for emergencies, in the next few weeks we might have a dry house and an undamaged garden.  Dreams do come true.  They do don’t they?  Tell me they do!

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – The Builders Are Coming …….

  1. Oh, ye of too much faith! Builders tend to be OK but put anyone near a pile of scaffolding needing erection (stop sniggering, I’m talking about the scaffolding!) and they become totally single-minded. They have a mission and if your lounge window happens to get in their way, they will deal with it. But six (OK, eleven) plants in your garden will now live on for eternity on the internet. Give your Mum a hug from me. And keep the gin handy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Strange you should say that, they are taking out the window to get the scaffolding into the back (and hopefully putting it back again, I did check!). And will do, she always says she misses you when you don’t comment. Oh, and will do x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good looking seedlings! Very nice, er, grasshopper(?) photo. (I’m not very good with insects. And “Divans”? How I laughed at that one.

    All in all, brave of you to come up with an SoS today. The interior damage from our leak has now been fixed (although you never know until the rains come). I will add my prayers to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This last week, I just finished dressing the wounds of several photinias and escollinas that were below the scaffolding of a three story hotel-like building at the Conference Center. I did not mind much, because they were ‘only’ photinia and escallonia that I am none too keen on anyway. I know that the builders were as careful as they could be. Yet, I am glad that I do not need to contend with that sort of damage in more sensitive parts of the garden!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. At my planter box downtown, someone who was setting tile in the adjacent shop dumped out the slurry of grout into my planter box! It made a pancake of concrete about two feet wide, and encasing my cannas, iris and aloes! I was furious! That was just plain stupid!


  4. Builders of any kind not well known for their care of garden plants, sadly. Hope all goes well. Worth remembering that plants are remarkably resilient and capable of surviving a size 12, but I don’t really need to tell you that. The dahlia coccinea is rather special, gorgeous combination of colours. I like Persicaria too, but it seems to be an invasive problem here.


  5. My deepest commiserations, which as you know come from the heart. I can recommend a scaffolder.. works on his own (slowly!) but I lost not a single leaf. I did, however, have the black contents of a radiator deposited in a border a week or so back. What was left of it that is, after they spilt a goodly proportion of it on the landing carpet.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. good luck with the scaffolding and with the multiple leaks. We have had both over the years. The scaffolding didn’t do much harm and most of the leaks have stopped but we are still rather wary when there is heavy rainfall as something always seems to manage to get through.


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