Six on Saturday – Platinum

This might take some time.  I’m writing this week’s Six on Saturday on my Mum’s gas powered laptop.  It has languished forgotten in the cupboard since 1836 when she upgraded to a solar paneled tablet.  Once we had located the cranking handle (filed under archaic miscellany) and turned it over a few times it started up surprisingly easily.  And it is working very well.  As long as you are of the opinion that speed is an over-rated phenomenum.  The point, that I will hopefully reach before you all nod off,  is that I think this devotion to duty deserves a gold star on Mister Prop’s progress chart.  The reason being as follows:  a) location, b) content c) inclination.  At the moment I am in a different country to the one that my garden is located.  I have once again left OH home alone to the horror that ensues when I leave, that is peace and quiet and no backchat.  b)  Necessity has led me to utilize Clause 567, Subsection 34a in the Six on Saturday Constitution.  All the following plants were in my garden at some point but are are now in Max’s.  All were grown from seed.  c)  Driving on the M4 westward on a Friday afternoon to spend the weekend doing Peggy’s garden has left me a gibbering wreck.   However I have summoned all my inner strength and, aided by some thinly veiled threats by my mother, I have managed to complete my task.  On reflection this might warrant the platinum award.  What do you think?  After all that gibbering I best be brief.

First we have Lobelia bridgesii and heavily laden friend.  Gorgeous and gorgeous.

Now onto Campanula persicifolia, the peach leaved bellflower.  A great, and I mean that most sincerely folks, self-seeder.  I have an inkling that at least one of his siblings will be white.

Next Cephalaria gigantea,  the giant scabious,  this is a couple of years old now but still not up to its full fighting height.  It has made a rather serendipitous stand with some linaria interlopers.

It is no secret that I am an avid salvia fan and this one is no exception.  Salvia forsskaolii, indigo woodland sage, is a boisterous beauty.

There are two of my Iochroma australe seedlings in Max’s garden and they have both flowered for the first time this year.  As luck would have it, one is white with a hint of pink, and one is dusky blue.  The blue has my vote, but they are both lovely.

When we were kids we jokingly nominated each other football teams, I had Gillingham, my brothers Peterborough and Crystal Palace.  In the same vein I always think of Gillenia trifoliata as my signature plant.  It is thriving in a spot the text books called unsuitable after the removal of a nearby large tree.  Very adaptable us Gill’s.

Right, better get on, got gardening to do!





A Day in the Life of Max Doginovich

It was a pretty good day in Max Land.

The sun warmed, the brisk breeze cooled.  As well as the usual gardener creature there were plumbers to play with.  Sticks were aplenty.  Seagulls kept a respectful distance, taking it easy on account of the weather, but still you remained vigilant.  Unless of course there was chance of a diverting stick throw.  The fetid pond water was delicious to quench your thirst.  That clean stuff from the tap rejected as poison.  A sneaky mini pork pie a treat.

What more could a little dog ask for?

Rain Stops Play

Rain may have stopped play, but I am pleased for the persistent downpours, the garden will welcome it and on this particular occasion I am not miffed by an enforced day off.  It was a successful day in other, non-horticultural ways.   Chores have been almost caught up with, big pans of butternut soup and ratatouille were made and a few dark corners sorted and streamlined.

And I had the chance to look through a few of last month’s photos.   Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’ has been mentioned several times recently and quite rightly so.  Here is the one in Max’s garden, on a sunny day, with a magenta rhododendron as backdrop. Splendid.

Monster Munch

This is Max’s Echium candicans.  To my knowledge it has eaten one persicaria, one cistus and a salvia and is well on its way to consuming an evergreen azalea.   Come to think of it, I haven’t seen next door’s chihuahua for a while ……..

This Pride of Madeira has grown into a monster in just four years, from a small cutting acquired (legitimately, before you ask) from a friend’s garden just up the road.  It is spectacular and scary in equal measure, and is of course extremely attractive to both human and pollinator.  A humming monument.


This photo of an emergent azalea was a lucky take when a glimpse of sunlight hit.  It feels as if it was a singular event.   Otherwise it was rain and hail with the odd episode of torrential.   It has been a long and very messy day.

I am now going to eat chocolate.  This may be just as messy but I doubt whether it will take very long.