Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’

Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium'

Hero and myself spent a wonderful day at RHS Rosemoor, successfully dodging heavy showers and small children dressed as gruffalos.   It has been very difficult to pick just one photo to sum up the day.  The magnificent cheese scone from the restaurant before we got going was a contender (had to build up my strength for the trek ahead and previous experience told me I wouldn’t be disappointed) as were callicarpa, kale and kniphofia.  After much deliberation this Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ won the contest.  A vision indeed of autumn incarnate.

Rogues and Roses


Bill and Ben’s garden was well planted, albeit several decades ago.  To paraphrase Tennyson, it is “red in tooth and thorn” out there in the horticultural world.  And we are talking about plants not the gardeners!  Unchecked, interlopers invade, the vigorous stifle the slow-growing and the neglected grow unkept.  I have been clearing an area over the last few months; bramble, couch grass, willow, Iris foetida, ivy, all fighting to be alpha weed, growing through a mat of Geranium procumbens.  Oh, and a couple of roses.   Spurred on by their presence this was to become a rose and wildlife garden.  Today we reached a milestone.   Already there are feeders and bird baths in place.   Today it was planting day.   More roses, including two single flowered which are easily accessible for pollinators, lavenders and penstemon.

This photo is of one of the existing roses, which after a rather late but much-needed prune and feed, has flowered well and is continuing to do so.  There is hope in the wilderness.

Harvest Time

Saffron Crocus

Exciting times.  Today, the inaugural saffron harvest was undertaken at Chez Nous.  There was no  need to employ seasonal staff to help with the workload.  We took full responsibility for the task at hand.  Three beautiful stamen are now drying in their own tiny Tupperware box, nestled on some plumped up kitchen paper, for their regal comfort.  Thanks to Lora for top tips.  I’m planning a paella for 2025.

Six on Saturday – Sunny

Cosmos 'Purity'

The weeks are shepherding us towards winter, a time when finding suitable subjects for Six on Saturday becomes increasingly difficult.  The Lord of the Prop, whose mighty hand rules us SoSers, has followers from all corners of the earth and beyond.  For some of us spring is just getting into its stride, whilst for others the cold has already set in.  In this neck of the woods we are experience some deliciously clement weather, the sun is shining and although the mornings have a rousing chill, there is enough midday warmth to warrant a partial striptease.  Let us enjoy it whilst we can and get going on this week’s contribution.

After the hiatus in flowering, that I can only assume was caused by such heat and dry that nonplussed both plant and gardener, we are now making up for time.  There are many first time bloomers this week, including this Cosmos ‘Purity’ which although short in stature is forgiven for its perfect flowers.

Garlic 'Dario'

Top of the list for yesterday in the garden was getting my garlic planted.  This is a cultivar called Dario which is new to me, but I liked the name and felt like trying something new.  It is supposed to be strong-tasting and the word “excellent” was in the description.  Yes, I do believe everything I read.  We will have to wait until next summer to find out.   For the literatii amongst you, yes Mr K I’m taking about you, this photo is pre-planting.  It is posed.  If I posted a picture of a pot of planted garlic (tongue twister, give it a go) it would look like, well, a pot full of compost.   Rest assured that moments later the tubby cloves were pushed down to just cover their pointy heads.  Now we wait.

Salvia atrocyanea

Another later flowerer is Salvia atrocyanea, the Bolivian Sage.  Blue flowers have a special place in my heart and this is no exception.  Tall and vigorous once it gets going, this tuberous perennial is relatively hardy given a well-drained soil to snuggle up in.


The parent of this osteospermum didn’t make it through the various beasts of last winter/spring.  Luckily I had a back up which flowered earlier in the year and now is having another go.  Which has reminded me that I haven’t taken any cuttings.  Hopefully it isn’t too late, I am living rather dangerously.

Fuchsia 'Börnemann's Beste'

Now another plant that I have featured before, Fuchsia “Bornemann’s Beste”, which is also coming into its own at the moment.  It was glistening bewitchingly in the sun today, closer inspection (with specs on) revealed that it is covered with tiny silver hairs.  The gift that just keeps giving.

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

Lastly we have a tatty old leaf of Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’.  It is featured for its pure resilience.  I was certain there would be not a leaf left in the whole Shire after Storm Callum bullied his way through last week.  A round of applause for FP please.  You can let go now.

That’s it my lovelies, another SoS completed.  Don’t forget to see what the rest of his disciples have been up to over at The Prop’s.  Until next time …….






Clematis tangutica

This isn’t a moan, or a gripe, or a temper tantrum.  Maybe it is a little bit of each.  Mainly it is a sigh.

I had a wonderful afternoon in the garden.  My garden.  Potting on cuttings, pricking out seedlings, pootling about.  Marvelling at the anarchy of the borders and making strange noises at next door’s cats.  All was well in the world.

Clearing up I wandered out to fill the green bin and had a gander around whilst I was there.  Which was where Disney turned to Tarantino.  The half barrel, previously full of life, was now barely half alive.  Where there had been an enthusiastic Impatiens puberula there was now mush.  The vigorous dark-leaved geranium now reduced to a single anaemic leaf.  An almost geometric line across the container was now dead or dying.  What catastrophic event had occurred?

I texted the builder “please pop around before you go home”.  He arrived with his mate, all dewy eyed and hopeful.  We stood around the container and gazed at the carnage, each hopeful that Scotty would beam us up.  He did not deny it was their fault.  Mr Nobody had obviously tipped something on the unassuming plants.   He was very sorry.  He did look quite sad.

I tried to be cross.  I am rubbish.  Sigh.

As you are unlikely to enjoy the sight of dead plants, you can wonder at the beauty of flowers and seed heads of  Clematis tangutica .



I don’t know if it is the autumn sun accentuating the vibrancy of the garden, or perhaps my new medication, but at the moment I am slightly obsessed with colour combinations.   Looking from each and every angle, however unlikely and impossible for anyone who is not allowed to stomp around the borders, and exclaiming “have you seen the alonsoa against the Salvia atropurpurea!” or”just look at the coronilla next to the delusional azalea!”.

What I did not shout when I saw the perfect marriage above was “How fine the Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Pötschke’ appears in conjunction with Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ .  I well may have fallen off the front garden at Max’s, where I was tettering to take the photo, into the road below.  Still, it is a rather fine match.