Six on Saturday – Greatest Hits

This week, in the pretence of treating you to some joy at this festive time but in reality is because it is tipping with rain and I am in a grump, I will be presenting to you lovely folk six happy recollections of the year past. Whether or not this is permitted, perhaps an addendum in the tome that is the Six on Saturday rule book, quite frankly my dear etc etc. Please feel free to pop over to see what the generally law abiding SoS elves have been up to and if our very own Santa Prop has got his gardening mojo back. Let’s get this party started.

In the eye of the storm I managed two visits to RHS Rosemoor in the space of week. They were both joyful events. This photo is not staged. At the time I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I am still undecided.

In February, when we were all still innocents, we had an amazing few days in London. Always on the lookout for the green, on the banks of the Thames I spied some valiant lichen and evidence of a passing angel.

This picture always makes me happy. It is the seedling of, what I believe is, a lesser spotted orchid which has made its home in the furry arms of a large fern at Westwell Hall. And why wouldn’t you?

Onto a green variegated zantedeschia, donated by Mrs Bun to Max. It is always good to share, especially a plant which sounds so unlikely to be beautiful, and never fails to prove you wrong.

My cosmos were rubbish this year. Nancy Nightingale’s were wonderful. More than wonderful.

In August, as a birthday treat, Hero whisked me off in her campervan. After visiting Atlantic Botanic and a delicious picnic, we went for a walk on Braunton Burrows. I spent much of the time with my head down, marvelling at the wildflowers, including this little echium, growing in almost pure sand. A memorable day.

And to finish (and yes, I can count but refuse to cull any of the above photos, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it) three doves. They are the symbol of peace and hope and of course love. Which is exactly what I wish for you all.


Lichen and granite, mustard yellow and gunmetal grey, happily cohabiting on a grievously exposed sea wall.

A few hours later, in much different circumstances, a friend’s easy chair and contrasting footstool echoed this perfect marriage.

Life imitating life.

Octopus Lichen


Today I was pruning out the demon canker from an old apple tree.  This fungal disease is systematically munching through its aged branches.  Although disfigured by this nibbling, it is blessed by a natty outfit comprising an assortment of lichen, including this one.  North Devon has a lot of lichen.  I am definitely not an expert (at or in anything) but I presume that our propensity in the South West to damp and mild weather is in the lichen’s favour.  Our low levels of pollution also help.  To further your education I have extensively researched (I googled “disc lichen” and scrolled down a bit) and have come up with Lecanora chlarotera as a possible identification.  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have a common name.  As the brown discs remind me of an octopus’s suckers I thought we could called it the Octopus Lichen.  Apparently it is quite common.  Not that I have noticed it before. Which is probably more to do with me than the lichen.