Six on Saturday – 29/6/2019

Cloud moved in at 3pm yesterday, bringing to an end almost two days of temperatures in the mid to high twenties which, accompanied as it had been by a strong and gusty wind, was getting a bit trying.

To those of you for whom 25°C is barely warm and who are accustomed to months of hot weather, I must sound very peevish but you garden to your conditions and when the weather does quick changes it can catch out plants that haven’t had a chance to become conditioned to it. The main problem is we have so many plants in pots and one or two have suffered a bit because they got too dry. Mostly the garden is looking good, with a bit of moisture still in the ground and somewhat higher temperatures it’s flowering like mad.

So much so that rather than try and narrow the focus to six random plants I’m going to do six views. A couple of individual items can serve as featured image and footer.

The view from upstairs in the house.






I used to take the shot from upstairs every month, I must see what I have from the end of June in previous years. This year seems like a good year but usually when I look at the evidence there is less difference between seasons than I think.

One last thing before I head over to El Proppoe’s, head of the SoS cartel. Should any of you have made the mistake of thinking there was anything nice about the two cats that photobombed some of the pics, let me tell you that the dead mouse I came downstairs to this morning was the biggest I’d ever seen, so it might have been what was shrieking in unworldly fashion while I lay in bed last night. At least it was a whole mouse, not a collection of mouse components, some missing, which is more usual.

Pair of cats anyone, free to a good home?


29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 29/6/2019

  1. Funny, we both had the same thought today – I also showed 6 views of my garden! Yours looks lovely and full, but I know what you mean about that wind! My fuchsias in pots suffered by drying out and several tall plants in the garden were flattened. We have been in thick fog for a couple of days now, hope it burns off this afternoon as I want to plant a couple of Dahlias into the space created by removing a too large Bronze Fennel plant. That’s the trouble with a small garden, sometimes things get too big for their boots and need removing. Lesson learned.


    1. There’s not a lot of room for sentiment in a small garden is there, you have to be prepared to be ruthless. It was nice to see the views of your garden, gives a context to all the individual items that usually appear.

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  2. The last view is my favourite and the red poppy picture is marvellous. I confess to thinking the cats looked romantic, never having owned one, so you did burst my bubble with the dead mouse story. Mind you, every good romance has a hint of meanness (take Wuthering Heights, for example).


    1. It was an interesting exercise to really search for six viewpoints that created a decent picture. Made me realise that some of the best viewpoints are not places I would naturally stop and look from and has me thinking about how to improve the view from the angles that I do normally look from, ie what are the elements of a good viewpoint in a garden.


  3. Lovely photos but the garden looks so much better in real life! We find corpses in the garage, usually intact, fortunately. We are cruel and only have a cat-flap for said garage.


    1. Our two have the run of the extension ground floor (laminate floored) at night; we remove the bodies and wipe up the blood in the morning. Too bad it’s below the bedroom. We were showing a couple of gardening friends round today, it’s lovely to have a full immersion in planty stuff now and again.


  4. Looking pretty good! Would love to have a rummage, bet there are lots of stars lurking. Just two questions, what is the name of the dark leaved, blue lacecap hydrangea, and is that Iris ensata ‘Moonlight Waves’ or another white one? Please parcel the cats up and send to me, at least it will be my cat’s dead things I clear up, not next doors! 🙂


    1. I may have said it before but you are very welcome to pay us a visit. Tea is provided but we never have any biscuits. You could take the cats away with you then. I’m not sure of the Iris but ‘Moonlight Waves’ was one we were selling back in the day. There are two dark leaved lacecaps, the one on the right in picture 3 is H. serrata ‘Tiara’ and on the left of picture 4 is H. serrata ‘Shojo’. The leaves are not normally so dark, especially ‘Tiara’. Close up the leaf is actually infused dark red, which is why it makes such a zingy backdrop for the flowers. ‘Shojo’ has never been so good, it’s almost been turfed out in the past for underperforming; I’m stuck with it now.

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  5. Strange thing maybe to note when all the flowers are at their best: aren’t the conifers looking great? Is that a golden Yew? I have a plant this week which I think you would help with an id…


    1. The yew is Taxus baccata ‘Standishii’. It’s a great specimen and one of only two survivors in a bed that started as all conifers. You can just see the other one poking out left of the rhubarb pot in picture 3. That one is a Sequoia which makes it one of the few conifers you can cut back hard every few years without killing it. It wouldn’t kill the Yew but the plant is essentially a cylinder of vertical stems and foliage, three inches off all over and it would be bare stems, six inches and it would all be gone. It has a couple of wire hoops to hold it together but is too tall to attach another easily. The big conifer, Chamaecyparis ‘Little Spire’, is not much loved by us now, takes too much moisture from the ground around, is out of scale and is getting sparser as the years go by. I’ll take a look at your ID thing now.


      1. I was just about to ask about that. I would have guessed that it is a yew just because that is more popular there, but the foliage did not look quite right in closer pictures. I do not recognize the sequoia. Mine, which are now hundreds of feet tall, regenerated from stumps of bigger trees that were harvested long time ago. They are leaner and more crowded than the original trees, because a few emerged from each of what had previously been single trunks. There happens to be an albino sequoia near here. I have tried to graft albino pieces onto normal trees but have never been able to do so. Albinos can not survive on their own, so grow from the roots of normal trees.


      2. The Sequoia is a variety called ‘Adpressa Nana’ which doesn’t get a mention in any of my conifer books or anywhere else that I’m aware of. It is similar to, but different from, the fairly widely grown (over here) variety ‘Adpressa’, which has very short leaves that are nearly white at the extremities of new growth. I think if mine was trained to a single stem and let grow it would make a sizeable tree but I’m not planning on letting that happen.

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      3. Actually, I have heard of it, but only because it is a rare cultivar coveted by bonsai artists in the Pacific Northwest. (I don’t know why bonsai artists in the Pacific Northwest are so obsessed with coastal redwood, but then, I don’t really understand bonsai. I have never seen it here. Almost all of the redwoods that are planted into landscapes are ‘Soquel’. There are only a few other cultivars, and all of those found in nurseries are trees. The pendulous cultivars are very rare here, in their natural range. ‘Woodside’ is supposedly related to an albino sport (although doubtful). The foliage is striped with white, which makes it look quite bluish. It is also quite pendulous, with prominent reddish cones. As interesting as it is, it is not at all pretty.


    1. As I said to someone earlier. it was interesting to seek out good viewpoints because they ought to be the places you usually look at the garden from, and in the main, they weren’t.


    1. There’s a lot less Oudolf from close up but I suppose his influence has rubbed off a bit. I’m a poor student of garden design but I do try hard to give each plant suitable conditions, or to plant appropriately for the various conditions I have.

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  6. You always say you plant by accident w/o a design, but what strikes me most about your garden is how natural it looks, an idealised version of nature’s curves & hooks. I love the red in that sprawling stuff taking over the gravel pah behind the fluffy & decidedly grumpy looking cat. Besides liking that deep red, it gives a focal point in an otherwise gently coloured area. So, if you give away the cats, wil the mice take over?


    1. I don’t know that I plant by accident, if anything most of my planting is quite considered, meaning I buy things and they kick about in pots for months if not years before getting planted. The garden has evolved to become what it is over a long period, with no end point ever in sight. Design seems usually to be understood as a process where a garden gets created in one short process and while I know that most designers would see their work as the beginning, the creation stage of something that would unfold over the years, a lot of their clients see it differently. Since the client is paying, if they demand a wonderful garden in six months, that is what the designer is under pressure to deliver. The creation of show gardens in just a couple of weeks reinforces the notion that gardens can be created quickly. Mine looks natural because the same processes that happen in nature have played out in the garden over a long period of time. Some plants are young, some old, most are doing OK because they’re happy with the space they’re in. I don’t see any merit in persisting with plants that aren’t happy, if they refuse to thrive, they go. I love the way that nature will occasionally produce something that you just want to roll up and take home, usually a tapestry effect with several species growing and flowering together and then as the seasons go round being followed by different mixtures. I was up on the moor earlier today taking pictures of plant communities in marshy areas, on granite walls, along roadside verges. Never a monoculture, never any bare ground showing. I’m probably subconsciously going for that look in the garden.


      1. I wasn’t sure if you were being tongue in cheek w/you first sentence, based on some of your previous comments, but my confusion (sometimes I’m quite literal when it comes to other people’s use of language, thus my confusion) was resolved by your last sentence. You’ve achieve that look in texture & shape but improve on it by your use of continuous colour, which I, at least, haven’t seen in nature. One of the boons about our nomadic lifestyle is that I get to garden in a variety of settings, w/a variety of neighbours who add a variety of plants. But I don’t get those years to develop a garden. It’s like being serially monogamous, but never having a long term relationship. As a gardener, I can only develop so far until I have those years. What a fantastic experience that would be!

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