Six On Saturday – 13th August 2022

Happy Saturday to gardeners and readers around the world and a special thank you to new followers – it’s so nice that people are interested in following what we’re up to in the garden, and I can only apologise for not posting much recently. The hot weather makes me lazy and one must bear the welfare of both gardener and plants in mind… a heatwave is no time to be digging, or moving plants around, or trying to raise seedlings. So mostly we have been sitting in the shade and enjoying the garden as inhabitants not as caretakers: it makes a pleasant change, to be honest. We’ve also been sharing it with others by making time for some outdoor dining and entertaining and that feels like what it’s meant for – sharing the results of our hard work (both in terms of environment and produce) really makes it all feel worthwhile and special. So – further thanks to everyone who visits and shows appreciation and encouragement. All too often – and I think most gardeners will share a knowing smile at this – when someone comes to view the garden, we say “oh it’s not quite at its best at the moment”, or “oh if you’d only been here last week, you’d have seen…”. We can always find fault, there’s always something we are not quite satisfied with. Today I did my little walkaround looking for things that are thriving despite the very challenging conditions and there were a surprisingly large number. Yes, some things are struggling, but the overall picture remains pleasing. There’s a lesson for life in the garden, as usual.

Pop over to The Propagator’s page to see what he and all the other SoSers are up to this weekend and check out his participants’ guide if you fancy joining in the fun. Thanks for hosting, as always, Mr P!

The rudbeckia never lets me down. I love it with the echinacea and the perovskia. The echinacea has flowered less prolifically year on year, I read that it should be lifted and divided after a few years if this happens. That’s a job for cooler days, for sure!
I’m cheating here and I’m going to count this as an annex to the earlier pic, so not counting it in my six. Bee approval of the rudbeckia.
The helenium seems to relish the hot dry weather. I love the pronounced central bosses, I’ll be looking to propagate more of these, or perhaps introduce some of the other varieties to give different colour and extend the season. No idea whether this is Moorheim Beauty or Sahin‘s Early Flowerer, which is annoying, as one has thrived and one has disappeared, so it would be helpful to know which in order to capitalise on its success! Nigella seed-heads behind – I love these so I just leave them in, it also saves me bothering to need to sow more. It does mean there’s an awful lot of seedlings, though.

More red in the border, which was one of my objectives after last year. This echinacea was an impulse buy in a market in Cornwall and its done far better than I expected. The carex next to it gives pleasing autumnal accompaniment. I was sniffy about mixing grasses into the herbaceous border, but actually it’s worked well in helping to fill gaps, add movement and lend a fluidity that makes the whole border look more cohesive and mature.
Just starting to go over, the alyssum and hyssop have proved a lovely combination and are much loved by the bees. These two make good low-level cover around border edges and tolerate having taller plants nearby very well, so I’m going to try to work them in elsewhere in the borders to keep building that fuller look we all strive for. Golden rod just in view behind – I grew it because it has herbal medicinal properties and birds love it, but actually it’s also proved very attractive, in my opinion, and it gives useful height in flower arrangements (and is prolific enough for me not to feel guilty about cutting it for the vase!)
The way this combination appears and then gradually evolves delights me every year: hydrangea paniculata, miscanthus and self-seeded cow parsley. The cow parsley appears throughout the garden now. I don’t mind at all – it’s pretty, light and airy, fills space without being a thug and is loved by friendly insects, especially the hover flies, who are welcome to the aphids!
The view from my deckchair, under the shade umbrella. Really, it could be worse, couldn’t it?

Published by Notes from the Under-Gardener

Keen amateur gardener, tending a large home garden growing flowers, fruit and veg, ably supported by husband and dog.

7 thoughts on “Six On Saturday – 13th August 2022

  1. I must admit to having sat out in the garden this week (in the shade) and reading a book! It makes a change from constantly doing jobs, though I have done a few of those too it has to be said. Just limited time as it has been too darn hot to stay out in the sun for long and that’s not something you’ll hear often from me. I would say your Helenium is Moerheim Beauty as that is a coppery red. I had the same two plants as you and in my case I have lost MB but ‘Sahin’s Early Flower’ returned! Last year I cut them both back in the autumn, this year I am going to wait until February/March, though I dare say that won’t stop the S&S having a munch on the new growth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find when I take a book into the garden I get distracted and end up looking at the garden and planning all the things I want to do! I thought I had lost both heleniums to the dreaded S&S, it was only a heavy dressing of grit that saved this one. I’ll try holding off on cutting back too, maybe that will help
      MB return next year! I might try again with SEF. A really big block of helenium would be great.

      Liked by 1 person

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