Six on Saturday 21st July 2018

Good morning and welcome to this weeks SOS.

This week we have had rain on 2 days.  A variable monsoon!

My garden is looking a little bit bedraggled in places due to the drought and whilst I have not written this year off I have decided to start building my new borders ready for next year.  I have also mulched one of the beds in the front garden as plants were starting to struggle in this bed as there is only 6 inches of soil on top of paving slabs.  The 2 plants that are thriving in this bed is an absolute monster of a spiraea (see post 1) and a hebe but this is starting to get charred around the edges.  I mulched with manure (I know we are supposed to mulch late autumn but needs must)  In hindsight this was not a good idea as my car now has a funny smell after the trip to the garden centre to pick it up.

I have also started to collate some plants for my sisters garden as she has started to work on her garden and I found out that my step niece Gayl has started to plant succulents in her garden in Worcestershire.  The gardening bug must be catching!  Gayl I’ll be down in August to check them out.  Steak for tea?

Here is my SOS!

1.  New Beds

When I moved my shed in May this freed up room for a new bed at the top of the garden.  I was going to start building it in the autumn  but one of my friends told me that the local wood merchants had a promotion on sleepers.  They are selling for £16.00 and I like a bargain I have decided to start building the beds this weekend.  As you can see from the photo’s I have already started collect some plants for the bed.  It is a bit scrappy at the moment but come next spring they will be more orderly.  The bed is North and West facing.   The west facing part has a small fence panel behind it and large one.  I will be changing the large one for a smaller one soon to get more summer sun into the corner.  I am sorely tempted to make the west facing one a Dahlia bed.   All I need now is to find some cheap top soil.

2.  Monster Spiraea and unloved border

Not very good photo’s but this was the most neglected part of my garden apart from a rapid growing spiraea in the corner.   It is just 6 inches of soil on paving slabs and the soil has never had anything added to it  in the 16 years I have had this flat.   So this week I added a bag of manure and some compost.  I have transferred 4 different Heucheras, Aquilegia Nora Barlow, Verbena Borealis Lollipop , 2 x Digitalis Summer thingy which  I have grown from seed and 2  Globe Thistle which  I have also grown from seed.   These are the first perennials I have grown from seed and after reading several tweets and blogs mostly from the Don of SOS I am now hooked.  Thanks Jon.

3.  The Dahlias are coming!


Slowly but sure they are coming!   As always we are pretty late up here when it comes to flowers.  It also doesn’t help that I have a 10ft hedge to the east of the garden and the is only 6m wide so the garden does not get much sun until after 9.30am.  All  Dahlia’s are starting to open.  I popped into Dobbies yesterday but I am going to have to ban myself as they have a fantastic collection of mature Dahlia plants.   Next month I am going down to Cornwall to see family.  They have moved to Penzance (they couldn’t move anywhere further from Berwick in England) and I believe the National Dahlia collection is in Penzance.  So guess where I’ll be going when I am down there?  The above variety is Tee Set.

4.  Hydrangea Lace Cap



Wow what a difference 6 months makes.  After thinking I had killed this in February when I had a brain fart and moved it this plant is stunning.   The photo does not do the colours justice.  There is a kaleidoscope of blues, pinks and purples and they shine like metal.  When I did move it  I did mulch it with a lot of manure and I have fed and watered it constantly and the effort has paid off I think you will agree.

5.  Rescued Lily Little John


I picked this plant up for £1 at the McMillan Café in Perth last year.  It was looking extremely sorry for itself.   I like buying sickly looking reduced  in price plants as it is always satisfying bringing them back to life.  I think I have hit the jackpot here.

6. Sea Holly (Eryngium)


A fantastic plant.  Grows in poor soil conditions an doesn’t disappoint.  Silver flower heads turn to purple then gold.  Bees always love it as well.

Well that is my SOS.  Off to continue to design the new border.

As always to find out how six on Saturday works please follow the following link The Propagator. The don of six in Saturday.

Until next week.






20 Comments Add yours

  1. fredgardener says:

    I think a bed of Dahlias could be a good idea. (It could be nice against the wooden fence) About the lacecap, I don’t know about you but this year they are wonderful compared to last year. I saw your post twitter and this picture is very beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the more I think about the Dahlia bed the more I like it. You are right about the Hydrangeas all seem to be blooming this year. Perhaps better strains of new plants?

      The problem I gave is I have moved the shed to directly behind it so I am worried it is not getting enough sun though they are supposed to tolerate some shade.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fredgardener says:

        Mine is half shaded and with the hot weather we have (and we will have) I guess a little shade is not a bad thing


  2. ACountryBoy says:

    Beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lora Hughes says:

    Little John was a great rescue. He’s gorgeous. Can’t wait to see your new bed, no matter what you put into it. Guess that’ll be an unveiling for next year. You’ve been a very attentive gardener this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes preparing for my holiday/


  4. Loving Little John. Such a pretty colour. Nothing better than a plant rescue and he’s definitely rewarding your kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aye it is certainly a cracker!


  6. March Picker says:

    Plenty of beauty happening there! Your hydrangea and eryngium are two favorites. The new beds sound labor intensive, but your passion is obvious. It’ll be fun to see your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your new beds are looking good! We stayed near Penzance on our hols last year and there are some wonderful gardens round there – they have such an amazing climate for growing. I particularly loved the gardens on St Michael’s Mount if you get a chance to go there – the gardens aren’t open every day so worth checking the website first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s where I am going near Penzance. My unofficial brother has moved there. Looking forward to it. He can see St Michael’s Mount from his street and the National Dahlia collection is near there.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. He couldn’t move anywhere further from Berwick in England 550 miles.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heyjude says:

    The National Dahlia collection is open as from today! Enjoy! As someone else mentioned St Michael’s Mount garden is wonderful and a definite must see – so many succulents there, but it is a difficult garden to get around – all steep terraces. Your eryngium looks beautiful, mine is just coming into flower (first growing of this plant for me this year) I hope it looks just as good soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, your sea holly! do you grow a green variety as well? I can not remember who had that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I’m so jealous of the eryngium! I’ve tried to grow them, but they don’t seem to do so well for me, and I would have thought I had ideal conditions here. That’s such a good photo of it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is a shame. I think it likes it a little bit cool at times

      Liked by 1 person

  11. cavershamjj says:

    Hello. Delighted you have caught the bug. It’s immensely satisfying growing stuff from seed. Even more delighted if you’ve caught it from me!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Paul, wow! That is a lot of work you did this week! So, thanks to you I have added two new plants to my list– the Lily Little John and the Sea Holly. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Hydrangea looks stunning, I’m jealous of any blue colouring in them. Looking forward to seeing the new bed next year. Enjoy your holiday! Our daughter lives in Falmouth so I’m hoping to get to the Dahlia growers as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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