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Six on Saturday- 26/08/17

Well happy Saturday folks and I hope you have a great week at home, work or just enjoying the garden. It’s never seems like it indeed a week in between theses 6 on Saturday blogs, but this week seemed even shorter for some reason! 

This week I am going to cheat (but it is ok as The propagator said it was) and use a clients garden to bring you my 6. I do feel a little guilty about using their garden but it is a little bit part of me, I didn’t design it but I have been working there for over 4years now and enjoyed nurturing the garden from a recently designed main garden to the maturing garden it is now. It’s about 1.5 acres inside, thinish soil over chalk and it is a beautiful site. I hope you will enjoy my 6 from this garden

img 0483 Six on Saturday  26/08/17
Aster x frikarii ‘Monch’. Happens to one of my favourite asters, flowers for such a long time, with these beautiful large flowers just give me buzz.
img 0479 Six on Saturday  26/08/17
Clematis viticella ‘Betty Corning’ Again this is one of favourite forms of Clematis, just love the delightful lightly scented flowers that are borne for 3months in the end, making it well worth the money
img 0470 Six on Saturday  26/08/17
Geranium ‘Orion’ The largest flower size of all hardy geraniums and flowers for such a long time, from May to the first frost.
img 0471 Six on Saturday  26/08/17
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’ more commonly know as black eyed Susan. Just a ray of bright sunshine in the garden at this time of year, I just love it, doesn’t matter if it’s bright sunshine or a dull wet day, it just lifts your spirits!
img 0482 Six on Saturday  26/08/17
I just love the effect yew hedges have in the garden, once trimmed, they look like a green sculptured walls, just the best backdrop to any garden or border. The line of soldiers here protecting the path leading to the front door. They just add so much to the garden here
img 0478 Six on Saturday  26/08/17
Eupatorium maculatum atropurpureum. Again a great plant, loved by bees and butterflies, this purple form of Joe Pye Weed grows up to 1.5m in height and just coming into flower now.
I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday! If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, may your fingers be green! 


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Six on Saturday 19/8/17

img 0411 Six on Saturday 19/8/17

Happy Saturday everyone, well it doesn’t seem like a week since I did the last one but it was and it’s another chance for me to join in with this excellent meme. Although I will be honest and say I am running out of plants and jobs to feature from my postage size stamp of a garden, but somehow there’s always something changing and surprising us within our gardens and that to me is one thing that makes gardening such a special passion as well as a job.  So on top my 6 for this Saturday! 

img 0413 Six on Saturday 19/8/17
Ok it’s a common old petunia, nothing special about that is there, well normally I would agree even though I have a love of these little plants, we used to use them in bedding display in the parterre at Mottisfont, but this little fella deserves to be here. In the spring, I extended a border in the front garden and this just appeared there in the border, germinated from seed no doubt left in the the soil for years and years! Just reminds us, that plants will survive no matter what
img 0411 Six on Saturday 19/8/17
After spending ages planting up my front door containers, one of my lovely kids, decided to prune one a salvia with a football, not ideal as you can never get a good edge on a football! Sadly the plant didn’t make it, so went to the garden centre to buy a new salvia and came back with this Cosmos! Yes yes I know nothing like a Salvia but I like it!
img 0412 Six on Saturday 19/8/17
It’s the geranium nimbus in the middle that’s made it this week, mainly as this is the one I cut hard back a few weeks ago and featured in another blog I did on citing them back, just wanted to show how much it has grown since I pruned it
img 0416 Six on Saturday 19/8/17
My middle daughter chose this as a replace for her solar powered moving plastic plant that got broken, so pleased that she choose a real plant this time, she really liked the fly trap plants at Kew Gardens, she loves feeding it things we catch, so far it’s had flies, flying ants and caterpillars (great place to get rid of the rose sawfly caterpillars!)
img 0357 Six on Saturday 19/8/17
Don’t get a chance to do much propagation now a days but it’s one of the jobs I love doing, I have plans in the pipeline to build alpine green roof on a kids play house soon and need some plants for it, thought it would be a great chance to propagate some house leeks, they are so easy to do, will have a blog about how I did them soon
img 0419 Six on Saturday 19/8/17
Another plant I am growing in love with is the sea thrift America, saw this form and had to get it! It’s called niffty thrifty. Just love the variegation on the leaves, goes so well with the flowers, it’s another one for my roof alpine garden or it might end up in a trough not sure yet
I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday! If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until next week, enjoy your garden and plants 


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My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17

img 0334 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17

Well it’s Saturday and time for the great meme, 6 on Saturday! The last couple of weeks of rain (many thanks to the kids breaking up, we needed this rain!) the gardens have changed from dust beds back into our lush normal English gardens. It’s made it easy to get my 6 on Saturday this week! 

img 0333 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17
Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ I love echinacea, some forms are a little busy for me, but Magnus is prefect for my garden, love the large mixed colour flowers and that the bees really love this plant too
img 0334 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ oh I love Gauras and have a couple in my garden, I do love this form, bred by Steve Eggleton, New Zealand. I just love the purple tinged foliage and then the flowers that appear in May and disappear once it’s frosted, this form is a little more compact than most forms and is prefect in my narrow front borders
img 0338 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17
Agastache ‘Blackadder’ oh I love my giant Hyssop, it’s dark flowers makes a great foil to other plants as well as giving me a little height in the borders, the bees and butterflies also love it as much as I do! The foliage is also delightfully scented
img 0335 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17
Geranium wlassovianum ‘Lakwijk Star’ another new plant for me, I love wlassovianum anyway, I find it such a great performer in gardens, the foliage is so attractive appearing in the spring, followed by a summer of flowers ended with a great display of autumn colour on the foliage, can’t wait to see this plant mature
img 0337 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17
Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’ or purple millet, was one plant I have seen used so well in summer pot displays and always wanted to try it at home, managed to get hold of a plant this year and really loving the effect it is having near my front door, it’s giving me the height and stunning colour I wanted!
img 0336 My 6 on Saturday 12/7/17
Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ again another group of plants I love, (tbh there’s not many I don’t like!) love and wishes is a plant I saw being used to great effect at Sir Harold Hillier gardens last summer and saw it in the garden centre a moth ago and brought it, just starting to flower now and can’t wait to see it covered in flowers

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday! If you did please checkout other people’s 6 on the memes founder website I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Thank you for reading mine and I hope to see you next week 


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6 on Saturday 29-07-2017

img 0261 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017

Well once more it’s Saturday again and time for the excellent 6 on Saturday. The weeks again been a strange one here in Hampshire, sunshine, rain and thunder and lightning, has led to a great growing week, one that we really needed. My six things in my garden this week a little more mixed than normal but I hope you enjoy them

img 0260 1 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017
Geranium palmatum. This semi tender plant from Madeira, is doing rather well in my garden, this is the 2nd major flowering this year, the foliage is also very beautiful and adds a bit of tropical look to my garden, love seeing it in flower

img 0261 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017
This little Dahlia is a dwarf form ideal growing in pots, I just love the dark purple foliage with the flowers. It’s really suited my ideas for my patio pots near the front door. Hoping it will be flowering all summer and fill out my pot nicely

img 0270 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017
My ‘Niwaki’ tree. Niwaki isn’t just a rather excellent Japanese tool supplier but is indeed a Japanese method of training and shaping trees, I was lucky enough to go on a training course last year at Architectural Plants and this is the tree I came back with, this is the second year of training my Phillyrea Latifolia, it’s slowly taking shape. So want to try it with some other plants, just trying to find the suppliers
img 0262 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017
Ahh Gazinias, you either love or hate them, I kinda of love them. This one was a bargain! Waitrose had a pot reduced down to £1 from £4 so picked up a pot and found I had 2 in there, divided up and added to my pots near the front door. Just love the bright colours and so do the bees!
img 0264 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017
Rosa ‘Blushing Lucy’ well now she has finished flowering, it was time to prune it, to get the best flowers off it next year, nice easy job to do and one I love doing! All the nice new growths are tied in. This week my new wire has arrived and I can add the next one up I am missing. Another job to get done!
img 0263 6 on Saturday 29 07 2017
Buddleja ‘Buzz Magenta’ a cracking plant that’s is a dwarf Buddleja ideal for pots or borders. I have always wanted one for my garden but have been too big, this dwarf form is ideal for my tiny garden and looking forward to seeing butterflies and bees on to it. It’s a recent purchase from Longstock Nursery

I hope you enjoyed my 6 on Saturday! I am taking a break next weekend but please enjoy other people’s 6 on the memes founder website I love seeing other people’s plants and what’s happening in their gardens. Why not give it ago yourself next week and give me a shout so I can take a look

Until a couple of weeks, enjoy your gardens and take care 


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6 on Saturday 22/07/2017

img 0206 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017

Well it doesn’t seem a week ago I was thinking about last saturdays 6, thankfully we have had a bit of rain and my plants have benefitted from it and carrying on giving me loads of flower. It’s made this week choice of 6 pretty easy. Some of these six have been flowering for months now and are cracking value for money. So here’s my six for this week 

img 0206 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017
Geranium ‘Mavis Simpson’ sorry yes another Hardy geranium but she is a cracker! Been flowering since May with me and still lots to come, will trim her back in a couple of weeks, can’t bring myself to do it to her looking as good as this!
img 0208 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017
Rosa ‘Louis XIV’ well for those who have followed my blog for a while, will remember this one from my rose watch and it’s still going so strongly now, must be on 5th flowering now, such a beautiful rich colour and brilliant scent and who said heritage roses only flowered once!
img 0209 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017
Tulbaghia violacea ‘Silver Lace’ This variegated form of Society Garlic thrives in my soil here despite it being a South African plant, is pretty Hardy here as well, starts flowering about now and looks beautiful growing though the Catanche too
img 0210 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017
Stachys Byzantina ‘Big Ears’ time for a bit of foliage and let’s be honest, this is a cracker, I love the softness, the size, the colour indeed everything about this plant I love, makes brilliant ground cover too!
img 0211 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017
Verbena bonariensis. Can’t really say too much about this plant that’s not been written before, it’s a beautiful plant that almost gives a purple haze though the borders, I just love it and it’s not just me either, butterflies and bees are also mega fans.
img 0207 6 on Saturday 22/07/2017
Lanata camara ‘Miss Huff’ time to plant up my containers this week and I love Lanata, their bright colours really light up my pots, their bright colours work so well with my other choices that I am sure you will see soon. Again it’s another plant the bees and butterflies love too

Well that’s my 6 on Saturday, I hope you enjoyed them! This brilliant meme is hosted by, there’s some other very good 6 on Saturday there, please take a look and enjoy them, I love taking a journey though other people’s gardens, seeing their great plants 

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Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 

img 0168 Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 

For many of us, Hardy Geraniums, are the reliable source of colour within our borders, some types like ‘Rozanne’, ‘Nimbus’, ‘Mavis Simpson’ flowering almost non stop from May to the first frosty touches of winter hit us. Indeed there’s not a week goes by without one in flower within my small borders at home. No matter how well they flower, at sometime during the summer months, they will either get too big or the flowers will get smaller, the plant its self will start to look tatty and really not look nice, indeed it’s almost like someone’s put a big donut on top of the plant, with lush new growth appearing in the middle of the plant. 

This is the time to get heavy handed and take a risk! First of all I would like to say not all geraniums will respond to the method below, ones with a woody centre like sanginium, wallichainium and more clump forming ones like renardi, macrophyllum, canabridgense etc can’t be treated in this way. The plants idea for this method include oxanium, riverleaianum, magnificum, pratense, phaeum, etc ones that really start looking like someone has plonked a donut on top. 

First of all it’s important to have the right weather to carry out the work, overcast days when the soil is damp is an idea time to carry out this task. We don’t always get weather like this, so as long as you water afterwards, it still should be ok

img 0166 1 Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 
Here we have Geranium ‘Nimbus’ looking slightly tatty, the donut is starting to appear in the middle and new growth is coming up
img 0167 Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 
The good new growth in the centre of the plant can clearly be seen with the older stems looking a lot more browner
img 0168 Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 
All you need to do is cut back the old growths back the The centre of the plant, I prefer to use a hand scythe to a pair of secateurs
img 0169 Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 
The finish plant all cut back, within two weeks, it will be growing away strongly again and soon flowering for the rest of the summer looking so much smarter!

I tend to give them a feed of Vitax Q4 or blood,fish and bonemeal afterwards and keep them well watered afterwards. You can also lift and divide the plant after cutting back if you so require (for method, please see here). The hand scythe was supplied from Niwaki and really makes the job so much easier and less painful on the wrists. It’s what the Japanese use to harvest rice. 

Nice easy job over the weekend  

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6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017

img 0427 2 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017

Well I thought I wouldn’t be able to join in again this week, but nature has a way of proving us wrong and issuing out more delights for us to enjoy in our gardens and that’s certainly been the case this week, with plants just starting their 2nd or even 3rd flush in my small Hampshire garden. Well here’s my 6 for this week, I hope you enjoy seeing them on the web as much as I enjoy them in my garden

img 0423 11 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017
Leucanthemum x superba ‘Little Miss Muffet’ is another new plant for my garden, I planted it out in April this year, I love the daisy like flowers on the lecanthemums but never like the height, this small version should get to about 25cm tall, perfect for my borders
img 0113 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017
Geranium traversi var elgans is a delightful and very frustrating little Hardy geranium, also know as Chatham island geranium, this beauty hates winter moisture, indeed its taken me 6 winters to get this beauty though the winter, in the end a 60/40 grit and soil mix worked for me and made me very happy indeed, it’s a great little plant, well worth the effort!
img 0111 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017
This delightful clematis is well a mystery to me, came in as vitacella alba luxurians and it’s certainly not got the lovely white and green delicate flowers of alba luxurians, it’s a form of viticella just need to work out which it is, sadly not going to stay where it is as I planted it next to a lovely dark rose called Falstaff, sadly I don’t think it’s going to work.
img 0115 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017
Ah the great rose Lady Hillingdon makes it onto my super 6 on Saturday after being rose of the week a few weeks ago, this rose has really taken off this year and is making a great plant, just starting its 3rd flush of the summer with me now. It’s sentimental for me really as any house I have called home had one of these growing on the wall.
img 0114 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017
Salvia gregii ‘Icing Sugar’ another tough plant, its needs to be with me and this pot, I always try to repot it every year, just haven’t this year with my leg but it’s still flowering well, will flower all summer up until winter months. The foliage is also wonderfully scented and it has managed to survive many winters with me. I also love the name!
img 0116 6 on Saturday, 15/07/2017
Sempervivum ‘Lilac Time’ its flowering 🙂 I find the flowers of house leeks so beautiful, coupled with the foliage and tight form, it is one of the very best of the sempervivums and is quite often used for showing as well. It’s another in my lovely alpine trough too
Well that’s my 6 on Saturday, I hope you enjoyed them! This brilliant meme is hosted by, there’s some other very good 6 on Saturday there, please take a look and enjoy them, I know I will 

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Welcome home Granddad! 

img 0001 Welcome home Granddad! 

img 0001 Welcome home Granddad! 
Well after being lost for many years, I finally have grandad back with me! No he didn’t go wondering around the world and got lost on some great adventure in the middle of the Himalayas or to darkest Peru but he is indeed a plant I named after my grandad. 

I have had a love for Hardy geraniums for many years and back in the late 1990’s, I made massed a small collection of about 200 different types including a lot of my favourite group, the phaeums, oh how I love the mourning widows, with their different shades of colours, sticking out with their different patterns on the flowers , great leaves, some with fantastic patterns that remind me of a child’s sponge printing. Like any small collection, these plants will cross bred amongst themselves and produce the odd new plant and that exciting thing happened to me in 2000, a beautiful red form with cracking black markings on the leaves, I left it in the garden to see what will happen, 2001, I was so excited to see the flower buds appear when I had the bad new that my Grandad had passed away.  Our grand parents have an amazing role in our life’s don’t they, they are lucky enough to spend quality time with us, with the ease of handing us back to our parents if we do anything wrong, spend many happy days out walking with them, across the fields of hampshire as well as Buckinghamshire, times on holidays and hearing their stories of their lives. I can still remember my grandad, sat in his favourite chair, playing with his pipe and talking about football, mainly about the brilliant Watford football club!  and telling me to pass my driving test! Wonderful memories and felt I wanted to honour him with this new seedling so Geranium phaeum ‘George Stone’ was named 

It grew well in my Hampshire home and it was divided up and used in a plant swap in a well know geranium nursery in Norfolk, went on trail at the RHS Geranium trails at Wisley gardens as well. In 2006, for various reasons, I moved to West Sussex for a new job that only sadly  lasted for year and with the constant moving, being homeless etc, I managed to loss all my geraniums, every single one, I was gutted. It took me many years before I was settled again and my love of plants was set on fire again once more and I wanted my grandad back again with me at home. Sadly for some reason the Norfolk nursery failed to answer my emails, tweets and messages as to whether they still had it despite it being listed on plant finder with them. It really really upset me thinking I may never get the plant back again. Thankfully in 2017, a new supplier was listed in the plant finder, Gardener’s Cottage plants, a quick email and then a chat with the lovely Andrew Davenport, talking as all gardeners do, about plants, gardens and all things garden related, he did say he had one plant left! It just made my year! Soon after, the plant arrived home and now it’s settled in nicely back with me and just started to flower once more. This time I am going to build my stocks up, supply to a lot of others to have in their gardens and this time I will not lose my Grandad! 

img 0002 Welcome home Granddad! 

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Plant of the week- Geranium phaeum 

geranium phaeum joan baker2 Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 

geranium phaeum Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 

My plant of the week this time is one of a personal favourite. I have loved the mourning widow geranium for nearly 30 years, not sure what it is about the plant I like so much, whether it’s the foliage or small but perfectly formed flowers, but whatever it is, I think it’s a special little plant.

It’s one of those plants that are indeed overall pretty easy to grow. It’s native environment is the wooodlands and low mountainsides of Europe, mainly though the Baltic countries but can be found naturalised in some parts of the uk. It will growin pretty  dry soils to dampish, alkaline or acidic again from light sunny spot to one of full shade. It’s one of those plants that is so flexible within the garden.  The small flowers are borne in may-June on 2-3ft stems and come in a such a wide range of colours from white to black and many forms of red and blue as well.

It’s pretty easy to look after as well. It suffers very few pests and diseases, the worse has to be mildew in a dry summer, cure is easy, you cut the infected foliage back and you are awarded with new fresh foliage a while later, worse is the vine weevil, that will eat the roots just below the surface and kill the plant off. Looking after is pretty easy, I cut them hard back after they have finished flowering, lifting and dividing the plant if required at this time. I tend to feed the beds they are growing in rather than the plant itself. Doesn’t need any staking. Maybe a little bit of water after I have divided them.

The name geranium comes from the Greek word meaning crane and the seed head looks like a cranes bill while phaeum comes from the Latin for brown after the colour of the flower.

There are so many forms (over40!) I will only go though a few below

geranium phaeum sambor 3 Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 


Samabor. (left)This form was discovered by Elizabeth Strangeman near the village of Samabor, Croatia. It is indeed the most commonly grown form, mainly down to the striking black sponge print on its leaves. The dark flowers really make it a great culitivar

geranium pheaum alexs pink Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum Alex’s Pink. (right)One of the best pink forms with some mottling on the leaves


geranium phaeum lilly lovell Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 


Lilly lovell, (left) named by Trevor Bath after his mother.a beautiful form with more of a yellow green foliage, with purple  flowers borne above.

geranium phaeum joan baker2 Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 



Joan baker, (right)another famous form would in Bill Bakers garden and named after his wife, the leaves a plain green.

phaeum rose madder Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 


Rose Madder (left), a distinct form, some feel isn’t a phaeum more of a hybrid, leaves are more shiny and the flowers slightly more swept back

geranium phaeum margaret wilson 2 Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 

Margret Wilson (right). One with striking varagition in the foliage, needs to be kept out of full sun. Can be trying to grow!

geranium phaeum connie broe Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum 


Connie Broe.(left) One with yellow veins and a marble like foliage

phaeum alba Plant of the week  Geranium phaeum Alba(right) is the pure white form