Six on Saturday: 24 Oct 2020

I’m joining the online blogging community this week with “Six on Saturday”, the idea of a clever gardening blogger known as The Propagator, where we all highlight six things in the garden. Gosh, am finding it hard to restrict myself to six! Here is a link to The Propagator’s six by the way:

1 Grasses in autumnal sunlight. One of the highlights of this season for me. To be honest, we haven’t seen much of the sun this last week, but I took this photo as I was going out for an early morning bike ride in the forest, before the drizzle set in. The rays are highlighting my newbies in autumn pots: Heucherella ‘Sweet Tea’, Carex testacea ‘Prairy Fire’ and a little Gaultheria procumbens ‘Big Berry’. The sun is also illuminating the feathery fronds of a Miscanthus just in front of the pergola.

Morning light

2 Geranium x wallichianum ‘Hexham Velvet’. The colour of the flowers is more purple than pink, so the second photo is closer to what it really looks like. I like this low-spreading ground cover geranium, it has been flowering on and off for a long season in a semi-shaded spot in my front path border. The flowers have an attention-grabbing way of standing up proudly from the foliage, and I am happy with the slightly relaxed feel of the grouping (with Alchemilla and ferns).

Geranium wallichianum ‘Hexham Velvet’ with Alchemilla mollis and a fern.
Slightly fuzzy close-up, a contrast of purpley-pink and lime green from the Alchemilla flower

3 Heuchera ‘Caramel’. Back to my autumn pots, this one was picked out by my son at the garden centre. He isn’t massively enthused by gardening at the nonchalant age of 13, but when given free choice to take his pick of plants and create an ensemble, he gave me some useful artistic direction. I adore the colour combo of this Heuchera: buttery caramel leaves with pink undersides. We teamed it up with a fern, Dryoptreis atrata, that has fresh bright green foliage.

Heuchera ‘Caramel’

4 Viburnum Farreri. When we are blogging away in the future, maybe there will be a ‘release scent’ button which will allow you to be as surprised as I am every time I go to the compost heap with my kitchen scraps, and am hit with the dense sugary aroma of this Viburnum. It is flowering very early this year, well before the leaves have fallen. Sometimes described rather disparagingly as “an old fashioned shrub”, for most of the year it is totally unremarkable, but these tiny blooms really do pack a punch and make the regular trip to the compost heap quite pleasant!

Viburnum Farreri – I think!

5 Garlic. After relative success with shallots this summer, I was very enthusiastic about trying garlic in my little veg bed. Just one bulb of the variety Thermidrome – about 10 cloves – went into the ground in a right angle L planting pattern. The chicken wire is to stop our local foxes and cats availing themselves of the facilities. I must say it is nice to get that planting thrill this late in the year!

Garlic goes in

6 Winter Purslane. Also known as Miner’s Lettuce, or here in Belgium as Pourpier d’Hiver. The seed was sown in August, and we’re enjoying the fresh, mild leaves now. Annoyingly some little flies got into the mini greenhouse and are messing about with the leaves, and some are damaged and have odd brown spots, but there’s enough of the good stuff for a decent salad, excellent with a pumpkin quiche. Hoping to extend the cut and come again salads with an Asiatic seed mix I sowed this week – it’s late, I know, but am trying my luck.

Winter Purslane harvest
…and lunch featuring the Purslane

There are my Six on Saturday. This has been fun, I may become a regular Sixer. Have a great weekend everyone!

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 24 Oct 2020

  1. I agree, the heuchera and mates look especially good in the low autumn light and your heucherella looks lovely with the copper coloured carex. Loving the look of that salad, might be lunch time for me! Happy weekend to you too. 🙂

  2. Why on earth gardeners would be swayed by being told something is old fashioned, rather than whether it is a good plant or not, is a mystery. Or is it just a marketing ploy to persuade people they must have the latest thing, whatever its merits. I’d never fall for that would I? I always preferred Viburnum farreri to the more recent (but still quite old) hybrids like ‘Dawn’

    1. Old fashioned not a problem for me! But I suppose we might be a wee bit influenced by gardening fashion when the plant is good. How about Verbena bonariensis. It’s everywhere! I do like it though.

  3. Good to have you with us and you have brought a lovely selection of plants. Garlic is a favourite here, already planted and the shoots are above ground. We grew Viburnum farreri for over 20 years but removed it this year. Despite its beautiful scented flower its suckering habit had made it a nuisance to us so it is gone now.

    1. Thanks Paddy. I really am looking forward to the garlic, I just have to remember not to let the beautiful but monstrous borage crowd it out. This happened with my shallots!

  4. I wish you great success with your garlic. It’s been a reliable crop for me each year. Aren’t viburnums splendid plants? I’m always discovering new varieties, and yours sound fabulous. You may be our only SoS gardener from Belgium, and it’s fun to see the flora from your part of the world.

    1. Thank you! I agree that viburnums are fab, I wouldn’t mind finding space for a few more! V opulus especially. Belgian growing conditions are v similar to southern England, but debate rages over which is rainier! 😆

  5. I have a Heuchera ‘Caramel’ too. It’s the first foray into the Heuchera genus for me and I’m surprised how well it’s doing. It’s just beginning to come into flower. Your morning light photo is lovely and so is the salad. Tempting!

    1. Thank you! Heucheras are great, I have lots of purple ones which cope well with the woodland conditions in one part of my garden, they are tough. Caramel is lovely 😊

  6. Bonjour chère amie Belge! Je vais continuer en anglais puisque nos blogs le sont…😉
    I do like miner’s lettuce and if you don’t care they tend to invade the whole vegetable garden.
    Yesterday I bought autumn garlic ( purple) and today’s job is to plant it ( 2 rows)
    Very nice first picture ( autumn morning lights )

    1. Pas de problème, hope you had a good day planting your garlic, I am very excited about mine! Only fellow gardeners would understand! I keep my miner’s lettuce in a mini greenhouse – in case the slugs get hungry, they can’t get to it there.

  7. We had a little bit of success with garlic this year for the first time. Although I haven’t stopped there, a market garden stand nearby has over a dozen varieties of what he calls heirloom garlics. I should try them.
    We have a smaller leaved purslane that grows wild in the garden and elsewhere…even in a crack in our asphalt sidewalk in the front. It’s a nice addition to a salad.

    1. Purslane, what a pleasant weed to have pop up in cracks! Rather like dandelions here – and I have used those in a salad, v nutritious. Purslane also. The miners in California ate it for vitamin C I believe…

  8. I adore Viburnum farreri – who cares if it’s old-fashioned? Your salad plans and plants look scrumptious. Is the miscanthus actually ‘Morning Light’ (which I have in the garden). It’s a wonderful plant.

  9. Cad a gceapfá faoi fáilte isteach as Gaeilge? Here’s a hearty Irish welcome along, Sel.
    Your first post with us is a real treat. I’m in agreement about the Caramel. Pass on my approval to your teenager.
    Im looking forward to reading again this weekend. Beir bua! 🇮🇪

  10. Oooh, that salad looks very inviting. Will research purslane. I love growing tasty herbs, greens for food. And the heuchera is a stunning shade.

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