Six on Saturday: 7 November 2020

Hello everyone, I’m back for another SOS, slightly late in the day but I have a good excuse: I was out gardening! Also having a glass of Champagne to celebrate a certain world event that could mean that one good thing did happen in 2020. Anyway, it’s been perfect gardening weather in Brussels: mild, clear skies, and the earth is damp enough to crumble nicely between my fingers without being sodden or frozen. This means it’s been good timing for preparing the new bed mentioned last week – I’ve broken up the clods and I’ve also divided a Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’ and an orange Oriental Poppy and popped these divisions in. Maybe I won’t need to buy any new plants after all. Sticking to my colour theme so far. Next up will be the bulb planting.

Here are my six highlights for this week:

1 Trees. These dominate both our garden and the view from our house on the hill, with a long band of mature trees stretching down to meet the forest. They give this place its personality and its sense of serenity (despite being in a capital city). They also mean that I could potentially go into business producing leaf mould.

Lime, Hornbeam and European Oak overhang the walled corner of the garden
A more easterly view, with the contorted outline of a Rowan, a very elegant tree
Directly facing east, the band of trees sweeps down the hill and eventually meets the forest. This marks the south-easterly edge of Brussels.

2 Viburnum and Miscanthus. A nice pair at this time of year.

These two look great together in the morning sunshine

3 Trumpet vine seed pods. This climber is so lovely when it in flower in the summer, but it also produces interesting seed pods as the leaves turn buttery yellow and fall. If only it wasn’t such a monster. It sends out suckers up to six metres away from its base, and I have a hard time controlling them. I’m not surprised it’s considered an invasive species in some parts of the world. These seed pods will certainly not be allowed to do their job.

Trumpet vine

4 Viburnum carlesii. This one turns fiery before dropping its leaves, and has strongly scented pompoms of white flowers in the spring. In this photo you can see the flower buds, which transform into tightly packed dark pink balls before opening up. Photos next spring!

5 Silver. The foliage on this Buddleja davidii ‘Black Knight’, in its first year here, is turning a fabulous shade of silver. It is putting on a lot of new growth, and I wonder whether I should cut it back down to the ground in early spring, as the official advice goes, or leave it until its second year?

6 Grape Vine. I felt it should have some official recognition here, as it has the best year ever, with a bumper harvest of red grapes, from which I made jugs and jugs of grape juice, and many pots of red grape jelly. Thank you grape vine. Just in front, you can probably spot Rosa ‘The Pilgrim’, still throwing out buds, when will it ever stop?

That’s it for this Saturday. I hope everyone is managing OK with the various lockdowns around the world, and that your gardens are giving you pleasure and hope. Don’t forget to check out other Six on Saturday contributions over at The Propagator’s blog. Till next time.

13 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 7 November 2020

  1. According to the American ( and now french )medias, I believe we can open the bottle of champagne! 🍾
    Pretty red colour of Viburnum carlesii which is followed later by the beautiful silvery colour of buddleia. I don’t know this variety precisely, but I know that the classic variety of buddleia can be pruned hardly : it will strengthen and grow back more and more.

  2. It’s good to have such mature trees as they give character to the garden. All looking well with you – and keeping well in these difficult days.

    Up with the champagne, Sláinte!

    1. I love the trees Paddy. There are times of year when I complain about the mess, especially all the seeds and debris from the Limes, but I suppose no relationship is perfect!

    1. Absolutely, it’s a great dual season plant, and I think you will be amazed by the power of the fragrance in spring…the buds are very pretty too before they open up.

  3. I am impressed that you used your grapes for juice and jelly. We’ve lived in several houses that boasted a vine and we’d certainly eat some of the grapes, but mostly I’d use the leaves for stuffing!
    That Viburnum and Miscanthus pairing is great!

    1. I love stuffed vine leaves too, my Mum makes them when she comes over. We had about 30+ kilos of grapes, even after giving bunches to neighbours, there were far too many to eat. The juice was lovely but sadly didn’t keep well, it fermented into very dodgy wine. I fed it to my plants!

  4. My vine has had another year of struggle. I inherited it when we moved in and I believe it is Black Homburg, which is meant to be an inside vine. It grows over the pergola and gives us lovely shade but only the smallest of grapes that never swell and ripen, Aah well, glad to hear yours is so very productive. Best wishes for the bulb planting

  5. love your garden wall, i’d love to have a big brick wall to grow against. i’ll have to make do with my basic fence panels. do you know, i don’t believe you can buy leaf mould, perhaps there is a market for it! to quote Derek Trotter, you could be a milyunaire!

  6. Thank you for this nice introduction to your very varied garden. Autumn is a very beautiful season when nature is covered in warm colors. You can enjoy this transformation “corona-safe” in your garden. I would remove the Trumpet vine seed pods in time and prune the plant well 🙂

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