Six on Saturday: 28 Aug 2021: summer’s end

I’m late posting for this week’s Six on Saturday, I was going to give it a miss: like the garden, I am flagging at this time of year. The end of summer often feels quite sad to me. My camera’s also temporarily out of action so the photos aren’t great quality, but never mind, they will do. There are still a few things going on after all, and I even got some spinach and raddicchio planted this afternoon, so there’s that to look forward to.

1 Helenium ‘Indian summer’. This photo looks upside down but I had to take it from a funny angle, on top of which the plants are leaning heavily to one side. They are rather hidden among other things in the vibrant border – I’m struggling to find space for everything – but they’ve got the right vibe for late summer. Must stake them better!

2 Tithonia ‘Torch’. These have actually done really well, grown from seed, and I have five of them grouped together so they add a good splash of orange. I have belatedly realised they go together well with tall verbena bonariensis, which is further down the border, so maybe next year I’ll plant them together. It’s very hard to get a group photo though – they are large plants, of different heights, and the flowers are often facing skywards, so instead here’s a close up of a bee enjoying a slightly tattered but still bright bloom.

3 Cucamelons. I grew theses from seed for the first time this year, and I got the idea to train them up the chicken coop netting from a Youtube video of an Australian who did the same thing to provide shade and occasional food for his chooks. They scrambled up happily here, and three plants provide a small bowl of these tasty mini cucumbers with a hint of lime.

4 Chillis. The Thai Dragon chillis are turning red so they can go in a Thai curry any day now. The yellow Biquinho (Portuguese for ‘little beak’) have been interesting. They have a fruity, chilli kick without actually being hot, so they work well in a salad or to pep up a baguette sandwich. I see another blasted lime tree seed is wedged in the Thai chilli*

5 Rosa ‘Compassion’ with tall grass. Ouch, sorry for the fuzziness of my ancient iphone camera here. I do like this combo of feathery grass (in a pot) with apricot rose (the flowers of this rose are pinker in its first flowering, I find, and more apricot in its second).

6 A seat for autumn. Our patio and decking-terrace area are under the canopy of the neighbour’s mature trees, including the lime trees you can see in some of the photos above, which means I spend far too much time these days sweeping up lime seeds up and picking them out of plants (see point 4*). During one such Herculean cleaning operation, I moved a few pots around and decided to put a little table and chair in the midst of my patio pots and next to the mini greenhouse. As summer fades into autumn, and the light shifts, this becomes the perfect spot for my morning cup of tea.

It’s also next to a pretty white-pink rose which is having a good second flush of flowers and has a lovely scent. It’s been in a tall blue ceramic pot for at least five or six years, but shows no sign of flagging and is always healthy. I like the fact that despite being a double rose, it shows its stamens and provides nectar/pollen for the occasional bee.

That’s all for now, thanks to The Propagator once again for hosting, and I’d better dash as I’ve got a family appointment to watch the latest unlikely plot twist in ‘How to get away with murder’ on Netflix.

33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 28 Aug 2021: summer’s end

  1. It all looks lovely and late summery and your new seating area appears to be the perfect spot to enjoy everything. That Helenium is a beauty. I have an orangey yellow one but I think another might be required – although the slugs were rather taken with it earlier in the year.

    1. I can recommend this particular Helenium as being ‘not of interest to slugs’ – Heaven knows, they ate everything else. It’s also a late flowerer, but could do with staking as it’s tall!

  2. It looks rather difficult to get to that table and chair through all those healthy, tall plants! Nice once you sit down though. Cucamelons look interesting. I enjoy growing fruits and vegetables more than flowers in the garden so that is worth a try.

  3. The yellow biquinhos look tasty and aren’t too hot like you said ( for the moment) . Ideal for salads.
    Otherwise cucamelons, I grew them up 3 years ago along a vertical string in my greenhouse. A good experience. I liked them not too big and kept like pickles with vinegar.

  4. I’m not familiar with cucamelons at all, but they look and sound interesting. Whilst reading your post, I belatedly realised that the lime trees you referred to are not citrus, but must be the lime trees often used as street trees in Europe. I wondered why a lime (citrus) would be ‘another blasted lime’!

    1. Yes you are right, European limes, or Tilea. Apparently lime is from the Middle English lind, and indeed in Dutch the trees are known as linden. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were dropping actual citrus limes onto my terrace and plants 😉 They produce thousands of winged seeds instead, which have to be removed if I don’t want a forest of of them.

      I have been pleased with the cucamelons, I like their taste and they are easy to grow (perhaps this humid summer we’ve had has been good for them, they originate from Mexico).

  5. I tried the cucamelons in the glasshouse one year – as I was given seed – but I absolutely hate cucumber as they do terrible things to my tummy and I didn’t enjoy them! Yes, best left for the hens!

    Great late-season colour from the heleniums and tithonias.

      1. There was an occasion when at a restaurant I asked that care be taken that there was no cucumber in the salad. As I ate the meal my tummy complained and it was admitted that the waiter/chef had simply taken the cucumber off the salad – but what remained was enough to upset me.

  6. I admit I do get a similar feeling in late summer, but then when autumn comes around I find myself filled with enthusiasm again. We often get damp weather so the garden picks up a bit. The only problem is there’s fewer daylight hours to get everything done in!

    Anyway, the garden’s looking nice and the Roses are still putting on a lovely show.

  7. I’d love to join you in a cuppa (coffee please) at your new little seating spot, it looks lovely. Your Helenium is a fab colour, I once had a very red one, but it only survived two years then disappeared like many plants (in my garden) do. And Tithonia seem very popular with many SOSers. I might have to try growing that myself – how does it cope with the S&S? Hope you are feeling less ‘meh’ next week. I am enjoying some wonderful summer sunshine this week which has cheered me up no end! And the first of my new bulbs have arrives! Yay!

    1. Thank you, you’d be welcome for coffee though it would be a squash and a squeeze! The Tithonia is a S&S hater’s dream, they don’t touch it. Everything from Mexico seems to be doing well, I am sure it’s the humidity. We have drizzle, though I had a happy hour gardening so it’s not all bad. Bulbs, how exciting, some of mine arrived too! That’s one reason to snap out of it!

      1. Last year I took ages before I got around to planting any of the spring bulbs, I just didn’t have the desire, I felt so lethargic. Hope that this year I am more enthusiastic. I shall try the Tithonia then, instead of Zinnias which I struggle to grow.

  8. The helenium is a great colour – really rich. Your seating area looks delightful and how nice to be able to grab a cuppa in the early morning sunshine (when it appears). The rose is very pretty with its pink flush on the petals. I’m no fan of chillis (I’m not big on really hot things) but the Biquinho actually sounds rather yummy.

  9. A lovely Helenium, and I like the sound of that cucumber. I had mini cucumbers this year and they did really well in June and July. But a hint of lime sounds quite tasty! Aren’t Tithonia wonderful?! I also grow mine from seed, having never seen them for sale as plants anywhere here. Have a good week Sel. 😃

    1. Thanks Cathy. Tithonia are indeed great, they might be added to the list of regular annuals I grow – and yes I have never seen them for sale here either and it’s not easy to get hold of seed. Strange!

  10. Chillis and helenium are a great colour mix, as is the ever reliable Tithonia. I had a great corner for those once but then gave it up to a rose – was I mad?! Yes, September tomorrow and already feeling colder! We must reset and enjoy the new season, we must.

  11. I’m new to growing Heleniums, and just love the colour of your plants flowers! I think i will bring the Aussie idea back home and try cucamelons on the chicken pen! What a great idea! Your garden is looking lovely, especially your morning coffee corner!

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