Six on Saturday: 18 Sep 2021: soft and gentle

September is proving to be a soft, mellow and gentle month, just as it should be, so at last the weather is doing what it’s supposed to. Though the days are shorter, and the night is encroaching ever further into the evenings, the sun still has a lovely warmth to it – we need to bask in it while we can. I feel like I’m on borrowed time, and even as I write this, am looking at that bench thinking I ought to be sitting on it! It’s a bit of a raggedy time in the garden, frankly, but grasses are throwing out their seed heads, and little pops of colour are brightening the vibrant border – still in its first year, so a bit gappy but pulling through.

A clump of Tithonia and a few bits and pieces

1 Sunflower: Helianthus annus ‘Velvet Queen’ was supposed to be one of the less tall, spreading varieties. Ahem. You can see its tall, very silly, spindly stem in the photo above, so it’s not at the right height at all, but the flowers are a nice russet colour. Silliness aside, I hope the birds will enjoy the seeds in winter.

2 Dahlia ‘Antibes’ has survived the usual ravages of slugs in the border, and is throwing out appropriately autumnal reddish blooms.

3 Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ with Salvia ‘Nachtvlinder’ make a nice pairing. The seed heads of the Pennisetum are soft and furry, like rabbit’s ears. Nachtvlinder, now becoming rather trendy, is a sultry velvety shade, and is doing pretty well for its first year.

4 Gladiolus byzantinus has finally appeared, planted out this spring. There are more on the way I hope. In the morning light, it looks pinker, but it has a nice magenta tone in the petals.

5 Gladiolus ‘Velvet Eyes’ came as a bit of a surprise. I’d planted a bunch in the spring of last year, and they all flowered last August, with terrible timing as I’d gone to the UK for three weeks during that ‘Covid opening’ phase of last summer, so I missed them. Then I lifted and stored them in the shed last winter, and the bulbs went mouldy. This single survivor was missed and left in the border, surviving one of our harshest winters. There’s a lesson in there!

6 Pyracantha ‘Golden Charmer’. Coming to six already, I realise how much is still going on in the garden, but I have to include some of these delightful berries. Pyracantha is one of those plants that divide opinion. My neighbours have one and call it ‘the devil shrub’ because they hate pruning it, getting caught up in its admittedly rather spikey thorns – but they prune it so much that it doesn’t have a chance to produce berries, so no wonder they don’t like it, they are missing its best feature! I really enjoy these generous clusters of berries and have two in pots near the house.

That’s all from me this week, I need to get to that bench, quickly before the day and all its activities take over. For more Six on Saturdays from around the world, visit The Propagator, and have yourselves a lovely weekend.

35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 18 Sep 2021: soft and gentle

  1. I’ve also had a problem pruning pyracantha, how to keep the flowers so I don’t loose the berries, you must have the secret, please share it with me!

  2. Do you think the pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ will withstand winter? I had tried with this variety but no result, while other varieties are doing well in my garden. And the seeds had not sprouted the following spring. Keep us posted !

  3. Lovely Pennisetum. I don’t do to well with them here, although I think they resent our winter weather a little bit.

    I like to admire Pyracantha from afar – I’ve had a few rather trying exchanges with them in the past! They are, however, undoubtedly good for the birds and bees alike.

  4. I’ve never had much luck growing sunflowers so I’m impressed by anyone who manages to get them to flower! I really like that yellow berried variety of pyracantha. We have an orange variety which has caused the odd spillage of blood from time to time but the bees love the flowers and the birds love the berries.

  5. Your Gladiolus ‘Velvet Eyes’ is a gorgeous colour! Seems that leaving things to do their own thing often works. I hope your ‘Fireworks’ survives the winter. I have become so used to losing plants over the winter, not from the cold, but the wet. It’s annoying, but I have come to think of them as annuals and even if I only get one season from a plant I will enjoy having it in my garden.

    1. Yes winter wet can be a problem here too, but a whole season of enjoying a plant isn’t bad, when you think people happily spend more on a shop-bought bunch of flowers that lasts 3 days!

  6. I also have Nachtvlinder, but doubt it will survive the winter. Velvet Queen is lovely, and I have got seed for next year. My sunflowers are being picked clean of their seeds already and there will be nothing left by the end of the month I think! Hope you get plenty of ‘bench’ time this week and enjoy the sunshine. 😃

  7. Some lovely colours here! I love Velvet Queen, in spite of her sillinesss, which made me smile. The gladdies are great and that dahlia is a perfect autumn colour. Have you ever seen the film with Julianne Moore called Far From Heaven (no relation). It is a wonderful film made all the more beautiful as she wears the most incredible outfits, all reflecting the seasons and mood. I was very taken with it. Your dahlia would be perfect in that film. I had better stop now as I am wittering nonsense. Nice six!

  8. Lovely colours in your six. My pennisetum villosum just about made it through last winter but I hear they are a bit variable. I am suffering from a very raggedy garden at the moment, which often leads to expenditure! But I am holding off until I have been through the borders with a sharp spade!

      1. I looked it up, apparently it’s not considered invasive so not sure why you don’t have them where you are – they are so tough and adaptable. Maybe they are just out of fashion?!

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