I was dodging hailstorms shortly prior to typing this, foolishly thinking there was a big enough sunny gap between showers to do a spot of work at the allotment. There’s a chill in the air too, autumn creeps ever closer. The leaves are starting to shed – living right beneath a row of deciduous trees means I am acutely aware of their rituals and there are definitely more leaves and winged seeds to pick off the terrace plants and sweep off the decking each morning (a compulsive task that interferes with my breakfast).
Nonetheless, every leaf has a silver lining, and in my case it’s last year’s leaves. These have now become precious leaf mould after a year of sitting in their chicken-wire container, now emptied and ready to receive the new annual intake. I like a closed circle in a garden.
Onto the six proper. A fluffy grass seedhead caught in a beam of sunlight. During a recent visit to the garden centre I just couldn’t resist this Pennisetum orientale with a rosy tint. They had an incredible selection of grasses, I wanted to bring them all home! Even though my garden is not in the least prairie-like and is better suited to woodland plants. Ah well, I suppose we’ve all been there.
I did have a valid reason for going to the garden centre, which was to buy plants that can sit on the flat roof of the shed and screen our new neighbours’ vast array of garden furniture (now covered in black plastic sheeting). I thought this clumping, fast-growing bamboo, Fargesia rufa, would do the job, and I couldn’t resist adding a few other plants to complete the look. A quick online search reveals that Fargesia rufa is an important food source for the famous Giant Panda. Well, if one’s passing through the neighbourhood…!
Next up is a plant that quietly goes about its flowering, the hardy fuchsia, Fuchsia magellanica. This one may be ‘Riccartonii’. Not brash or blousy, just quietly elegant. I have three of these dotted around the garden.
Even quieter though is this Salvia x Jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’. Hard to photograph it as a whole – I challenge you to spot it in the background in the photo after this one. Close up though, there is something velvety and sumptuous about it.
This year’s brood of strawberry plants. Almost impossible to resist the urge to make new plants so easily from all those runners, but now what to do with them all?
Finally, what can be better for a gardener than free stuff for the garden? I picked up the toddler’s chair (of limited practical use but I think it’s cute) and the terracotta pots from the street. There’s a Belgian custom to leave stuff you don’t want out on the pavement with a little ‘A donner‘ sign – I have picked up many treasures in this way, and reciprocate by donating unwanted plants (perhaps that’s where the strawberries are headed).
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, ours looks like it might be a washout. Not ideal for tomorrow’s Journée sans voiture (Car Free Sunday), when cars are banned from Brussels (great idea, should be replicated in every city, for those who dare to challenge the system!) and we will be cycling to Waterloo for a barbeque.
Six on Saturday is hosted by The Propagator, his site is the gateway to many more Six on Saturday posts.