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.