Six on Saturday: 28: October

Here we are again! It’s Saturday. Brianless. Dry, sunnyish, fairly warm (around here) for the time of year. Which means no photos of frosty leaves or icy waters. Brian did for all the spiders last weekend so no decorative spiders’ webs. Brian also did for most of the leaves on the trees so no nice autumnal reds. But, regardless of any dangers, lurking earthworms and an over-friendly squirrel, I ventured forth with my trusty camera and managed to find six things that are at least close to photo-worthiness. Next week I may venture further afield and try to be in the right position to take photographs of Gill Heavens as she reaches the end of her planned Thelma and Louise car journey.

But that’s next week. My six for this week are:


Chrysanthemums planted in “The Edifice”. When I built this little raised bed a few years ago, I wanted something small to decorate the back of the bench I’d included in the plans. So I planted some spring and summer bulbs and a row of “garden mums”. Now “garden mums” are supposed to be cushion-type plants, not big things like these. There were originally twelve plants in four colours. As far as I can tell, this display is provided by four plants in three colours.


Another part of “The Edifice”. This was originally filled with a mix of lavender and camomile (or chamomile if you prefer). But things got leggy too quickly. I’ve got a pile of lavender cuttings growing in the greenhouse for next year; I’ll forget the chamomile (or camomile if you prefer). But I wanted something just to tide the display over till the spring bulbs emerge so I plonked in some Cyclamen. Not the real perennial type (which are growing somewhere, I think swamped under an Epimedium) but something I won’t mind parting with when they go over. These will do for now and look quite nice from the house.


I was looking at Thomas Stone’s contribution earlier and remembered that I’d planted a few Iris foetadissima behind the pond. This is a somewhat neglected area which is on my “do something” list for next year. A not-so-close examination revealed that the “few” had expanded to fill something over a square metre or two. Maybe this is why resident cat has, of late, been avoiding one of his usual napping areas.


On the fringes of the behind the pond neglected area, in a slightly less-neglected one, Mahonia Charity has come into flower, un-noticed until today. I really must un-neglect behind the pond. Who knows what I’ll find. Maybe the Cyclamen coum are still there.


Camellia subsp. forgotten var. totally is budding nicely, foretelling a great display in the spring. This cheeky blighter is trying to blend in but hasn’t yet acquired chameleon capabilities.


Finally, a quick shuffle into the greenhouse. I’ve featured these Pelargonium cuttings before. For those who can’t remember, I took cuttings of some bog-standard plants at the beginning of August, mainly as an experiment to see whether my “new” cutting method (plagiarised from an unwitting contributor on Twitter) would prove more successful than my “old” one. The plants in the greenhouse took off and soon became as big as the parents still growing in the garden. So I cut the cuttings back. They regrew. So I got drastic and, plagiarising another Twitter contributor’s methods, I cut off all the leaves, leaving bare growing points. The triffids have re-triffeded. Even flowering again.. OK, I’ll just pot them on into 30 litre pots and leave them alone till next year.


I don’t know how I did it but that adds up to six. Phew. All thanks go to The Propagator for his ongoing attempts to keep the troops in check from wherever he happens to be in the world at the time. If you pop across to his post for today you’ll find links to other contributors. You ought to check in on Sunday too as there’s one blogger who seems to run a day late*.

Until next time, enjoy your garden.

* You know who you are and your punishment will be having to get up an hour before the rest of us tomorrow because YOUR clocks won’t go back until Monday!

20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 28: October

  1. I love your mutant chrysanths. After all who wants artificially pygmyied plants?
    The berries of the most stinky Iris are lovely, I like the flowers too, but goodness they are invasive.

    1. I guess those Iris are a bit more invasive than I expected. But they are filling an area that is otherwise ignored so, for the moment, I’ll let them be. Maybe!

  2. I like the idea of the planter behind the bench. The cushion mums are, like so many plants today, sprayed with growth restricters to keep them compact. The next year they grow to normal height.
    Have you published your new from Twitter propagation method?

    1. The planter was needed to support the bench properly as I built the Edifice on soil rather than any concrete foundation. The mums came in a multi-pack from an online nursery a few years ago. I wasn’t aware that they use some growth inhibitor but, oddly, the ones planted in containers have remained small cushion-type plants; it is only these that have reached this size.

      I haven’t published the “new” cutting method as I’m only trying it out for the first time.. I’ve forgotten who tweeted it. Essentially, you take the cuttings as normal but don’t remove the leaves. Instead, with a sharp knife, make a few very small incisions around the stem just below the bottom leaf node. Then bury the cutting so the node is level with the surface of the compose and the incisions are just below the surface.I found in about 50% of the cuttings that roots developed from the incisions. In the other 50% the cuttings collapsed in a way similar to damping off disease in seedlings. So I’m not convinced it’s a reliable method though the cuttings that took have definitely taken!

      I do remember that Lou Nicholls provided the later tip to remove the leaves and just leave the growing points.

  3. Now I definitely think I need to add Iris foetidissima to my shopping list. Maybe I can plant it with Amorphophallus konjac and some eucomis for a “fragrant” garden.

    1. I’m not sure I would call that a “fragrant” garden. More a “smelly” one. I’ve been crawling through that neglected area today, working out what’s there. Must have crawled over some of those lovely Iris berries. I undressed at the washing machine! Wasn’t going to take the smell through the house! I think I’d need to leave Resident Cat’s litter trays untouched for a month or two to match the lovely aroma.

  4. I keep seeing Iris foetidissima in people’s sixes. We went down to the costal path between Lansallos and Polruan to “enjoy” storm Brian and there are masses of them on the sea cliffs. There can’t be many native plants with an RHS AGM award, which it has. So does Primrose, and Holly (but not ivy) and Male Fern…

    1. When I posted, I’d read Thomas’ post and was looking for something else to feature. I ended up copy-catting a bit merely due to the surprise of how far the plants had spread. I have some recollection of thinking they were a waste of space (a square foot) a couple of years ago when I last paid any attention to this area of the garden.

  5. I have cyclamen envy! Had big plans of buying some this year but missed the planting window. Yours are beautiful.

    1. I have some “proper” Cyclamen planted somewhere in my neglected area – I was exploring that today but couldn’t find them. These were bought as potted autumn bedding plants from the local garden centre a week or so ago and were a lot cheaper than the tubers I bought some years ago. I suspect they will expire once it gets very cold.

  6. Such colourful Chrysanthemums, beautifully set off by “The Ediface”. The markings on Cyclamen leaves are always a treat.

    1. The Edifice is just a raised bed on steroids; can’t remember who named it that. I thought I’d featured it in a six before but seems not. It’ll be part of next week’s “six of things”. Those Chrysanths are mutants; the Cyclamen were on offer as a cheap tray of autumn bedding plants and I couldn’t resist giving them a home. Not sure how hardy they are, though.

  7. Looks like it’s an Iris foetidissima week. You have a good sized patch there, I’m hoping mine will expand likewise.

    1. Thanks for visiting. The photo shows about a third of the patch it’s now covering. The other two thirds are more sparsely “berried” but the leaf growth is far more dense. I’ll think about containment next year. The original planting plan for “behind the pond” had a lot more variety in it than simply Iris and an even larger area of Epimedium. I see some signs of other plants trying to break through!

  8. Those cyclamen look amazing, really striking. Love the Edifice, not sure we have been introduced before. Look forward to you filming me driving off the cliff, we have to do it in one take. 🙂

    1. I’m not too worried. If I don’t get the perfect photo in a single take, I’ll do a grab from Dave the following day. The Edifice will feature in a 6 soon. I’m running out of plant things. Looking forward to tomorrow …….

        1. Waiting for the appearance of your Saturday post on Sunday 😉

          1. Bugger! Thwarted! But I have a fall-back plan. Planting may be involved.

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