Six on Saturday: 17 November 2018

I went AWOL yet again last Saturday. Profuse apologies to Mr Propagator, creator and convener of this glorious exercise and to the great and good who make more effort. What should have been a simple job of fitting boiler controls on Wednesday turned into a major operation in house destruction and then reassembly that kept me going right up to the end of Saturday. All because some cheapskate builders used the wrong pipework when they first built my house.

This would have been enough to contend with but we here in Wales had to spend a lot of time calming residents of Cardiff down after a visit by one Gill Heavens which involved some alcohol and the subsequent consumption of a pasty in a single mouthful. Demand for the counselling centres has, thankfully, now reduced and, as life here returns to normal, this post is brought to you by the word “decorum“.

1 Prunus incisa ‘kojo-no-mai’

Also known as the “Fuji Cherry” because it grows on Mount Fuji in Japan (see, you get free geography lessons too!), this is one of the few botanical bits in my garden which actually gets round to colouring up a bit for autumn before a storm strips off its foliage. Maybe life on Mount Fuji is tough and so it resists the October winds here. A nice blast of red. Won’t last long, though. Wind or not, the leaves will have dropped by next Saturday.


2. Cotoneaster horizontalis

Why this cotoneaster is supposed to be horizontal is a mystery to me. Overused in council plantings because it spreads, well, horizontally and fairly quickly, in many gardens it’s grown as a wall or fence shrub and so becomes verticalis. Still, it’s the other (and the only other) botanical bit that makes some effort in autumn, here behind the foliage of some gladioli that didn’t flower this year.


3 Eriostemon myoporoides ‘Soft Girl’

Eriostemon are native to Australia. Here in the UK, they can flower continually from spring into autumn apart from taking a short breather in mid summer. I don’t know if mine decided to take a longer holiday this year or if it’s back early from its winter break. Whatever, it’s decided to flower when it’s almost winter. I’m not complaining. If you get anywhere near one in flower, have a sniff. The scent is like a Daphne.

Incidentally, Eriostemon are now Philptheca but I can’t be bothered to change the label. So there!

4 Hellebore

I have a small collection of Helleborus niger in Edifice 2. They also go by the name “Christmas Rose”. Well it ain’t Christmas yet and they’re all coming into flower. Again, I’m not complaining.


5 Peace

I have two ‘Peace’ Roses with which I enjoy a love-hate relationship. They require a lot of looking-after effort but when they pull their socks up and get round to flowering, the beautiful blooms are worth all the hard work. Today this bloom is looking a bit ragged but here it is last Sunday, the centenary of the Armistice that ended world war one. It opened fully that morning. Peace on Armistice Day. Appropriate I thought.

6 Poetry in Motion

I’ve featured this little beauty (one of the few “rescue bin” plants I have in the garden) a few times. But she’s now refusing to accept it’s end of season for her. So I’ll feature her again. Yes, you can see some dead blooms. I don’t dead head this rose as she forms hips. You can see some on her right side. Probably a bit late for hip formation now but I want to see how she behaves.


That’s my six for this week. Now nip over to Pop Prop’s blog where, magically appended to the bottom of his post of the day, you will find a growing list of links to other members of the international Six on Saturday community. And if you don’t already contribute, come on and join us.

Bonus Conundrum

You can blame Gill Heavens for this as she started getting all educational and referring to Pyracantha berries as fruits. Which is, of course, what they are. So I will leave you with a conundrum.

Photo by mali maeder on

Are you ready? Right then, answer the following question in one word. That means one word. Two word answers are not acceptable. Read carefully and think. Keep your answer to yourself – don’t help others by writing it in the comments. Tune in next week to find out if you got the answer right.

Is an avocado a fruit or a berry?

Until we meet again, enjoy your garden.

16 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 17 November 2018

    1. Well you read part of the instructions anyway (the bit about not helping others). 😉

  1. ‘Peace’ is probably my favourite rose, and strangely, of the roses in my garden is the easiest and healthiest. Right now, during an epidemic of black spot, the leaves on this rose remain in perfect shape. Quite the opposite in your garden, it would seem. Beautiful leaves on both your Prunus and Cotoneaster.

    1. Different climates/gardens maybe? Both of mine jointly claim the honour of being the only roses (I have a fair few) to ever get black spot and rust. There was a heavy wind on Saturday night. Both Prunus and Cotoneaster were bare on Sunday morning. Oh well …

  2. Eriostemon is new to me, definitely a plant to look out for. I have Christmas roses out too but I refuse to acknowledge them until the proper season. My Prunus ‘Kojo -thingy’ has lost its leaves now but they did make a brief fine show.
    Yes, I have my hand up, I know the answer.

    1. Mine is in the open, in a little circle cut into the front lawn. Open to west and south, sheltered a bit by the house to the east and by my “new” fence to the north. Hardiness depends on who you read. Some list it as H3 and some as H4 (that’s UK). Mine survived a low of -4C for a few nights last winter without any problems though I did chuck some fleece over it as the forecast low was lower. My guess would be that it’s frost tender until established and can then shrug off a bit of frost,

  3. The cotoneaster is really pulling out all the stops. I’ve been considering the peace rose after seeing it in Jane’s blog, but now that you say it takes a lot of work, I’m less impressed. Maybe I’m more a rescue bin sorta gardener. Love that hellebore.

    1. Peace is a bit weird, methinks. Growers list it as trouble-free and plenty of gardeners who have it say it’s fine. I have two here and both seem to be magnets for every pest and disease that can inflict itself on a rose. Yet nearby roses of different varieties remain totally free of such afflictions. Neither flowers prolifically but when they produce a bloom it’s so large, perfect and beautiful that all the effort is worth it.

  4. My kojo-no-maï is naked now … A very beautiful little tree, isn’t it? Thank you for the lesson, not for geography but because of the second name “Fuji cherry ” …
    Last thing about the enigma, I would have been wrong … .. answer and especially explanation next week…

    1. I couldn’t resist a photo of Kojo this morning but I expect it’ll be leafless by next week, as will the Cotoneaster. I’m trying to keep Kojo down to a metre high shrub rather than letting it become a small tree. Though I may relent when it starts flowering in spring.

      1. Mine was sold for a shrub up to 1.50 m high maximum. It’s like that now and like you, I’m trying to keep it that size

  5. Thanks for clearing up after me John, it is much appreciated. Next time though, when I am stuck in a traffic jam for 2 hours on the sliproad to the Avonmouth Bridge with a hangover, would you cycle over and bring a couple of pasties with you and a pot of coffee, thanks. Now for your lovely Six, I’m not usually a Cotoneaster horizonalis fan but the colours there are beautiful. The little cherry is wonderful, glad you caught it in time. And I do like that Eriostemon, but seriously botanists out there “Philptheca”, are you serious? (channelling my John McEnroe there). Well done roses, keep on keeping on! Oops nearly forget the hellebore, most welcome. Great six but I was wondering if something else might be featured, beginning with E and ending in 3 ………

    1. Whoopsie, typo. Should read “Philotheca”. Sorry about the hangover (seriously). And the traffic jam. At least you didn’t have to pay a toll to join it. 😉 I’m keeping Ed3 in reserve as I will need to conjure up a fair few sixes over the coming weeks. As it’s going, plants to go in it will arrive before I’ve finished building it, let alone shovelling the soil in!

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