Six on Saturday: 20 June 2020

I don’t know about you but I hate the thought that, before we know it, summer will be over. Tomorrow, we’ll just have to get used to it getting darker earlier, limiting our outdoor time to how long the torch battery lasts for. I’ve already received the first of the catalogues of autumn bulbs and have started to stick Post-It™ Notes around the house saying “DON’T DOUBLE-ORDER” and “CHECK QUANTITIES”.

Still, taking advantage of the opportunity presented by an unusually long period of daylight (today will go in the record books as the longest single period of daylight in 2020, did you know), I have ventured forth into the unseasonable (well it is summer, you know, it’s supposed to rain) weather and managed to get some photos of plants that have recovered from the deluge we had a week ago (and some that haven’t). But before I get started, those of you trying to get to grips with the WordPress Block Editor, it’s just had an update. It gets these quite often and you may be mystified by something that doesn’t work today like it did yesterday. For info on the latest changes, please have a butchers at the WordPress Blog. Indeed, to keep up to date with everything WordPress, it’s worth following the blog so you don’t miss anything. Unless you want one of my six each week to be the latest on BE!

While you’re blog-hopping (and some of my readers in the USA are bog-snorkelling), please visit our creator, the inimitable Mr Propagator (now the jury’s out on whether “The Propagator Blog” means it’s the blog or whether he considers himself to be the Propagator). The inclusion of a ” ‘s” in the appropriate place would clear that confusion up but who are we mere mortals (who also propagate) to complain. Whatever his grammatical connotations may be (let’s not get personal here), you will find not only his musings of the day but also, if you sink low, links to the musings of other worthy gardeners for your delectation and delight by simply clicking HERE.

OK. Off the soapbox. Let’s see what me, myself and I can come up with for this week’s six. Or is that eighteen as there are clearly three of us, none of whom resides in Devon. Which means we can safely hang around in places where someone is about to shout “free seeds over here.”

1 Wildlife

I’m really pleased with the amount of wildlife I encounter in the garden. Perhaps this is, in part, due to the fact that “next door” on one side is farmland and on two sides the “borrowed landscape” is entirely tree-dominated – so densely dominated as to make it virtually impossible to see anything through the trees. Sometimes, watching the wildlife is far more entertaining than watching a TV screen. Well more than sometimes; most of the time.

Woodpeckers feeding

Sorry it’s blurred but I had to take this photo from indoors – even opening a door would have scared them off. Mum and “baby” woodpecker. The little one is quite capable of feeding themself but spends most of the time being fed. There are two other woodpeckers visiting regularly. One always arrives solo. Maybe it’s daddy? The other is a very small youngster, again arriving solo. He or she hasn’t learned how to land on a hanging feeder (the usual trick is to land on the surrounding arbour and hop to the feeder) but seems quite content to peck around on the ground for the seed I scatter for groundfeeders.

I also have four squirrels (all greys, of course) which I’ve learned to identify from different fur markings and habits. Three are happy to utilise the squirrel nut feeder I’ve put up. But the fourth is a thuggish wrecker of the birds’ peanut feeder.

Squirrel feeding

Again blurred, sorry. He or she has also managed to remove the top of the trellis connecting the pole providing bum support to the rest of the arbour. But the main problem is that the mesh holding the peanuts has been distorted to the point that a bird can extract a whole peanut and we all know what whole peanuts can do to little birds! So, this morning, things got changed.

Squirrel-proof feeder

Yup. A squirrel-proof feeder. The squirrels’ feeder is in the background so thug will just have to learn to use it now. Currently they’ve got peanuts in shell. I replace their usual supply of hazelnuts around now because I can’t afford to fill up with them daily given that everything will be gone soon and most buried in the lawn! Does anyone know how to write “No need to bury. This feeder will be filled all year!”? The feeder was full about 10 minutes before I took this photo!

2 Acer ‘Garnet’

Acer 'Garnet'

I had visions of this dying earlier in the year from drowning. The rain we had before the dry spell (all extremes here) had me bailing out it’s container daily as I’d wake up every morning to see about 2″ of rainwater lying on top of the compost. Prodding carefully with a hand fork achieved nothing to improve drainage. It came late into leaf but has happily recovered, it’s pendular arrangement of leaves hanging right down to ground level for the first time in its history.

3 A Monotony of Lilies

I have three large containers planted with lilies lasagne-fashion to produce a long flowering season. This year, something has gone wrong.


There are four different varieties in the container in the foreground. Only one has bothered to appear. And that’s the lowest-planted. So I guess I’ll need to dig everything out and replant. Same with the container behind it. Only one variety has appeared but at least it has multiplied somewhat since last year. Container 3 isn’t even worth photographing for its single dwarf shoot. Oh well! You win some and lose some.

4 Survivor!

Poppy 'Patty's Plum'

My poppies seem to have gone on strike in sympathy with the lilies. All I have to show for a fair number of plants is a single flower of “Patty’s Plum’. But I’ve got to give her credit for the way she recovered at lightning speed from a flattening a week ago by rain. You can see the bends in the stem. Maybe I’ll rename her “Gloria Gaynor” (oldies like me may get that). The rose in the background, unfortunately, won’t survive.

5 Cometh the Day


Well you can’t blame me for slipping this daylily in. Here today, gone tomorrow! That’s what Hemerocallis do. Most of mine are named varieties but this “var.unk” crossbreed is racing ahead of its pedigree siblings. Good for it. Show them lazy things up!

6 Pins and Needles

Acanthus Spinosus

Please excuse the photobombing bramble that has found its way through the fence. I can’t get to it to remove it! It’s little thorns are nothing compared to the skin-tearing spines of Acanthus spinosus. Tall, tough, stately and thuggish, it’s a great plant for back of the border. And a couple of years later, the front of the border, middle of the border, length and longth of the border and next door. It shrugs off all attempts to contain it or destroy it. I suspect it has a glass of Glyphosate as a nightcap before bed each day. Still, I like it. Well, I have no choice really.

OK. Time to get out there with the secateurs to decapitate my roses – the ones that haven’t recovered from the deluge a week ago! And maybe I’ll plant a plant or fifty. Have a great week.

6 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 20 June 2020

  1. We have grey squirrel pie on the menu up here in some parts. They are kept under control to he the Reds on the Tyne Valley. The lilies look great even though something went wrong. I hope summer is me over it’s just started.

  2. I too had surprises with my lilies this year. 1/2 has grown and flowered. I don’t know why, me either. Flowers should open soon (and will be dark pink )
    Stunning acanthus flowers. I have an A. mollis in the garden but I can’t see the spike yet.

    1. I have had an A.mollis for years. It has never flowered but like A.spinosus, it refuses to be eradicated so I’m stuck with a plant that increases in foliage size every year but that’s it. I just chop the foliage off every summer and it comes back the next year.

  3. Your Acanthus spinosus is beautiful! It’s something I should look into getting for my front yard. A side note – are your watermarks larger today? They really distracted from the enjoyment of the photos, much more so than usual.

    1. Your comment about the watermark (WM) echoes my own thoughts. I have no explanation. Last year, the WM included my name on a third line. This year, when I was changing the date to 2020, I removed that line to make the WM smaller and increased the transparency to make it less visible – just enough to prevent someone nicking a photo and selling it as theirs (this happened some years ago which is why I now add the WM). The font size is relative to the size of the photo rather than a fixed size – this stops the watermark being intrusive in a smaller photo. When I was previewing today’s post, I thought the WM seemed way too intrusive but didn’t have the time to go into why. In last week’s photos, the WM is barely visible – using the same settings. I’m aiming to fix whatever the problem is before next Saturday but, of course, need to work out what that problem is before I can fix it.

      Sorry your enjoyment was lessened, Fingers crossed for next week.

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