Stansted Garden Show – the purchases

Geum Koi x3

Rodgersia Irish Bronze

Fatsia Polycarpa Needhams

Heuchera – Ginger Ale, Sweet Tea and ??

Brunnera Macrophylla Little Jack

Euphorbia Jack Frost

Mandeville white

Pandarea Jasminoides

Crinodendron Patqua

Iochrana Australis

Sabuccus Black Lace

Osteospermum white x2

Six on Saturday – Hampton Court Garden Festival

Spent Friday at Hampton Court Garden Festival. A wonderful day with four of my best friends.

The gardens were surprising similar this year with a focus on natural, wildlife planting and very little clean landscaping.

1) Though your EyesLoved the green planting, not so keen on the huge metal head that was the main feature.

2) Stop and Pause GardenThis garden was beautiful with lush planting. Particularly loved the seating area with the circular frame.

3) A Place to MeetThis was one of the few gardens that had very defined hard landscaping. The water feature was actually a plunge pool!

4) Floral MarqueeThis is always the best part of the show, creative displays and the opportunity to buy buy buy. This year the marquee was filled with the aroma of lavender.

5) What did I buy?Three heuchera from Plantagogo – Silver Gum Drop, Peach Flambe and Paris.

Bergonia Luxurians, an exotic from Brazil with umbrella leaves that should grow to two meters. Will have to come in over winter.

Also bought six lily bulbs called Lingerie, very pure white and seller claims that if I plant today they will be flowering in six to ten weeks!

6) Back in my own gardenLast week I was full of cold so didn’t get out into the garden and yesterday I was away for a full fourteen hours on a very hot day. Several plants really suffered due to the heat and my lack of watering. This morning I have thoroughly watered all the pots and hoping most plants will be looking better by tomorrow – fingers crossed for my verbena bonariensis, astrantia and scabiosa.

Join in Six on Saturday, just go to The Propergator’s blog and follow his guide.

Six on Saturday – mostly white

A weekend of proper summer weather. Lovely for us, not so good for the dogs but have made beef/ cheese/ peanut butter popsicles – mmm.The garden is becoming a jungle. Flowers are mostly white and purple so today I am focusing on white.One – star jasmineThis has gone crazy this year, filling the garden with scent.Two – Euphorbia diamond frostI love this plant, managed to over winter one for a couple of years until I became too confident. Will see how long I can keep this new one.Three – anenome wild swanWith the beautiful purple undersideFour – nicotianaI grew these from seed but have mixed feelings, the flowers smell amazing in the evening but they have big ugly leaves that snap easily and attract tiny white leaf hoppers. I think they need to be in big groups in a bigger garden. Not one for next year for me.Five – passion flower ice queenA beautiful plant from Wisley show last year.Six – a bit of blackBlack violas grown from seed by my friends mum with ophiopogon planiscapus in the background both sat on the black deck.Sneaking in a black and white dogJust had a shower, drying in the sunHeading to Hampton Court with my loveliest friends on Friday, must remember to take photos for SOS.

Six on Saturday – finally some sunshine!

Finally a beautiful weekend of sunshine and the garden is looking lush. I have always preferred a mostly green garden with flowers as accents rather than the main feature. Having seen the coverage of the RHS shows, I am finally in fashion!

1) Patchwork quilt of plantsI love it when foliage plants knit together and form a patchwork of plants.

2) Lilium Martagon – a favouriteThese elegant bulbs are beautiful. Added an orange variety this year but not in flower yet.

3) The last peonyThe rain has been great for the garden but the timing was very poor for my peony. I had eight buds for weeks but every time an eagerly awaited bloom opened we had a downpour. Hoping for better luck next year.

4) Nameless bulbsI have no memory of buying or planting these bulbs but they are a delight. Must have been part of the Gardeners World free bulb offer last autumn.

5) Fatsia Polycarpa Needhams FormThe new purchase from Stansted Garden Show potted up and in situ. I know it will quickly out grow this spot and pot but looks good right now.

6) Plant stagingReorganised my plant staging on view from my kitchen window. Took out a couple of hellebors and added in some gems from the garden show.Feel like I could have done sixty rather than six this week, everything is growing so well and looking so beautiful.Do make sure you visit The Propergator who hosts Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday – Stansted Garden Show

Yesterday was the annual day out at the Stansted Garden Show. I go every year with my Mum and Sister and we have a wonderful time, lunch in the Pavilion Tea Rooms, lots of plant purchasing and then tea and cake once the car is packed with all our precious gems.One – what did we buy?My 27 plants and only just over my £100 budgetMy sister’s 17 plants plus secateurs and a fantastic dish for her chimney pot bird bath.My Mum’s 7 plants.

Two – OrangeMy garden has always just had white flowers with some purple and blue. After painting the orange wall and loving it so much, I decided to add some orange flowers. I have had my eye on a Rodgersia for some time, picked Irish Bronze with light orange flowers (not peach!). I bought 3 Geum Koi and a couple of Orange toned heuchera – Ginger Ale and Sweet Tea. Chewie the Cockerpoo is clearly impressed.

Three – very prettyBrunnera Macrophylla Little Jack and Euphorbia Jack Frost with two mystery plants with no labels.

Four – star of the showWanted a Fatsia Polycarpa Needhams for a while and this one has a couple of baby plants at the base so three for the price of one.

Five – interesting selectionThese are four plants that I haven’t grown before. Pandorea Jasminoides, Crinodendron Patqua (Lily of the valley tree), Iochrana Australis and Sambuccus Black Lace.

Six – beautiful climber

Pretty sure this climbing beauty is a Mandaville. I have the perfect sunny spot for it, will have to work out the level of watering that will make it happy and decide whether to risk wrapping this winter or finding space indoors. This photo made me chuckle, it looks like a small dog sniffing the flower of a huge plant.

Already looking forward to Hampton Court although the train does rather limit my purchasing. That might be for the best.

Do have a go at Six on Saturday or just enjoy reading other contributors. Go to The Propergator’s blog and click on comments.

Six on Saturday – hard work but so rewarding

Another day of hard work on my friends garden today. We have almost got the runaway garden back into control.

OneBefore, full of weeds and no division between the bed and the grass.After, completely cleared of weeds and brick edging added (we dug all of the bricks out of the bed, perfect recycling)

TwoBack to my garden, this beauty is flowering it’s socks off. The bees are loving it.

ThreeI love foxgloves, they make my heart sing

FourI know these euphorbias are weeds but I love their alien look. They grow in early spring but once the beds have filled out I do pull them out.

And the raised bed does look much better without them.


New purchases from a lovely nursery in Poole. One fern is a house plant but the one on the right is supposed to be happy in full sun! We will see…


Can anyone tell me what this self clinging climber is? Think it might be a hydrangea, certainly has the same behaviour as a climbing hydrandea. Bought it a couple of years ago and it has been sulking but now growing up the wall and looking beautiful. I want more!!

Happy gardening and do check out The Propergator blog. Six on Saturday is fun, give it a go.

Six on Saturday – home and away.

It has been a long 12 days without any real time in my garden, last weekend I was attending the contemporary dance conference in Bournmouth and work has been all consuming with too many 12 hour days. Thank goodness for a bank holiday weekend.


Away from home but still opportunities to enjoy horticulture. The public gardens in Bournemouth are a delight, beautifully kept with an interesting range of plants.

Anyone know what this beauty is?


I bought this from the Stansted House Garden Show about three years ago. The label is long gone but it is some kind of variegated cow parsley. It came with strict instructions – don’t get it wet, don’t feed after midnight… no wait a minute that is gremlins… don’t let it set seed, always keep in a pot. The lovely Swedish(?) plantswoman was very clear it is a thug but it has been perfectly well behaved and gives a real lift to a shady corner.


Irrigation update. This has been one of the best things I have done in the garden. It is pretty fiddly to set up on the pots but wonderful to be able to water 20 pots whilst completing other jobs (or just drinking tea). I need to tidy a couple of pipes that are showing but all the plants are looking lush. Intend to install two more sets this weekend so I will be able to water 120 of my 200 pots with minimal effort.


Talking of pots, I was asked about this unusual pot that was in the edge of a previous weeks photo. I have three of them (did have four but gave one to my mum). Lucky to live on a street with three antique shops who know I have a love of terracotta pots so snapped up all four for £80. They are my favourites and always make me smile because they look like crossed legs. I do have to keep on top of the watering, they dry out very quickly.


I love all saxifrage and have many. The standard London Pride takes me back to playing in the garden as a child. This is the flowers of saxifrage stolonifera, mother of thousands. Considered putting it in a hanging basket to show off the baby plantlets but don’t want to miss out on the close up view of the delicate, perfect flowers.


Spiderlings hatching, spider geeks call them Slingers. The flies better watch out later this year, I have an army in training! (Thank you Darling for the photo. X )

Do check out The Propergator’s blog and why not join in with your own Six on Saturday.

Six on Saturday – A friend in need….

1) No time in my own garden today because a friend needed help wrestling her garden into shape. It was hard labour but the laughter, chat and a delicious lunch made it all worth while. We are a formidable duo so made great progress.I forgot to take a before photo so you will have to trust me that this area had knee high weeds, couch grass and brambles. It is now ready to become a beautiful bed full of cottage garden plants.

2) Nearly… back in my garden, some flowers just about to burst into life.3) And one already looking beautiful4) The garden is looking very lush. I moved the potted pine tree this week and took out a couple of bananas that just looked too brash next to the varied foliage in the rest of the garden. I used to love the sense of exotic they brought but they rarely stay looking good for long, one windy day and they are shredded.5) It has taken several years to drape the shed in ivy, I am very pleased with how it looks. The gateway to Narnia or am I getting carried away?6) Lastly a beautiful view of the new growth on the smallest tree fern.Do check out The Propergators Six on Saturday post.



With over two hundred terracotta pots there is not enough time to properly soak all my plants and a light sprinkle can almost be as bad as leaving them dry. Something had to change.

So, I did my internet research on irrigation systems for pots (I already have a slow drip hose running through my raised beds) and found a basic kit from Srewfix at the great price of just £9.99 and even better, a couple of last year’s stock for just £4.99. So four sets for just under £30, enough to water 80 pots.

It is a bit fiddly to set up but that does mean it is possible to make the system completely bespoke to your situation.

I have several large groups of pots

What did I learn…

1) Hold the pipes in very hot water, makes it much easier to push the connectors in.

2) Keep the hot water in a thermos, it means less trips to the kitchen to re boil water.

3) Put the radio on, have a distraction. It does take time and is fiddly so you have to relax into it.

4) Setting up pot irrigation doubles as a snail hunt. I managed to collect loads, won’t tell you what I did with them – there would be complaints.

5) I didn’t put dripper connectors on succulents. I can monitor and water these manually when needed. Most of the year the rainfall is enough.

6) Buy one extra kit to Frankenstein, you will need extra bits and it will vary according to each section.

7) I had to buy extra connectors so I could attach the hose directly and easily to each section. They were £4 each so bumped the project price up by £16. Would have been less online but I was impatient so splashed out on Hoselock from B&Q. Instant gratification has a price.

I have over a dozen agapanthus that look very healthy but have hardly any flowers. I suspect this is due to lack of water in late summer so hopeful the new system will mean a beautiful display of blue flowers in 2020 (too late to fix this year I think)

If we have another glorious summer this year I know I will be pleased I put in this effort. I can now connect up a section to the hose and water twenty pots whilst I wander round the garden with a glass of wine.

Six on Saturday – May the 4th be with you

The garden is looking very full, spring is definitely here. I am loving spending as much time outside as possible, the perfect antidote to a stressful job

1) Plan to plant out my summer bedding grown from seed over this weekend – white cosmos, white geraniums, white lobelia, blue lobelia, white petunias, blue petunias, foxgloves white tobacco plants. The garden is already full with little soil visable so finding enough space will be a challenge (But fun). My colour palette has always been limited by choice to white, blue and purple. A little hot pink has crept in and currently I am toying with geum Totally Tangerine to link to the newly painted walls of Orange Corner.Also going to sow new seeds, it would be rude not to!

2) This magnolia tree is huge now. It was a Gardeners World deal where you just pay postage from about 10 years ago. Beautiful with the sun light through the leaves but still no flowers. Will try to keep it well watered this summer and keep my fingers crossed for next year.3) Keeping the bird feeders topped up and have regular feathered visitors. A new experience because my spaniel used to religiously chase every bird away. He is older and slower now so the robins and blue tits enjoy the buffet hung on an old wrought iron gate.4) Best plant in the garden right now is viburnum plicatum tomentosum Kilimanjaro Sunrise. It is wonderful and deserves its RHS plant of the year status. Have to confess my sister and I bought plants at the same time three years ago, hers is in the ground and it is now more than twice the size of my potted plant.5) The orange corner is really becoming lush, the fig is going crazy. The bamboo is looking a little sad, I am feeding it but think it is protesting against the pot, might be time for a repot. Sitting in this part of the garden on a sunny morning is like being on holiday6) Last photo is a shallow pot of house leeks. So architectural and such easy plants as long as the drainage is good.Looking forward to two more days of gardening, finishing my irrigation system (crucial with over 200 pots) and the hanging of new garden lights.

Do visit The Propergator to read dozens of Six on Saturdays from all over the world.