Six on Saturday

I was going to dial in my apologies for this week.  There is much potential in the garden but could I really subject you to six photos of emerging shoots.  Could I cobble together something or would it end up a busted flush?  Well the social streak in me is strong and I enjoy being a part of the #SixOnSaturday meme so here I am again.



As the new growth on the perennials comes through I cut back the old stems.  But the seed heads on these Agastache foeniculum can provide some winter interest in the border for a while longer.  They are  ‘Alabaster’ and give lovely white spires of flowers for the butterflies to feast on in the summer.


Other plants do not fair so well over the winter.  Here are two plantings of Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’.  Those planted at the sunnier end of the border are holding their own but those at the shadier end are disappearing fast.  This is their first year in the garden so it will be interesting to see if they pull through.  But if not, I have the spot at the shadier end earmarked for some more hellebores.  It’s so important to have the right plant in the right place!



Yes, here is another hellebore photo.  I am becoming a great fan of them and love it when the white ones catch the sun.



There was a tweet in the week about a rosemary being in flower.  Yes, it is in my garden too.  This border has the sun from early morning to mid afternoon and with its back against the brickwork the rosemary does well here.


Also doing well are the penstemons. Known for being on the tender side, the advice is not to cut them back until new growth starts to come through.  These penstemons have come through the winter in strong leaf but I won’t cut them back until the weather is warmer and then I will cut back to points of strong growth a couple of centimetres up from the ground.



And here’s where I bust my flush!  It’s an emerging shoot.  No apologies for being excited to see so much new growth on this iris.  It is an allotment share from a well established clump and has a lovely tall stem with white flowers but I don’t know the variety.  I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and this shows that spring, although postponed for a week,  is on its way.

The Propagator is the place to go to read more #SixOnSaturday posts, just what’s needed after a chilly session in the garden.

24 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. I will soon be tweeting on rosemary flowers … it’s funny how we can have the same ideas at the same time. I think your stachys will go well in full sun ( mine are there ) and you will tell us news! Last thing, your rhizomes of iris seem to be healthy, just need to wait a little to discover their colors…

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  2. Yes it is interesting to see what we have that is the same and how it is progressing, and also what we have that is different. I have much to do in the new garden and I am getting so many ideas. I just have to slow down every now and then. I can’t plant everything at once!

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  3. Love the Agastache, not because it looks particularly great now, but because of what it was. Does that make sense? I am going to grow some in a client’s garden for the first time this year: rugosa. Also bought Stachys monieri “Humelo” this week. A very different plant than byzantina. I have hopes for that too.

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    • I’ve just googled your Stachys. That does look interesting. I think it would fit very well with the look I am trying to achieve. I’m planting up a border in a new garden. Are you planting it with the Agastache rugosa? First summer weeding, second summer annuals as I built up roses and perennials and third summer much anticipated. Still plenty of gaps to fill in. I really appreciate how everyone share’s their plant knowledge. Thank you very much.


      • I think it’s me – I’ve previously lived in the various Yorkshires & it grew for my neighbours but not for me. Might have to investigate it more, as they are some lovely ones, but I’ll remember your caveat about warmth & non-exposure.

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    • I would buy them in the autumn (when they’re performing their best and so garden centres will stock a nice range), But DON’T plant them outside. Keep them in the pots you bought them in through the winter somewhere frost free (around 5C) then plant them out after frosts in spring. In the ground, delay cutting last year’s growth down until late April or early May. I’m wary of buying them from garden centres in the spring as who knows how they have been kept over winter. For spring buying, go to a reputable nursery.

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  4. When you have a plant in two places like your Stachys it really brings it home how much difference growing conditions make for some plants. There’s not one of your six I would find easy to grow, just for want of the right conditions.


  5. I’m a great fan of agastache – will look out for ‘Alabaster’. No doubt, making it through this winter with Six on Saturday posts will make it easy to post throughout the rest of the year.


  6. I don’t cut penstemon back until late April or early May (after the frost season here). Agastache and stachys flatly refuse to grow for me though I have managed the odd agastache bought as a large plant and then treated as an annual. The larger “dry land” Iris don’t grow here either! Apart from some identity-crisis-suffering reticulata, all my Iris are now pond plants poking nicely through the clumps of frog spawn. Your busting flush looks fine; hope to see photos of it in flower in a future six.


    • You seem to have a tough climate! I’m sure I’ll be cutting back my penstemon before late April but I’ll see how the weather is. Now I have so many shoots on the iris I’m itching to divide it. But I think patience needs to be observed. It was only divided from the parent clump last year. Will your frog spawn survive the cold spell? Keep us posted!

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      • The pond usually freezes over on one or two nights after the spawn is laid each year. I’ve noticed that it sinks through the evening before a cold night and then rises again once the water warms up. This year, though, will be interesting as the residents have chosen to lay where the water cover over the planting baskets is very shallow so there’s not as much sinking space as in their usual places.


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