Six on Saturday: There’s a new wave coming

Every now and then a song gets stuck in my head and this week it is Kids in America by Kim Wilde. Kim’s a bit of gardener too btw, so it seems very appropriate.   If you don’t know the song I recommend you look at Kim’s performance of it on the train!

So as Kim says ‘there’s a new wave coming, I warn you’ and this week I am feeling more positive about the garden.  It actually rained last night for about 30 minutes and although there may be a few pests and diseases around the garden is shaping up for mid and late summer.  And here are the highlights:



My first uplifting delight was spotting a flower on the Tithonias.  They were grown from seed and the packet indicates a final height of eight feet.  I’d say they are about four feet now and are full of promise. They should see me through into autumn.



Somewhere along the way last year I picked up a recommendation for the Penstemon Sour Grapes and I would love to say thank you to whoever it was that put this plant onto my wish list.  I do thank you but I can’t remember who it was!  I planted it in amongst the Agastache Black Adder featured last week and, if I may say so, I think it works very well.



I am also bowled over, as I am every year, by the evergreen agapanthus that I grow in containers.  They did look a sorry sight at the end of winter.  But those brown leaves were removed, a granular fertiliser added to the pots and now patience has been rewarded.  They are truly a wow in the garden for the second half of summer.

The second half of the summer is also the time when the veg patch starts producing.  Of course my lack of watering and the absence of rain has had an impact.  My courgettes are tiny – hard to believe I know. The new potatoes, first batch lifted this week, were also on the small side.  But they were truly delicious as was the first outdoor cucumber.  In the greenhouse the melons and tomatoes are rather like this Six – long and rambling!



Last year the melon I grew suffered from red spider mite, thank you to Fred, a French gardener  for diagnosing this for me, and only one flower made it into a fruit.  This year I have been overwhelmed.   I tried to follow the RHS advice: ‘When fruit are gooseberry size, select the best four on each stem and remove all other flowers, fruit and leaves.  Stop the side shoots two or three leaves beyond these fruits, pinch out the main growing tips and remove new growths as they appear.’ But a week away from the greenhouse and I cannot tell a side shoot from a main growing tip and who knows which is new growth!  I am just cutting back to points where fruit has formed.  The variety is Pepito F1.  So far no mites!



The whole greenhouse experience is new to me.  Last year I grew a few cherry tomatoes under the glass and they were quite well behaved.  This year the three varieties I chose, Alicante, Golden Crown and Marmande, have gone crazy.  Side shoots doubling in size by the day, leaf growth in abundance and finally a few tomatoes!  It doesn’t look like the marmande is producing well but we shall see.  These are alicante, they are not ready for picking yet but not long now.



I thoroughly recommend Thomas Stone’s blogs in general and especially anything he posts on roses such as this one on moss roses.   I must extend my rose collection but for the moment mine are all repeat flowering english roses.  They do keep coming.  I gave them all a rose feed a few weeks ago, watered it in and the flowers are coming through once more.  This is Natasha Richardson.  I’ve shown it before and I include it again because it I was pleased that it too is a part of the new wave.

I always recommend this meme and the host The Propagator  as a great way to see what is going on in gardens around the world.  The people who post under #SixOnSaturday are all great sharers of their the knowledge and experience and I want to thank everyone for helping me grow my own knowledge.  Last week I posted a picture of my under the weather apple tree.  I looks like it has fireblight and I thank Tony Tomeo for sharing his knowledge.  Loving you all!!



25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: There’s a new wave coming

  1. Superb flowers and pictures as always! About spider mite, I started to see them on my cucumber leaves and I used diatomaceous earth (powder on the leaves). I don’t know if this is it but it’s effective (or is it due to the weather? I don’t know …. so, I’m happy to enjoy cucumbers, cucamelons, aubergines…)

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  2. I cannot understand the mentality of people who call themselves gardeners but then go off on holiday in peak gardening season. If I take a break it’ll be between November and January (probably in a rented caravan on Bodmin Moor). This has the advantage of co-ordinating return home with the arrival of all the catalogues of course and so elongates the holiday. I notice your new pathways are photobombing the backgrounds a bit but that your glorious flowers are still stealing the show! I guess that, after absorbing the advice on melons, you’re not really in the mood for reading the advice on containing tomato plant growth! 😉

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    • 😂 I am completely up for advice on tomatoes. Please send asap. Sad thing is it’s a bit like morecambe and wise. I probably know what to do but not necessarily in the right order. Second year of toms in greenhouse and still haven’t put long enough canes in! And they don’t seem to fruit until about half way up – is this normal? And so much leaf growth!

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      • Good old RHS (and their thing about side shoots) to the rescue:. Even if they think toms are vegetables! Don’t grow any fruit or veg now but, IIRC, my toms used to truss about a third of the way up and the foliage below the bottom truss was always sparse compared to higher up. I used to go a stage further and remove any developing trusses after seven. Why seven I don’t remember. Seems to be a magic number.

        When I had an allotment, a neighbour used to appear every evening with a bucket of something with which he watered the tomatoes in his greenhouse. He had an amazing crop of really tasty fruits and I got jealous. I asked him about the secret ingredient of his bucket. He and his sons filled it each day. Pure pee!

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      • Trussing a third of the way up is probably what I’m getting. I need to man up to how high they grow in a gh. Think I’ll be sticking to the tomorite! I’m off to count the trusses 🙂


  3. Your tithonia is glorious. I grow Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ with Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ and love the combination. I have only just discovered Agastache, but will definitely be looking out for ‘Black Adder’.

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    • I’m really enjoying the combination. Do you plant anything else with yours? I’m looking to fill another corner of the same bed. Can’t decide whether to go for contrast or similar 🤔


  4. How Californian! . . . but really, we do not bother taking pictures of agapanthus. I have heard of ‘Sour Grapes’ too, but I am already satisfied with the old ‘Midnight’. I do not think that it is as dark as it is purported to be. I also pretend that it is deep blue rather than purple.

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  5. Hello! I think we share tihonia this year. Mine are about 4′ as well. I’m intrigued to see how they get on. Sods law says they flower while I’m on hols. My tomatoes in the GH are very lush and tall but I am not getting a lot of fruit which is a disappointment.

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  6. Warning: mater heresy to follow. I come from a place where tomatoes grow in the ground. After my 1st catastrophe here in the UK, I put mine in planters, but not having a greenhouse, grow them outdoors. Commando, so to speak. And they always mater me to death, as well as causing a few casualties amongst my neighbours. I have no idea why I don’t have all the UK mater diseases, altho I do prune them somewhat like roses for good ventilation. Maybe what I don’t know about tomatoes doesn’t hurt them! Glad your back to optimism in the garden, btw. Best place to be.

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    • Good to hear of yr tomato success. I’ve been cutting back this year because there seem to be so many leaves and it seemed sensible to give the toms more light. I veer between trying to do it properly! And going by instinct.


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