Six On Saturday: Farewell old friends

For me November has been a sunny month but the mists of autumn arrived on Friday.  The softened light wrapped itself around the garden and the muted colours blended together like a good Harris tweed.  I loved it.  Today the skies are blue again, a brief respite as next week promises a good blast of winter chill.  The gardening year is moving on.



I had the opportunity to be out in the garden this week and my bulb planting success rate increased.  I started out with 258 to plant.  I put away the ‘Mount Everest’ Alliums and Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’ last week, leaving me with 240 bulbs.  This week the extra Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ went in along with most of the Thalia. Planting the yellow tulip ‘World Friendship’ in the narrow border led to a little swearing as I encountered one or two of last year’s friends.  I took a rain check on them for another day.  So I have 106 tulips to go, 10 Thalia and 50 of the tiny allium sphaerocephalon. I plan to get them in before the cold spell arrives.



It was a week of tidying up and fond farewells were said to some old friends.  The last of zinnias and cosmos went to the compost heap. The verbena bonariensis were brought back in check with self seeders despatched to the heap or relocated.  I now have a clear patch in the south east facing border for 60 of those extra tulips and the remaining allium sphaerocephalon.  I’m feeling the need for an anchor plant in this corner, something that would work well with the trachelospermum jasminoides.  Suggestions welcome! It’s a sunny corner as it also picks up some afternoon sun from the west.



Most of the leaves have fallen from my trees and the leaf pile is growing steadily.  There are still plenty to come as the leaves on the trees in neighbouring gardens are still hanging on.  Whilst I am not a regular gardening diyer I did turn my hand and trusty staple gun to producing this leaf bin.  Say no more!



At this time of year my thoughts turn to plans for next year.  After two and half years in this new garden I am getting round to the north facing border.  This photo shows the section that is currently home to a stand of blackcurrant bushes.  I love blackcurrants but I do also have another stand in the veg plot so the ruthless gardener is going to make an appearance and these will go to be replaced by a planting of white shade lovers completely inspired by a Joe Swift article in the August edition of Gardeners’ world.  Watch this space.



Also on the project list is a new compost area.  The current heaps are in crumbling brick bays.  I’ve emptied out two sections and installed a builder’s bag nearby to take the new pile.  Once the other two sections are empty I will be calling in some muscle to knock down and wheel away the bricks. Then Father Christmas will bring me some new wooden bins – I’ve had an early word!


I’m looking forward to the bricks going as I will be getting a skip, which, perhaps sadly, I always find very exciting!  I am inspired by One man and his garden trowel, a fellow sixer to share with you ‘down the side of my shed’.  Hiding beneath those autumnal leaves is a great collection of old paving slabs and miscellaneous bits of metal excavated from the garden over the year.  Once the skip arrives it will indeed be farewell old friends!

Good luck with your garden plans.  Find out what everyone else is up to by checking in with Mr P.  All the links to SOS appear throughout the day.




24 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Farewell old friends

  1. A year ends, projects full head that makes you want. I can’t wait to see the evolution …. Remove a blackcurrant from two or two from three and plant other things at the bottom, like shade plants, as they settle down and remove the rest next year with new plantings?

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    • Joe’s article was quite restrained with Pittosporum tobira, Hydrangea petiolaris, Anenome HJ, G.sanguineum Album and -new to me – Melica altissima. Of course I keep thinking about adding in aquilegia, narcissus, hostas and tiarellas – which I am sure you will make a dog’s dinner of Joe’s purity!


      • Image searching Joe’s choices shows a lot of daisy shaped flowers, so to me, your additions would cause a nice variation in the bed. And of course, as Mr P says, you can never have too many plants.

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    • Aah. Is that where this all started. Jane has a great clothes line corner! Deep borders are lovely for layering all the heights. Something I am trying to perfect. I did land grab some lawn last year for another border and now wish I had taken another couple of feet.

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  2. ‘muted together like a good Harris tweed’! I love that. I wonder if the ‘Dead Pots’ Society’ sometimes meets down the side of your shed, like it does mine?

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    • One man and his garden trowel sign posted me to your post on the side of your shed! It did look familiar. You also have a great clothes line space. The Dead Pots Society take advantage of my lax nature and tend to meet in any corner close to hand. At this time of year I collect them all up and hoard them. It is an increasing problem! Love the look of your garden, over here it is all going brown.

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  3. So, you got alliums too. I do not do bulbs here because they do not perform as perennials. I am told that alliums might do so, but have not tried them yet. (I would not mind even if they just bloomed once.) I also want ‘Mount Everest’ just because I happen to like white, but I would like to get some that are more ‘allium’ colored too. I mean, I just do not expect alliums to be white. Well, will not happen this year anyway.

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    • The MEs made a great impact in the border last year so I have added to my stock of them. I was reading that Allium Christophii is a prolific self seeder which is a temptation for me. But that would have to next year for me now.

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      • Allium christophii happens to be one of the more popular ones here. Gladiator and Drumstick are probably the only two that are more popular, but they do not naturalize. I think that Allium christophii is popular because it does better than others. I just am not too impressed by it though.

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  4. I am excited about your compost plans. No doubt you’ll let us in on the act when you have something to show off. Good luck with the rest of your tulips. I am done with they bulbs but am contemplating buying some more alliums. I saw someone planting them up in small pots then planting them out in gaps in the border come spring.

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    • I got distracted by the clear up the garden needed so Sunday although productive did not see many bulbs planted. The pot idea is good – even with photos from last May I can’t quite hit the right spot for those tulips!!


  5. I love your pictures and Six because they show what a real normal garden looks like – not like the ones in magazines where there’s not a blade of grass out of place. Real gardens have dumping areas and crumbly walls and leaves everywhere and funny bits that are always work in process. Lovely blog.

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