Six On Saturday: The ruthless gardener stalled

For one brief moment the ruthless gardener was in full flow, cutting back hardy geraniums, pulling out surplus seedlings, felling a plum tree (well, not me doing that job) and condemning underperformers. Then some tennis was played and the left knee said ‘enough is enough’. On the upside the knee wrapped in ice felt wonderful when those temperatures were so high. Now the frustrated gardener is hanging around staring through the windows. At least the rain is taking one job off the ‘to do’ list and the garden is teeming with baby birds to offer distraction. Here’s six from the garden for this week.


The back garden white hydrangeas were well and truly scorched by the sun this week but in the front garden, with its all the more gentle aspect, the hydrangea was glowing vibrantly. I have no idea how this mix of colours has evolved, I am sure that on our arrival here five years ago this was universally pinkish.


More vibrant colour coming through from magenta pink phlox, inherited and such a reliable steady performer at this time of year. I’ve started to move astrantia seedlings into this area along with some underperforming veronicastrums which were perhaps more in shade than partial shade. One to watch for next year.


A plum tree has gone. A ruthless decision that took five years to make! When we arrived the tree had a nasty split in the trunk but it seemed be healing over the years. Sadly it then started to get die back from the new growth and despite beautiful blossom the fruit crop was minimal. It was just not worth the annual pruning so the tree surgeon was called in to do the deed. There is now a more open aspect to the border and the apple tree on the right hand side has room to breathe.


This is a ‘Miss Wilmott’ scabious which is slowly bulking up and adding some airy height to this border. Miss Wilmott was a well known gardener in her day, contemporary with Gertrude Jekyll and is perhaps more famous today for the Eryngium ‘Miss Willmott’s Ghost’ also named after her.


The hollyhocks have self seeded through the garden and in so many different colours. Here’s a small selection.


Lastly the North facing border is bulking up well. The climbing hydrangeas on the fence are slowly climbing but they like to run up the fence panels rather sideways. I try to persuade them into the horizontal but I think nature will have its way.

Happy hols to The Propagator who presents a concise and colourful six this week. I had plans to visit an NGS garden but the weather does not look too kind. I am in search of inspiration for a small patch at the very back of the garden so it may be a case of wearing suitable clothing and going anyway. Enjoy your gardening time.

13 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: The ruthless gardener stalled

  1. Ruthlessness is an important quality in the gardener! I hope I can channel some to finally remove an unloved forsythia this autumn. The removal of the plum is sad in one way, but could bring new opportunities and you will no doubt find that some of the plants in that border will be v happy with the decision!
    I wish I had a nice big magenta phlox – I heard that they like wet summers, yours certainly looks great. And the hollyhocks are charming, I must steal a few seeds from ones that grow best in the pavement cracks along our street.

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  2. ooh ! That hydrangea !.. a beauty… I can confirm that mine won’t bloom like other years, because of this weird spring winter.
    You have 3 different hollyhocks… I have 2 this year, one on its way to flower.

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  3. Hydrangea is WEIRD! We have blue in some spots where we can give them bluing, and pink in others spots where they get tannic acid from the redwoods, but not both mixed together. White is supposed to always be white, . . . but two of ours, which I relocated into a white landscape, turned lavender! Anyway, it is really odd to have pink and blue mixed together like that. As weird as it is, it is also pretty.

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  4. Everything in the garden trembles when the ruthless gardener appears. I have to stop when the garden waste bin is full! Your north facing border is looking lovely, what are the bright green mounds?

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  5. Your hygrangeas are lovely, and I wonder how the colour range works — I thought it was down to the soil not the variety, but I don’t know much about it, so may be drivel!


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