Six On Saturday: Still flowering

The cold weather has arrived, the first storm has blown through and the first frost lightly touched the garden. Now I feel the push to finish the tulip bulb planting. ‘Cairo’ are in with the inevitable disturbance of the neighbouring camassias. I have about 40 ‘Purissima’ to plant amongst the white hellebores. That’s the top priority for this weekend. In the meantime here are six things that caught my eye today.


A few weeks back a variegated hebe was moved from an overcrowded spot in the front garden to the space behind the lawn roller. It’s leggy from past efforts to reach out for some light but it has immediately responded to it’s new location by putting out a flower. It’s always exciting to liberate overcrowded shrubs and give them a new chance to thrive.


I have a small patch of tiarellas lining a path on the way to the compost heap and they are impressively flowering on. They work hard to keep the weeds in this area at bay and cope well with the shade.


Speaking of compost. The compost bins have been turned. One emptied out onto the veg patch, just waiting to be spread around. I’d like to think of this as black gold but it will be rife with seeds. I am sure to have a good crop of verbena bonariensis seedlings if nothing else. The first bin has been turned out into the middle bin and can sedately rot down over the coming year. The first bin, briefly empty, has now begun to fill again and so the cycle continues.


I nearly missed the first hellebore flower of the year. This is always the earliest and starts of thoughts of the spring to come.


The orange berries of Iris foetidissima give a welcome splash of colour underneath the rhododendron. It’s a scrubby space and these fill it well. I was surprised to see that the RHS has awarded it an Award of Garden Merit. But why should I be surprised? It grows in inhospitable places, the flowers, while not showy are quite pleasing, the berries are bright and cheerful and it really is low maintenance.


I inherited a large choisya which gets larger every year. It gives me valuable evergreen structure during the winter months and fragrant white flowers in Spring. And now in Winter. I have had a second flowering in other years but this one is quite impressive and long lasting.

Temperatures will remain low over the weekend so planting the bulbs will be a cold business. I have a little more mulching to be done and the rose pruning to start. But there is a sense that the garden is being put to bed for the winter despite those flowering anomalies! The Propagator leads us on through winter, a challenge here but those in the southern hemisphere fill the Six On Saturday blog space with sunshine.

7 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Still flowering

  1. I like the idea of iris foetidissima under rhododendrons, a tricky spot indeed, and what a lovely splash of orange. Your choisya looks good too, foliage and flowers alike. And Tiarellas, they really are great plants for shade, I also have some lining the shady side of the front path and I really appreciate them, flowering away for months.

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  2. It’s always encouraging to see a plant respond well to a new location that better meets its needs. Your compost is beautiful and will, I am sure, be duly appreciated by the beds upon which it is bestowed. The berries of the iris are indeed striking; I will have to look into getting some.

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  3. Gee, I should give Choisya another try. Someone here wanted to try a few variegated Choisya for an informal low hedge, but I talked him out of it. It had never done well for me. But, that was in the Santa Clara Valley. There are some old specimens here (just a short distance outside of the Santa Clara Valley). Although scrawny, they are reasonably healthy, and bloom reasonably well. I think they might be happier if I pruned them to improve their density.

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