SOS 1st June 2019

After the cooler cloudy last few days it really feels like summer today.

1. June Roses

First up we have Rosa Darcy Bussell who is always first to the party and flowers her socks off despite the poor, dry location she finds herself in. A lovely rose and woman.


2. Cornus Kousa

This is the Chinese dogwood. I have always admired them in gardens I have visited. There are particularly beautiful ones at Borde Hill in Haywards Heath. It has taken at least 10 years for mine to flower but I think the white bracts are so special. If it was easy and quick I’m sure we would not value it so much.



3. Dutch Iris

A random variety I bought in the supermarket last autumn. I was excited when I saw the burgundy colour last week. I think it looks quite unusual in front of the geranium orion which are flowering like mad now.


4. A self-seeded poppy

It’s always interesting to see what colour the flowers will be so I leave poppies to grow and then remove it if it clashes or I don’t like it. This has had a reprieve because it has white blotches in the centre which is unusual for me.



5. Geraniums

Beautiful, self-seeded, blue geraniums growing through the cracks in the paving and up through the table and chair. Planting and staking for the lazy person.



6. New potatoes

Just noticed they have started flowering – they’ll soon be ready for eating. Yay!!


Pop over to the Progator’s site to visit some more gardening blogs


SOS 18th May 2019

May has to be the most lovely month (certainly in Britain). The hedges and edges of the countryside have come alight with green and white; fresh new leaves and a sprinkling of cow parsley, stitchwort and hawthorn blossom. But I digress, back in the Saturday garden things are hotting up in the vegetable patch and the roses have buds on but no flowers here yet. Five miles over the Downs in Brighton some roses are in full bloom and the lilacs are already over. The difference in microclimates is really surprising.

1. Frost damage

This is a note to myself that the garden is in a frost pocket and I really should not try to grow (waste my money) on tender lovelies because although they look fabulous in the garden centre in July they will be dead by next April! These are the sad remains of a pale pink hydrangea serrata and a supposedly hardy pomegranite.

The brown tipped leaves of viburnham plicatum mariesii (and a cheeky extra photo to show it in its full glory).


2. And they’re off!

Signals that the growing season has commenced, some climbing beans and dahlias hardening off, and the home grown beans sticks I put up this week.


3. Triffid rhubarb

I know you are supposed to remove flowers from the rhubarb but I love the dramatic look of it and tbh I don’t much like to eat it.



4. Potentilla limelight

Lovely soft yellow potentilla, hardy as hobnail boots.


5. The last camellia flowers

This poor shrub has been growing (barely) in the same place for over 20 years under a tree, squashed between two wooden fences. One fence was removed 3 years ago. This is the first year it has flowered and it really looks like it means to flourish and make the most of its second chance.


6. Corylus Avellana Contorta Purpurea

Contorted purple hazel with some self seeded companions, forget-me-nots, honesty and aquilegia.


Thanks to the Propagator for hosting “Six on Saturday”. Please click here to go over to his and his other followers gardens


Six on Saturday 30/03/19

I had not got round to publishing this week but for the sake of the record I want to save it to capture the lovely things in the garden at the beginning of April.

1. Hally Jollivette Cherry

Covered in a pale pink snowstorm of blossom. It is still quite small (year 3 since planting) and looks as if its been battling the wind, leaning a bit. But it survives and for 2-3 weeks a year is a picture and lifts my heart.

Photo 30-03-2019, 08 40 52

2. Euphorbia robbinaea with the neighbours borrowed forsythia

A classic spring combination, quite dramatic. I would never grow a forsythia – nasty harsh yellow, 25  weeks of brown twigs and 25 weeks of boring green blobbiness. However I’m happy to borrow in March.

Photo 30-03-2019, 08 41 16

3. Juicy yellow daffodils in the front garden.

They grow so well in this scruffy, poor soil. So easy and so rewarding just as we are beginning to ache for some colour and brightness.

Photo 30-03-2019, 08 41 48

4. Orange Emperor tulips.

Really perennial and a great colour. Every year I forget about them and am amazed when they pop up and last at least 3 weeks.

Photo 30-03-2019, 13 32 09

5. Amelanchier Lamarkii or June berry.

A really pretty and hardy small tree. Reminds me of Auntie Eileen’s cottage garden on the edge of Ditchling Common.

Photo 30-03-2019, 13 33 03

6. Magnolia stellata

A few flowers just to prove it does bloom if a bit sporadically and onesidedly. I was thinking of taking it out but it has proved itself worthy with just these few pristine wavy stars.

Photo 30-03-2019, 13 33 33

6.a Narcissus pheasants eye.

I had to have a photo of these lovelies as well.

Photo 30-03-2019, 13 34 37



Six on Saturday 27th April 2019

Back to “normal “ English weather for April. A bit of sun, a bit of rain, a lot of breeze. I think it must be better for the garden and countryside. Its certainly better for the chicken. One of the pair is particularly prone to going broody when the temperature rises. Lo and behold last week she started sitting on the other chicken’s egg, not laying eggs herself, refusing to come out and eat and getting very cross when I force her to. Fortunately today she seems to have forgotten the procreative drive and is back to normal, scratching around the garden and demanding corn.

1. Young “Beauty of Bath” apple tree.

I planted this last year and am pleased to see it’s got blossom. I am hoping it is the apple variety that was in my god mother’s garden years ago. I will only know when I taste it. I have 2 mature apple trees; a bramley and an eater but they have very little blossom this spring due to the winter pruning I think.

Photo 26-04-2019, 16 02 35

2. Birdbath

Surrounded by apricot fox tulips and wallflowers planted in the Autumn. I am pleased with the harmonious colours.

Photo 26-04-2019, 16 03 42

4. Old Kanzan cherry tree

It was here before us and I would have never chosen but I am very fond of it now reliably flowering every spring. I like it against the steely grey sky.

Photo 26-04-2019, 16 03 49

4. Euphorbia amygdaloides

An attractive evergreen plant that thrives and spreads in the difficult to plant area by the drive, in the shade beneath a holly. Spring is its time to shine in combination with the neighbour’s forsythia which has finished flowering now. For a short couple of weeks it looked spectacular.

Photo 27-04-2019, 10 50 18

5. Self seeded honesty

Makes a big impact with no effort from me. I love it.

Photo 27-04-2019, 10 51 59

6. Pony with braids in the field at the end of our garden. How cute is she?

Photo 26-04-2019, 16 21 14

To see more six on Saturday gardens please go to Thanks to the Propagator for running the show.


Six on 23rd March

A still, cloudy day in mid Sussex but its warmish and the birds are singing and the chickens are chattering.

1.  Hoop petticoat Daffodils or Narcissus Bulbocodium

This is a lovely, dainty daffodil shaped like a crinoline hoop petticoat. It comes from south west Europe and I imagine it growing in the Pyrenees mountains in the wild, mysterious area between Spain and France. It has been in this pot for several years and after it flowers, I just neglect it and hide it away till next year.


2. A pot of jetfire daffodils and some primroses

Jetfire is one of my favourites. The primroses are from Sarah Raven and were supposed to be in various pastel shades but they all seem to be pale orangey apricot. Actually, I think I prefer them like this.



3. Ice follies in the gloom



4. Prunus Kusar (Collingwood Ingram)

I was on the look-out for this small dark pink flowered cherry for some time.  I love the delicate flowers and so did this bee. This was selected and is named after Captain Collingwood Ingram, an Englishman, who introduced ornamental cherries from China and Japan to western gardeners in the twentieth century. He also reintroduced the great white cherry (Taihaku) back to Japan which he spotted in a Sussex garden in 1923. It had disappeared from Japan in the 17th century. The romance of it all!


5. Catkins on a purple leaved contorted hazel

Pretty pink lamb’s tails.



6. Snakeshead frittilaria

What a name! But a lovely flower given time to establish. After 10 years I have several decent clumps.



If you would like to see some more gardens and plants go and have a look at



Six on Saturday 16/02/2019

I have been in Thailand for a couple of weeks enjoying the sun, warmth and lush colours of the plants so I had to include some photos.

  1. Cannonball tree

Never heard of this before, a native of south America and related to the Brazil nut tree. Revered by Buddhists and planted near temples. A tall solid looking tree with girly pink flowers and extraordinary round hard wood like fruit (the cannon balls).

  1. Orchid farm just outside Bangkok

Somewhere in the canal and river network far away from the streets and traffic of Bangkok there is this little haven.

  1. Koi Samui airport

This is the prettiest airport I have ever been to! The grounds are more like a botanical garden than human transit station. There is even a lotus pool.


  1. Pruned apple tree

The tree surgeon sorted out the apple this week. It was beginning to take over when in leaf. I love its clean strong shape now.


  1. Snowdrops in their full glory


  1. Witch hazel

My favourite shrub illuminated against the blue sky yesterday. Unfortunately, it is grey today but spring is on its way.


If you would like to see some more peoples’ places and plants go to the Propagator’s site via this link the Propagator


Six on Saturday 19/01/2019


A damp and dreary day expressive of January but I’m using artistic licence because I took these photos yesterday in the sun. There are lovely things to look at outside at all times and Six on Saturday helps me focus on that!

1. Daffodils


Amazingly these daffodils are already out even before the snowdrops. They are ice follies and if we get the cold weather predicted next week they will be true to their name.

2. Hazel

I have always loved catkins. I planted this 5 years ago and it brings the countryside into the garden. So bright and simple and happy.


3. Cornus Mid-winter fire


Very suited to its name. Another easy shrub but lovely in winter.

4. Witch Hazel


I adore these small trees and envy gardens that have old established ones alight with colour at this time of year. Wakehurst has some wonderful specimens. They are very slow growing for me but I think I’m lucky that I can grow them at all because I live within sight of the chalky south downs. This is Diane and I also have Pallida which is not in flower yet.

5. Mahonia (Charity)


Beautiful clear yellow against a blue sky makes your heart sing. I’m not sure how big it gets but it just keeps growing without any help from me and the blackbirds eat all the blueish berries that come after the flowers.

6. Hellebore


At the risk of being boring, last but not least, hellebores which grow in this east facing, dry shady border along the fence and are rediscovered every winter.

If you would like to see some more peoples’ places and plants go to the Propagator’s site via this link the Propagator