Six on Saturday – 22nd June 2019

A stunningly beautiful day today; the sun is shining, there is a light breeze and the birds are singing.  Well for some of the day but with the sunshine comes the fair weather gardeners and the peace is shattered by the sound of lawn-mowers and strimmers and no doubt later the air will be full of the waft of BBQ smoke but at least its not raining and it does actually feel like June.

Salvia Hot Lips

I popped into the local garden centre on the way home from work yesterday just to buy a bag of compost and a hanging basket. I came home with two bags of compost, a bag of horticultural grit and a bag of sharp sand, fertilizer, a hanging basket, three heathers (don’t laugh), two trays of bedding dianthus, two salvias and an eryngium. But in my defence they were all considered and planned purchases.  The compost, gravel and sand were needed so I could sort out the pots on the patio and also my succulent collection which is in desperate need of tidying up and potting on.  The dianthus are for a couple of shallow pots to add some colour by the front door and on the patio and have already been potted up and are on display.  The salivas and eryngium are just want I need to add to the Big Border grassland style planting (I use that term very loosely) and fill the gaps left by the oriental poppy which I removed last week and the heathers are an experiment for under the big field maple to add some interest in the summer.

Salvia Lipstick

The salvias and eryngium have already been planted and I think the top photo shows how well the salvias have blended into the existing planting but lifted it a little.

Eryngium Picos Amethyst

The heathers aren’t planted yet as I have to do quite  bit of preparation work in the area before they are planted and I think I want to mulch around them so I need to get some wood chip ready.  Its meant to rain heavily in a few days so I might take advantage of the ground being wet and put the mulch on afterwards to try and retain the moisture.

Here is another view of the Big Border from the other side and end.  I really like how full it is and I am enjoying the combination of the baby blue geranium with the unopened flowers of Anthemis ‘Sauce Hollandaise’. I have no idea what the geranium is.  I have quite a few which I have acquired over the years as I feel I should like geraniums but they have never really performed that well until this year.  I think it is a combination of the neglect of the last few years, the fact that the poor things haven’t been moved for a while, and the significant rain we have had.  They are really looking great at the moment.

The final photo is of my patio which I spent several hours sorting out this morning.  It needs a weed but everything that needs to be planted out has been planted out; everything that needs to be potted up has been potted up and its all neat and tidy. Tomorrow the plan is to get up early and tackle the greenhouse before it warms up too much.

For the triumphs and tribulations of other gardeners this week check out the links in the comment box on The Propagators weekly meme –


25 Comments Add yours

  1. I am a massive salvia fan, Lipstick isn’t one I’ve come across yet, it is very lovely so I hope we meet very soon! Your borders are looking voluptuous and quite beautiful.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      So kind, thank you. I think Lipstick might be a good doer – will need to remember to take cuttings later in the year in case we have a hard winter

  2. I won ‘t laugh. Ask me what happens when I go to the Knitting And Stitching Show. Even though I have to come home on the train!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I’m the same when I go to the festival of quilts. Not going this year as need to use stuff up

  3. That patio is very inviting.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Nice of you to say but we rarely sit on it, trying to address that

  4. Ann Mackay says:

    Well, I did laugh, but only because it sounds all too familiar. 🙂 The geranium might be Mrs Kendall Clark, which is happily seeding itself around my garden.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Mrs Kendall Clark sounds familiar but I think it’s well known so I may just have heard it’s name!

    2. Ann Mackay says:

      It’s a nice plant with quite dissected leaves and can self-seed…so you may well end up with more of them, hehe!

    3. Dean in says:

      Hot Lips can sometimes be all red. I have one in my garden, It is a tough plant as it has survived cold winters and a brutal move as I decided it should be somewhere else. The flowers have been red/white or just red depending on how it feels 🙂

  5. Nice salvias
    Patio is looking smart

  6. Your garden is looking stunning. That Eryngium is a cracker. I will have to look out for it.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      It’s quite a short Eryngium

  7. Katharine says:

    Your patio looks great and how wonderful that your greenhouse is right there to pop in and out of.
    I’m reliably informed that heathers are due a revival – RHS Wisley have just created a heather garden and put a new cafe in at the far end. Parched visitors will wonder through on the way for a cuppa and a bun and be bewitched by the heathers…

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Excellent, I could pretend to care about fashions but I don’t but for now I will be ahead of the curve

  8. Heyjude says:

    How lush and lovely your borders are. (love the photos). Such a nice time of the year when everything just goes barmy! I have only just started growing Salvias, but appreciate how lovely they are though I don’t have any of the exotic ones. Yet.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks, I think salvias are good late summer plants but you so have to be careful with them over winter, as they can be half hardy. I’m going to try to remember to take cuttings

  9. cavershamjj says:

    I recognise the symptoms. I rarely come away from the garden centre with just what I went in there for. Quite often I arrive there not knowing why I’m there exactly. I need medical help. Especially as I counted over 30 potted cuttings. Not to mention still dozens of seedling growing on. Where will they all go? Nobody knows…

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      You have it bad then if you don’t know why you have gone there in the first place, it’s calling to your sub-conscious

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Hot Lips? Aren’t they red with white? I remember a whole lot of it at a job site, and remember it referred to as ‘Hot Lips’. It had red flowers with a bit of white either above or below the red. Of course, there is no way of knowing if that was what they really were. The so-called ‘gardeners’ on site were idiots.
    Hot Lips and Lipstick are pretty in your pictures. I happen to like Salvia gregii because it does so well here. It wants a bit more water than the natives, but does not really need much. It is a different style and color range from natives.
    ‘Picos Amethyst’ Eryngium is exquisite too. I grew eryngium as a cut flower back in 1986, before there were many varieties available. What we grew was more gray than blue. It grew well, but was no fun to harvest.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      You are right, Hot Lips should be white and red. I went and checked the label which says it’s Hot Lips but there is no white so I think it is mislabelled.

    2. tonytomeo says:

      Well, they are all pretty anyway. I happen to prefer solid colors. I don’t know what hummingbirds prefer. I never asked.

  11. Lora Hughes says:

    Re: comment w/Tony above – do Hot Lips change colour? My neighbour had a salvia that started red & changed to red & white, which I thought was hot lips. Whatever their name, I liked them at first, then they got very white & lost my favour. That eryngium is a particularly lovely shade of blue.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Interesting, I am sure there were white and red salvias at the garden centre and I picked up the wrong one, but actually I think I prefer it whatever it’s called

  12. Cathy says:

    So many garden centre trips end up like this, Helen! Good to hear about your purchases and where they are going ps did you forget your hanging basket?!

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