The last couple of nights there has been a definite chill in the air, harbinger of darker months to come, but let’s not go there just yet. It’s still pleasant in the daytime, and still fairly dry here, so much watering still required – a nightly ritual. I have begun to investigate the cost of installing a proper irrigation system that could cover the whole garden, veg plot and greenhouse. I dread to think how many hours of my life this year have been spent pointing a hose at various parts of the garden.

This holiday weekend my gardening activities will be accompanied by the bass thump and crowd noises from the Reading Festival which is a couple of miles away. If the wind is in the right (or wrong) direction I can sometimes tell who is playing the main stage, but usually it is just a mush of indistinct noise. Various of the teens associated with the household just now are there, so being close by we shall no doubt have visitations from bedraggled and hungry teenagers, and the less hardy of them are not camping so will be coming in at gawd-knows what time. Such fun.

Time for Six on Saturday then. Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything, your choice – a flower, a tool, a completed project, a plan, a success, a failure, a pest, anything at all. Join in!

Here are my Six for this week.

1 – Midget hollyhock. I grew these from seed this year, nursing just a few through the crazy conditions earlier this year. I planted them out back in early July, not really expecting them to do much till next year. The plants are about a foot tall now and looking nice and clean, no sign of rust. Somewhat to my surprise, one of them is flowering. It’s not quite the full hollyhock experience, the flowers being about 8 inches off the ground. Still. They should grow to full hollyhockness next summer.

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2 – Persicaria x ‘fat domino’. I always want this to be fats domino, but no, just the singular fat. Grown from seed this year, these plants should get to about 3 or 4 feet and have nice fat flower spikes, assuming they come true to type. At the moment the plants are about 18″ tall and the flowers spikes are spindly. Next year they should be better. Persicaria can be quite invasive, but this variety is supposedly well behaved. Let’s hope my mongrel seed-grown offspring contain themselves in similar fashion.

3 – Choonya. Just your common-or-garden basic petunia. I bought a bunch in trays to fill out some pots. Like the gazania last week I still have some knocking about in their trays looking a bit leggy. Bad gardener.

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4 – Potentilla fruticosa. Loads of flowers this year. This little shrub minds its own business in the corner of one of the sunnier borders. The flowers are a little on the bland side, a pale yellow, but perhaps my tastes simply run to the gaudier end of the spectrum.

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5 – Cyclamen. I always forget this little colony exists. It is tucked away under the scrappy lavender and normally I don’t notice it till the flowers are gone and I can just see the leaves. This group has spread gradually to where it can get a bit more light. These slightly ropy looking flowers are in a niche between the trellis arch and the first compost bay. Despite limited light and competition from weedy grass, these seem to be holding their own quite nicely.

6 – Clematis ‘The President’. Not orange, like a certain other president we could mention, but purple. I had one of these years ago and it was well established and joyfully rampant, flowering like mad for months on what is now the wisteria trellis. I killed it stone dead with some over-enthusiastic pruning, cutting it back well into the thick wood. I bought this one earlier this year for a couple of quid. It is in a planter down the side-alley but in good sunshine all day, and it seems to be doing pretty well. I wasn’t expecting much this year but it has put on about a metre of growth and several flowers. If it develops into something close to its long-dead namesake I shall be pretty happy.

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Those are my Six for this week. What are yours? If you’d like to join in, and why wouldn’t you, just write your post then, using astral projection, share it with the world. Or, more practically, just pop a link to your post/tweet thread/facebook/oojamaflip in the comments below. If you also mention my blog in yours that would be splendid.

Have a lovely weekend and for those in England & Wales, enjoy the extra day! Don’t forget to check back in as more links are added during the day.

I’ll be back next week with another #SixOnSaturday

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