Good grief, September already! There’s a little part of me that is quite relieved, that the excesses of the summer weather are behind us, and a degree of normality is restored. That, and of course it’s nearly time to be placing bulb orders!

1 – Zinnia ‘whirligig’. Very few of these survived to be planted out in the garden this year, victims of me trying to grow too many things from seed. I just have this solitary plant, which has produced one solitary flower. I quite like it, so I think I will grow these again next year.

2 – Cayenne chilli. I had big plans for chillies this year, but they have come to not much – the spring was too cold for the plants to get going and I lost a good few to frost in the greenhouse. Eight plants survived, including this one. I have exactly two cayenne chillies so far, one of which is colouring up nicely. Next year I will be starting them off in the house and keeping them there until they get too annoying, or until the last frost date, whichever comes first.


3 – Tagetes ‘cinnabar’. I got these seeds from the HPS seed scheme this year. The original is from Great Dixter, I believe. At first the plants were nothing special, but they have flowered profusely and continuously for a couple of months now. The plants get to a good size too, I plan to grow again next year if I can collect or get hold of seed.


4 – Compost worms. I try to turn the heap once every one or two weeks. I have three enclosed bays, each about 1 cubic metre. I used to keep one empty, into which I would turn the active heap. Earlier this year I decided this was a waste of composting volume. I now use two bays for active heaps, the third is for finished compost. This is not usually full, so I turn the second heap into this (covering the finished product with cardboard first), then the first into the second, then the third back into the first. It’s a bit of a palava but I enjoy doing it and it’s a good bit of upper body exercise. Anyhow, these fellas were hard at work digesting the compost materials. I often wonder idly how many of these worms are in my heap. Thousands, I expect.


5 – Acorns. More specifically, the overhanging branches of next door’s oak tree. It drops acorns on my veg plot, often resulting in little oak seedlings where I desire them not. It also creates a fair bit of shade, to the potential detriment of my veg-growing. I tolerate this from the nearby apple tree as I get to use the apples. I think I am going to have at the oak tree with my telescopic pruning saw. It remains to be seen if I can remove the lower branches without causing greenhouse havoc.


6 – Acer palmatum ‘osakazuki’. I grew this chap from seed this year. It took months to germinate then stayed stubbornly small. I potted it on to a 1L pot with John Innes #3 and it seems to be doing OK. Most importantly, it has survived the ridiculour hot dry weather. Now I just have to decide where to put it once it has grown on a bit. I might have it on the patio in a big pot.


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I’ll be back next week with another #SixOnSaturday.