Undeniably autumn now, isn’t it? Cooler, darker, wetter. No frost yet though, so the garden is still looking quite good, if a little rained on. My gardening activities this weekend will be curtailed by the Oxford Half Marathon which is on Sunday morning. Much to my family’s amusement/concern for my mental health, I have signed up for a full marathon in the spring, and to top that, a 100km ultra-marathon next September. Suffice to say, I will be running a lot and gardening a bit less next year. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Time for Six on Saturday – six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything, a tool, a flower, a beastie, a harvest, a plan, a job done, anything at all. Join in!

Here are my Six for this week.

1 – No sets please, we’re British. Having tried and failed to grow onions from seed a couple of times, I’m giving it up as a bad job and going back to sets. These are all autumn planting sets. Three lots of onions – electric, shenshyu and autumn champion. I am also trying some shallots for the first time, these are longor.


2 – Phlox panniculata ‘grey lady’. I acquired this plant as one of several trial plants for the Hardy Plant Society Conservation Scheme. The idea is that good plants that are falling out of circulation are grown more widely, tried out for propagation, conditions, aspect and so on, with the eventual hope that they are then available in more nurseries to buy. As well as being cute, these flowers have a tremendous fragrance. This is a small plant so I’ll need to try to grow it on first.


3 – Sweet pea seeds – it’s that time of year again. Whilst sweet peas can be sown in the spring, the theory is that autumn sown plants grow bushier and thus have more flowering stems and thus more flowers. Last year I left my seedlings out in the cold frame which did not end well. On planting in the spring they were very bedraggled. I compounded the problem by separating the small plants, apparently they don’t appreciate root disturbance. Despite all that they did eventually grow and flower, albeit sporadically, enough to set seeds worth collecting. This year then, I will be sowing those assorted collected seeds, plus leftovers in old packets. They will go two seeds per root-trainer module, then I will leave them in the greenhouse. It is a slightly more sheltered spot but still cool, I don’t heat it.


4 – Aster frikartii ‘Mönch’. I’d forgotten all about this plant. It has been growing in stealth mode, concealed by an overweaning salvia hot-lips and some nearby echinops. In a late bid for freedom it has flopped forward, gasping for light, onto the lawn. A pretty display it does not make, but the flowers are nice. I need to move it, it’s supposedly one of the best garden plants evs.


5 – Winter squash ‘crown prince’. These two medium size squash are the paltry results of an entire season of growing in an entire raised bed. I was expecting several from each plant, in the end I got one from each. I am coming to realise that my corner veg plot is just not sunny enough, but also I almost certainly didn’t water or feed the plants sufficiently. Still, these should be enough for a nice soup, or perhaps roasted.


6 – Aster ‘Star of Chester’. This plant was missing in action, presumed collapsed under rain assault, but I found it lurking in an unexpected place. It obviously had collapsed but is still gamely contributing to the autumn interest in my garden. It should be a tall, sturdy plant, getting to 5′. Poorly supported, I’m afraid. Guilty as charged yer ‘oner.


Those are my Six, what are yours? If you’d like to join us, just publish your post and pop a link to it in the comments below. If you also mention my blog in yours, that would be lovely. For more details you can read the brief participant guide.

Have a fab gardening weekend, I hope you get more done than I will! Don’t forget to check back in later as more links get added during the day.

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