In the new normal I work from home. This is largely a splendid thing. This last few days though, it has been a hot and sweaty business, my office getting blasted with the hot sun in the afternoon furnace we’ve had. Not fun. I miss air conditioning, but not enough to make me hanker for office working any time soon. Six on Saturday then. Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything – a flower, a tool, a pest, a job to do, a success, a failure, anything at all. Join in!

Here are my Six for this week.

1 – Astrantia x ‘buckland’. Those astrantia buds I was so pleased with a few weeks ago have become flowers. It seems I only have one plant in this state, a pretty poor return on my strenuous seed nurturing efforts, but I suppose I’ll take it. Less pink than the named variety, differences befitting its mongrel, open pollinated genetics.

2 – Cosmos ‘Apricot Lemonade’. Like the garden magpie I am, I oohed and aahed at the pictures in the seed catalog and simply had to have some. Now I have them in the garden, I’m not sure I like them that much. A short variety, the flowers are quite anonymous unless one is right on top of them.

3 – Rose ‘Generous Gardener’. I bought this rose with a specific location in mind, planted out early Spring this year once I’d built the container. It is sitting out on the drive, against the front of the house near the door. The front of the house gets the sun all afternoon and into the evening and judging by the growth, it is very happy. A bareroot when I planted it, just sticks, it has put on about 3′ of new growth, lots of lush leaves and most pleasingly 30 or 40 buds which are just starting to flower. Fast forward a couple of years and I envisage this rose covering a good chunk of the front of the house, surrounding the doorway with colour and fragrance. So far so good…

4 – Patio planter. I built five of these earlier in the year, all made from reclaimed wood, mostly dismantled pallet. I deliberately made them larger than others I’ve had in the past, mainly (obviously!) to facilitate larger amounts of plants. For the spring I plan to stuff these with tulips and other bulbs but for now they have summer flowering plants. At the back are a handful of morning glory plants, grown from seed this year. They are busy growing up the trellis attached to the back of the planter and are already spitting out the occasional flower. The rest of the plants were bought in a slightly frenzied first post-lockdown trip to the garden centre some weeks back. The petunias are holding up their end of the bargain, but the osteospermum behind them are not really playing ball. Or perhaps I need to deadhead them more frequently. To borrow a phrasing, a bad gardener always blames his plants.

5 – Dahlia ‘Art Deco’. I bought the tuber for last summer, but before I could plant it out it was shredded back to a bare skeleton by our slimy friends. It never recovered and out of laziness and perhaps a little mourning, I let it languish outdoors in the same pot over the winter. I was pleasantly surprised to find new growth emerging in early Spring this year. I moved it to the greenhouse to coddle it a bit more, then planted it out in one of the zillion pots I now have on the patio. A smaller variety, it should get to no more than a couple of feet tall and judging by the evidence so far, will produce many blooms. All’s well that ends well.

6 – Clematis ‘Blue Angel’. More by luck than judgement, most of my clematis are deep red or purple. I bought this one in a deliberate attempt to lighten things up a tad. Last year it did little, just one or two stems with flowers. This year it is much more enthusiastic, flowering in numbers and combining nicely with the neighbouring c. ‘Mme Julia Correvon’. Next year I plan to train them so that they intertwine much more, I like the colour combo.

Those are my Six, what are yours? If you’d like to have a go, 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 triffic. For more details you can read the guide here.

I trust you will enjoy your gardening weekend. The weather promises to be a bit more standard British Summer here than the last few days which have felt positively tropical. Don’t forget to check back later in the day as more links are added.

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