Six on a Saturday 3.10.18

After weeks of blogging inactivity, due to helping my sister in law, Laura Marshall become Enduroman 35 (check out her simply awe-inspiring achievement here: ) and sowing a meadow in the churchyard, I return to the task refreshed. There is still plenty going on, thanks to a warm and long Autumn. There will be a bountiful harvest of other world wide blogs at the head honcho’s site:




  1. Tis the season of the Chrysanthemum. I was lucky to be given three varieties from the Essex HPS to grow in the churchyard (unknown variety, Picasso and Albert’s Yellow). I have no experience of growing them. They tend to sit around a long time doing not a lot (that’s a lifestyle I aspire to!). Then, this. I like it a lot. However, I think for next year, I will dig them up, place them elsewhere to grow, pinch them out much harder and transplant them in July  ready for showtime.


2. Silphium mohrii. An impulse buy from Beth Chatto which I didn’t expect much from this year.Like a small sunflower, but perennial, with attractive hairy leaves. I reckoned I had a sheltered, sunny, free draining spot for it, but was really pleased to have this late show. It is a rare plant from the southern states of the U.S of A.


3. Rosa moyseii hip. Makes you wanna spend the afternoon cooking up a rose syrup, doesn’t it? Or maybe you just haven’t got time. Still, these hips are a bit special and I am pleased I moved the plant from my garden where it was becoming too big for its space into the St Mary’s bed where it can go as nuts as it wants to. I believe it wants to, and will next year.


4. Anyone remember that little roadside verge that we sowed with annual meadow seed in April? Did rubbish because it was too hot and dry? Well here it is in all its (knap)weedy glory. Seeds just know.


5. So, the tsunami of Autumn leaves hasn’t really started yet and this is the haul so far. This is one of three compost sites in St Mary’s that we are making. The Community Payback team have been great in clearing and gathering debris, now we need to get busy one-time making proper bays. Gratifyingly, some of last year’s compost haul will be going to new planters that some local residents who featured on the Chelsea Fringe walk are constructing near by. This is very much part of my vision for the churchyard: that is become a community resource rather than a “maintenance problem”.



6. Leaf. One of my big beds at home is going to undergo a transformation over the next year. Inspired by my visit to Dan, The Frustrated Gardener, over the Summer, I am going to make it a tropical border. The Melianthus major, first photo, is a lovely plant which loves the cooler moister weather of Autumn (sulking rather in Summer). Beneath is a newly acquired Tetrapanax papyrifer, whose foliage is rather glorious. That’s a start, but more to come.

15 thoughts on “Six on a Saturday 3.10.18

  1. I made the mistake of following the Enduroman link and getting my self esteem pummelled. Nice six, I admire the optimism of a man who moves Rosa moysii out because it’s too big and then plants Tetrapanax. I already have Chrysanths on my wanted list because of SoS’ers, Tetrapanax and Melianthus are on my used to have list and, for lack of space, likely to stay there unfortunately.

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  2. Those last two, Melianthus major and Tetrapanax papyrifer, have become somewhat rare, probably because we tend to prefer plants that do not need such grooming. Melianthus major used to be one of the more traditional foliar plants for Eichler homes. Tetrapanax was more popular at about the same time, but never was common.

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  3. Well, I like the Silphium mohrii which looks as though it would be very happy in my garden, and it’s a nice soft yellow. Down the road from me there’s a Melianthus major, totally neglected which has withstood all that the weather can throw at it-and that’s everything except snow. Amazingly, it still survives.


  4. I’m a sucker for Chrysanthemums. Though I never seem to be able to get them through the winter so grow them as annuals, trying different places in the garden each year. Maybe next year I’ll get it right! I’ll pass on a tropical border I think (though I like the leaves of the Melianthus I’ve made a hard resolution to avoid anything new that’s not at least H4. The Silphium, on the other hand, looks right up my street so is on my Beth Chatto list for spring. I wonder can I afford to keep reading all these sixes? One can’t help getting ideas.


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