Six on Saturday 2020 17-10

On Monday morning a mist was rolling down towards us from the fields behind us. The garden was still and silent, except for one little bird who was happily chirping away. It was raining – a steady, fine drizzle – the type of rain that you think isn’t too wet to work in, but soaks through everything in minutes.

Rain also has the effect of intensifying colours – it’s all to do with refraction, though I won’t pretend to understand anything about that. I went indoors to collect my camera and took a few shots of some wet foliage before reminding myself that the camera isn’t waterproof.

By afternoon the mists had cleared, the clouds parted and the sun came out. While we were at lunch a wind sprang up and the fence we’ve been trying to paint was dry enough for us to resume work. This week, gardening was put on hold while we did as much fence painting as possible before temperatures drop, bringing production to a halt. Apparently, fence paint shouldn’t be applied when temperatures are below 10C (50F). There’s a bit more about the fence and the rain shots below, but meantime here are the subjects of this week’s Six on Saturday.

Aster novi-belgii ‘Patricia Ballard’

This is one of those plants of-many-names; to give it its full title it is Symphyotrichum novi-belgii ‘Patricia Ballard’ – a Michaelmas daisy. I recently purchased two and love their strong colour and the thick layers of petals. In time the plants will grow to around 90cm (3ft) tall. They’re not without problems though.

I quote here from the site I bought the plants from: “A strong growing New York aster that rarely succumbs to mildew, but does produce a dazzling display of bright mauve-pink daisies”. Did you take note of the part that says it rarely succumbs to mildew? Within days of the plants arriving there was mildew on them, and also on two white varieties that I bought at the same time. I’ve been really good this year about not using fungicides, but this, unfortunately, calls for action.

Crab Apples, Malus ‘Evereste’

These are not the loveliest crab apples, but the tree has such beautiful spring blossom that I don’t mind too much. I don’t use the apples and they’re left on the branches for the birds – they feed on them during the winter. The colour, although not as strong as some varieties of crab apples, is welcome in the garden at this time of year.

Peony ‘Shirley Temple’

I don’t recall the leaves of this peony turning such pretty autumn colours in the past, perhaps this year is special or perhaps I just haven’t noticed. So, returning to the rain I mentioned earlier, there I was, on that still and almost silent Monday morning, water dripping off my hat, taking photographs of dying peony leaves.

They’re not as fabulous as maple leaves, but I think they’re beautiful and looking at them will remind me of that misty October morning in the garden. Just me, the soft rain and the little bird.

Blueberry Ozark Blue

I photographed this at the same time as the Peony above. I knew if a strong wind blew up that the leaves could be gone, and I’d be annoyed at not taking a few extra minutes to gather some shots.

Fuchsia ‘Alice Hoffman’

F. ‘Alice Hoffman’ is a small upright hardy fuchsia which grows to 60cm in height. It’s currently still in its nursery pot, though I’ll pot it on to a more permanent container within the next week or so. Although it’s hardy, I’m new to the world of fuchsias and I’m not sure how well it will cope if we get a harsh winter. The plan is to eventually grow it in a border but I’ll keep it in a pot meantime so that I can take it into the greenhouse if the weather is too severe.

The New Fence

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we had the fence replaced between us and our neighbour, and that I was unhappy about it. I didn’t like the way it had been constructed on our side. It is clumsy and ugly.

We have since covered the offending area (which is just outside the greenhouse), with trellis, and painted the whole fence and the trellis black. Husband definitely wasn’t/isn’t convinced about the new colour.

The climbers that were on the old fence have been spread around on makeshift supports for weeks and have been trod on, tripped over, and had paint dripped on them. Two have had to be dug up, but replacements arrived yesterday. Rosa ‘The Pilgrim’ will be the main climber. Yellow on black – what do you think? Once the trellis has flowers in bloom, I think that will be the final piece of fence camouflage.

I’m pleased with my new little seating area outside my greenhouse – that was another piece of camouflage – intended to take the eye away from the boxed-in base. The chair is small enough to be lifted into the greenhouse if I’m working in there on windy or wet days.

The black background intensifies colour, I think I’d even go so far as to say it adds a little bit of drama to the planting. I know that opinion is divided on whether to have black in the garden or not. I love it, but I’m happy to hear your views, favourable or otherwise. 😁

That is all from me for this weekend. I’m hoping to spend the remainder of the day planting while my husband starts painting the old fence at the back of the garden. Black. 😉 Have an enjoyable weekend, I hope the weather will be kind to you. Take care and stay safe.

About Six On Saturday

To join with other garden enthusiasts from around the world, and see how they garden, just take six photographs and post them to Twitter and/or your blog each Saturday. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up.

All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 17-10

  1. Beautiful selection as always. It’s a pity about the mildew but the flowers of that aster are stunning, as is the vivid foliage of the blueberry. I like the colour of the fence – it certainly shows off the colours of the plants (is that the new lilac Belle de Nancy in the last photo?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here too the peonies turn colour, a very pretty orange red colour like yours.
    As for the asters, I also noticed powdery mildew spots here. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do … and that doesn’t spoil the beautiful bloom.
    Same thing on my fuchsia ‘Alice Hoffman’ which presents the same attack and therefore my flowers are much less beautiful than yours

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve noticed some of my peonies’ leaves have died/turned brown – I will check the others tomorrow. Meanwhile, I think the black looks very smart and quite dramatic, certainly much better than the grey/brown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Katharine. I planted a climbing rose and Clematis koreana ‘Amber’ against it today. The clematis should be in bloom in April, and although it’ll be small it will add some colour into the structure.


  4. Like others, I think your new black fence is fabulous! That paired with your stellar photography, and we’re in store for much more beauty to come. I’m always excited to plant in the fall. I hope your new rose will provide many years of pleasure, Katherine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, you’re adding pressure onto me March! 🤣 I’ll do my best – if Clematis koreana ‘Amber’ grows well and doesn’t succumb to wilt, it will probably be the first to have its picture taken. 📷

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Although the flowers are really stunning, I think I will give the Michaelmas daisy a miss, as mildew flourishes in our hot and humid climate. What a pity! Gosh! The autumn colours of the peony and blueberry are magnificent! Especially the latter, with its leaves glistening with raindrops! Lovely photo! I was a little hesitant when you said you had painted the fence black, but I totally agree with you about the colour! I think it shows off other colours to their full advantage, and I like your use of the screen attached onto the fence. It looks great! Have a wonderful week too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the plants must have been affected when they arrived, I just didn’t notice it. Oh well, we live and learn. Thanks for your nice comments about the autumn colours. 😊
      Family & friends thought I was mad when I said I was painting the fence black, but I’m glad I did. It’s not perfect, but it is an improvement.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh what a shame about the mildew appearing on that aster Catherine. The flower is really a fabulous colour. My former allotment neighbours had some blueberries on their plot and I was able to enjoy the colour of the autumn foliage but sadly they dug them up when they left the plot. The fence colour is most elegant. I like it 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The asters are a cheery colour, but I’ll just have to put up with the leaves for the moment. I have a smaller variety blueberry bush that’s just starting to colour, I don’t recall them being so vivid in previous years. I noticed today while driving through a nearby town to collect our 2 yr-old grandson that the trees are spectacular. Conditions must be right for autumn colour this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The Aster brings back memories of my mam’s garden. Thank you.
    Youce both certainly veen very vusy with the brush, and the end result is very good.
    I like your tidy seating area. Here’s hoping you can get time to sit/relax/admire even as the temperatures plummet. I hope you had a great week, Catherine.

    Liked by 2 people

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