Six on Saturday. A walk around my garden 11 July 20209

Phacelia is a bee magnet. I’m growing it around the edges of the vegetable plot. It’s an annual, but self-seeds readily. It can also be grown as a green manure crop, but for this use, it has to be turned into the soil before it flowers. I’ve been re-reading Jean Vernon’s Secret Lives of Garden Bees. Writing about Phacelia, she says: ” Look closely at foraging bees and you’ll notice the blue pollen balls that they collect from these flowers. ”

Geranium pratense. Meadow cranesbill. A native wild flower found along the grass verges here. Seed has blown into the garden and it grows along the hedgerows and amongst ornamentals. It’s very welcome.

Occasionally it throws up a white variant, and also flowers in delicate shades of lilac. I love the green ‘veins’ on the flowers. It reminds me of the markings on a butterfly wing.

Over on the veg plot, I found these flowers this week. They are potato flowers from the Shetland Black tubers growing in compost sacks. Aren’t they beautiful. You can tell the potatoes are part of the deadly nightshade family. I’ve never grown black potatoes before, so I’m eagerly awaiting the harvest.

Dianthus cathusianorum. In the gravel edges on the front drive, these bright pink flowers wave about on 50cm stems. They must love the free-draining conditions. We have to remember to drive around them. The scent is wonderful. Spicy. Heady. Memorable.

And finally, sweet peas. These are from a range called ‘Ripple Mixed.’ I’ve grown Wiltshire Ripple for many years, but the mixed pink and purple- striped flowers are fast becoming new favourites. Highly scented. Nice long stems. Long lasting in a vase. Recommended.

That’s my six for today. What’s looking good in your garden this weekend?

Why not go over to the propagator’s blog and see what everyone is selecting for their six today. It’s fascinating to see what everyone is growing, all around the world.


Phacelia :


Shetland Black potatoes :


Sweet peas: Jean Vernon

Don’t forget to read the next blog down, all about Niwaki garden tools. There’s some Niwaki garden snips to win.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday. A walk around my garden 11 July 20209

  1. Karen, I love all your flowers. Phacelia is divine and if she likes bees, I love it. Geranium protense in wonderful in all its colors being a wild flower. I really like the flowers of potatoes: I wish you a very good harvest! Sweet peas are divine, their colors are fabulous, I love them. I am sorry I have been absent for so long, but the operation of my Mother’s right eye has not gone very well. The falls have been removed, that was easy. But the malignant glaucoma has advanced too much because of the Covid-19 since my Mother already had the consent of the operation signed on March 5 and they operated on it on July 6. With her eye she sees double, both eyes hurt, her head and she is dizzy all day. I put drops in the eye every x hours. I hope you stop seeing double, we have an appointment with your Ophthalmologist and Surgeon on July 28. Karen I hope that all of you and your family are in good health and good spirits. Health, strength, encouragement, positive thinking and lots of love for your whole family, Mr B and for yourself. Enjoy your wonderful garden. Kisses to Grace and Meg. You will tell me when they bring you the little kitten. Keep everyone safe and take good care of yourself. Much love to all. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Margarita,
      It’s so good to hear from you. I’m sorry there was such a delay for the operation. Just to reassure you, my relative had double vision for a few months, the headache and dizziness. The eye drops sting and are uncomfortable. However, hopefully, all will settle down in time. Let me know what’s said on the 28th. Remember your mother mustn’t lean forward or bend down as it puts pressure on the eye. It is a troubling time. Sending my love and prayers your way. I will be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed for you. Loving greetings from the family xxx


  2. Hi Karen, phacelia over here is pretty naturalized. You can see it in swathes in and around some fields. As it’s a bee magnet I was thinking of growing a patch on my lawn. Do you have any idea if it would take on grass? I only read of planting in the soil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Denzil, It would be ok in long grass. You’d not be able to mow though till late summer. Bees adore it. Have a good week thanks for reading the blog. Karen


  3. I grew Phacelia a few years ago (it was in a mixed wild seed packet that I simply threw into a new raised be) and it was delightful and full of bees, but I never found a single seedling! Your sweet peas are lovely, I can almost smell them!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah those sweet peas are excellent – I haven’t selected a favourite to grow regularly over the years & really ought to. Those look like very good candidates 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Gary. I get the seeds from Easton Walled Gardens (heritage varieties) and mr Fothergills for everything new. I don’t think there’s really one I wouldn’t grow. I love High Scent and Albutt blue, both picotee edge. And Wiltshire Ripple is amazingly scented with chocolate -coloured freckles. The biggest longest flowering blue is Chatsworth. The best creamy -white is Mrs Collier. I’ve joined the sweet pea society. They have sent little packets of rare seeds to try out. Enjoy your Sunday xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen, Did your Shetland Blacks come from Nottingham ORganic Gardeners potato sale? I buy Red Emmalie from them for the anthrocyanins. They are red all the way through. I believe they are European in origin.

    Off to plant up my latest tubs that my husband has just filled forme. Very belated leeks and maybe a few onions, recieved as gifts from friens a little time ago. They may not make much but we’ll ge something edible that is organic anyway.
    Love phallicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your sweet peas are divine. The ripple series may not be available here in the U.S. but the ones with deeper edges (for lack of a better term) seem to be the most fragrant to me. The clarity of your photos is outstanding! That bee’s eye! That bee’s knees! Hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Thanks for your kind comments. I only use a camera i-phone. That bee seemed to be looking right at me! Thanks again for reading and getting in touch. All the best, karen


    • Thank you Mary. That’s made my day! I’m afraid I only have a very old i-phone. It only takes photos in very bright sunshine and only one photo in 20 is any good. I will persevere. The idea of the blog is that you see what I see, so I always have my phone camera in my jeans pocket. I like the immediacy of these ‘snapshots’ of my gardening life. Enjoy your Sunday 🌺🌱 x


    • I’ve got some lavender that’s just the same. It’s a frenzy of bees! We have two wild bee nests, one in a bird box and one under our log pile. So fascinating to watch their comings and goings, enjoy your Sunday. Thanks for reading. Karen


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