Six on Saturday – 10th October 2020 -photos from my garden

Sunflowers have been the stars of the autumn garden. This one is multi-headed Helianthus Black Magic. I sowed seeds in March in 3″ pots and planted them out the first week of June. They survived high winds and torrential rain, even hailstones mid-summer. Summer now seems to see a pattern of stormy weather with winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour. Plants have to be sturdy to survive- and well supported, with a scaffolding of 6ft hazel poles. Many times I’ve feared for my sunflowers and tall-growing cosmos and salvias. They were bowed down, but never beaten. Much like us, really. With all our covid worries.

White dahlia My Love, with a mixed selection of sunflowers, rudbeckias and calendula, grown from seed from Mr Fothergills and Burpees Europe. This summer I took part in a social media campaign with the hashtag #GrowSomeSunshine. We grew sunflowers and made a donation to the NHS, posting photos of our flowers on twitter and instagram. The campaign, run by gardening journalist, David Hurrion, raised ยฃ3,175. I’m hoping David will repeat the campaign next summer. It’s been a cheerful way to support our wonderful nurses, doctors and NHS volunteers. I’ve had sunflowers right across the front garden, lining the path to the front door. People passing by the garden gate lean in and smile. Garden gate conversations have become a ‘thing,’ with friends from surrounding villages walking along footpaths to visit us and chat. Only two people have actually been in the garden. On sunny days, I set out chairs 2 metres apart and served biscuits in individual little wrappings. They brought their own flasks of tea. Small dispensers of hand gel sat neatly amongst the potted plants on the garden coffee tables. Things like this are starting to feel more normal now. I’m writing this here as a reminder in the future, when I want to look back and see how we lived in the summer of 2020.

I love the range of colours in modern sunflowers. This one grew from a packet of seed called All Sorts Mixed. Well-named as there were eight different sunflowers in the mix.

This one is almost pink. A lovely range from a packet of Helianthus Evening Sun. plenty of pollen. A magnet for bees. As pretty as a stained glass window.

And another photo of Black Magic, which starts off a deep, dark chocolate colour, and fades to beautiful bronze.

Scrumptious. Almost good enough to eat. Which is what will happen to them over the winter. I’ve saved seed heads and dried them on the greenhouse staging. A few will be brought out each day over winter. A feast for the birds. Sunflower stems are hollow, and make homes for ladybirds and lacewings. I’ll bundle stems together and stuff them in my ‘twiggery’ which is just a pile of twigs and stems, left in a quiet corner for insects to hibernate.

What’s looking good in your garden right now? Join in with the #SixOnSaturday hashtag on twitter and instagram and look to see what other gardeners are growing in the UK and around the world. I use it to plot and plan what to grow next year. There’s plenty of good ideas from keen gardeners. A cheerful way to spend an hour or two on a rainy autumn Saturday.

Thank you for reading.

Links for more info :

Six on Saturday :

Black Magic

Evening Sun:


Burpee Europe seeds

Allsorts Mixed

Rudbeckia mixed

My Love Dahlia

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 10th October 2020 -photos from my garden

  1. Karen the sunflower Helianthus Black Magic I love it. A Summer with episodes of torrential rain, hail and winds of up to 40 miles per hour is not the best for plants. Fortunately you have your strong hazelnut post scaffold to hold them to. White dahlia My love with sunflowers and rudbeckias, I love them, it’s divine. Karen what a good heart you have participating this Summer in the #GrowSomeSunshine campaign on social networks by uploading photos of the sunflowers you grow. You have raised ยฃ 3,175 for NHS nurses, doctors and volunteers !!! A great triumph !!! And also you have returned to talk to your neighbors in the surrounding towns about sunflowers. The two people who were in your garden, you entertained them with great security: distance of 2 m the chairs, individual wrapped cookies and hand gel in abundance. Karen you do very well to write it like in a journal, to read it in the future. All sunflowers have colors that I love. Karen very good for drying the heads and then taking them out in winter to feed the birds! And the hollow stems take them out for houses for ladybugs and lacewings! Karen how much you love animals! Thanks to you for writing your wonderful blog. A lot of health, a lot of strength, a lot of encouragement, positive thinking, a lot of hope and a lot of love for your whole family, Mr B and for you. Loving caresses for Grace, Meg and Monty. All my love for everyone. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xxx๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Margarita. Sending lots of encouragement and live your way too! Iโ€™m so glad you are enjoying my posts and all the photos. Sending positive thinking in return. Very affectionate greetings from us all. Karen xxx ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ™

      Liked by 1 person

      • Karen thank you very much. Thank you very much for your words of encouragement, I need them. I send you all hugs and lots of love and lots of hope! Very affectionate greetings from Margarita XxX๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿค—

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Cathy. That pinky one is so pretty. It was from a mixed pack so the colour was a lovely surprise. Iโ€™ve saved seeds to see if it will grow again next year. Have a great week. We are making more hedgehog hibernation places today. Weโ€™ve realised, the babies will probably stay here and need somewhere too! We will wait another few weeks and then weigh them to make sure they are 650g which is the minimum for hibernation. Donโ€™t know what we will do if they are under weight. Will work that out if we need to. Thanks for reading. Karen x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The best sunflowers that I ever grew were a mix that I never would have selected if a neighbor had not instructed me to do so. I typically preferred the big sort that make edible seed, but then realized that I did not really like the seed all that much anyway. I considered growing Italian White, but before getting the seed, a neighbor expressed a preference for something with mixed colors. It worked out very nicely, and was prettier with that particular landscape than Italian White would have been. (I am not very good with color.)


    • Thank you. Arenโ€™t you they cheerful. Just felt we must have them this summer. Each one is different. Such a nice surprise when they all come out in different colours. Thanks for reading. Have a great week. Karen xx


    • Thank you. The garden has been our salvation this summer. And itโ€™s lovely so many people have popped their heads over the gate to say hello. Enjoy your Sunday. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’›


  3. I like the idea of your garden gate conversations and your tables and everything set out just in case. No chance of that here with opening out onto the street, but I have had friends visit who are of course delighted to look round the garden, just as delighted as I am to show them around! Love your selection of sunflowers – so many to choose from! Hope you and your family are bearing up, Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cathy, thank you. Itโ€™s been lovely to see people arriving at the garden gate for a little chat. Iโ€™m so pleased with my sunflowers. The last few blooms are treasured. All ok here, expect a late night phone call last night to say J had fallen. Of course, we cannot – are not allowed- to go to offer comfort even. No sleep. Xx ๐Ÿ˜˜


      • Oh dear, I do hope the fall was only a minor one (as minor as they can be at Joan’s age). While you are unable to visit, would it better not to have phonecalls at night like this? You need your sleep to maintain your own health for the benefit not just of you but all your wider family. Ringing you in the morning would have been kinder, even in the most serious scenario, unless they actually would allow you to visit when Joan’s last moments finally come… Glad you have at least had an injection of pleasure in your life from your visitors though

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Cathy. I havenโ€™t any answers. The whole situation is awful. I was dressed ready to go, then realised we really could not. Iโ€™m finding it hard to shift to the new way of thinking, new way of behaving. Thanks for reading and for sending your kind words. Makes a difference. Have a lovely week. Karen xx


    • Have a wonderful Sunday Anne. Iโ€™m cutting back 4ft high stinging nettles today and composting them. I donโ€™t usually swear, but ….. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’›


      • Ugh!! Good luck with those stinging nettles! I think I walked into one when we lived in England. One was enough. English weather, bugs, and weeds seemed so civilized to me, with the exception of stinging nettles.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading. That pink one fades to such a delicate colour. Looks so gorgeous in a vase with plum coloured foliage. Have a super Sunday. Thanks again for stopping by at bramble garden. See you again soon ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿ’›


    • Ah, I donโ€™t put mine out until they are 12โ€ tall. By then, the leaves and stems have hardened up and are not the juicy succulent stems of little seedlings. So I start them off in 3โ€ pots, and move them up into 5โ€ pots before planting out. Then, I only plant out on a sunny morning, not in the rain. They are watered in the morning. Dry overnight. Sprayed with garlic water. Recipe from sienna hosta nursery. I wrote about it a while back. Iโ€™ve seen people use cut off plastic bottles to protect them too. Basically, I baby them along for a week. After that, they are safe from slugs. Thatโ€™s mostly my approach to everything. All plants are started indoors, put out as well established plants, and then watched over carefully for a week. After that, I move on to the next โ€˜babyโ€™ plant needing โ€˜intensive care.โ€™ Hope this helps. Good luck, and thanks for reading.


Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. It's nice to know I'm not talking to myself on here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s