Six on Saturday – 15/08/2020 – August Surprises

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: the best part of gardening is the little, unplanned things that spring (or sprout) up. Sure, a perfectly planned and manicured garden can be soothing and very satisfying, but sometimes it’s the unexpected that provides a frisson of joy which makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Every gardener strives for a healthy garden, right? Beneficial bugs, friable soil teeming with happy bacteria and microorganisms, birds and bees and, if we’re lucky, amphibians. All these things indicate a healthy ecosystem, even if it means holes in leaves and chipmunk chewed tomatoes. I was rewarded yesterday evening by spotting this lovely creature happily squatting in my small canna lily mud pond.

A few weeks ago I mercilessly chopped down all of the hollyhocks (Alcea) growing near the house – despite accepting holes in leaves and chipmunk thievery, I couldn’t stand anymore the huge attack of rust that was making the poor plants ugly spires of death. Then, out from the ruins of one clump, look what has appeared:

I don’t know what this little flower is! I think I must have spread one of those free packages of wildflower seeds because I have a bunch of unknown things starting to flower now, including this. It’s pretty eh?

My favourite gladiola – mainly because it’s one of only two I have this year, and I didn’t even plant it! Generally in my climate one needs to lift glad corms in the fall and store them indoors over the winter, but I just couldn’t be bothered TWO autumns ago. These beauties have survived both winters and send up the most gorgeous purple flower stalk. Perhaps it’s time for me to reward it by lifting and storing this year…

This next one isn’t really a surprise – I’ve been watching my new Echiveria send out a baby for the past few weeks but it seemed to catch my attention anyway yesterday. This is the first year I’ve had this lovely succulent, and I’ll have to bring it inside if I want to try and keep it. I don’t know if it will be happy indoors, and, more to the point with this photo, I don’t know if I should pull the pup off and pot it up or leave it be. Will it just flop over at some point?

My final mid August surprise is quite sad, actually….the first flowers on one of my tall red Sedums have opened…..I would have preferred a few more weeks without this foreshadowing thank you very much.

That’s it for me this week – off for a nice long run while it’s cool, then plan to pull up all the beautiful but viciously invasive Campanula rapunculoides before it spreads seed. The Propagator hosts this Saturday show and tell for gardeners around the world to post photos of six things. It’s also on Twitter – just look for the #SixOnSaturday hashtag. Have a great weekend, and stay safe everyone!


  1. Nice, I like your purple Glad, it is possible that it is hardy? Always fun to find a new garden friend, my most recent – an 8 foot Coachwhip snake. Harmless but butt clenching for a minute. I think you should pot the succulent…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is how I usually buy Glads. The old Florida directions I ran across were use DDT before and after planting…I don’t need Glads that badly! Yes, snap and pot, be sure soil is very well drained. I have multiplying succulents of all kinds I just keep snappin!

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  2. I love your little green froggy. We had a stoat entertaining us early yesterday morning. It was chasing magpies on the lawn and leaping and darting all over the place. We’ve seen so much more wild life this year – presumably because we’ve been at home so much more.

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  3. I definitely relate to what you say in the first paragraph! I love the little surprises that appear during the seasons! The frog has the most beautiful markings on it! What a find indeed! And the little surprise flowers are really beautiful indeed!

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  4. Ah yes, the unexpected is just wonderful, whether it be creature or plant! The little pink thing is pretty.
    I think gladioli grow better if planted deeper and that might ensure survival in harsh winter conditions. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i hear you about early autumn, things are afoot here too, perhaps everything was exhausted by the early summer sunshine we had. the first of my asters are out, as is the japanese anemone, although my sedum ‘autumn joy’ is disciplined enough to stay unbloomed for a while yet.

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