Six on Saturday – 22/08/2020 – Perfect Days

The last few weeks of August are often the most almost-perfect part of summer: warm but not sweltering days, cooler but not cold evenings and nights, mosquitoes have pretty much disappeared, butterflies are flitting every which way. The only thing that, in my books, would make these weeks totally perfect would be regular rainfall to ease worries over the well and keep the tomatoes and watermelon growing. But that may be asking too much. The garden knows summer is two thirds over: seeds are ripening and being disbursed, last-to-bloom perennials are starting to make their splash, autumn colours are showing up everywhere.

Here are six things in my garden this week. The Propagator hosts this Saturday show and tell on his site for gardeners around the world to share photos of their own six things. It’s also on Twitter – just look for the #SixOnSaturday hashtag.

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) started to bloom in a few parts of the garden two weeks ago – this gorgeous golden native perennial is now opening up all over the yard. In Canada this is often considered a weed, it can spread so quickly both by seed and underground roots. I love it though as do a multitude of pollinators and leave most of it to grow as it wants at the edges of the yard and in the swale. Editing does happen; however, if it appears in a garden bed.
Until this year I had never noticed the seeds on my three pearl bushes (Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’) I love the little shape and imagine there’s a tiny seed in each of those ribs.
A holdover from July – blue globe thistles (I think this is Echinops bannaticus– there are at least two common blue globe thistles, here’s a link explaining the difference). Despite having ‘thistle’ in its name, in my garden this gorgeous plant does not spread easily although it seems to be competing with tall grass quite well.
Finally, I posted shots of my volunteer Datura a while ago. It’s since been madly creating seed pods, each filled with gazillions of tiny, hallucinogenic (like the rest of the plant), seeds. I think it’s kinda cool how the seed pod is so eager to swell up it carries along with it the husk of the flower that attracted the pollinator that started it all.

That’s it for me this week. I hope your weekend will be enjoyable, enlightening, fun and, most of all, safe.


    1. I only recently learned that what I thought was naturalized (as in invasive) goldenrod was actually a native species. It is not as pretty as what lives there, but because it is native, it can live in my garden.

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    2. Yes that’s right, if by low to the ground you mean about three feet high. Datura flowers seem to point up (called Devil’s trumpet) and Brugmansia flowers hang down (Angel’s Trumpet) You’d think the common names would be the reverse.

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      1. Reverse? Devils are down below, so aim their trumpets up to those above. Angels are up above, so aim their trumpets down to those below. Also, Devils’ trumpet probably got a bad reputation for killing cattle before the exotic angels’ trumpet was introduced.

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  1. A lovely 6. I don’t like golden rod as I find the yellow too sulphurous but yours looks very attractive in your photo. I do think that is a verbena, V officinalis grandiflora is my guess. Have a good week

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  2. I found both the angels’ trumpets and devil’s trumpets are in the genus Datura. I’ve never heard the name Devil’s trumpet. Datura is native here, and known as Jimson weed; the flowers are white. The flowers became ‘famous’ because of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of them.

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      1. You’re right. I got confused because Datura is also used as a common name here — I found a site that pointed out that the flowers point in different directions, which also helps to distinguish them.

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  3. In the interests of balanced commentary, I’m selecting the lovely blue Echnops for special mention. It reminds me ever so slightly of the globe allium. Completely unrelated of course.

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  4. I love that mass of Goldenrod, we have two native species here – Chapmans 2 to 3 feet tall and Seaside which is huge! I have Chapmans. I like the Hens and Chicks – they melt here. Your weather sounds heavenly compared to here.

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  5. There is a sterile form called Fireworks that is sold her, I have it in my garden. Buying the species in a nursery would be akin to buying dandelions. The used to be swathes of it beside the railway lines going into London, a wasteland plant.

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