Six on Saturday 16JUL2022 – New This Week

It’s been very warm here, and very dry and sunny, although we had a day of rain on Tuesday that filled up the rain barrels. The garden is mostly happy. Thoughts go out to everyone in Europe whose gardens are bracing for or enduring an extraordinary heat wave, wild fires, or both. Six on Saturday is a gardening meme hosted by Jon, The Propagator, who invites us to show six things happening in our gardens. Lots of things have been popping open again this week, and there are a few other delights…

First up is this tropical plant commonly known as Mother of Thousands. It’s a type of Kalanchoe – specifically Kalanchoe daigremontiana, native to Madagascar. A friend gave me three small slips late last winter, saying she didn’t know what they were; at the time they didn’t have the distinctive leaves with baby plants coming from them. It’s a really attractive succulent, it’s loving being outdoors this summer, but it will likely not last past the fall since it’s highly poisonous and our cats have developed a taste for house plants.

Next is another tropical plant, Tithonia, or Mexican Hat Plant. I started seeds from two packets in early winter and they’ve just started to bloom. I had two seed sources and I seem to have two slightly different flower shapes. (Their colour really is the same – the sun is just making the one on the left look orange.) These plants are, thankfully, drought tolerant and can get up to six feet (about two metres) tall – mine are, so far, about four feet high. I’m intrigued by the deeply lobed leaf shape…

Next are two annuals I’ve grown before, albeit different varieties. First is the Nasturtium ‘Queen of India.’ Direct sowed into a raised kitchen garden bed on May 22, they started blooming last Sunday.

I grew one type of strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum) last year, ‘Silvery Rose,’ saved some of those seeds and purchased two additional varieties, both multi-coloured, but one short and one tall. They’re both starting to bloom now:

I have two Clematis growing up one tutoir, the red Texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’ and the purple Viticella ‘Etoile Violette.’ I think they look pretty good together!

Finally, another drought tolerant flower, Agastache ‘Licorice Blue.’ It seems to be a short lived perennial in my garden, coming back from the same plant for three years but not this year. It does self-seed quite freely; however, so it’s been popping up here and there (easy enough to pull up if not wanted), and I shook some seeds in a spot by the driveway two years ago that’s looking quite nice now, despite no water provided by me.

I’m off dragon boating this morning (our club is on the water again after a two year Covid hiatus – so wonderful!!), to be followed by a longish run – hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay cool!


  1. I smiled to see the Mother of Thousands. I had one of those, and then I had some of those, and then every friend I could convince to adopt some had theirs, too.

    I never, ever would have recognized that clematis as being related to our native Clematis texensis, which I assume must be the place where the plant breeders started. I rarely see that native, since it prefers a different part of the state, but I love its interesting, urn-shaped flowers.

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    1. Yes, that Clematis does have an interesting shape. I really love the colour and, in my garden, its blooming habit: at the beginning of June there was a flush of flowers at the very bottom of the trellis, even as the vine itself continued its upward quest. Then there was a bit of a lull, with next to no flowers. Today, with the vines reaching about three metres, there are loads of flowers everywhere. mixing it up with the Viticella. Quite striking, and quite heavy – I’m hoping we don’t have any windy storms in the next few months; the tutoir/obelisk it’s on is a few years old, put together from maple saplings I cut from the woods, and has become quite brittle…


    1. Thanks! I’m discovering that the Tithonia flowers are held on very looooong stems, making them good, I hope, for cutting. The bright orange/red is such a shock to come across!


  2. ‘Queen of India’? Is that ‘Empress of India’? If so, that is an old genetically stable variety. I do not grow it only because it is more lush than the common sorts, so it looks a bit different. The foliar color is slightly more bluish, rather than yellowish. I do like how it is true to type though.

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  3. It’s always interesting to hear and see what grows for you in your garden Chris. My Mexican sunflowers have barely survived the dry weather, but a couple should flower soon, but the Agastache is a survivor here too! As lovely as the Kalanchoe is, I would also be wary of having something poisonous in the house. Such a shame though.

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