Six on Saturday in The Fortnight Garden

I am in The Fortnight Garden again to go to a concert over the weekend and that also means baking, and because baking takes gardening time the cakes are going to be included in ‘Six on Saturday’!

1.Ginger & Carrot Cakes are sticky, spicy and very indulgent.

And now let’s visit the garden, which somehow has survived the heat but is looking messy in places.

2.The Alchemilla flowers are over and have been cut down. We can now walk down the path and although the plants look a little small, being the tough troopers that they are, the new growth will soon appear. In fact I am noticing far too many new plants – I like alchemilla, but my goodness they do spread.

3.The Echinacea are starting to open and with that come the peacock butterflies – a wonderful sight but it took a long time to photograph one with open wings!

Echinacea with Peacock butterfly
Echinacia with Peacock butterfly

4.The Verbena Bonariensis are also hosting the Peacock butterflies, and the bees! I love these plants; they add height and they are tough. Yes, they self-seed but so far they have not been invasive, unlike the Japanese Anemones.

Verbena Bonariensis and Peacock butterfly
Honey bee in the Verbena Bonariensis

5.I have cut down the Nepeta which has finished flowering – I know it has finished because there are no more bees in the ‘flowers’ – and I hope it will now get ready for a second flowering later in the year. This has also given space to the Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ which are setting out to transform the patio bed from blue to gold. I originally planted three, or perhaps five (I can’t remember) in 1915 and now I have a large patch which is spreading and strongly established. It could certainly produce plants for elsewhere in the garden. I am pleased to share enjoyment of this plant with The Propagator.

6. I have a problem – the Victoria plum is full of fruit, but the plums are dropping! Why? The tree has had a large bucket of water every fortnight, and any rain inbetween. Last year I was able to make jam – this year it is beginning to look as though we will have one or two plums each.

What a turn-round in the weather! I took some of the photographs on Friday, in boiling heat, and some on Saturday, in the rain and wishing I was wearing a coat! The grey and chill today reminds me that autumn is coming and perhaps I should consider new bulbs in the garden, although The Propagator’s target of 1400 leaves me breathless!



  1. I hope you find out what’s going on w/your plums. What a loss! Your verbena looks well behaved, causing me much envy. As I’ve said to others who featured theirs this week, mine are getting quite wide. Those butterflies are gorgeous.

    • Well, I think it is too late to do anything about the plum, but I plan to spray in the spring time. I notice the pears are also slightly ‘spotty’ and I think it is scab, which means gathering the leaves in the autumn and burning them, somehow, and then spraying for a fungal disease in the spring. What a to-do!

  2. I doubt there’s anything seriously wrong with your plum, it is quite normal for them to drop some fruits, they usually do so around June and its known as the June drop. The RHS recommend thinning plums to one every two to three inches along the branches and also say that plums benefit from watering when dry, which would explain why my Victorias are not swelling up as I would like, I’ve been so busy watering flowers I’ve ignored the trees.

    • I am hoping that this is as you describe. I have watered – a large bucket every fortnight. But I do have spotty pears and crab apples and I think is is more serious.

  3. I doubt there’s anything seriously wrong with your plum. It’s quite normal for them to drop some fruit, they usually do so around June and its known as the June drop. The RHS recommend thinning plums to 2-3 inches apart along the branches and say that plums need watering in dry weather, the latter explaining why my Victorias are not swelling up as I would like.

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