You are currently viewing Six-on-Saturday – Thinking Ahead
Lobelia Cardinalis

Six-on-Saturday – Thinking Ahead

11th September 2021.

Thinking is hard work and thinking ahead is the hardest. In any case, while enjoying this week’s selection, I’m making mental notes. I’ll allow just a small thinking-window. I’ll call it a by-product of the moment. There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. William would have approved.

I do like my salad greens and I mostly remember to repeat sow them the first week of each month. Several varieties of lettuce, spring onions and spinach are at various stages of growth. I’m rarely without something to nibble on.

These ones were sown a few weeks ago, but the blackbirds have been doing damage. It’s like Fort Knox, but they will not be deterred. The beautiful crumbly new compost is just filled with tasty morsels. How can I solve the problem? These intelligent birds are known to move bamboo. They’re thinking on their feet. I’ll have to buy another thinking cap.

I’m thinking ahead to finishing this bare wall next summer. There will be trellis and mirrors. I feel that it’ll happen in spring. As yet I’m undecided about what to grow on the trellis. Jasmine perhaps? I’m taking recommendations. It’s a great way to sub-contract out the thinking.

It’s still going strong! Gaura has been in flower since early July and I love it! I’m told it’s one of the longest-flowering plants so I do expect it to keep on going for another month or thereabouts. It does tend to lean over after heavy rain, but recovers beautifully soon after. I’ve moved it slightly from its original spot. Now it’s just behind the Lobelia Cardinalis. What a combination! I’ll definitely be growing more of the Gaura from seed, and it’ll soon be time to divide the Lobelia. I’ve got three in pots, bought in 2019. I’ll separate them into six plants and put three in the ground. Thinking ahead. Wasn’t too taxing.

Having bought a 10-pack of Busy Lizzie, I’m thrilled with the outcome of my efforts this year. I’m told that the secret is to grow them in semi-shade. There are a few smaller ones growing on top of the rockery. They’re smaller because they’re competing with shrubs, and also because the soil there is a bit too dry. However, I don’t really mind. The entire corner has been a highlight of the many successes this year. I’ll not be using my new thinking cap here. It’s a mistake to overthink what’s already working well.

The glasshouse is back to its shelved state. I had removed everything in a failed attempt to grow tomatoes. Now I’m ready for autumn/winter. I’ll continue to sow some salad greens. Later, when the first frosts arrive, the Begonias will be brought inside, together with other delicate potted perennials. It’s also a good spot for coffee on cold winter days, and some thinking might happen too.

French Marigilds are still growing very well. I’ve saved some seed and am letting them dry out in the sunshine. Later, I’ll store them away safely. I’m thinking that these brightly-coloured flowers would do very well in my swap-pots next year.

I’ll have several thousand of these seeds left over. Local enthusiasts will be more than welcome to come along and collect same. My guess is that there will be several hundred for everyone in the audience. Best between now and end of this month, I’d imagine. Pick and dry your own. Much more satisfying that way.


I write as a member of The Saturday Gang. We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. I enjoy nothing more than reading about and seeing other gardens from as far away as New Zealand, Tasmania, USA, Canada, Britain and Waterford City. Many more choose to publish on Twitter and Instagram. You can find out more about it here. Six things, in your garden. Could be anything, and frequently is. Do join in.

Pádraig.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. fredgardener

    Clever these bamboo canes! I don’t have the problem of blackbirds + salads here, they prefer raspberries and figs …. Great combo of gaura and lobelia!

    1. Pádraig

      Yet these lovely birds are happy to weave in and out between! It’s my own fault for putting new fresh compost there at same time as planting.

    1. Pádraig

      Me too, Adrian. I shall start as I mean to go on.

  2. Sel Calderbank

    Your Gaura looks lovely, as do the Lobelias – sadly mine got entirely munched, but not the Gaura. You could put some netting held up with canes to save your lettuces, and how about clematis alpina for the wall, and maybe a honeysuckle too – wonderful scent in the evening and nice berries too at this time of year.

  3. I’m looking forward to following the battle of wits between yourself and the blackbirds. There was what I assumed was newly planted jasmine in our garden (or the neighbour’s garden) when we moved here 9 years ago. It is rather a thug, although the fragrance is nice and the foliage pretty. A Trachelospermum jasminoides appears to be better behaved and not so vigorous.

  4. I do love the ‘sub-contract the thinking’. An excellent idea indeed. I too love Gaura for its continual flowering. It has the added bonus of attracting the Pale Headed Rosellas who love eating the seeds. The seeds that fall to the ground germinate in spring and I have dozens of small plants coming up throughout the garden.

    1. Pádraig

      Oh that’s good to know about the self seeding. Thank you. The sub-contracting has obviously worked!

  5. barefootlilylady

    Maybe my birds aren’t quite as smart as yours…I do like the bamboo idea and may incorporate that in next year’s garden. Thanks for sharing the photo and description.

    1. Pádraig

      I started using bamboo to keep cats from pooping.

      1. barefootlilylady

        I wonder if it would deter rabbits? Might be worth a try in my raised beds and shorter pots.

        1. Pádraig

          I think you’d need specific instructions pinned to the bamboo… Rabbits Go Away!

          1. barefootlilylady

            Ha! Maybe that’s what I’m doing wrong. My garden seemed to be a giant salad bar for bunnies this summer.

Leave a reply? Yes please!