Six on Saturday – June 2

It is amazing how quickly time flies as it has been almost a month since my last Six on Saturday post. There has been a crazy amount of work going on in my day-to-day life as heritage gardener, while my courtyard garden at home also keeps me really busy.

I have to-do lists that continue to grow in both regards, while I juggle a plethora of tasks that need doing alongside the usual maintenance like watering, mowing, and weeding. However, it is really inspiring to see the plants blooming and the gardens looking really good, while my edibles are growing and starting to show the bounty to enjoy during the season.

Let’s have a moment to look at some of my horticultural highlights at the moment.

I have put together a dark pot display showcasing my interest in black plants – it is me dipping my toe in an art form known as goth gardening. It has been an idea a few years in the making and I am excited about what it will become, and what this idea could develop into over the coming years. To start off with I have got four main plants in there – Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’, Poppy ‘Black Peony’, Aquilegia vulgaris ‘William Guinness’ and Geranium ‘Black Beauty’– with more to come over the coming weeks, including dark versions of cornflower, nemophila and viola. The pictures here show the planting and the bloom of the Aquilegia. If you want to find out more about goth gardening, check out my blog post about this project.


20180531_102646.jpgThe display outside the orangery at work has come together and I think looks fantastic at the moment. It is a very formal and lined-up display of 32 plants, featuring a range of citrus (orange and lemon), pomegranate, oleander and agave. The orangery is an imposing building and this strict display really sets it off when you stand back and look across the large lawn towards it. I also like how it allows visitors to wander between the variety of Versailles cases and pots to enjoy the plants.


We visited the Cotswold village of Ilmington as a number of gardens opened their doors for the National Garden Scheme. It was a glorious day and it spirited the soul seeing so many people visiting the gardens to help raise money for charity. Ilmington Manor was the largest and standout garden, featuring a wealth of interesting trees and plants throughout its three acres. I really liked some of their topiary and I took a shine to the topiary pig and fox. The yew animals brought a real quirk to the garden and I really admire this kind of individuality. I would like to have a go clipping them, or to simply get the opportunity to see the animals when they are freshly clipped.


20180601_093129.jpgThe pond at work is now home to a massive number of waterlilies and has become a real focal point for visitors. This is due to both the blooms and also the families of ducklings which also reside around the pool. I think these plants look superb against the dark foliage and I definitely love the waterlilies at the moment.



Who doesn’t love a dahlia? I have grown a range of dahlias from seed at home this year (you can read more about that here) while I have planted a large number of various dahlias in the walled garden at Hanbury. They are in a range of sizes and colours, while we have arranged some in a colour spectrum that should bring a really intriguing display when in bloom. This was the first flower I spotted blooming (I cannot remember the exact name) and it got me excited about the other 100 or so dahlias I have planted this year. Expect to see a lot more dahlia pictures all over my social media over the summer.


20180526_155922.jpgThis glorious wisteria was in another of the gardens I visited in Ilmington. This was in a charming cottage garden and we couldn’t resist taking a seat under the wisteria and just enjoying the views across the garden – while the scent was also splendid of course.

9 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – June 2

  1. I googled Goth gardening after your last post and found some very interesting references. It will be fascinating to watch your black flowers grow.


  2. Glad I found your site through The Propagator! First off, life as a heritage gardener must be exciting and exhausting at the same time. I share your love of black or deeply colored blooms. Each year I try to find the blackest dahlias to grow. So far they’re too red for me! Black peony poppies have done great here as have aquilegia ‘Black Barlow.’ I just saw a stunning elderberry, not ‘Black Lace’ (also pretty but overplanted here) but ‘Black Beauty’ at a local nursery. It’s next on my list.

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