Six on Saturday: Mayhem!

Spring is at its fullest and the garden is starting to look decidedly overgrown. There are so many jobs to do this weekend that I don’t know where to start: pruning the shaggy cherry plum hedge which is straggling across our front steps; cutting back the Clematis armandii which is threatening to block out the light from the sitting room; removing the Green Alkanet which has mounted a large-scale invasion this year.

Each week The Propagator invites us to share six things that are happening in our gardens right here, right now, giving a wonderful insight into what is happening in other people’s gardens around the globe. This week is the second anniversary of a meme which has become a regular fixture in mine and many other garden bloggers’ lives – May the Fourth be with you and many happy returns Sir!

  1. Green Alkanet*

This plant is the bane of my life at the moment as it is taking over our garden. The blue flowers have a certain charm I suppose, but the leaves are horrible and scratchy if you brush past them and it has sown itself in every corner. It is time to tackle it.

*I originally named this weed as ‘Common Bugloss’, but as Chloris from The Blooming Garden quite rightly points out it is actually Green Alkanet or Pentaglottis sempervirens. It appears that I am not alone in being confused as this excellent blog post by Jane Perrone explains:

2. Ceanothus

Another blue, this time a much more appealing one. I moved this Ceanothus from a more shady spot last year to this position by the fence where it gets the morning sun on its top and it seems to be enjoying it here. (The bird house in the foreground is made from recycled magazines and was a present from my sister-in-law.)

3. Dutch irises

Keeping to the blue theme a little longer, these beautiful Dutch irises have come out under the apple tree. I planted them as bulbs (corms?) from Peter Nyssen in the autumn. I love the combination of royal blue and rich custard yellow.

4. Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

Switching from blue to bright orange, our three geums are back in flower. Last year they went on flowering all summer and into the autumn, so I am hoping for a repeat performance!

5. Hosta

I bought three hostas for this shady spot last year and they were all quickly devoured by slugs, so it’s nice to see this one has come back. I am hoping it will prove a bit more slug-resistant this year.

6. Ferns unfurling

We inherited two ferns by our French windows and I love them at this time of year when they are unfurling their acid green fronds. I am gradually turning this shady corner into a feature with shade loving plants such as the Hydrangea petiolaris behind and an Asplenium scolopendrium (which I stole from my mother’s garden and which needs to be planted out today.)

Off to Little Kickers football now with my five-year-old and then to start tackling all those jobs!

24 Comments Add yours

  1. chicu says:

    Those ferns are beautiful- look like the reaching arms of a Kraken, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of monster arms this week!


  2. fredgardener says:

    Your ceanothus is very beautifully flowered and is nice because it’s very well pruned in stem. Mine starts its flowering and I should present it soon in a next SoS
    Nice birdhouse too! (In fact, all your Six is great!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Fred! Look forward to seeing your Ceanothus.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Chloris says:

    That weed, I call it Green Alkanet but I believe its Latin name is Pentaglottis sempervirens is the bane of my life too. The roots are so brittle and unless you get every bit out off it goes stronger than ever. A lovely deep blue ceonothus and I am intrigued by that bird house made out of magazines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no – it’s going to be tough to get rid of!


    2. Yes I think you are right – so not common bugloss although a type of bugloss – I will amend!


      1. Chloris says:

        Whatever you call it, it is a thug.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right – great article on it by Jane Perrone here:


  4. n20gardener says:

    You have got me thinking – do I have borage or bugloss! I’ll have to double check. I decided to sort of live with mine, just trying to contain in one patch. Mine has a very long tap root. What a great present from your sister!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine is definitely bugloss. I also have borage which has more delicate (and edible) flowers. I lived with it last year but now it is taking over!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have just found this article by Jane Perrone. I think what I have is actually Green Alkanet – a type of bugloss –


      2. You are not alone in calling it borage – also mistaken for comfrey and forget-me-nots. Whatever it is it seems to be taking over the world!


  5. Ferns looking good as they unfurl. I bought a small ceanothus last year but not up to flowering point yet. A few more years to get established for a decent display I reckon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Blue is such a lovely colour to have in the garden – I don’t have enough. Although, looking out of the window, I see a sea of forget-me-nots!! My garden is completely overgrown too. I need to get out there and stop reading the Sixes-on-Saturday! Hope the football went well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Noelle says:

    The ferns unfurling…a wonderful photograph. You’ve given me confidence to move my ceanothus….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love blue flowers too and that ceanothus certainly is blue! The geum is a beauty and so are the iris, this is my favourite time of year, so much to admire. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lora Hughes says:

    There’s some green alkanet growing on the corner in a bit of open ground. I didn’t know what it was called but thought the blue flowers were nice. Now know to avoid it. The fronds photo is so beautiful – the various colours, etc., give it such depth. Love the geum, too! O, I have to get another one, there’s so many beautiful geums out there. Love those tulips w/the ceanothus in the background (which I also love as well). If your garden’s overgrown, it’s a wonderful overgrown!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cavershamjj says:

    Sigh. Ceanothus. Had one, a big one, it was great, it died. Turns out they are quite short lived so enjoy it while it lasts!! I’m looking forward to my iris flowering too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    Experiencing Ceanothus envy! Yours looks great and a nice tree like shape too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Heyjude says:

    Another fan of the Ceanothus and yours is a lovely bright blue! Also a fan of ferns, you have got a great shot here of the unfurling fronds. Blue does seem to be the colour of the month so far after the yellows of April.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. tonytomeo says:

    ‘Pentaglottis’ sounds like one of the many denominations, like those who popularized the burning of witches.
    Your ceanothus looks quite happy considering it had been moved. They really dislike relocation! I believe that ours are all finished blooming. They bloom at different times, but they generally finish by mid spring. Some bloom late in winter. Some are delayed if the weather is just so. There are not many in the redwood forests, but there are more in the oak woodlands, and they are somewhat common in the pine forests nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I moved it when it was quite young – it had only been in its first position for a summer and so probably hadn’t got established yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tonytomeo says:

        That makes sense. They are not likely to survive relocation after getting established.

        Liked by 1 person

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