Six on Saturday. Stormy Weather.

As storm Arwen rages bringing chaos to many area we are lucky here in Suffolk to have escaped the worst of its horrors. But still, it’s a horrible day. I nipped out between showers to take some photos.

Every autumn I look at the tan flower buds which appear so late on my Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’ and think how nice it would be if I could see the white, honey-scented flowers opening. But of course hard frosts come before they get the chance. But never mind, the suede- coloured buds look good for now. Tetrapanax papyrifer comes from Taiwan. It is a very impressive plant with huge deeply lobed leaves. It looks very exotic; I grow it next to my hardy banana, Musa basjoo. Most years I wrap up the stems of the banana even though it is supposed to be reasonably hardy. But it has got far too big now so it will have to take a chance.

Tetrapabax papyrifer ‘Rex’

This week I have made a start on cutting back roses, wisteria, jasmine and clematis on the trellis round my secret garden. Here it is in spring with a white wisteria, and in summer with one of my favourite roses, ‘Phyllis Bide’.


It’s probably the wrong time of year for everything to be cut back but I have a big garden so everything has to be dealt with when I get round to it. This haircut was long overdue; I call it my secret garden but I have to be able to get into it. The bench is nearly hidden by the golden jasmine.

My strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo is covered in clusters of pretty lily-of -the valley type flowers. Anything that blooms in November is extra welcome in my garden.

Arbutus unedo

I have a very pretty broom in the garden which is supposed to be for the conservatory as it is a bit tender. But I forgot to take it in a couple of years ago so here it stays. I hope it will survive another winter as I love it. It is called Genista x spachiana and it is sometimes known as the Easter Broom, it usually flowers in late winter and spring but this year it is coming into flower in November. The flowers are deliciously scented.

It’s too miserable to linger outside so let’s go into the far unheated greenhouse. The tomatoes have been cleared away and the vine cut back. The mimosa won’t be out until February. But I keep my growing collection of cyclamen here. I grow a few varieties from seed each year, but unfortunately the labels seem to go AWOL and it is quite hard to sort them all out. But never mind their names, they all have dainty, helicopter flower and beautiful leaves. And because I have different varieties there is usually something in bloom, many of them are sweetly fragrant. I think the first is Cyclamen purpurescens

Cyclamen purpurescens?

The next is probably Cyclamen mirabile, it has very pretty leaves.

Cyclamen mirabile?

I have some with huge leaves which are very eye-catcning, so far they haven’t flowered, but they are worth growing for their beautiful leaves. They could possibly be Cyclamen africanum because I remember sowing some seeds for this variety.

As I am counting all the cyclamen as just one item, I have one left to complete my Six on Saturday. I have one or two exciting plants coming on in my heated greenhouse and I am looking forward to sharing them with you but they are not quite ready yet. So meanwhile here is my beautiful Fantasy Chrysanthemum ‘Salhouse Joy’. I have to thank to Cathy at Rambling in The Garden who very kindly sent me a cutting a couple of years ago. I am very grateful. I have never grown tender chrysanthemums before and I was delighted to be introduced to the Fantasy series. I am not keen on chrysanthemums with recurved petals which look as if they have spent too much time with an old fashioned hairdresser. But these Fantasy Chrysanthemums are really quirky with their mad Catherine wheel flowers.

Chrysanthemum ‘Salhouse Joy’
Chrysanthemum ‘Salhouse Joy’

Here in the UK, it is certainly not a day for lingering in the garden but you will find some horticultural stalwarts bravely facing storms and mayhem outside to bring you their Six on Saturday. Do go over to our host The Propagator to see.

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39 Responses to Six on Saturday. Stormy Weather.

  1. bcparkison says:

    I would love to have secret garden and your Mums look like fireworks. Very nice,

    • Chloris says:

      It took years to become secret, I had to wait for everything to grow on the trellis and for all the shrubs round about to grow, but now it lives up to its name.

  2. Pauline says:

    Interesting shapes to your Mums, like the colour too. What a super collection of cyclamen you have, such interesting leaves.

    • Chloris says:

      The chrysanths are lovely aren’t they. I love the curly ends. I know you love Cyclamen too and have beautiful displays of them. I like to extend the season by growing less hardy varieties in the greenhouse, many of them smell wonderful too.

  3. fredgardener says:

    Nice discoveries in your gh ! I also see that you are going to do some cutting work in the garden… About the tetrapanax, mine is at the same stage and every year I lose the flowers. I’ve tried again to protect them thanks to a double fleece and we’ll see… Fingers crossed

    • Chloris says:

      I try to have something interesting in the greenhouse all year round. So you don’t get Tetrapanax flowers either, I have never even seen them. I gave my son one last year and he now lives in south west France, I shall be interested to see if his will bloom.

  4. Wow to the Chrysanthemum ‘Salhouse Joy.’ You’ve done a good job with the chopping back. I hate chopping back the Jasmine!

    • Chloris says:

      I am quite new to the Fantasy chrysanthemums, they are fabulous. Yes, the chopping back was essential or the rampant growth would have brought the trellis down.

  5. Anna says:

    I’m so glad that you escaped the excesses of storm Arwen Chloris. It was the wildest and noisiest night that we have had for years and the wind went on well into this afternoon. Some damage in the garden too but nothing major. How long does it take the cyclamen grown from seed to flower? That chrysanthemum is a show stopper!

    • Chloris says:

      I hate wind, lying in bed listening and worrying about it is awful. Cyclamen are easy from seed. Bought ones are dry and have to be soaked first. They take a couple of months to germinate. They won’t bloom for at least two years, but they are already exciting when you get the little leaves appearing.
      Yes, I love the chrysanthemum, Cathy is always so generous with her cuttings.

  6. Kris P says:

    I’m glad the storm didn’t affect you too badly – I checked it out online and it looks like it was wicked.
    That chrysanthemum is spectacular. I’d gladly baby it somewhere if I thought it would hold up longer than a nanosecond here. Most of the mums sold locally are exceptionally dull but I discovered one called ‘Rainbow Circus’ this year and brought it home, only to have the return of high temperatures and high winds knock it out in no time. Your lament about the failure of the Tetrapanax to bloom echoes what I hear from the gardeners in the Pacific Northwest each year. BTW, my sense is that your winters can be similar to theirs and some of them are able to grow selected agaves in the ground. You might want to look into Agave ovatifolia and/or Agave parryi.

    • Chloris says:

      We were lucky to be on the edge of tthe storm which did damage further north. The Fantasy chrysanthemums are not hardy here. To buy interesting chrysanthemums you have to find specialist nurseries here. My niece in Cornwall grows agaves outside but I can’t get away with it here.

  7. Arwen? It still seems strange to name winter storms, not sure why? Love the Tetrapanax, the buds and foliage make it worth growing regardless of anything else. I have not seen the Fantasy Chrysanth anywhere but blogs, so pretty. I have been wondering about growing cyclamen here, the foliage is pretty enough for any garden and the flowers are a bonus. Stay warm…

  8. Oh, you have been very, very busy. I love Cyclamen plants. I had one that lasted for several years and then I forget how/why it died. I think it’s time for a new one…or two…or three. 😉

  9. I love your lavender-purple Salhouse Joy, especially it’s a surprise to me with its charming curls. Are those blooms on your strawberry tree real? Dripping with rainwater, they appear like dainty little glass light bulbs, again with a hint of lavender — just in time for Advent.

    • Chloris says:

      Ye, it’s the crazy curls which are particularly beguiling. The strawberry tree .would make good Christmas decoratiions, both the delicate flowers and the brightly coloured fruit.

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Oh my, that broom does not look good. it is too closely related to two species that are some of the most aggressively invasive exotic species here. A third species, although not so aggressive, is also naturalized.

    • tonytomeo says:

      What is the golden jasmine? I know I probably asked before, but I do not remember who has what growing in their gardens.

    • Chloris says:

      I have read that it is invasive in some parts of the world. Not here, it is too cold for any seedlings to survive. In fact mine has never produced a single seedling, I wish it would!

      • tonytomeo says:

        The hybrids are not invasive because they ‘generally’ do not produce viable seed, or if they do, they are not as prolific with them. They can be grown here, but any nursery that tries to introduce it finds that it is very unpopular.

  11. Cathy says:

    Hope the storm hasn’t done any real damage Chloris. How I would love to see your Secret Garden in the summer – I don’t think it was even a twinkle in your eye when we made our first visit. I had intended to send you a cutting of the white chrysanthemum but the were both so badly infested by aphids early in the year that I cut them back and even considered throwing them out – but then forgot about cuttings. Would you still like some cuttings next year?

    • Chloris says:

      No, we got off very lightly here, just blustery wind and rain. But it has turned very cold now. Yes, it’s difficult to remember that there was nothing in this part of the garden when you first came to visit. I have had a lot of fun down here since. Oh, yes please I would love a cutting of your white Chrysanthemum if you can spare it next year. And do let me know if you would like cuttings of any of my garden ones.

      • Cathy says:

        Snow here yesterday and bitterly cold today 🥶 Will try again to get cuttings for you. I think I will pass on the hardy ones, thank you, as I have had little success with them – unless any of yours are low growing, bushy and very reliable… 😉

      • Chloris says:

        They are all bushy and reliable but not low- growing. Next year I’m going to try giving them the Chelsea Chop.

      • Cathy says:

        Hmm, I had more or less decided that, like asters, I was not going to bother trying with them any more…

  12. pbmgarden says:

    Your chrysanthemum is gorgeous and and I like your Arbutus unedo very much–so delicate-looking.

  13. snowbird says:

    I love that you have a hardy banana! The cyclamen are so pretty. I’ve never seen such gorgeous chrysanthemum, how stunning. I can’t get over how quickly your secret garden has

  14. Noelle says:

    Your description of the hairdos of Chrysanthemums made me smile.

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