The Tea Break Gardener

My Gardening Week – Six on Saturday 14.07.18

My Gardening Week – Six on Saturday 14.07.18

My gardening week has seen much watering but also lots of joy at the beautiful flowers in my garden pots, borders and greenhouse.  I’m sharing a picture of my sweet potato vine and relieved that my Wisteria survived our building works. I’ve also taken pictures of ‘Love in a Puff’ and ‘Love in a Mist’.  Lots of love but very differnt plants.

In a week of slightly strained international relationships I rejoice in the spirit of community embraced by gardening bloggers from across the world. Six on Saturday has the power to do that and it’s wonderful to read about everyone’s garden exploits and to share pictures of their successes and failures.

The come-back kid

Wisteria with summer flower flush

Some of you may recall that this Wisteria was looking a bit bedraggled a few weeks ago.  I knocked out the air bricks through which it had grown for support to replace it with a more attractive yew hedge.   The builders had then surrounded it with cement mixers and rubble.  It is now supported by a beautifully welded steel frame.  I wasn’t the welder of course – such skills are beyond me.

Wisteria in building site

My weary looking Wisteria

Here it looking beautiful again and giving us a second flush of flowers to enjoy and is sending out many whippy stems that I will soon prune off.

Wisteria second summer flowers

I will be planting up the bed over which it gracefully arches but not until the autumn, when I can dig over the bed below without breaking my tools and when I can move the plants back here from their holiday home in the veg patch without fear of them being killed by drought.

Pleased with my pots

Mixed terrace pots

I’m glad I haven’t planted up many pots as it’s difficult to keep on top of the watering when container gardening in this hot weather.  These were needed, however, to brighten up a corner near the greenhouse.  It was looking a bit new and sparse.

Some of the plants I grew from seed and others I bought as plug plants.  It’s amazing the range of plants that you can buy as plugs and if you want a range of plants in your pots, it’s probably easier and less wasteful than growing from seed.

Zinnia Red Lime

Included in these pots are a short Sunflower called Helianthus debilis ‘Vanilla Ice’,  Snap Dragons – Anthirrhinum ‘Lucky Lips’ and Zinnia ‘Red Lime’ all grown from seed. Tumbling over the front of the pots is a Phlox suitable for containers called ‘Creme Brulee’ which were bought as plugs.

All these plants can have cost no more than £6 in total making the pots and compost the most expensive element of the arrangement.

Love in a Puff Cardiospermum halicacabum


At the back of the container grouping is this pot with attractive rusted metal support. Growing up it is another plant bought as a plug earlier this year.

Commonly known as Love in a puff  or Balloon Vine, the plant has an attractive, airy quality.  Most notable about this plant though is the green papery seed pods.  I think they look like acid green paper lanterns and are in stark contrast to the absolutely teeny white flowers.

Cardiosperma seedhead

Love in a Mist

Nigella Mulberry Rose

This is another pretty plant grown from seed this year.  It’s a Nigella but different from the usual attractive peacock blue.  Nigella ‘Mulberry Rose’ produces a mix of  pale and dusky pink tones.

I understand that Love in a Mist self seed easily.  So far I’ve been trying to deadhead these to prolong flowering but when I finally let them go It’ll be interesting to see what happens.  I’m doubtful if they come true from seed but you never know.

Sweet Potato flower

Ipomea batatas flower

Last week I shared a picture of the sweet potato plant in my greenhouse and promised to share a picture when it flowered.  The very next day this beautiful flower greeted me when I went in to open the vents.  Part of the Ipomea family, the latin name for sweet potato is Ipomea batatas and it is easy to see the resemblance of the flower to its more troublesome tearaway cousin – the dreaded bindweed.

These flowers only last a day and are much smaller than bindweed, the fluted flowers only being 4cm long. A succession of these have been flowering all week and it’s holding its own amongst the other ornamentals in my greenhouse.

Nerium Oleander

Oleander flower

I have had two plants this size for a number of years and they have never looked healthier or happier than this year. In the past I have overwintered them in my old greenhouse, which was barely frost free.  Whilst they did green up every year, the flowers were always a bit sparse.  This year I decided to bring them on for longer in the new greenhouse before moving out and have now decided that they look so happy I’m keeping them in my crystal palace.

Oleander plant in greenhouse

Oleander can take very hard cutting back.  This I have done every year to maintain the bushy shape and now I realise I could have taken cuttings from these. Next year it’s on my list of things to do.


Six on Saturday is a weekly link-up – take a look at the comments at the base of host The Propagator to see more ‘sixes’ from other keen gardeners from all over the world.


  1. Fred July 14, 2018 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Here too my wisteria has a second flush and I am happy to walk underneath and smell the flowers … This is the last time and I will have to wait until May 2019 now! ( PS : the picture of the Love in a Mist is lovely !!)

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:53 am - Reply

      Yes I saw your one too. I feel so lucky to have bought a house with not one but two Wsiteria. The second is even bigger than this and probably 40-50 years old. I can’t walk under it though – that sounds splendid!

  2. Tim July 14, 2018 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Great Wisteria training!

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Thanks. The boughs were actually quite pliable and the frame I had built was just the job. It’s invisible behind the leaves at the moment but may be visible in winter.

  3. Jane Eastgate July 14, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Love in a Puff and the pink Love in a Mist definitely going on my wish list for next year. Absolutely beautiful.

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:51 am - Reply

      You won’t regret it Jane. They are both great plants and exceptionally easy to grow.

  4. Granny July 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Interesting Six and most unusual!

  5. Granny July 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Interesting Six and most unusual!

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Thanks Granny. I’m attracted to unusual things I think. I’ve always been a bit contrary.

  6. Sophie July 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I remember your wisteria looking like that ndnow look at it! Wow, that plant is amazing for regeneration isn’t it!

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:49 am - Reply

      Wisteria are tough plants I think. It could well have sulked given the way it was treated but there it goes merrily flowering away.

  7. Chris July 14, 2018 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Anything called Creme Brulee gets my vote! Love also the very sophisticated sweet potato one flower. Beautiful.

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Yes that Creme Brulee is well named. It actually starts out with a mauve/tawny brown colour combo then fades to pale caramel.

  8. March July 15, 2018 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Love in a Mist is very beautiful, and your pink one is especially so.

    • Katharine July 15, 2018 at 8:47 am - Reply

      I’m so glad I bought that seed packet. Definitely one to grow again. The other one I like is called ‘African Bride’. It is white with a burgundy centre.

  9. @cavershamjj July 16, 2018 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Nice job with the wisteria. I’ll be interested to see the steel frame when visible in the winter! Hope a good day was had at Lord’s.

    • Katharine July 16, 2018 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Good day of Cricket thanks and luckily we were in the shade. Yes, that Wisteria turned out well. I’ll definitely show you the frame next winter although I can claim no credit for it!

  10. Lora Hughes July 18, 2018 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Yes, a really diverse & beautiful Six. Glad to see the wisteria’s come back. Because of our move, I did a lot of plugs this year, & it makes life so much easier. They won’t replace growing from seed entirely, but for certain situations, yes indeedy. As to love in the mist, it came into my garden via self seeding & was blue. Now I have all sorts of colours, mostly in the pink range, but still a few blue & even a white or 2. Don’t know if those were self seeding from other gardens in addition to the original or not. But I do like them, whatever tone they take. The vanilla ice & love in a puff are both new to me & have converted me immediately. Great post this week!

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