Six on Saturday – The Just-In-Time (JIT*) Concept

What a glorious day: sunny and mild, plus the White House is getting a new resident!

Unsurprisingly, a series of clear skies this week has resulted in some rather cold mornings. We’ve had a couple mornings of sub-zero temperatures (and car scraping), then a further two days with air frosts and fog. So it is not too surprising that some of the dahlias, cannas, alstromeria etc have gone a bit slimey. Fortunately though, around our patio, where everything is a little more protected, things are continuing to grow and flower, giving me a few things to share for Six on Saturday, which is hosted by Mr Propagator. To see more gardening delights click through to Jonathon’s post and remember to check out the huge comment section!

1 Lobelia tupa

Only one of the Lobelia tupa I ordered from Derry Watkins during the first Lockdown made it to flowering this year. JIT for the frosts! Luckily, it is on the patio.


Lobelia tupa – Soft downy leaves and strange flamingo-like flowers

2 Aster ‘Violetta’

Always one of the last asters to flower, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Violetta’ made it to the showing-a-little-colour stage, before downpours and the cold made them turn brown :(.

Nearly JIT at best!


Symphyotrichum novae-angliae ‘Violetta’ is a late to flowering, beautiful dark purple bloom.

3 Achochas

I pulled and composted the achocha vines on Tuesday, harvesting a last haul of slipper gourds, JIT to beat the first frost on Wednesday night.


The last of the achocha crop

Kaffir lily – nothing beats that red!

New in the garden (from plug plants) this year, this stunning lily only came into flower a week ago. JIT. It’s still going, post-frosts. I am keeping my fingers crossed for further spikes, but with it getting its roots down and bulking up this year, I am grateful for any flowers.


A late showing of wonderful luminous red spikes of crocus-like flowers on Schizostylis coccinea ‘Major’ (Hesperantha coccinea ‘Major’)

5 Antirrhinum Chantilly Series

I was quite taken by the idea of snapdragons with upward-facing, open-mouthed flowers, so I bought a packet of ‘Chantilly Bronze’ seeds from Chiltern Seeds . I am not really sure I like them now that I’ve seen them in the flesh. There is something brash about the wide throats showing uvula at the back. Too much lusty singing in the border for my liking! Also, while I expected some colour variations as per online photo, I seem to have grown plants ranging in colour from anything from dark reds to yellows. Maybe I got the wrong mixture??


Antirrhinum ‘Chantilly Bronze’ (seeds from Chiltern Seeds) turned out to spawn a very mixed range of colours

6 Hellebores

I was cutting back some enthusiastic red valerian at the base of a north-facing house wall when I revealed the first flowers on a Christmas rose emerging from some fallen leaves. They are a bit nibbled, but a lovely surprise.


Helleborus niger are back (if somewhat chewed)

That seems early to me and certainly not JIT!

Do you think the flowering timetable is a little wonky this year too? Hopefully things will be reset for 2021.

Keep safe and enjoy time in the garden.


* JIT or Just-In-Time is a management strategy used to efficiently match raw materials to production schedules. I like the notion that doing things at the last minute is a kosher management process!


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Six on Saturday and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Six on Saturday – The Just-In-Time (JIT*) Concept

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    A fine six this week, Allison. My pineapple sage started flowering around the frost, too. I’m determined not to plant it again as it is too little too late and I’d rather plant something in that space that puts on a better show earlier on.
    And yes, we are very happy here that DTs days are numbered. Though we still have 2 more months where things could get messy, he is capable of doing just about anything, I fear. Jan. 20 can’t come fast enough.

    • Thanks Eliza. I had a pineapple sage for ~5 years that flowered in the first week of November and our first frosts are nearly always 5th Nov!
      I hope the presidential transition is an anticlimax for all of us.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I’m holding my breath until Biden is safely ensconced in the WH. The Orange Guy still has two months to wreak havoc if his handlers don’t rein him in. The guy is a nightmare.

  2. shoreacres says:

    As it happens, our native lobelia (L. puberula) is putting on quite a show in our woodlands now. I’ve been gathering some photos to show on Lagniappe – it’s such a luscious purple. It would look wonderful mixed in with yours!

  3. Lovely kaffir lily backed by grasses, such an uplifting colour. That sultry aster is a stunner too, even if if was JIT!

  4. fredgardener says:

    What do achochas taste like? Are they easy to grow?
    Otherwise Hesperantha coccinea are on my “to grow list” for 2021

    • They taste like green bell peppers and you can use them in exactly the same way. They are very easy to grow, but can be a bit enthusiastic. If you have a trellis or fence you want to be productively covered, then they are exactly right for them. I grew mine up wigwams this year. I can send you some seed if you message me your address.

  5. cavershamjj says:

    i have big l. tupa in my garden (grown from seed dontcha know), it is now a big plant, getting to over 6′ this year. it is quite architectural but does need a bit of support when larger, tends to flop about otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s