Six on Saturday – W2/2020 – Colour in summer

December, January and February are our hottest months of the year, and each day of the relentless sun takes its toll on the garden. The secret to helping plants survive the heat is to apply a thick layer of mulch to keep the plant roots cool and moist by reducing evaporation of soil moisture. As the layers of mulch break down I have been systematically adding more cow manure, sugar cane mulch, and a final layer of coarser material to the garden beds. This has been my main task in the garden during the week. As I work I notice the splashes of colour that bring the garden to life during summer.

Brugmansia sp.

This plant was grown from a cutting I took last year around May. It is only 0.5m high, but has produced two magnificent blooms.

Mandevilla sanderi

This magnificent specimen was a rescue plant from a local nursery. I planted it in a very large pot next to a trellis, and despite the heat it is growing vigorously and is flowering continuously.


This is the first time I have grown these plants. I bought them as seedlings, repotted them to grow out, and once established planted them into the garden and mulched thickly around each plant with sugarcane mulch. They are flowering nicely.


Although Mr S is not fond of these plants, we compromised and now I have one growing in a pot. The pot, along with some selective pruning should help to contain its growth. The heady scent during summer is a delight.


I have featured this particular plant previously, and it still delights with its sunny flowers. It is growing very well, and seems to tolerate the heat better than some of the other gerberas in the garden. There is a beautiful red gerbera flowering at the moment too. This red flowering specimen is new in the garden, so the next couple of months will tell whether it is strong enough to survive the hardships of summer.

The summer barrow

The wheelbarrow has been moved and planted out with mauve Angelonica interspersed with alyssum. I placed a pot in the centre to add some height, and in it I planted a sun Impatiens, yellow gerbera and sedum. I placed the wheelbarrow in a semi-shaded area,and all plants seem to be growing well.

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  1. The brugmansia has done really well. What’s not to like about the frangipani (since they won’t grow here)? They look wonderful & if they smell great, is it the colour Mr S doesn’t like? Love that trellis & occupants, altho the echinachea certainly give them a run for their money. For us still in winter, your Six is a welcomed delight.

    • Since the rain, most of the cuttings have perked up, but this particular Brugmansia has excelled! I think it’s the bare stems of the frangipani that Mr S doesn’t like…I will do my best to win him over! Glad my post has brightened your day; the same can be said for your summer posts during our winter! Thank goodness for the Six on Saturday’s.

      • Altho I myself am a great fan of stems & trunks adding to a plant, I can see why Mr S might not like the frangipani stems (& I secret hope you win him over).

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