Six on Saturday – W23/2021 – Colour in a winter garden

Today dawned clear and sunny, a lovely surprise after the cold and overcast weather of the past week. The lowest temperature was 3 degrees C, with daytime temperatures in the upper teens. Despite these cold conditions there are patches of colour through the front garden, and these will be the focus of this week’s Six on Saturday, kindly hosted by the Propagator.

First off, another Salvia, the Bethel sage Salvia involucrata ‘Bethelli’. The flowers are clustered at the end of the branch, and are a beautiful pink colour. I bought it as a well established bush, and it is doing well.

2. The pink Dombeya calanthe bush is nowhere near as vigorous as the white flowering one, but this year it has produced a number of cluster of its dusky pink flowers. I have noticed too that while the white Dombeya is an incredible bee magnet, the pink one hardly has any bees visiting it.

3. The hanging baskets suspended from the new pergola are starting to fill out nicely. I have Calibrachoa, petunia, and violas in them.

4. The pots of Jonquils Narcissus jonquilla I planted up have started to flower. This year I chose a Jonquil bulb mix, and have a nice variety of flowers, mainly white singles and doubles, and a beautiful bright yellow one.

5. The marigolds I rescued from the veggie garden and transplanted into pots, have finally died. While out buying some potting soil on Thursday I saw this lovely punnet of bright Chrysanthemum plants, Chrysanthemum x grandiflorumSwifty. These will be ideal marigold replacements as these Chrysanthemum have been bred specifically for small garden spaces and should be ideal for the containers.

6. The Jammy Mouth Ruttya fruticose is at the uppermost corner of the garden, and although the bush itself looks very ordinary during the year, it is pretty spectacular now. The unusual bright red and black flowers draw attention to themselves because of their colour and characteristic shape.

Wishing you all a wonderful gardening week, and don’t forget to pop over to the Propagator’s site for links to other gardeners Sixes!


  1. It must have been a nice surprise when the Jammy Mouth came into flower. I have seen it featured in one of my SA indigenous plant books, but in fact it is native to East Africa from what I can gather. There is an SA species, Ruttya ovata, which I have not seen, and interestingly there is a naturally occurring hybrid – in case you are interested I read about it here

    • Thanks for providing the link to the hybrid. What an interesting read that was about a natural hybridisation of the plants. I also learned something new (to me) about making cut flowers last longer in a vase. I plan to try and propagate more of my Ruttya from cuttings this year. I must also remember to keep an eye out to see if any seed is produced.

  2. Beautiful blooms! I don’t normally associate pink with cold weather, but it’s nice to see here. And that jammy mouth is a very cool plant.

  3. I do like those chrysanthemums, perfect for small spots, as you said, I’ll have to keep a look out for those. I too was surprised by the name Jammy Mouth, which I’ve never seen or heard of before. It’s a great colour.
    It got pretty cold where your are too. Did you have a lot of rain? My garden is very soggy.

    • We did not have much rain actually, but the ground has not really dried out since the last heavy rains. It doesn’t help that the garden is quite shady during winter. We also have soggy patches around. It is all very unusual!

  4. I thought I must have misread Jammy Mouth until I saw the close-up of the flowers, how extraordinary and how much they do resemble jammy mouths! There must be a good botanical reason for the way they look. Love the beautiful colour of the Salvia, and the Chrysanthemums look just the thing to see your pots through winter.

    • Thanks Sel! The first time my Jammy Mouth flowered, I was amazed by the flowers. It took me a while to identify it, and it is one of those very descriptive names one always remembers! I should investigate the botanical aspect to the flowers. Salvia do really well for me here, so I have a fair collection of them. The birds seem to like them too, which is an added bonus. The Chrysanths are looking good in their individual pots, so I hope the grow nicely.

  5. Those jonquils are particularly lovely, and I’m thinking a dombeya might be in my future — very nice too! I love the name jammy mouth 🙂

    • Isn’t the Jammy Mouth unusual? The bush was here when we bought the house, and I had been debating its demise when it surprised me by flowering. It is definitely here to stay. It’s common name is so descriptive! The Dombeya are lovely! You might have noticed the white indigenous ones flowering in spring, especially up in the drier North? They light up the koppies and veld! That’s where I fell in love with these plants. Your one is Dombeya rotundifolia (unless the name has changed).

      • There is a dombeya growing in the next road along but they are not familiar to me otherwise. Might have to get one if I can find one that will tolerate semi shade

    • I tried to add a comment on your post, but nothing seemed to happen. So here goes: your vegetable garden is looking very productive! I did not know that one could eat the tips of broad beans, so thanks for the tip! Those are lovely potatoes you harvested!

      • Ay, I am sorry about the comments not working. Hmm, not sure why. I think it was Fred the Gardener who told me you can eat the broad bean shoots and they are really good. Helps to keep them under control too 😉

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