So, another week of mixed weather. Though it’s sunny this morning, clouds are moving in from the North. There is a definite hint of Autumn in the air. After such a wet August, fingers are crossed for good weather next month.

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Last Sunday afternoon, I looked out of my (upstairs) study window and saw what looked like a small piece of wood lying on the patio. And then it moved!

Elephant hawk moth caterpillar

Apparently they like rosebay willowherb, Himalyan balsam, and fuchsia! I can’t provide the first two, but have plenty of the third. Apparently they don’t usually do too much damage. As this one was looking rather fat, I assumed it had already eaten its fill and was looking for somewhere to pupate over winter. It should emerge in May. I’ve seen an Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar only once before and never seen the moth.

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When is a zinnia not a zinnia? When it’s a strawflower. Yes, what I naively assumed were zinnia – are not. I planted up a large pot with zinnia, strawflowers and Livingstone daisy seedlings. In my defence, the leaves of zinnia and strawflowers are pretty similar.

But there are zinnias too – though they look nothing like those on the seed packet; supposed to be a dahlia mix but look more like chrysanths!

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Japanese anemone Whirlygig in the shady border – looking a bit battered after this week’s storms.

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This area of the patio looks much better after I moved the container-grown tomatoes to a sunnier spot and cut back the haums from the four bags of Pink Fir Apple potatoes. Here we have a pot of chard – well past its best as it bolted in the hot weather, but there are were still some edible stems and leaves left until Storm Francis toppled them. There is another climbing bean in a pot, moved last week from the shady patio so it’s a little behind the others. There’s the pot with the “zinnias” (see above), a basket of mint which needs chopping back, and the spider plants I never got around to potting up.

And now I’ve move the last of the potato bags into the greenhouse to dry out, I am gaining outdoor space.

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One of my sweet Red Pepper flowers – with extra aphids.

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Now I’ve discovered the panorama button on the mobile phone I bought in January, this is the view of the Shady patio – starting at the right-hand side in a corner of the kitchen with the main water butt, moving to the Shady border with climbers and Japanese anemonies, past Hubbie’s shed to Compost Corner and the new mini shady border.

This pans round from the Tiny Greenhouse to the sunny half of the garden. Raised Beds with bean arches at the back, Potting Shed top left (with other neighbour’s jasmine trailing over the roof), bean trellis (hiding the oil tank) on the far left. A good view of the different levels in this area – a sinuous curving edge to the top and step.

Whatever the weather were you are, enjoy the garden if you can, and if you’re travelling on holiday or for a day out, have a great weekend and check out other Sixes shared on The Propagator’s blog whenever you have a spare 10 minutes.