Six-on-Saturday 21-4-2018

What a change in the weather!! Sadly, I have removed a lot of colour from the garden……..I mowed the lawn! Gone are the white daisies and wild garlic, the blue speedwell and forget-me-nots, the yellow dandelions and celandine but I have avoided the cowslips so there are a few untidy clumps left!! (There is also some grass and some moss still there.)

Here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The Berberis is a lovely rich colour and behind it is a tamarix tree. You may be able to see a slight redness on the branches; that gradually changes as the “flower” buds form until it becomes what is known in the family as “The Pink Feather Tree”.

2)

The Dicentra Spectabilis is just in flower – I think it is very pretty with the “pointy” cane topper! Behind it are the early shoots of the Solomon’s Seal which lasts all summer.

3)

This is a narcissus – first: amongst the forget-me-not and second: with the forget-me-nots cleared away! Can you see a very timid Primula denticulata which had been completely smothered. I hope it might get much larger and even flower now it can get to the air and daylight!

4)

The cat likes to supervise the gardening! The larger purple Aubretia was in my Six recently, but there is a smaller, pink one on the left. Both planted at the same time but the purple one is clearly doing much better.

4)

The plum blossom is abundant again this year. Last year it was beautiful but ALL the tiny plums fell off and the tree was covered all summer in a sticky layer – probably some black aphid type of insect – and wasps seemed to like feeding on them. (A couple of years ago, we had over 22lb of plums!) Hoping for better this year.

5)

The autumn fruiting raspberries are shooting well again. They produce fruit from June until late September. I keep picking them and freezing them. There is plenty to use with the rhubarb for our crumbles!

6)

I suppose I should apologize for my tulips : there aren’t many of them nor are they flowering….yet. They are a lovely soft pink – I will publish a photo when they do open. However, I can compete with #1 son-in-law in the bindweed contest – I bet I have more!!!

Well, another week goes by. This one was rather special because #12 grandchild arrived. A lovely, little girl. We are looking forward to seeing her for the first time today. Aren’t we lucky!

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Six-on-Saturday 14-4-2018

Well, another dreary week weatherwise. I have tried to do a bit of weeding but have felt rather cold and damp outside. I have put a few seeds in the vegetable patch and started some in the greenhouse but many are rather old packets so we will see what germinates!

Yesterday I cleared about a square metre of the garden to put up my runner bean wigwam*. I filled my wheelbarrow with nothing but forget-me-nots!!

I was going to put in some garden compost but the soil was far too heavy – yes, as well as celandine, Mare’s tail and ground elder, I have very heavy clay soil!!! (There is a short window of a couple of weeks in the spring (what’s the spring??) and autumn when the soil is manageable.) However, it is quite productive but challenging!

*Years ago, I followed Geoff Hamilton’s ideas on The Ornamental Kitchen Garden and found it quite successful. He was a real gardener, sorely missed.

Anyway, here is this week’s six.

1)

This unusual, beautiful obelisk was a present from Mr Propagator’s lovely wife on Mother’s Day. I have put about a dozen sweet pea seeds around the base – again, they are old seeds, so I am not expecting them all to germinate. A few years ago, I had difficulty getting Aquilegias (possibly not the correct plural….over to you, Mr Kingdon!) to thrive in this soil. Now they are spreading around as you may be able to see. (Can you spot the perennial geraniums,too?)

2)

There is a VERY thin, VERY shallow flowerbed attached to our conservatory – see first picture. For years I grew Verbena bonariensis very successfully – it was perfect but it seeded itself in all the cracks between the slabs and caused a lot of extra work! Last year I put in some standard summer geraniums which looked good. I put in some garden compost and antirrhinum seeds a few days ago. The compost was well rotted but, clearly, the birds decided it was worth checking over for any insects – see second picture! I wanted a thin edging to contain the soil so I asked for some offcuts of edging at a nearby kitchen worktop manufacturer – see third picture. I think it looks quite neat: I can’t fit any thicker edging in, so we will see how long this lasts.

3)

The Aubretia is is a lovely splash of colour. It’s rooted into that gap at the top of the picture. Again, there is very little room for soil but since we often see it growing in gaps in a wall, I thought it would be fine. I must replenish the soil soon.

4)

I have started the potatoes in some custom made sacks I bought several years ago. I usually use potatoes that I have kept too long in the cupboard but I was in the Range yesterday and noticed 3 packs of potatoes for £5, so bought those. I have put too many in each sack but the yield was not very good last year so I thought I would use them all – they can’t be kept for next year! ( I took the photo from inside the greenhouse because there isn’t room to stand on the narrow path!)

5)

This is a pretty, little plant. It has these purple/pink flowers followed by burgundy coloured pods. It was quite happy until I decided to put the slab for the dustbin there! I did dig it up and moved it to near the birdbath (see below), however, I must have missed a bit because it keeps coming back!

(It’s trying to struggle through the ivy, the white lavender and, guess what, the perennial geranium!!)

6)

For years I used pieces of cork as cane top protectors. Then I was given some very nice plastic ones which eventually disintegrated. THEN I was at a garden centre and saw these shiny, plain ones! I bought a few, then went back the following week and bought all the remaining ones!! Since then, my daughter-in-law has bought me some handmade ones from a Craft fair she went to. I think they are lovely! As the plants grow taller in the summer, I find I use all of them on the canes.

That’s it for this week. I look forward to reading the other Sixes-on-Saturday – there are so many of them now! How many, at the last count, Mr Propagator? Thank you for starting this – the number seems to be increasing exponentially!

Six-on-Saturday 7-4-2018

This week I have spent a good few hours digging up the celandine that I eliminate completely EVERY spring………..so that it makes way for the dreaded Mare’s tail in the summer!!! Never mind, Six-on-Saturday is here again.

1)

The forsythia had a good talking to a couple of years ago because, even following the correct routine for pruning it, the flowers had been pathetic at best! It seems to have worked quite well.

2)

These are the prunings from the penstemons, rudbeckia and sedums (or should it be seda?)

This is my FAVOURITE piece of garden machinery.

This is the result just 10 minutes later!

Mala commented on the twigs on the garden a couple of weeks ago. I put this on the compost heap and leave for about a year and many do rot down, but the resulting compost is rather”twiggy”. My shredder actually chops the twigs rather than shredding them.

3)

The primulas are very pretty at this time of year- I must put in some more. The “Forget – me – nots” are muscling in on the left. I pull all of them up after flowering but they come back again, as you can see. They are worth leaving in as there is not much blue around just now.

4)

The well-rotted manure will be put on the redcurrants and blackcurrants (pictured above) this weekend, if the weather is not too bad and if I can get rid of that celandine!!

5)

The clematis is “shooting” well. It is always successful and lasts for several weeks. (I must keep an eye on that ivy growing up the wall, it tries to get in the window!)

6)

This is where we were for a few days recently………… sunny Dubai!!! Our younger daughter and family looked after us very well. The bougonvillia is constantly beautiful but has vicious spikes.

Well, it’s good to be back but the weekend forecast is not too promising, so I think I will be in the greenhouse tidying up and starting the runner beans, as well as reading the other Sixes-on-Saturday!

Six-on-Saturday 31-3-2018

Good morning. The Saturdays do come around very quickly – when you are retired, the days fly by!

1)

The bird bath was a present several years ago, made from Derbyshire stone. The crocus is peeping through a perennial geranium which spreads itself around! It’s very pretty for many months and is not difficult to pull up so is not a nuisance.

2)

I bought some violas in the autumn………one is a trailing variety and the other is the standard bedding variety. Can you tell which is which? I like them anyway but I still find that the winter flowering varieties pick up and do much better in the spring.

3)

The Hellibore looks quite perky, even after being covered by so much snow a few weeks ago. (Notice the geranium behind it!)

4)

This rose – Special Child, created for the CLIC Sargent charity, in memory of our grandchildren’s little cousin- is really lovely. It’s first flowers are a delicate pink, then , once the bush is ” dead-headed”, the second flowers are pink with fine,darker pink streaks, then the final ones are a solid, pretty pink! (Notice the geranium near the right-hand bottom corner.)

5)

This shrub had to be cut back viciously after several branches were broken or badly bent with the weight of the snow. I am not sure what it is. The leaves have a pungent (but not unpleasant) smell and it has clusters of small, white flowers.

6)

The peony’s shoots are looking very healthy. You may notice, again, the sticks and twigs! Our little cat, fortunately, is not too interested in mice or birds…yet, but loves to collect thin twigs or long pieces of grass and distribute them around the garden! (He especially liked the feathery foliage on our neighbour’s carrots last year, so pulled one up and brought it into our garden!!!)(Notice the perennial geranium, again!)

That’s it for this week – I am looking forward to seeing the wide variety of Sixes-on-Saturday, as always.

Six-on-Saturday 24-3-2018

Here we go, again! I am having difficulty limiting my selection, even at this time of year! Maybe because I am new to the game and a bit too enthusiastic!

1)

I do like ivy but it can become quite unruly. This is a concrete fence post which has no purpose but is too big for me to get rid of! I am quite happy with the “Ivy Shrub” look.

2)

My son and partner gave me these Fritillaria Meleagris on Mother’s Day. I do like them so I must be careful not to dig them up by mistake – again!! I will mark them clearly for when they die down.

3)

Continue reading “Six-on-Saturday 24-3-2018”

Six-on-Saturday 17-3-2018

Thank you very much for your positive comments last week. Here are my Six for this week.

1)

The sempervivum have arrived!!

I thought I wouldn’t need the little white pebbles, but the plants didn’t show up very well without them.

2)

These were the contents of the”kit” that came with the terrarium. I didn’t think I would need all of them but,in the end, every one was used.

3)

Well the camelia obliged as soon as the snow went. I didn’t think there were many buds but, if you look closely, there are plenty. It is only a small plant.

4)

Here is the Dicentra Spectabilis which was under the snow before.

The nickname, Bleeding Heart doesn’t suit this one……it is pure white!

5)

The rhubarb is just beginning to show. I have several crowns around the flower beds.( I found a perfect place for them in the soft fruit area, a few years ago, but they didn’t thrive so they were put back in amongst the roses, heuchra and geums and are much happier!)

6) You have all been waiting for this…………………

THE COMPOST CONTAINER TODAY! A thing of beauty is a joy for ever!

Well, if YOU had rotten vegetables, shredded twigs, grass cuttings, the contents of the hoover and the occasional dead bird and mouse* thrown at you for 18 years, you wouldn’t look as good as this!

I think lovingly of #1 son-in-law every time I pass it.

*courtesy of our old, late cat, Benson. He was the son of The Propagator’s late cat.

I am looking forward to seeing all the other “Sixes”.

Continue reading “Six-on-Saturday 17-3-2018”

Six-on-Saturday 10-03-2018

Please may I join your Six-on-Saturday?

1)

I was given this lovely little terrarium for Christmas and the miniature plants are arriving this week – guess what will be on next week’s Six!

2)

This orchid was a present 4 years ago. It flowers for 3+ months every year then survives on healthy neglect for the rest of the year.

3)

The Camelia is waiting for the thaw.

4)

Grandpa’s bench looks better with the Bay trees either side. These were small 15cm twigs about 3.5 years ago. I believe the Propagator has a couple twisting around each other! I am pleased they seem to be surviving the harsh weather.

5)

The only patrolling of my front border is being done by our cat! There are Hellibores, Hebe, Dicentra Spectabilis, daffodils and a Hydrangea in amongst the snow.

6)

This is my #1 son-in-law. I admired his home crafted compost container 18 years ago, so the next time he visited me, he produced a partially constructed container which, as you can see, he completed immediately!! I will post a picture of it as it is now next week. Isn’t he amazing?

(I did do the photos last weekend in the snow, but it has taken so long to organise my blog, that I thought I had better post it, with some updating, today!)