Six-on-Saturday 23-01-2021

What a beautiful day it was yesterday and today looks promising too. The resultant photos were too bright but, I hope, clear enough. This morning is very frosty so it will be a while before I can go out to weed and prune.

Meanwhile, here is my Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

I took this several days ago just as I was about to prune the gaura. I hadn’t noticed the red stems before. They don’t quite compete with the dogwood but pretty none the less.

2)

The gaura had a couple of week’s reprieve, then this giant decided to attack it!

Looks a bit tidier now. I’ve left the penstemon just now, but cleared out nearly all of the perennial geraniums and nearly all of the forget-me-nots. There are plenty of bulbs showing around the garden now in fact there is a group between the bird and the pruned lavender

3)

I’ve started to fill in the border at the front of the greenhouse having removed the stonecrop and the weeds. It will need a lot more stones but it’s better.

4)

I always think the chunky buds of the peonies are a promising sign of spring.

5)

I have found the first snowdrops – badly photographed and too bright but very welcome.

6)

My homemade bucket/bin mop. A few strips of towel stapled to the end of a pole. It’s very effective and saves me putting my arm too far down into grubby bins, invariably getting mud or gunge up my sleeve. I didn’t want to use the in-house floor mop and can’t get to Wilko at the moment, so this suffices.

There are now 14 of the 16 of Fred’s Sweet peas showing. πŸ™‚

That’s it again. It’s getting near to the main seed sowing season now so time to wash the flowerpots and seed trays.

Have a good weekend in the garden.

Six-on-Saturday 16-01-2021

Not many photos from the garden today, it’s wet and windy out there. Although the forecast is for warmer days, I don’t think we will go for a walk, nor will I go out to do some light weeding.

On to Six-on-Saturday.

1)

Let’s start with some colour. I bought these a few weeks ago for general gardening but I still need the proper wellies on the flowerbeds in this weather. They are very comfortable and the fluffy lining is so attractive!

2)

My favourite gardener, in fact “The Ornamental Kitchen Garden” was the television series that kick started my interest in the garden. I have been contemplating, in fact I have decided to, go along that route this year. Will planting the broccoli and brussels among the flowers around the garden deter the cabbage whites or just give them more exercise? There is a plan for a simple garden bench in the Cottage Gardens book which was my first venture into woodwork. It was quite successful but rotted eventually after about 12 years service.

3)0

The border of Stonecrop along the edge of the greenhouse was just what I wanted in 2018 and 2019 but last year it was very disappointing. It usually looks quite pretty, in summer and in winter, but it was just straggly last season. I have decided to replace it with the stones I dig out of the flowerbeds frequently. They look quite neat around the path behind the garage.

4)

I mentioned that I found this book last week. It has lost any scent it had but still has nice illustrations beside empty pages on which I am supposed to write my plans for the garden. There are pages for my…….Kitchen garden, Water Garden, Terracotta garden, Italian garden, Wild garden, Walled garden, Rose garden and Scented garden. I had better get planning. πŸ˜―πŸ€”πŸ˜

5)

About 3 months ago I sent for some seeds that didn’t arrive so I was refunded. Last week, a thin packet arrived from China with almost illegible printing on. The amazing Royal Mail had deciphered my address and rewritten it more clearly, then delivered it. I think the seeds are Rainbow Chard.

6)

I know I have shown this before, but this bloom is far more exotic than the first one that opened on this plant. Slightly grainy effect, deliberate, of course. πŸ€₯

That’s my mostly indoor Six-on-Saturday, I hope there will be some bulb shoots next week and that I can get out a bit more.

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse there are now 12 of Fred’s Sweet peas showing shoots.

Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 09-01-2021

The days are lengthening, apparently, although with the frost and fog and dull skies there is not a big difference yet. Today is supposed to be fine but it’s not very promising at the moment. Never mind, there’s plenty to report on in the garden.

1)

The red pansies I bought with the cyclamen are coming into flower and I am pleased with the colour. I had feared they would be more scarlet. They are in the hanging baskets with the remnants of the lobelias I planted alongside the pelargoniums in the summer. There are masses of seedlings I assume are lobelias.

2)

Look away if you are having your breakfast/morning coffee. I have planted out the clematis (see later) that I bought from Aldi a few months ago and when I released it from its pot, I saw this awful sight! Yes, another vine weevil πŸ₯š. Aarrgh! I checked for more but couldn’t find any any. As Jim says, they do turn brown so are well disguised.

3)

The raised bed and the overcrowded “currant” bed. I decided to rehome 2 of each of the red and black currants in the raised bed but unless I prune back the branches, I can’t get at the roots to dig them out without breaking yet another fork, I did try but even the spade was not effective.

4)

So, I decided to do as I had done a few years ago and chop off a few twigs of each type and plant them straight into the soil then hope for the best. Now……..the first fruit cage is in position protecting the fruit “bushes”! (Notice the compost container, (not its prettiest view). Have I mentioned it before?πŸ˜‰πŸ€­)

5)

My recent seed purchases. I may have mentioned that the first seeds I ever bought a long, long time ago were Clarkia. I thought I would sow some this year. I have decided I will try Morning Glory in the troughs. When we last visited Mr and Mrs Propagator, I was very impressed with Mr P’s Morning Glory at the back of his planters. Swiss Chard, which is still going in the raised bed, (in fact it’s potato and spinach curry this evening) has been excellent.

6)

The clematis, mentioned earlier, in place. There is a healthy bud on it which is not visible from this angle.

My little friend photo bombing again.

It was nice to have an hour or so outside yesterday, although it was snowing gently all the time.

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse, there are 8 of Fred’s Sweet Peas showing now.

Have a good weekend in your garden.

Six-on-Saturday 02-01-2021

Happy New Year! Well, we all hope that is going to be the case. GGHI and I stayed up to see the “bells”, but there wasn’t much on the television to welcome the year in………not even on BBC Scotland. It will be better next New Year without Covid restrictions?

Anyway, here’s the first Six-on-Saturday from me for 2021.

1)

No, it’s a different, darker pink cactus. We received an unexpected extra present this week from our daughter in Dubai “just to keep Christmas going a bit longer”, she said, nice bucket as well.

2)

This camellia, which I have had for several years, had at least 6 buds on a few weeks ago. They are gradually falling off one by one. You can see a couple beneath the leaves. I still don’t know what colour the flowers are. πŸ€”

3)

I have planted the 8 zonal pelargoniums from the hanging baskets into the tomato bed in the greenhouse. It has no heating so we shall see if they survive.

4)

We have a very tall house plant on our landing which needed to be pruned. I put 2 of the cuttings in a jar of water in the greenhouse and one on the windowsill in the conservatory. Since the water in this jar is frozen, I don’t think these will do very well!

5) This is where it gets exciting!

A few weeks ago I planted some cloves of garlic in the raised vegetable bed. I counted 4 this week and you can see 2 of them here trying to peer out over the snow.

6)…….and, even more exciting, if possible,πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠ…..

FRED’S SWEET PEAS!! I planted 16 of them about 3 weeks ago and, if you look carefully, you can see one in the first picture and two in the second appearing. Thanks again, Fred.

I did a little weeding this week and my usual companion appeared.

That’s it again. Very best wishes to all of you. Thank you for the “likes” and comments. Look after yourselves and have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 26-12-2020

Gone by in a flash, as is always the case with Christmas. We did a lot of Zooming, WhatsApp videoing and eating. We shall be having turkey in various forms for a few days yet. I hope you all managed a good day yourselves.

Back to the Six-on-Saturday we have all been looking forward to.

1)

Here come the helibores. Very pretty but still a few leaves to be removed.

2)

Even more colour! There are geraniums flowering all year ar various places around the garden.

3)

These are usually the first daffodils to flower up our road – not that I am competitive.

4)

A rather nice allium head.

5)

Plenty of clematis buds. This is the one against the dead plum tree which has flowers from spring to early winter.

6)

The back garden on Christmas morning in the frost. I couldn’t persuade the cat to pose on the bird bath this time.

That’s it again. Very best wishes for a healthy New Year to you all and let’s hope for a better 2021.

Six-on-Saturday 19-12-2020

Only 6 “sleeps” until Santa! We mustn’t get too excited. We have had alternate sunny, rainy days this week but I’ve managed to find enough, sort of, for this week’s Six-on-Saturday.

1)

I bought some cyclamen and red pansies to brighten the front door troughs. I hope they last until next summer.

2)

I hope the red pansies don’t clash with the pink cyclamen in the back garden troughs. All the other colours of pansies had sold out.

3)

The sempervivums in the other trough in the back garden are still thriving.

4)

The orchid is entering its 8th season. I must tie the flower stem to its support – it seems to be trying to escape.

5)

Mr & Mrs Propagator’s #4 child asked for a crocheted bed cover since her big sister and Mrs Propagator had already had one made from the traditional Granny squares. So I thought I would get away with this on Six-on-Saturday since it is definitely floral……..not sure what flower it is, anyone know the name?

6)

Well, so, it was like this…….about 35 years ago, our younger daughter decided we needed some more tasteful decorations on the Christmas tree (as well as, not instead of, the toilet roll Santas). She bought some nice red apple baubles, but, they have gone off and been affected by the damp or the mice in the garden shed or a horrible apple disease. πŸ˜’ Anyway, I peeled off the bumpy skin to reveal a polystyrene centre. Fine, I thought, I will spray them with some bright red paint left over from the hydrangea heads or maybe a couple with red, glittery nail varnish. Unfortunately, as you can see, both just melted the polystyrene. So, bring in the crochet hook and the red, glittery yarn and quite an acceptable result. πŸ‘

Happy Christmas, look after yourselves and see you again on Boxing Day. πŸŒ²πŸ€ΆπŸŽ…πŸ‘‹

Six-on-Saturday 12-12-2020

It is a challenge finding the 6 items, but I’ve had a go.

1)

The gooseberry bush looked stunning in the sunshine yesterday.

2)

I can’t remember what this is called, but it is looking fine at the moment. The next frosty night or windy day will remove these remaining leaves.

3)

Plenty of leaf buds and, I hope, flower buds too on the lilac tree which I attacked many months ago. It looks as though it needs the internal branches to be thinned out as well.

4)

I pulled up all 9 of the rather disappointing bulbs that, with the help of many of you Six-on-Saturday participants, were identified a few weeks ago. I would say that there are at least 50 new bulbs, albeit some rather small ones, nestling around the original ones. I will put many in the ground and pot some in the greenhouse.

5)

The horse tail stew which is in a lidded container at the bottom of the garden. I think of our favourite French man every time I look at it because he told me how to make it. (That’s a compliment, Fred, I think of Mr Propagator every time I look at my compost container!)

6)

Again, many thanks to Fred whose sweet pea seeds have been planted in the greenhouse this week.

That’s my Six-on-Saturday. Today is nice and sunny so I may force myself out into the garden although it is very wet underfoot.

Belated thanks to those of you who entered the Coffee Grounds debate. I have decided to continue adding the small amount we generate to the compost heap.

Have a good weekend. I am already trying to think of next week’s Six-on-Saturday…….it will be even more challenging!

Six-on-Saturday 05-12-2020

Yes, as Mr Propagator says, the enthusiasm is rather lacking at the moment although there is still plenty to do out there despite the weather

Let’s get started then.

1)

I must admit I did most of my photos on Tuesday when the sun was shining. This rose is still there but looking a bit wetter and colder today.

2)

The tulips are planted!……all 20 of them! There is another pot by the greenhouse door with some in too.

3)

The lawn on Tuesday morning. I did some shredding the previous week thinking the last few bits would be picked up by the mower…..

4)

yes, they were, eventually. It was rather wet but it’s been wetter and been mown. (Sorry about the glare but the sun was very bright.)

5)

I know I’ve shown this before, but the Rainbow Chard is still going very well. It tastes as good as spinach and is less susceptible to the “beasties”. Those that have a nibble seem to prefer the dark red leaves.πŸ€”

6)

I know we curse them throughout the year and I remove all of them when weeding, but I am looking forward to the pretty blue of these forget-me-nots in the spring. I’m not pulling any more up now. (I will weed around them.πŸ˜„)

That’s it again. Have a good weekend, although it’s not really going to be gardening weather here. Back next week.

Six-on-Saturday 28-11-2020

It’s not been easy to take photos the last couple of days with rain and fog but I’ve managed the essential six. I am looking forward to coming out of lockdown but into Tier 2, so still rather restricted. Never mind, we are both fine and I have managed a couple of short runs in the last 2 weeks but not on the scale that Mr Propagator’s doing – according inside information. πŸ˜‰

Here we go with my Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

Yes, the hollyhock is still there but not for much longer I would think.

2)

All of the penstemons have at least one bloom on them. This is the nearest one to scarlet. When we had our front drive done nearly 10 years ago, the builder asked if there were any plants to avoid, so I asked him to steer clear of the lovely, bright red penstemon. Imagine my dismay/language when I looked out that evening to see the big yellow digger parked right on top of it! I haven’t found exactly the same one since but this is pretty near.

3)

I pruned all the roses this week but had to leave the last buds on the Rhapsody in Blue and the beautiful, mystery rose. We shall see.

4)

The bay trees. I think I will have to leave their winter coats on now.

5)

The flower buds on the Magnolia Stellata……..there are plenty. (Sorry for the blurred effect.)

6)

Well, a quarter of a second before I took the first photo my robin friend was posing beautifully on the brown bin. I had waited ages for him to stand still. Never mind, this one didn’t move a feather.

Have a good weekend and I hope you manage to get into your garden.

Six-on-Saturday 21-11-2020

Rather a mixed week weatherwise. I did manage to prune the Mexican Orange blossom shrub which I will show in this post. I’ve managed to find some colour as you are about to see.

1)

Having removed the lobelia a long time ago, the pelargonium plants are getting more air and continuing to produce a few buds and flowers.

2)

The various stages of the pruning.

a) the pruned shrub with at least 4 barrowloads of twigs/ branches

b) the pruned shrub. It looks better from a distance but I will need to straighten those edges and gather the fallen leaves.

c) the shredded prunings in the compost container.

3)

There is now room to store the fruit cages and the wheelbarrow behind the pruned shrub.

4)

I’ve decided to plant two of each of the redcurrants and two of the blackcurrants in the raised vegetable bed and use one of the fruit cages as a……..fruit cage🀭. I had just plonked about 6 twigs of each variety into a small space and forgot about them all winter about 5 years ago and they all survived. They are far too close together and it’s difficult to pick the fruit but the birds manage very nicely.

5)

A blurred photo of the chrysanthemum that Mr P gave me. (It was blowing a gale while I was taking the photos.) The blooms are a slightly deeper pink than they look here.

6)

My companion in the garden since the cat was asleep indoors.

Have a good weekend.