Six-on-Saturday 17-08-2019

I think we have all had a busy or a wet week this week, at least, those are my excuses.

Straight into my Six-on-Saturday because we leave in an hour or so to visit Mr and Mrs Propagator and all their lovely family plus our #2 daughter and all her lovely family who are staying with them!

1)

I had better start with Granny’sGardenHimIndoors’s favourite plant and a bit of colour before he complains again. I like this fuschia very much.

2)

This hanging basket, plus bracket was blown into the fig pot! Fortunately, no damage was done.

3)

Yes, I know I am repeating myself but I am very pleased with the dish underneath the fig tree because for months the water has just drained away every time. I hadn’t anything suitable so I sent away for this and it’s perfect! Meanwhile, I know that there’s usually bits of shredded paper in my compost. I was thinking that it should have rotted down. Then I thought back to last year when I was sorting out thousands of photos (from my parents, Granny’sGardenHimIndoors’s parents and from our family) into albums. There were 100s of duplicates which I duly shredded. Whereas some do rot down, others have a coating (probably plastic!) which doesn’t! Oh dear.

4)

Every picture tells the story! Those winds last weekend broke off the main branch of the apple tree. The blemishes are only skin deep and, with a little lemon juice, I made 1 and a half jars of apple jelly, plus with the earlier harvest of redcurrants, another 3 and a half jars of apple and redcurrant jelly. (I will take one with me to Mr and Mrs Propagator today.)

5)

My indoor sempervivum plants are doing really well outside. Except one – see the gap.

6)

He’s not impressed with the rather rushed Six-on-Saturday.

Have a good weekend. We are off once I’ve put the makeup on…..we may be a bit late!!?

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Six-on-Saturday 10-08-2019

This week the heavy rain has made weeding slightly easier – fortunately, because they are taking over the flowerbeds and smothering some of the plants. I have been staking the gladioli, a bit too late for one of them. ( I may have published this bit too early by mistake, but I think I have stopped it successfully and started again!)

and the next one…

Most of my time was taken with the compost heap yesterday, so that’s where I will start.

1)

THE compost container emptied, re-lined and ready for the paper, twigs, grass cuttings and vegetable peelings, not to mention the occasional corpse, courtesy of our resident cat.

Who? Me?

2)

A much tidier flowerbed than last week. I removed two tubtrugs full of dead-heads, weeds and several self-seeded mini Gauras. I emptied a barrowload of well rotted compost around the remaining plants. I know there is room for more plants now but that can result in some overpowering others. (Notice that lovely one with triangular leaves on the left. Another present from Mr Propagator.)

3)

Beans appearing but not enough for a meal yet.

4)

Today’s harvest. Can you spot the fig?

The spring onions have been good but have grown rather large so I will use them as ordinary onions, I think.

5)

This gladiolus was beautiful last year and has done well again this year.

6)

I’m not sure what has happened to the beautiful Peace rose. Several of the roses have lost most of their leaves but have healthy buds coming on. I am tempted to cut them back but I am not sure what effect this would have at this time of year.

The forecast is for rather wild weather this weekend so keep warm and dry and enjoy looking at the garden from indoors?

Six-on-Saturday 03-08-2019

Just back from looking after our two youngest grandchildren overnight having delivered two of the Dubai grandchildren onto the train on Friday (after a week’s visit) to stay with Mr and Mrs P before the whole crowd of them invade Scotland, as Mr P has already mentioned. (Does that make sense? I hope so.)

Here are my Six-on-Saturday for this week…….rather late!

1)

The gladiolus is in full flower now. Behind it is the one that flowered successfully last year.

2)

This rose was an anniversary present last year which I only planted out a few weeks ago. It’s rather a nice shape and colour and sets off the rhubarb quite well, I think.

(I suggested to Granny’sGardenHimIndoors that I would make a rhubarb crumble last week for the grandchildren. He said “Shall I buy some rhubarb!!!” I went out and picked at least 20 stalks which he duly cut and cooked ready for the crumble….say no more.)

3)

Here he is modelling the first courgettes that have not rotted. I must have thrown at least twenty away, including four today. Never mind, stuffed courgettes for tea tonight.

4)

The Gaura in the middle flowerbed that survived is going well, if at a slightly drunken angle! I decided to leave the self-seeded foliage plant behind it. It seems quite happy.

5)

Here’s what’s left of the Brussels and broccoli plants. I will just hope that they may survive and be as successful as the decimated broccoli was last year, that is, until the grey-fly colonised the plants!

6)

The African Violet is looking good again. I mentioned that it seemed rather wobbly on its stalk last year but I haven’t done anything and it seems fine.

That’s it then. I may not have a chance to look at the other Sixes-on-Saturday until later in the week because we are out tomorrow. I will look forward to that. Have a good rest of the weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 27-07-2019

I’ve just crossed the first job for today off the list – no need to water the garden this morning.

I thought I would pick the surviving kale plant this week since it looked really good…….. from a distance. Closer inspection revealed a mass of lacework with several happy caterpillars and their blackfly accomplices! (I know the blackfly don’t eat the plants but they don’t make them seem any more appetising.)

Time to take a good look around the garden and decide what works and what doesn’t.

*Broccoli looks awful but usually comes back. √

* Brussels are not as popular with the caterpillars and did well.√

* Broad beans a disaster this year but will try growing them overwinter – some suggest the blackfly are less likely to attack those that are started early…. Last chance next season….?

*Strawberries have had no slugs and no blackbirds attacking them due to the fruit cage but hardly any flowers and hence, hardly any fruit!…?

*Garlic….great! √

*Rhubarb…. great! √

*Raspberries…. great√

So, I am going to top up the raised bed, try some different vegetables and plant more garlic.

Back to Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

Crocosmia. Should go on for a while. I don’t remember putting it there but it’s been around for a few years and is a nice bright colour.

2)

The dead plum tree is providing support for some sweet peas and the clematis I featured before. A delphinium is peeping round the back, that rose at the front is going on and on and Mr Propagator’s loosestrife is trying to get into the picture!

3) Before…

and after….

My new mower copes better with the clover than last year’s.

(Doesn’t this remind you of the shampoo/toothpaste/face cream adverts where the “before” shows a sad, slumped person in poor light, whereas the “after” shows a smiling, upright person in lovely sunshine?) In this case, I have removed the washing, the wheelbarrow and dead poppy stalks as well as mowed the lawn! I don’t know where the sunshine is though.

5)

The first gladiolus showing colour and isn’t it beautiful!! Several that I planted last year were pathetic but the same “several” seem to be quite promising, with plenty of buds.

6)

Another of my completely “dead” plants. The top of this Acer had no buds and broke off, as you can see. I was going to dig it out but, guess what! I will tidy around the plant and see what happens! (The blue chippings are in the new front garden nextdoor.)

What wild weather we had this week! I hope your gardens survived. Luckily, we were fine. Anyway, two more grandchildren arrive this evening for a few days, so we had better get organised.

Have a good weekend in the garden..

Six-on-Saturday 20-07-2019

Well, we had rather a lot of rain yesterday. I am hoping for more today then a full day weeding tomorrow before the heatwave comes! We’ll see what happens.

Granny’sGardenHimIndoors complained that last week’s post wasn’t very colourful, I won’t get that complaint this week!

1)

A few pots, the most varied of which was a present from my elder brother. I bought the geraniums from Hayfield Plants and, after a slow start, they have come on very nicely.

2)

…….and, apparently, GGHI doesn’t think hollyhocks are colourful either!?

3)

These fuschias, or “Dancing Ladies” as we know them, come back each year after I cut them right down. In many areas of the UK it forms dense hedges, so must be hardy. Mine is affected by frost, so probably a slightly different variety.

4)

Hey Jude commented last week that her rhubarb had, sadly, been rather poor this year. Ours has been quite good, this leaf is about 63cm across (the largest I have grown, I think.)

I am sure I have mentioned that this rhubarb thrives in the flowerbeds but didn’t like being put in a designated soft fruit area several years ago.

The cane topper is there for comparison.

(Rhubarb sponge this evening.)

5)

Another “best ever” with the sweet peas! Unfortunately, they are hiding most of the lovely obelisk!

6)

I just thought this was a lovely rose.

Before I finish, here is a mystery photo.

(Sorry, slightly blurred. I don’t do very good “close-ups”.)

Who can name it………..before Jim Stephens, that is?!

Have a good weekend in the garden.

Six-on-Saturday 13-07-2019

It’s been a week of demolition and destruction in the garden, you will see the evidence of that later in the post.When “big” tasks are undertaken, the everyday essential maintenance and tidying tasks are put to the side for a while. Also, two more grandsons came to stay. (What do the parents of these very tall grandchildren feed them? I’ll have some of that to give to the plants.) Plus some very good matches at Wimbledon that had to be watched. The result is, of course, that the garden looks unloved and untidy. So, this weekend you won’t see me for weeds and dead-heads….. well, if the tennis finals don’t grab my attention! (The Six-on-Saturday may be slightly shorter – my waffle, anyway.)

1)

Raspberry and rhubarb crumble just before those two tall, dark and handsome grandsons demolished the rest. The raspberries are not coming thick and fast yet but enough to add extra flavour to the rhubarb crumble.

2)

This astilbe was a present from Mr Propagator a couple of years ago. It emerged from under the forget-me-nots and perennial geraniums a few weeks ago and is doing fine.

3)

The bog standard hydrangea is at that lovely stage before it comes into full flower.

4)

The hollyhocks are back!!!! (That twig should be in the next picture.)

5)

TIMBERRR! Well, not far from the truth. I took a deep breath on Tuesday, then started to break off the very brittle twigs of that willow. I then gave the slightly exposed trunk a gentle push and it fell over! The third picture shows the stage I am at, at the moment, but the twigs shown here are about 20% of the total. I have started using the shreddings as a mulch, as shown in the fourth picture. I hope to finish the tidying of what’s left. (As it stands (or lies) I can’t fit it into the brown bin, nor can I fit it into the car to take to the recycling centre.)

The final picture shows the lawn without the willow. I need to decide what to do next!

While on the demolition topic, that was the Weigela behind the Lychnis Coronaria. It was looking straggly and I felt that a drastic prune was needed, so I did!

6)

It must be time for a picture of the compost container. (You can see one of the tiny courgettes that started rotting on the plant in the middle!) What hollyhock? Oh yes, but the compost container so completely outshines it, I hadn’t noticed.

Back to the garden. Granny’sGardenHimIndoors is not feeling too well today so decided that watching “Shane” would make him feel better! I suggested that he knew it off by heart, but apparently that is irrelevant.

Have a good weekend in the garden.

Six-on-Saturday 06-07-2019

Another nice week of weather. We enjoyed the company of delightful #3 child of Mr and Mrs P for a couple of days. He made some delicious flapjacks and shortbread but took most of them back home with him!

We have been watching the tennis this week, definitely some interesting new characters and new talents.

I had better get back to the garden before I am reprimanded for digressing!

Here are my Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

I thought the birds had stripped the redcurrant bushes of all the fruit, but they have taken all the ones that are on the top branches leaving me the awkward-to-reach berries inside the bushes.

Below is my harvest today….. not very impressive, I know.

2)

The first chopped garlic of the year! I used a few cloves for a new recipe – Spinach, Leek, Courgette and Ricotta filo pastry flan. Definitely not a success, in my opinion, but Granny’sGardenHimIndoors really enjoyed it! Hmmmm.

(The garlic was fine though.)

3)

The sempervivums are in glorious flower now. Pretty but subtle!

4)

The verbena bonariensis and perennial sweet peas make a colourful accompaniment to the dustbin and bucket! That white variety goes on and on. Here are the ones on the other side of the garden.

5)

The deep, pink Gaura which I bought on my birthday last year and I thought had died, is just coming into flower. The tall, pale pink ones in the central flowerbed were badly affected by the frost, I think. I mentioned that I dug one out and left the other which looks as though it may be flowering next week, although rather bedraggled!

6)

The sweet peas are showing colour!!!! Yes, I am sure many of you have been picking whole bunches for weeks but I am quite excited because I haven’t grown them successfully for years, if ever!!

Well, this has appeared where one of my salvias from Mr Propagator grew last year. Is it a salvia? I don’t think so.

Quite pretty though.

Have a good weekend and enjoy your garden.