Six-on-Saturday 16-6-2018

We have been away since last Sunday and less than 2 hours after we arrived home on Thursday, collected our grandsons from the airport who then took us around a university Open Day yesterday. (I think we were supposed to be taking them around but since they are bigger and cleverer than us, the roles were pretty much reversed!) I don’t think I enrolled for any degree courses by mistake!

As a result of all that, the garden has been rather neglected – fortunately, my kind neighbour watered the plants, but I need to spend all weekend deadheading, weeding and generally tidying…….. however, that won’t happen since the grandsons don’t go back until Sunday afternoon!

Here are this week’s six.

1)

There will be a couple of roses this week. I’ve no idea what this is called but the colours are rather nice. It has been in the garden for at least 15 years and is going strong.

2)

This is just about half of the Special Child rose bush. It will be stunning for at least 4 or 5 months with the flowers coming back in different shades of pink as I have mentioned before.

3)

The Lychnis Coronaria started flowering properly while we were away. I like it against the Heuchera which is showing no signs of flowering yet! The Cerinthe Major is a little faded now – I think I will try cutting it back to see whether it bushes out again this year.

4)

The small lavender hedge at the front of the garden was a mixture of plants I grew from seeds, cuttings of established plants and a couple of small, bought plants. I rarely cut it back at the right time because it is always covered in bees even when the flowers are way past their prime! (I think I can see one in the middle of the photo.)

5)

The mock orange is a lovely flower and perfume but these two clusters are the sum total of ALL the blooms on the whole 2 metre high and wide shrub! This is in the same general area of the garden as the poor plum tree and the partially dried rose….. strange?!

6)

The clematis jackmanii is starting to flower now! I do like it BUT ….. I only just noticed that bindweed at the back!!!!! I think it will be quite a major operation to unwind it and pull it up.

Well, that’s my Six-on-Saturday for this week. There is very hot weather forecast for a few days hence, although last night we had a good, but short, downpour. Off shopping for a dinner jacket each for the grandsons – they are much cheaper here than where they live! Then tomorrow, back to the airport for them…… we will be rather miserable, they are good fun.

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Six-on-Saturday 9-6-2018

The garden is at an “in between” stage – the peonies, the Aquilegias, the forget-me-nots and even the perennial geraniums are over their best. (The perennial geraniums will come back later, you will be pleased to hear.)

There are a few roses in this week but there are plenty more to come. The Lychnis Coronaria is poised and ready, as is the lavender, the Gaura, the hollyhocks, the clematis jackmanii and the perennial sweet pea.

I linked my slightly younger sister (although you wouldn’t realise it, I keep telling her) into my Sixes-on-Saturday, but instead of amazement and admiration, I had a complaint about a misplaced apostrophe (I know, a cardinal sin but she was correct that time) and a complaint that I should have written “blowsy” instead of “blousy”! I looked up “blowsy”: – coarse, untidy and red faced…….and “blousy”: – characteristic of a blouse, loose flowing. I know which I prefer, the poppy last week was definitely “loose flowing”.

After all that digressing, here is/are my Six-on-Saturday.

1) a),b),c) and d)

Roses, roses, roses and more 🌹. I haven’t any red or white ones, unless the Lucky Dip ones turn out to be those colours! I will have to wait and see…….. that is if they flower this year. All my roses are orange, yellow, pink or very pale pink.

The small, third rose was given to me by my cousin as an indoor plant about 8 years ago. It didn’t do much inside, so I planted it outside and the next season it had 20 blooms! It has varied over the last few years but it is a pretty plant. (The rose foliage behind it belongs to one of my Lucky Dip ones.)

The last picture shows an old rose bush that appeared to be dying from the bottom upwards this year, but, as you can see, the buds are fine and it seems to be flowering happily.

2)

Well…… some signs of life on the plum tree! We will see what happens.

3)

Another beautiful poppy! All the poppies in the garden are self-seeded. Behind it is one of the perennial sweet peas I may have mentioned already. I think it should flower within the next couple of weeks.

4)

My #1 son-in-law gave me a gooseberry cutting last year, I think.

I wouldn’t say that the crop is bountiful, but not bad for its first season – I might make a small Gooseberry Fool!

(All the blueberries seem to be being eaten before they achieve a reasonable size but the blackcurrants and redcurrants are definitely bountiful!! I have just had a length of fleece delivered so will try to make a structure to support the fleece over the relevant plants – too late for the blueberries this year, I’m afraid.)

5)

I know Feverfew can be a pain but, in moderation, it is a fresh splash of white. The Special Child rose behind is nearly ready – it is covered in buds.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb continues to provide plenty of crumbles.

Can anyone spot the usual…………..?

6)

This lovely honeysuckle is the other side of what is known as”Granny’s river”. Although the fence is at the bottom of our garden, we are responsible for keeping our side (as far as the middle of the river) neat and tidy – called Riparian rights. Unfortunately, I can’t get to my side due to the brambles, holly and nettles coming from the hedge the other side! If the council don’t clear it soon, I will have to put on the wellies and protective garments and attack my weeds. The fence panel does lift out quite easily and I can abseil down…… well, I used to, now I go down a ladder! (It is all of 1.5 metres down to a 7 cm deep river!)

(No, I don’t use any power tools, just a trowel and some garden shears!)

I hope no one noticed my impromptu Six-on-Saturday mistakenly published on Thursday but deleted, I hope, very quickly. Fortunately, Granny’sGardenHimIndoors noticed it and sorted it out for me.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of the Sixes-on-Saturday, although it does take a long time to read them all – I am afraid I must miss some.

Six-on-Saturday 2-6-2018

Well, my mower finally packed up yesterday. The last twice I have used it, I have had to remove the blade, spray copious amounts of WD-40 on it, then glare and swear at it and bully it into life.

That didn’t work yesterday, so since I couldn’t find the receipt from 18 years ago, Granny’sGardenHimIndoors leapt into action and dashed off to our nearest Wickes and bought me a new one! The lawn looks better than it has for years.

All this torrential rain has kept the soil workable for longer than usual making weeding much easier.

I noticed a smell of basil in the greenhouse when I went in early yesterday morning and saw a huge snail munching the largest of my 4 very small basil plants. Hmmmmm.

Here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The raised bed first had 4 sacks of well rotted horse manure, then 4 fifty pound sacks of mushroom compost mingled with a little soil and plenty of garden compost. I was hoping to plant seeds in it straight away but I know you have to wait for a while until it isn’t as strong.

(The Tamarix tree has lost all the pink and will remain a dull brown colour until the green “leaves” take over. They are more like conifer greenery than ordinary leaves. The plastic domes are to discourage the pigeons and slugs from my courgettes and Brussels.)

2)

These two little troughs of sempervivums have revived somewhat. They were packed with plenty of degradable “polystyrene” but although the arrows showed which way up the box should be transported, the plants were all at different angles or completely upside down and rather sorry for themselves!

3)

This Primula that Mr Propagator gave me has shot up from the middle of the flowers that have finished to make a completely new flowerhead……..has anyone else had this?

4)

I think this is a pyracantha but I am not sure. It comes back each year and is rather pretty.

5)

This poppy is beautiful and blousy every year! It is in the front garden and I have been asked several times for seeds once it has finished flowering.

The Acer is quite striking but it doesn’t get any bigger – it has been there for at least 10 years!

At the left is a different perennial geranium. This one gets larger but doesn’t spread all around the neighbourhood.

6)

I know you are thinking ” Not again!!!!” Well, yes, but I hope you notice the white blooms among the standard pink ones. They are on the same plants as the pink yet are a perfect white!

That’s it for another week! The forecast is for a good weekend here so maybe some time in the garden? I hope Mr Kingdon checks his predictive text before he refers to my erratic or even exotic power tools again.

Six-on-Saturday 26-5-2018

The rain has done a lot of good in the garden but suddenly the peonies, lilac and even the perennial geranium look very ragged. The forecast is not too promising either so I think I will sort the standard geraniums into containers and put the new sempervivums into the troughs by the front door – but that will be in next week’s Six.

1) (Warning – the next item contains material that some viewers may find distressing, so have the hankies and violins ready.)

You may remember that beautiful plum blossom several weeks ago, well, after the frost it started dying back – not just the blossom, but the leaves, the little plums and some of the branches started shrivelling up, too! This happened a long time ago to a plum tree in our previous garden which just died completely. I decided to cut back the affected branches (i.e. all of them) except one which still has a couple of dozen little plums on, although I don’t hold out much hope for it. The result is awful, as you can see, but I will give it until next year before it comes out completely, or picks up.

(Apparently, in Portugal, the fruit trees are often planted in valleys and if a frost is forecast, several bonfires are lit among the trees to form a warm atmosphere and protect the blossom – information from a horticulturalist friend of mine!)

2)!

The raised bed is almost complete, I just need to strengthen the sides. It should be easier to hammer a couple of stakes into the ground now the rain has softened the clay! The fence pieces were covered in green so I scrubbed them, dried them then sanded the worst marks that didn’t wash off. (Unfortunately, my electric sander was shooting out pieces of metal the last time I used it so that went and I had to do it the old fashioned way!) I gave the fence pieces a coat of linseed oil which made them look better – I decided not to paint it to match the shed.

3)

The courgettes seedlings are coming on now – as I have mentioned, I am late with my seeds this year.

4)

I planted a few perennial Sweet Pea seeds many years ago. Each year they come up in abundance and I have to tie them to the fence. The climbing rose was pretty last year and has plenty of buds this time.

5)

The geum could do with some better support, I need to see to that stray stem.

6)

I have had bluebells, pinkbells and now whitebells! This is nearly over so looks rather similar to the wild garlic, but it definitely isn’t!

Well, not a very colourful Six-on-Saturday this week but I have been neglecting the flowers and concentrating on construction and destruction. Looking forward to seeing your Sixes.

Six-on-Saturday 19-5-2018

Had a busy week just potting some seedlings, planting runner beans and putting the strawberries that Granny’sGardenHimIndoors bought me from Morrisons into the old wheelbarrow, amongst other things.

I have nearly finished a raised bed made from some low picket fences I bought at least 10 years ago from Argos. I thought they were all the same size but 2 of the 6 were different. Quite challenging and took all day Thursday. I will line it with some permeable sheeting. I hope it will be completed for next week.

Looking forward to a sunny weekend!

1)

PEONIES at last! This plant is a couple of days earlier than the others. The Weigela behind is looking good. The perennial geranium continues to impress.

2)

Just down the flowerbed, the Aquilegias are thriving along with the rhubarb, the sedum, the Lychnis Coronaria, the Heuchra I grew from seed many years ago, some forget-me-nots which have had a short reprieve and, at the back, the Special Child rose bush. Have I missed anything?

3)

These strawberries were £1 each and are very healthy. I will show them in their wheelbarrow in a couple of weeks.

4)

If you look closely, you can count 6 runner bean plants although one is nearly hidden by the peony. I have put in another 6 bean seeds in case any of these don’t survive.

5)

The wheelbarrow can be seen at the left but it is a bit untidy, at the moment. I put the strawberries into compost in an old “Green box” from ages back but the top of the box protruded above the edge of the wheelbarrow so I bought some hay from a pet shop with the idea of hiding the box.

Meanwhile, the Tamarix tree is getting more feathery. The raised bed is in place behind it but I cannot hammer the stakes in enough due to the very hard clay soil. This afternoon I will water around them and hope to soften the soil enough! (The pile of bricks is the path I had to lift to fit the raised bed in. I will use them to put a path across the front of the raised bed. I am trying to be able to reach all the vegetable garden from paths made from left over bricks and blocks from our driveway and patio.)

6)

The Welsh Poppy looks lovely – it shows off the perennial geranium a treat!

Last night I found an old gardening programme called “Real Gardens”. A very young Monty Don and Carol Klein and no sign of Nigel. Quite gentle watching. Does anyone remember “Garden Club”? I felt that was about real people in real gardens.

Well, I must do the ironing at some point and clean the bathroom but I think that can wait for a rainy day…….it had better rain soon!!

Six-on-Saturday 12-5-2018

This week I made the decision to dig over the vegetable plot since the pigeons have put paid to any seeds which did eventually peep through the soil. As Mr P suggested, I need to cover them with fleece or netting – fleece would be best to keep off the Cabbage White butterfly when I plant out the Brussels and Broccoli.

I ordered some delphiniums, begonia corms, strawberries and geraniums a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the delphiniums looked pretty poor when they arrived, the begonia corms had no shoots and still haven’t after a few weeks in the potting compost and 7 out of the 12 strawberries look dead! The geraniums seem fine so I think I will phone the suppliers (who, very quickly, refunded me for the delphiniums) to see about the rest of the plants.

In the greenhouse, 4 runner beans have sprouted, although something has eaten the top of the 5th one, the courgettes are showing through as are the Brussels and Broccoli. I am very late with sewing some seeds but with going away in March, I didn’t like to leave too much for our neighbours to water.

Anyway, here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The Pittosporum is in full flower! I thought they would be red, but there are tiny, deep purple flowers on each stem. They don’t show up very well but the plant itself is a nice shape and I am quite happy with it.

2)

The Aquilegias are all suddenly springing into flower! I have several different ones dotted about the garden, mostly self-seeded. Meanwhile. I am still waiting for the peonies to actually bloom – there is one on the left here, poised and ready. The perennial geranium provides a bit of colour at the base.

3)

I have a couple of Gaura plants beside the bird bath. They flower all summer long and have done since I grew them from seed about 15 years ago. Originally, I put some small plants at the base of the birdbath, however, they didn’t look very exciting so I decided to try the much taller Gaura plants. They do need to be staked but will look pretty with my cane toppers! The perennial geranium provides a bit of colour at the top.

4)

Soft fruit bushes here. The top photo shows the blackcurrants and redcurrants. About 5 years ago, I had to dig up very large bushes of both. So I simply cut off a few twigs from each and stuck them in the ground at the bottom of the garden. That was a very wet winter and, I admit, that I forgot about them because I didn’t go down the garden for weeks. Anyway, spring eventually arrived and when I ventured down there, I found that they were all shooting! There must be at least 10 bushes in a small bed (about 2′ by 4′) but they seem very healthy and productive so I am leaving them, at the moment. (The blackcurrants fruited from the first year but this is the first time the redcurrants have shown more than a couple of berries/currants.)

The lower picture shows one of my 3 blueberry bushes. I bought them last year. They didn’t fruit – I didn’t expect them to – but, clearly, there are quite a few berries this time.

5)

The Lathyrus vernus is now showing its colourful pods which will stay until the end of the season. The perennial geranium provides a bit of colour underneath.

6)

The lilac tree is looking and smelling lovely! The bush that hides the brown bin is in full flower – they don’t smell at all, although the foliage has the pungent aroma I referred to a few weeks ago. The tamarix tree is progressing towards the “Pink Feather” look – I think it is beautiful. Meanwhile, Granny’sGardenHimIndoors decided to take a photo of Granny taking a photo of the lilac! (If any of the family are worried, he did find his way back to the house…..on his own, without the SatNav!)

That’s it for this week. Hope you enjoy your shorter weekend – never mind, there is another long weekend in a fortnight. I think the forecast is good again, although not quite as hot.

Six-on-Saturday 5-5-18

Well, what a lovely start to the week! A day with Mr and Mrs Propagator and their amazing children. I had a comprehensive tour of the estate conducted by #1 son-in-law himself. I saw the 🌷, living wall, 🌷, compost heap, 🌷, planter, 🌷, veg garden, 🌷 and greenhouse…oh and tulips! Very impressive and colourful – even better in real life.

PS. I admired Mr Propagator’s plants so I was given this selection of primulas, salvias and tomatoes.

Isn’t he kind!?

Is there a party to celebrate the 1st year?📣💥🎇🎆🎉🎊 If so, I haven’t had an official invitation, yet, but well done anyway! As I may have said, it has got me back to enjoying my garden more, at least until the clay hardens and I need a pick axe to-do any weeding at all!

Anyway, here is my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

I haven’t seen any other pictures of pink bluebells this year. (I should have pulled out that weed at the back!) Although, I am not sure of the nationality of it.

2)

This clematis is beautiful every year. I cut it back to a skeleton sometimes twice in a season and it thrives.

3)a)

b)

There is a connection here! The first picture shows two of my most useful garden items :-

a) the golf club (minus the club head) is essential for making holes in the clay soil for my stakes. I can hammer it down as viciously as I like without it snapping ready for the cane and, of course, the cane topper. Also, my husband uses a right-handed golf glove so when it splits, he passes it to me. I always wear out the right-hand garden glove so this works well. ( Many would say that I need to be more “at one” with the soil and use my bare hands but I can pick up slugs, snails and worms without flinching!)

b) Golf tees don’t rot down on the compost heap, although that worm looks as though he is going to have a go!

4)

The Solomon’s Seal has come on really well. I expect yours has caught up now, Jim. (I understand you were the first to join Mr P with the Six-on-Saturday.)

5)

I had a dozen or so of these irises in clumps around the garden but only one clump still flowers. They look pretty with the perennial geraniums and forget-me-nots and rhubarb and spirea. ( I think there is a Wild Garlic almost hidden in there, too!)

6)


That COMPOST CONTAINER is empty and waiting for the next lot of grass cuttings, vegetable peelings, dead mice, shredded paper and any other suitable detritus! I put the contents into the “dalek” to the right, which, in turn, had been emptied into the “dalek” to the right of it, which, in turn, had been emptied of it’s well rotted garden compost onto the potato sacks and onto the Runner bean patch.

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