Six-on-Saturday 13-04-2019

The last few days have been lovely – I hope it continues over the weekend for those of you who aren’t retired yet!

This week there is rather a mixture of subjects for my Six-on-Saturday. I have been exposing the stepping stones which, you will see later, had been almost covered by the grass.

Anyway, the sun is shining and there are so many jobs to do in the garden and the curry to make for tea so here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

This is the Christmas cactus that was rescued from the vine weevils. I did think the tiny pink buds at the tips of the leaves were more flowers but they are the new leaves forming. I have had this plant before but don’t remember them coming through like this. I must say I think it is most attractive.

2)

The deep pink haze that is the new buds forming on the Tamarisk tree looks good behind the fresh foliage of the Berberis. I was trimming off some of the dead wood in the tree when I heard this gentle twittering above me. A beautiful goldfinch was singing away in the sunshine! It looked spectacular against the Tamarisk buds and the blue sky. There was no point rushing in to get my Nexus to take a picture, the bird would have gone and I don’t think I would have done it justice.

Inevitably, there is a certain amount of déjà vu now that I am well into my second year of this wonderful blog!

3)

Before…. during…. and after the tidying of the stepping stones. I rarely manage to remove the turf evenly around the stones but the gaps seem to fill themselves very quickly. I generated two completely full tubtrugs with the “edges”. The slabs are much closer together and smaller than those in Mr Propagator’s lawn, but then I take much smaller steps than he does and have smaller feet, as you would expect!

4)

I just thought this was a very pretty narcissus next to the forget-me-nots and, in a couple of weeks time, the perennial geranium will complement it too!

5)

Courgettes are coming through nicely! I am hoping for a couple more because the two I planted out last year had quite a few that went rotten at the ends long before they were ready to pick.

6)

I thought it was time to feature the perennial geranium, rather than it being a side issue. There are plenty to dig out, but not yet.

It’s a few weeks since I showed you the compost container made for me, personally, by Mr Propagator. Well, you will have to wait until next week because I have already done at least 6 pictures – maybe a couple more – and don’t want to push my luck!

The rhubarb is nearly ready for the first crumble but Granny’sGardenHimIndoors will have to wait a few days for that.

Have a good weekend and enjoy your gardens.

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Six-on-Saturday 06-04-2019

I started last week referring to the beautiful spring weather…… I am shivering and avoiding the garden this week!

Our daughter from Dubai is over this week with one of her sons visiting a university for his interview.

(This is what happened when I offered my grandson some raspberry jam on his toast at breakfast! That’s the last of Granny’sGardenHimIndoors’ favourite – oh dear!)

She stopped overnight on Wednesday with the intention of going for a quick (or slow) run with me on Thursday morning before heading off to have lunch with Mrs P then on to stay with her mother-in-law in Hampshire. Unfortunately, we woke to gales, sleet, hail and heavy rain so decided against it, especially since the temperature here is 30° lower than in Dubai!

We had a lovely meal with our son and daughter-in-law on Mother’s Day last Sunday (or should it be Mothers’, I’m not sure where to put my apostrophe!). I will start my Six-on-Saturday with the present they gave me.

1)

This pretty shrub is Leptospermum scoparium. I am not planting anything until the fence posts have been sorted, as I mentioned last week, so this stays in the pot a little longer.

2)

Cerinthe major looking really healthy again. It seeds itself down very successfully, but mostly at the front of the flowerbeds. It doesn’t like being moved around so I will leave it until it’s finished flowering, then dig up those that are in the way.

The heuchera behind is showing new leaves, the fritillaries are going well and the perennial geranium is looking good.

3)

These tulips were beautiful and upright on Monday before the wind and rain got going. I think you can still see what the flowers look like – multi-layered and most unusual. I don’t know what variety they are but they are yet another batch from our kind relative last year.

4)

The Dicentra Spectabilis surprises me every year……one day there’s nothing then the next time I look, it is in full flower! Very pretty and the Hellibore is going on and on.

5)

Masses of buds on the two apple trees. Last year the russet on the left had one pathetic apple, but this year is much more promising! In the front of the picture, the first peony bud showing colour.

6)

This week’s mystery.

I noticed this raised bit of lawn a few weeks ago and just patted it down and mowed the lawn as usual. Then yesterday, I noticed it had been “redone”. Any ideas? I don’t think it can be a mole.

Meanwhile, a couple of Six-on-Saturday participants asked what the two new clematis plants were last week. The purple one is called Purple Rain and the white one is Elten (Montana). They are still waiting to be planted but I am hoping the work in the garden will be done soon……….then I will have no excuse!!

Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 30-03-2019

The lovely spring weather continues. Everything seems to be leaping into action! The garden isn’t a riot of colour, as I may have mentioned, but, when I look carefully, I can find plenty of new buds opening.

I felt it was time to repot some houseplants – those that replaced the ones that died in the bathroom. When I removed the plants from the container, I wondered why there were several orange tomato pips in the soil. Silly me! I decided to “Google” “What do vine weevil eggs look like?” Surprise, horrible surprise, they look like orange tomato pips!🤔😲😨😬

I got rid of the soil and have checked the plant roots. I am risking keeping them but will repot them again in a couple of weeks to check for the eggs/bugs. (I didn’t think you would want a photo of the eggs!)

On that note, I will proceed with my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

I have managed to avoid digging up the fritillaries that my son and daughter-in-law gave me last Mother’s Day! They are looking very healthy. (You can see the foliage of that perennial geranium looking healthy too!)

2)

Here’s that beautiful plant, again. It survives where I dug it up from behind the dustbin, also, beside the bird bath, behind the lavender. (The geranium is featuring, again!)

3)

Last summer I weeded the riverbank and covered it with black polythene. I looked at it a few weeks ago and saw that great chunks of the clay soil had come away (as had some of the polythene) due to the very dry winter. Rather worrying because there’s only about 30 to 40 cm of soil/clay between the stream and the garden fence. (This bright sunshine makes it rather awkward to show the damage. I think that is a rusty paint can which must have been embedded in the clay.) We have had an estimate to sink 150 cm concrete fence posts into the edge of the bank with 2 or 3 gravel boards slotted into them in order to hold back and support the rest of the bank – I will have to use all my pocket money for this month!

4)

The first broccoli pickings! It’s looking good so should provide a good few servings.

5)

I bought these two clematis plants to replace the one that disguised the water butt beside the conservatory and the one that fell down with the front garden trellis. (The geranium is trying to get into the picture again.)

6)

These are the two dead clematis. I’ll say no more.

I mentioned to Jim last week that my camelia has rather yellow leaves. My neighbour has a couple of much larger camelias both of which have several yellow/yellowing leaves. (I managed to knock one flower and two buds off when I tidied the soil around the base to take the photo!) Any ideas, Jim? I haven’t fed it much, maybe that’s what it needs.

While I was researching vine weevil eggs, I read that one gardener reckoned the leaves of her camelia had been eaten by either the grubs or the weevil itself. The “toothmarks” were just like those on this plant.

We are off shopping now. Granny’sGardenHimIndoors and I catch the bus at the end of the road and wave our cards at the nice driver who doesn’t even make us pay!

Meanwhile, Happy birthday tomorrow to our delightful, #1 son-in-law. I am rather concerned, as I mentioned to Mrs P, does a birthday trump Mother’s Day? Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 23-03-2019

We have been away for several days in sunnier climes. Guess where!

This was the view from the café where my lovely daughter and I had a well earned cappuccino and shared a delicious French Toast last week after a 4k run. I hesitate to show you my time after #1son-in-law’s impressive Half marathon last Sunday!

We had a good time with the family in Dubai but I had taken a store of photos with me from my garden so that I didn’t miss my Six-on-Saturday! There are not that many plants in the garden of the house our daughter moved into recently.

When we arrived home, there were many new flowers, shoots and buds showing. Here is a selection of them in my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The forsythia is looking lovely! I seem to have just about mastered pruning to get the best results for the next year. I can send a cutting to you, Mr Propagator, if you would like…….Oh, does that mean that you want 2? Perhaps not.

2)

The climbing rose needed pruning and training. I asked several weeks ago for advice and thanks to John K and Google, I have made a start. I haven’t secured the right hand branches properly because, in a couple of weeks, we are having some of the fence posts straightened and that panel may have to be lifted, but the panel on the left shouldn’t need to be touched.

3)

Here come the 🌷 🌷!! I can’t remember the exact colours I bought from Morrisons, but I thought they were supposed to be purple and white mixture – at the moment, I have maroon and pale yellow! In the foreground, the magnolia stellata is beginning to bloom.

4)

Rhubarb is looking good! There are several clumps around the flowerbeds but I’m not expecting to make a crumble for Granny’sGardenHimIndoors (his favourite) until late April!

5)

Love them or hate them, the forget-me-nots that escaped my drastic, autumnal cull are beginning to show some colour. Well I like them.

6)

Garden implement of the week.

This mini trowel is very useful. I have weeded the small border which goes around the greenhouse. It has stonecrop in it and a proper trowel is too clumsy. (Has anyone noticed the SWEET PEAS!! The key to success is go away for a few days and ask your neighbour to water the greenhouse seeds!!………also, buy new seeds and throw away the old ones.)

Have a good weekend.. I don’t think it should be too wet but may be cooler.

Six-on-Saturday 16-03-2019

Just a quick six this week, we are busy with grandchildren!

Hoping the winds haven’t caused you too much damage.

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

1)

It’s “Buddy Week” this time. So many buds appearing. This is the fig tree. Always looks promising but no edible fruit since Granny’sGardenHimIndoors was given it as a birthday present at least 5 years ago. It looks healthy though.

2)

Although I was worried about the Pittosporum last year, once the heavy rains of last spring died out, it stopped dropping leaves and was fine all summer. Looks promising for this year.

3)

This is a relative of the Bridal Veil shrub. It has clusters of small, white flowers but doesn’t have the lovely “drooping” branches.

4)

The magnolia stellata isn’t covered in buds but there are enough to provide a reasonable display in a few weeks time.

5)

The lilac tree. Always reliable (I hope I don’t regret saying that!) and a fragrance that immediately takes me back to childhood.

6)

Garden accessory of the week.

My #1 son-in-law mentioned that he was going to try blackberry twigs as a deterrent/barrier for slugs. I am finding it quite effective as a deterrent/barrier for the local cat population on my raised bed!

That’s it for this week. I may be a bit more colourful next week!

Six-on-Saturday 09-03-2019

Plenty to be done in the garden and the greenhouse but that forecast for later in the week is rather daunting!

A bit of a mixture, so I will get started.

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

1)

Not very good lighting but a very healthy Spider Plant. This has been going for many years. I think the original has long gone but dozens of it’s “babies” have been passed around friends and family. I have mixed feelings about it. It is not a thing of beauty but stays green and undemanding through all seasons.

2)

I don’t know whether you may remember a few weeks ago I posted a photo of the strange leaves on a new houseplant. Well, this is how it has progressed. The new leaves are definitely forming at the tip of the old leaf. (Another case of poor lighting, but I think it is clear enough to see what is happening.)

3)

No, it’s not a jar of something suspicious from the garden, just the last of the very tasty Green Tomato Chutney 😥. It has been a big success!😁 Unfortunately, or fortunately from my point of view, Granny’sGardenHimIndoors doesn’t really like chutney so I have had to eat it all myself! Apart from making the whole house smell of vinegar for a few hours, it was very easy to make.

4)

The last of the Brussels!! That giant one in the middle is a Brussel top. Four plants have yielded dozens of portions.

5)

The trough of irises, I think, but no sign of buds, yet.

6)

Garden implement of the week.

A mini dibber which saves getting the fingers and fingernails messy. Excellent for pricking out seedlings – a present from my son’s kind in-laws, along with a larger dibber. They have both been well used!

No exciting colours, this week but there is always something of interest out there.

Looking forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday.

Six-on-Saturday 02-03-2019

Into March and it’s getting cooler! I have enjoyed several weeks of being able to pull up the weeds, without too much difficulty, from our heavy clay soil until Thursday morning. The ground was just too dry and my weeding fork (featured last week) could not get under the soil. Anyway, half an hour later, I couldn’t do anything at all due to the rain pelting down!

That rain has encouraged more shoots and buds and the daffodils are coming out en masse.

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

1)

The pulmonaria is such a pretty plant with interesting leaves. I find that I need to pull up a lot of it at the end of flowering because it gets very straggly.

2)

Garden implement of the week.

No, I know it may be the same item as last week but I have been using it as a hoe rather than a fork since, as I mentioned before, I couldn’t get under the weeds so I just “cut” them off at the base with this! I will let you know if I can find another use for it!

3)

A couple of small tulips have shown their colours this week. If it’s sunny, they open right out and don’t look very tulip like. They look better like this.

4)

I could use this as a question in “Guess the plant” competition. Any ideas? Answer at the bottom of the post.

5)

The daffodils which are interspersed with the lavender plants are coming out nicely now. (A big bag of bulbs was a present from Granny’sGardenHimIndoors at least 15 years ago.) The potentilla at the front of the picture is looking rather dead, but I am hoping it’s just late getting going. The escallonia at the back of the picture needs a bit of pruning – it’s rather a thug, but fills a corner and looks good when it comes into flower.

6)

The Leaning Barrel of Granny’s Garden. Not really a tourist attraction, I admit. I think this is another result of the extremely dry winter with soil cracking and shifting. The Clematis Montana, whose many budless branches can be seen to the left of the barrel, is not looking good. Usually, it makes a lovely, fragrant camouflage for this corner.

Since I joined Mr Propagator’s Six-on-Saturday (just about this time last year)) there has been a worrying number of casualties in my garden:

One plum tree

Two clematis

One potentilla

One pussy willow

One mock orange (I think it’s dead, I can’t see any buds)

All these were established, healthy shrubs so I am rather disappointed.

I mentioned that I bought two new clematis as replacements last week but I need to sort the barrel before I put that in.

Answer to “Guess the Plant”. Well, I think the previous owner had a thing about chives: this is a fuschia plant which does very well every year but I find it so awkward to remove the chives that are in amongst the roots. I have a couple of other fuschias of the same type nearby so I think I will dig up this fuschia and the intertwined chives and get rid of them both. (All the borders have these chives appearing; also, just before I mow the lawn, I can see dozens of tall chives standing taller than the grass and the buttercups and the daisies!)

That’s it for this week. I hope the weather is not too bad where you are and you can enjoy your garden.