Six-on-Saturday 04-07-2020

I thought I might have difficulty finding six more different things to include this week : I’ve done the penstemons, roses, fuchsias, lavender, hollyhocks so what else is there? After 5 minutes in the garden with my tablet, I had found a few new plants and many repeats, but still worth a mention, I hope. Let’s get started.1)This is the beautiful rose that was hidden by an overgrown shrub last year. I showed it in bud form a couple of weeks ago but I think it is stunning when fully open. The photo doesn’t do it justice.2)Last week.This week. Yes, spot the difference. I have cut the top 2 to 3 metres off the lilac tree. I did have fun with my saw and shredder for the next couple of hours!It looks awful and we now have a view of a few more gravestones, but from further up the garden, it looks fine. I need to keep it under control, it grows so quickly.3)Some of the lilac branches fell onto the potato plants. They seem to have recovered, so (before anyone else cracks the joke) I won’t be digging up ready mashed potatoes! πŸ€­πŸ˜„πŸ€£4)This patch of hollyhocks contained all deep burgundy flowers. I wasn’t expecting the other colours to muscle in.5)The first sweet pea flower climbing up the bird table support. The ones I replanted by the obelisk are struggling a bit but should be fine eventually.6)I just thought that the rose at its various stages from bud to fully open looked pretty on the one stem.That’s it again. Unfortunately, Grannysgardenhimindoors and I must have spent an hour trying to find where WordPress was telling me I had used all my allotted space. It was refusing to allow me to download my photos onto my post. I binned some very old posts…….wrong, then a few photos from my gallery…….wrong. We found that we needed to delete photos that had (unknown to me) been stored in WordPress media. Sorted.Finally, a question to Mr Propagator .If I just chop off the top of the dianthus, below, will it flower again?Have a good weekend in your garden, all.

Six-on-Saturday 27-06-2020

Rather hot here this week but with none of the frightening hail storms reported in the North East of England. I hope everyone there is all right. There is plenty to do in the garden but, in general, it looks quite good from a distance. I have put in a couple of long shots, one in the morning light and one from the conservatory in the evening, later on.

Here is this week’s Six-on-Saturday.

1)

There are a few buds further down the rose but all the present blooms are right at the top. It looks better in the morning light.(Apologies for that dark shadow.)

2)

I like the gentler morning light in the first picture. Then that verbena boniarensis in the second picture is amazing. So long as I keep its seedlings under control in amongst the patio stones, it is an excellent plant in a tiny patch of soil.

3)

The Peace rose is looking much better this year after a disappointing season in 2019 when there were very few blooms and those that opened were shrivelled and pathetic.

4)

You may have noticed in the long shots that the hollyhocks are starting to show some colour. The beautiful darker burgundy coloured ones are not in flower yet unless they have all turned into these dark salmon-pink ones. We shall see soon.

5)

The “hedge” fuchsia is just beginning to flower now……another of my many favourite plants. (That bindweed has been removed since.)

6)

The heuchera is responding well to being allowed air space since I cut back the Cerinthe major a couple of weeks ago. The Veronica behind it has struggled for years and was on its final warning. Either that warning, or the well rotted horse manure I put around it in the spring have done the trick – I will show it in flower soon. Behind the Veronica the gladioli are looking healthy.

Another week goes by. I hope to cut back the lilac tree near the garden shed this weekend. It has grown rather tall since its last drastic prune about 4 years ago. Also, general weeding and deadheading are on the list.

Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 20-06-2020

Something has been eating the large broad beans, not just the newly formed ones. 😑 So, that’s it with the broad beans; the black flies (and whatever else) have won. I will try peas next season.

We had to go to Cheltenham on Thursday and we experienced the most awful thunderstorm and flooding. It was quite frightening to drive in. The garden loved it, although some plants were rather battered. All survived and the top couple of centimetres of soil is easier to dig.

Anyway, on to this week’s Six-on-Saturday. The penstemons are showing colour – I didn’t realise I had so many different ones.

1)

Just a selection. There are some more but I would be being rather greedy. I think the penultimate one is upside down. πŸ™ƒ

2)

Remember that azalea that was struggling a few months ago?

3)

The front lavender hedge took a bashing from the rain but should pick up, I think. You can see a couple of happy bees on it.

4)

The tall, white gaura in the middle bed is suddenly flowering away. The small one I thought had died, but then showed lots of leaves……is dead.

5)

Some of this week’s harvest. I shared the raspberry crop with Grannysgardenhimindoors this time. Some of the red onions have bolted but, I think, are still tasty enough. I pruned one of the bay trees that had been caught by the frost and salvaged several leaves which have been drying in the greenhouse.

6)

The hanging baskets (flowers courtesy of the milkman) are filling out nicely.

(A quick update on that clematis:

it swayed quite dramatically in the wind, but came through undamaged. )

That’s it again. I hope no one is counting.πŸ˜‰ I think tomorrow is a pottering, weeding and tying back day, plus mowing the lawns. The forecast here is fine and I hope it’s good for you too. Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 13-06-2020

We had our first taste of the broad beans, well just the tops because although they are a dwarf variety, some are pushing against the top of the fruit cage and I understand that the tops should be snipped off anyway at this stage. I think I should have steamed them for a couple of seconds rather than a couple of minutes, but quite tasty.

Last week, just after I had published my post, that angelic cat stretched up the window then knocked over the vase with the red hydrangea in it slightly damaging the blooms. It’s fixed with a bit of well-hidden sticky tape.

On to this week’s Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The jackmanii is completely covered in buds. (There’s a pretty white bindweed flower the other side but I decided against showing that.)

2)

The first, slightly pathetic, delphinium. They seem to struggle in this soil – at least, so I thought until I looked at my neighbour’s plant which is huge and well into flowering mode.

3)

The first of the autumn raspberries. I ate it all myself…..very tasty too. (I have now pulled out the Horse Tail plants you can see.)

4)

Tomato flowers. The plants look very healthy and maybe are a bit late but not a problem.

5)

The Brussels plants are getting rather squashed! I am hoping to dig out the red onions in the section to the right so that I can plant the Brussels there. Unfortunately, the onions aren’t quite ready. I may risk removing the central wire section to give them space. Will the pigeons and caterpillars still be interested ? Not sure.

6)

Penstemons getting started. There is quite a variety of colours around the garden but not many are flowering yet.

Who? Me? As if…………….. he has to get into the photos.

That’s it again. Are we getting closer to normality? I hope so but a long way to go, I fear.

Have a good weekend. The forecast is fine here, so, with some rain this evening, πŸ€žπŸ’¦β˜” we should be able to get some gardening done.

Six-on-Saturday 06-06-2020

I’ve been playing Hide and Seek, or Search and Rescue in the garden this week. I decided the perennial geranium had done very well this spring but was looking decidedly untidy now. So, I removed nearly 2 sacks full of it (plus a rampant Cat-mint) and rescued..

●2 miniature roses

●several gladioli

●a creeping calendula

●a dianthus

and allowed the fresh air to get to many of the alliums which were being overshadowed by the geranium.

There is still more anticipation of blooms than actual blooms themselves in the garden at the moment, but soon……..πŸ€žπŸ˜‰

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

1)

The first of the Lychnis Coronaria. Such a striking pink against the soft green foliage.

2)

This Euonymus in the front garden is in full bloom and covered in very busy bees. You can’t see them but take it from me, the noise is quite loud.

3)

I know I showed the first pink poppy recently, but they look even more striking en masse.

4)

The tiny flowered fuchsia that Jim kindly gave me last June is coming on well now. I was rather worried that the frost last winter had killed it but it behaved like our larger, common,”hedge” fuchsia which also “dies off” after the first frost but comes back strongly each spring.

5)

Suddenly, broad beans are appearing, albeit small just now. I’m hoping for our first picking in a couple of weeks’ time. Meanwhile, in the fruit garden, or trough….

Yes! Strawberries – well, a strawberry each for tea.

6)

That small, dark pink gaura has been stuck at this stage for weeks, i.e. lots of twigs and a few shoots. I think I will do as Mr Propagator’s done and dig it out.

I didn’t want to finish on a negative note so one of my tasks this week was to paint some dried hydrangea heads which I have had hanging around the garage waiting to be used for a couple of years now. Mrs Propagator gave me a boiled wool vase* a few years ago but it didn’t look right with fresh flowers in it. My idea was to use these hydrangea heads and I think they look right.

The vase is on a shelf in the bathroom and I do like it. I am in two minds as to whether I should give it another spray of white paint or leave it as it is with the slightly antique look.πŸ€”

Meanwhile, in the conservatory

Red goes nicely against black and white. πŸ˜„πŸ™‚

*The idea is to put a jam jar into the woolen vase and fill with flowers and water or, in my case, sand and dried flowers.

Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 30-05-2020

Another beautiful weather week, but no much-needed rain in the foreseeable future according to my forecast. I think I have completely de-forget-me-notted the garden this week but, like Arnie, they will be back! The hanging basket plants from my milkman arrived on Thursday evening. Not cheap but very good quality. The garden is still on the verge of erupting into colour. There are a couple more roses showing but still plenty to come.

Let’s get on with this week’s Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The first rose was smothered by the large shrub I cut back rather too late in the season to allow the rose to show properly last year. It’s a lovely, delicate shade.

The second one is the start of the Special Child rose which usually has at least three sessions of flowering.

2)

The salvia “Hot Lips” is looking very good, in spite of me treading on it at least twice when I was tidying the front garden at the start of Lockdown.

3)

One of the three hanging baskets just planted with pelagoniums and lobelias. I have made a dip in the centre of the soil to try to prevent the water running off the top…..I hope it works.

4)

A rogue lavender that self-seeded in the tiniest of spaces with about 1/2 cm of soil. I used to have that strip filled with compost but it kept “disappearing”. Since many stones seem to be making their way to the surface of the soil all over the garden just now, I decided to use them instead of compost. It certainly “killed two birds with…” well, perhaps not one stone.πŸ€­πŸ¦†πŸ¦šπŸ˜‰

5)

The courgettes and the potatoes are suddenly coming on in leaps and bounds. There is one courgette flower and the “eaten” plant at the left is bouncing back. I need to put something bordering the potatoes so that I can earth them up some more. I haven’t any more pallets, so, if we can demolish the contents of another box of wine, cardboard may contain it well enough.🍾🍷 Watch this space next week.

6)

Finishing still on the vegetable theme, those fruit cages seem to have protected the broad beans, Brussels, Swiss Chard* and broccoli**. (I do hope I am not speaking too soon.) I managed to fit five Brussels in the space between the two fruit cages. I had to make a removable bit of netting to cover them…..it appears to have worked, too.

*Hiding to the left of the broad beans. We’ve had a few pickings from them already.

** Not shown in these photos, but doing well the other side of the red onions.

Anyway, that’s it again. Another week goes by. Perhaps in a few more weeks we will be able to see our families without the Social Distancing. We look forward to that. Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 23-05-2020

Who’s been moaning about lack of roses and runner beans? Not me, surely. Anyway, we will see how they are progressing later.

I decided to tidy the compost corner on Wednesday, so, I spread the contents from the two “daleks” around the garden, transferred the stuff from THE compost container into the empty daleks, removed the wild garlic from beside them (leaves only – the soil was far too hard to try to dig up some of the thousands of tiny bulbs) and weeded around the brown bin. πŸ˜‡ Each job led on to the next because as one area was tidied, the area beside it looked untidy so had to be done. πŸ˜₯πŸ₯΅πŸ˜΄

Time for my Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

You wait ages for one rose to come along, then …………..etc!

2)

Runner beans among the peony petals. The way to make them appear is to start a whole new batch in the greenhouse. πŸ™„ (They are coming along nicely, too.)

3)

I wanted a container for the spare tools I keep near the compost. I used a large flowerpot before but the tools didn’t stay upright….here’s another successful use for half a pallet. (The old dustbin is for cuttings awaiting shredding, but I did that on Wednesday as well.)

4)

The first iris. Rather pretty.

5)

The Persicaria looks promising now all the frosted leaves are removed.

6)

A rather windswept poppy. This one seems to propagate itself with spreading roots. It causes many comments and many requests for seeds. I think I mention this every year. At the base of the picture is the Salvia “Hot Lips”. I will show a better photo of it next week.

I thought I had better show a picture of the nice, clean, empty, relined compost container. (We only drink the wine so that I have enough cardboard boxes for this compost liner. 🀞πŸ€₯πŸ˜‰)

On that note, I will finish for this week. We are forecast strong winds and sunshine for the weekend, so not much sitting in the garden. Enjoy yourself anyway.

Six-on-Saturday 16-05-2020

I still can’t find more than a couple of buds on the roses. Disappointing, I depend on them for a source of colour all season once they start. No sign of runner beans although several were planted a couple of weeks ago. I think the garden needs some TLC and attention again.

Enough moaning, there are one or two pretty plants in the garden to show this week.

1)

The first foxglove in flower. Several more to come. If the verbena boniarensis shows some colour soon, this corner will look quite pretty.

2)

Remember this last week?

I’m afraid the frost did this to the Persicaria a few days ago. 😫 I will cut off the dead leaves and see whether it comes back again. A couple of times in the spring, a sudden frost did affect the shoots and simply acted as an impromptu pruning. However, the dianthus is just starting and should go on for months now.

3)

Today’s pickings. They may not look amazing but we have had quite a few from the seeds I squashed into the gaps at the side of the fruit cages.

4)

I think the pigeons are trying to get back at me for cutting off their supply of fresh green shoots under the fruit cages. They have landed on and broken a couple of branches of raspberries and now, a branch of the Tamarix tree! (I want to rotate the compost containers behind but I don’t want to wreck that healthy hollyhock in front of the middle one.)

5)

The fig tree is doing well this year. There are at least 6 fruits which should ripen.

6)

I had to show how that clematis is getting on. It’s beautiful! The dead plum tree support has a weird white fungus on the back right hand branch. It’s been there some time but is very small and patchy.

Well another week goes by. The chilly, sunny weather is very nice but we do need rain and there doesn’t appear to be any in the next week. Watering cans out again.

Have a good week.

Six-on-Saturday 09-05-2020


There have been a few disappointments and a few successes this week. In the raised bed, something has dared to attack the newly planted broccoli INSIDE the fruit cages. Something else has eaten the top of one of my courgette plants and yet another something has been nibbling at the sweet peas. I won’t bother with the associated photos…….too horrifying!

On the plus side, the peonies are coming on a treat. (See the result of the First Peony puzzle later.) The leaf beet likes being out in the new fruit cages and the broad beans have plenty of flowers which haven’t been attacked…..yet.

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

1)

The top one wins! (Thursday)

One day later and several are open.πŸ˜ƒ

About 45 years ago, GGHI’s aunt gave me a “root” of a peony with the comment that they don’t like being split or moved. I duly planted it in Staffordshire, split it, replanted them around the garden, took some roots to Derbyshire, split them, replanted them around the garden, took some roots to Gloucestershire, (anyone still awake?) and here we are! They don’t last long in flower but I think they are beautiful.

2)

I do like these Welsh poppies. The only trouble is they don’t like being moved and just appear where they fancy.

3)

As promised, the Persicaria that #1 son-in-law gave me last year. Beside it is a dianthus (I think) again from Mr Propagator. I’m having to make sure they don’t go too berserk and swamp each other.

4)

The clematis I was so disappointed with initially because I wanted a red one. Last year it was really good, going on and on. It seems to be getting “redder” every time I see it. Masses of buds…..very promising.

5)

Some more alliums. They are very pretty but I don’t think all 100 of them will flower.

6)

I know I have done this one before but once the Tamarix starts to lose the pink feathers, it looks quite grim and dull for several weeks. This may be its last colourful week.

I hope all is well with you and yours. Have a good weekend and enjoy your garden.

Six-on-Saturday 02-05-2020

We have had a good bit of rain this week, thank goodness. Suddenly, the colours are brighter and everything has grown dramatically. We had our first picking of rhubarb (rhubarb sponge for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s pudding) and our last picking of broccoli leaves (potato and spinach curry for Friday’s tea). I prefer the coarser texture of the broccoli leaves to proper spinach in this curry.

On to this week’s Six-on-Saturday.

1)

I wasn’t too drastic in my pruning of this spirea last year and I think it is looking better than usual. I like the different colours and heights of the branches. Notice the dianthus just below the spirea. That lasted all winter in a trough. I’m hoping it will bush out and keep flowering.

2)

Which peony will open first? The single, or one of the bush? I spent Friday afternoon digging up the bindweed, some of which you can see behind the single peony. It gets through and underneath the gravel boards from next door which is surprising since there are no flowerbeds in that garden!

3)

Our resident cat limbering up ready to spend the day resting inside on his favourite cushion. The raspberry bed on the right seems to have several gaps this year. Once they get going, the ones you can see should provide a good enough crop. They are the autumn fruiting variety that starts ripening in June!4)

I wish I had sieved the compost in the raised bed like I did last year. The twiggy bits from the shredder should have gone back on the compost heap. Never mind, the leaf beet, dwarf broad beans and the spring onions seem quite happy in the first picture and the red onions and broccoli plants in the second picture are doing fine. I planted the rather old garlic cloves from two years ago down the left hand side but I have my doubts as to whether they will grow. They still tasted all right in my cooking but had gone very leathery and certainly wouldn’t go through the garlic press. I thinned out the radishes at the bottom of both photos. Apparently, the whole thinnings are fine to use on salads…..err,no, we didn’t like them, they were much too bitter. I shall be patient and wait for the proper radishes to be ready.

5)

The first of the alliums. Pretty, but I expected them to be much taller. The aquilegias are starting now, always a nice variety of colours after the spring bulbs have finished.

6)

I wasn’t sure whether I should finish with the recently planted out courgettes or the Mexican Orange Blossom seen through the tamarix…….the courgettes can wait until next week. πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘©β€πŸŒΎπŸ₯’πŸ₯’(Yes, one of the next tasks is rubbing down and restaining the wheelbarrow!)

Have a good weekend. I hope you are all keeping well. I’m afraid we are not on the final stretch yet. Look after yourselves.