Six-on-Saturday 18-08-2018

Rather late this week. We entertained and fed 9 people yesterday and have 7 today and tomorrow. Good fun but rather a lot of catering! Then this morning I went on the Parkrun, as usual, but took my daughter and two grandchildren. Well, you would think they would have the manners to wait for me, but no, my granddaughter even had the nerve to lap me!

Enough of that – the garden is nearly colourful again. A couple of my pictures show flowers about to bloom. Here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The (slightly blurred) gladiolus is forming buds. I planted many of them in groups, but not many are showing buds, yet.

The sedum (I know we call it something different now but I always think of it as sedum) is showing a slight pink haze. The bees and other insects are showing a keen interest already.

2)

Raspberries are now doing well. Very nice on a simple cheesecake or frozen to make jam at a later date.

3)

You may remember that I complained that something had demolished my broccoli plants and all but one looked like this, or worse, well, now all but one look like this……..

…or better! Very pleasing!

4)

Apples are looking good but not nearly ready yet.

5)

This rose bush was in a sorry state earlier in the season. I think I showed it when it was starting to pick up – it certainly has now!

6)

Do I hear cries of “Welcome back!” or groans of “Not again!”? Well, I am pleased to see it. It is slightly smaller than the original flowering but worth having.

That’s it, again. The family have gone to a football match with Granny’sGardenHimIndoors and last time I checked, their team was losing! Oh dear, the youngsters take it so seriously!

Have a good weekend and I hope I shall have time to read the other posts.

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Six-on-Saturday 11-08-2018

I couldn’t hang out the washing yesterday, there was too much rain!! It was just what we needed, so I am very happy and will hang out the washing tomorrow.

I am waiting for some new colour just now but I hope the photos are of some interest anyway. Here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The helenium is in its second season and much better this time. It was a plant given to me by……guess who! Yes, Mr Propagator, again, so thank you, again.

I don’t remember seeing the leaves on the rhubarb turning red at the edges before, however, it is still producing enough for a rhubarb crumble quite frequently.

2)

This is a Salvia Amethyst from Mr P earlier in the year. It’s a very pretty blue but the blooms are falling off rather quickly either from the dry weather or from the heavy rain or the gusty winds!! Plenty more to come, fortunately.

3)

These two plants were grown from seeds my neighbour and I collected years ago when visiting some gardens in the Gardener’s World offer of 2 for 1 entry in their monthly magazine. The plum coloured stalk in the first picture is rather uninteresting on its own but, if I remember to, I collect the seeds in the autumn then plant several at the back of the border in a cluster – they look good like that.

The second picture shows a plant which has small, pale blue flowers but the foliage is interesting in that it looks like a little tree. I will show that later when it flowers. Both the plants self-seed each year.

4)

The herb garden has been very healthy this year. The mint, parsley, chives, sage and basil have all done well. There was a rosemary tree which I cut down completely due to it being too big for its position but I have a smaller version in a different bed. There is a thyme bush and an oregano plant in other parts of the garden.

5)

These are all seedlings from verbena bonariensis found in different corners of the garden. They have been in the pots for a few days and look very healthy. I will plant them in the tiny conservatory flowerbed ready for next year.

6)

This Veronica was quite difficult to photograph* to show it off properly. It does lean over but it is tied to a stake, however, if I tie it more tightly, it looks wrong. Never mind, it is fine but not a very dense mass of colour!

*Well, maybe a better photograper could do it justice!

(I thought I would sneak in a picture of that lovely rose, this time looking quite different with rain drops on it.)

Well another week passes by. I hope you have all had some rain. We are getting enough to freshen up the garden but I am still having to water several times a week. Looking forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday.

Six-on-Saturday 4-08-2018

I hope you are seeing some green on your lawns – mine is not back to normal, yet, but looks considerably better. (You may be able to see that in my last photo.) I mowed the lawn this week and was amazed at how much grass there was. Even though it wasn’t very long or thick, the lawn looks much better now!

I have decided to admit to one of of my disappointments this week. The Weeping Pussy Willow in the front garden (which has had a maximum of half a dozen catkins in any one season) has completely died this year after the very cold spell. I am going to shred the branches and use as a mulch, once we have had a lot more rain on the flowerbeds.

I need to start on the fruit cages sooner rather than later when my grandson comes back to stay (although I haven’t told him yet!) so that I can put some plants into the raised bed for the winter.

I will stop waffling and get on with my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The aforementioned Pussy Willow – it speaks for itself!

2)

These are three blue flowered shrubs I ordered a couple of years ago. They are not a stunning, bright blue but quite pretty – I will show them once they do flower but I like the foliage anyway.

3)

This is the second picking of runner beans which is thanks to Mr Kingdon’s advice. There are plenty more to come now, but next year I will use the fleece earlier in the season.

4)

These were sold as “Fragrant, tumbling begonias” ! I can’t smell anything nor is there much tumbling going on that I can see!! Quite pretty though.

5)

There is the prospect of good meals to come here! The apples are very tasty (although not the Bramley it was supposed to be!). Last year there were masses but this year there are a couple of dozen which is fine. We have enjoyed a few courgettes, but they are rather slow at the moment.

6)

Although the colour seems rather limited now, sitting back and looking down the garden, it is quite pleasant. The lawn, as you can see, is improving but there is little rain forecast in the next few days so it might revert to brown again soon!

We did go to the football match last Saturday and were absolutely frozen!!! It was the coldest day for months!! There was a biting wind and even our hardy grandsons were shivering, although Granny’sGardenHimIndoors was completely absorbed by the match and didn’t notice! He is made of stronger stuff than me!

Hope you all have a good weekend. As usual, I look forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday.

Six-on-Saturday 28-07-2018

Quite busy just now with three of our grandsons staying here for a couple of days so that we can go to the Cyrille Regis Memorial Match this afternoon. (Granny’sGardenHimIndoors used to watch West Bromwich in the 1980s. He took his father and his son and one of his daughters then, this time it is his grandsons going with him.) The weather is due to be a little cooler which will be good.

Meanwhile, in the garden some plants seem to be carrying on as usual, others needing a lot of water and others have had it, I’m afraid. Whenever I look down the garden, I think “Thank goodness for roses, hollyhocks and penstemon”, without them there would be very little colour.

The fuschia from last week is probably Magellanica. Thank you for telling me – I had a few messages confirming that.

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

1)

These are the results of the local Blackbird Hooligan Gang attack!The first two show the poor geraniums which are flung aside so that any insects still in the compost can be found; the third picture needs you to imagine two beautiful, ripe strawberries diagonally opposite each other in the morning, then when I went to get them at lunchtime, the female blackbird actually flew out as I leant down to find them and to pick them! …..Too late. Hey ho, I suppose I must be philosophical about it and go to buy a punnet from the shops…. the blackbirds don’t have that option! I know I could cover them with fleece but it isn’t very attractive. One of my grandsons is doing Design and Technology at A level so I am thinking of asking him to design some portable fruit cages that can be put where they are needed and maybe slotted together, if necessary – that shouldn’t be too difficult, should it?

2)

The produce from this week.

The large tomatoes are from a plant from Mr Propagator but the small ones seeded themselves in the compost I was using to pot up my courgettes, so I simply transferred them to the greenhouse soil and they seem to be thriving, albeit a little late. (The hose is from the overflow of the water butt just outside the greenhouse: not much overflowing at the moment!) The courgettes seem to be doing well. I watched a You Tube video about courgettes which suggested cutting off the lower leaves – as with tomatoes – it seems to have stopped the “end rot” which claimed many of the earlier ones. This is about half my complete potato crop – small but very tasty.

3)

The crocosmia is rather intermingled with the Aquilegias but doing fine. This one doesn’t seem to spread.

4)

The rudbeckia – not helenium – is just starting to flower. There are several clumps of it around the garden.

5)

I don’t think I have shown this rose before. It was a present about 10 years ago. I find that some of the roses look prettier in their second flush, this is one of them.

6)

Verbena bonariensis – self-seeded, at the front of the border….. not the best place! I removed all the plants from a very narrow, shallow flowerbed next to the conservatory last year because they dropped so many seedlings into the cracks between the bricks in the patio. However, they were perfect there so I will probably transfer any seedlings I can find around the garden into that flowerbed and be more vigilant removing the stray ones in the cracks!

(Do you notice the slight greenness to the lawn? That wretched clover may be a nuisance but it doesn’t go brown as quickly as the grass does!)

Well, another week goes by without rain, although it is forecast for the weekend…..yeh, right, pull the other leg and I won’t hold my breath……………errrrr, what’s that outside, yippee!!

Looking forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday.

Six-on-Saturday 21-07-2018

Judging by the coverage of The Open at Carnoustie yesterday, there is rain in some places! The commentators were mentioning how the fairways were becoming greener as they watched them, so there’s hope for our lawns.

I think we are all accepting that we will lose, or have already lost, a lot of our plants but I am looking forward to buying a few more packets of seeds, or pots of seedlings, to replace where necessary!

This is the Mystery Picture for this week.

Is this the Ghost of Granny’s Garden? Answer at the end of the post.

Here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

The climbing rose is flowering from lower down and looking quite pretty. It is rather dark because I was trying to get the moon into the picture – I think you can see it at the back.

2)

This is my favourite fuschia. I have seen it in many areas (especially Scotland) grown as a hedge. The flowers are small but there are plenty of them on the shrub.

3)

Most of the geums are cut back and I am hoping for a second flush, but this one is under the Berberis which is in front of the Tamarix* tree, so has been held back a few weeks in the shade.

*I saw a picture of Chris Mousseau’s Tamarix tree during the week. It must be a different type since it has the pink blossom and the green foliage at the same time, plus, it is still in flower! Nice picture, anyway.

4)

I thought this fungus under the bay tree looked quite interesting. I have removed it now and I hope this is not an indication of trouble at the roots – the bay tree certainly appears very healthy.

5)

The Brussels have rather lacy leaves! I am watching them and picking off any stray caterpillars. The plants themselves are doing well but the broccoli plants are very small and have been nearly demolished by something. They are in the raised bed under the Perspex cloches.

6) You may remember my complaint about the lack of runner beans last week, although there were plenty of flowers. Mr Kingdon advised me to cover the plants with fleece to keep the dawn feeders off.

(This may explain the first picture.)

Well, this is what appeared after just two days of covering them!

Thank you for your advice, Mr Kingdon, we are all very pleased you are back!

This week’s cat photo is self explanatory……..he does always have nice clean water in his bowl, clearly not as tasty! (It was dusk when I took this so is a little blurred.)

Looking forward to seeing the rest of the Sixes-on-Saturday. Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 14-7-2018

We had rain, rain, rain yesterday, although, the water barrels were not quite filled to the top. Fortunately the thunder and lightning that was forecast did not materialise. I am looking forward to seeing the effect of this rain on various parts of the garden – the lawn, the courgettes, the vegetable seeds and the strawberries plus other plants.

Meanwhile, back to this week’s Six-on-Saturday, perhaps not as colourful as usual.

1)

I hope you can see that the water barrel is nearly full. How can I get excited about that? Sad, but I am sure you understand!

2)

Now, I wanted a red clematis a few years ago so I ordered a pack of four, which should have included a red one, except there was one white and three pale pink but no red.

So, I saw this (without the blooms, of course) in the local Aldi store last week and thought it was just what I wanted. Do those look like “Petunia red” flowers to you? That is in the description and on the photo on the label! Never mind, I will find a place for it and keep searching!

3)

The hydrangea, whose individual flowerhead I showed a few weeks ago, is getting into full swing and looking good. Behind it is a perennial geranium which needs to be trimmed, but in the front you can see the previously trimmed ones coming back again.

4)

The courgette flowers are a lovely shade of yellow. The vegetable itself is beginning to fill out but can’t be seen under the greenery! (Stuffed courgettes are Granny’sGardenHimIndoors’ favourite summer dish!)

The flecks on the leaves are from the Tamarix tree. I haven’t shown it over the last couple of months because as soon as the pink “turns”, there is just a brown mass of slowly drying blossom which covers me and everything nearby and gets in my hair every time I go down the garden! It will look fine soon.

5)

The runner beans’ flowers have been showing for a little while but are then being eaten by something before the beans form. However, they have perked up a bit since the rain ……..but still no obvious beans. The penstemon continues to flower and responds well to deadheading but doesn’t really tone in with the colour of the beans but really I am happy with any colour in the garden.

6)

What would you use these three items for?

First, who will admit to recognising the curved “pins” at the top? Yes, your granny probably had a set of Carmen heated rollers – Mrs Thatcher, apparently, swore by them. Well, these roller pins are useful to peg down fleece or plant protectors (my Perspex domes have holes in the rim which are for this purpose).

Second, that is not just for hammering stakes into the ground, it is also useful for trying to break up great lumps of clay when I attempt to dig in the garden!!!

Third, these secateurs are for removing weeds from the clay soil, or rather cutting them off at the base when I have exhausted all other methods of removing them and completely given up trying to get the roots out of that clay soil. (Have I mentioned the clay soil enough?!)

I hope the garden benefits from the rain yesterday and the flowers perk up. Looking forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday – if you have had time to do photographs after that marathon Men’s Wimbledon semi-final!

Six-on-Saturday 7-7-2018

Why are the weeds staying healthy and green without any water, whilst the flowers, shrubs and trees are wilting even with as much water as I can give them? I’m afraid there will be some casualties come the end of the season.

I have put fleece over the blackcurrants, strawberries, Brussels, broccoli and a few vegetable seeds I am trying, although it is late in the season, but it is rather a palaver to take it on and off to water. (I thought the water would go through but it just runs off even though I have cut several holes in it) – I will have to get cracking on some fruit cages….. that should stop the pigeons standing on the branches of the blackcurrants and breaking them!

Here is this week’s Six, much of it courtesy of my #1 son-in-law!

1)

First, the hollyhocks! These have appeared/thrived without any help from me – perhaps I should ignore more of the garden!!

2)

This Loosestrife (I can’t remember it’s proper name) was given to me, probably 10 years ago, by Mr Propagator. It comes back every year but needs to be staked from quite early on. (You can see some of the stalks making a bid for freedom.)

3)

The Astilbe is not quite in full flower yet. Mr P gave me three but I am afraid the other two look rather sorry for themselves in the front garden. (Notice the perennial geranium is coming back quite happily!!)

4)

The tomatoes are coming along nicely – again, courtesy of Mr P. I think this is Moneymaker, if I haven’t mixed up the labels!

5)

This is a small, round flowerbed in the middle of the lawn. The Gaura at the back of the bed featured in its early stages in spring. The white, or rather off-white, lavender is doing well.

(You may remember that I was going to dead-head the Special Child rose this week but it doesn’t seem to be losing its petals yet and still looks good in the flowerbed behind!)

6)

I have shown the pale pink and the white perennial sweet pea already, this is the darkest one just down the fence from the pale pink variety. They really do earn their place in the garden.

Well, that’s it for my Six-on-Saturday. The clover is still there on the lawn – the bees like it

– so does the cat!