Six-on-Saturday 05-01-2019

Where did 2018 go? Quite a busy year for our family to put it mildly! Happy New Year to all and looking forward to a successful one in the garden. I am anticipating each Six-on-Saturday at this time of year with some foreboding but should be relishing the challenge!

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

1)

Genuine colour in the garden. I do like these Christmas roses. One plant, bought about 15 years ago, has seeded itself all over this flowerbed in our rather shady front border. I don’t have any of the original white hellibores but I am quite happy with these. I pull up the vast majority of the seedlings since they would just swamp each other.

2)

I decided to protect the bay trees from frost, although I didn’t cover them through last winter (and that spring!) and they were not affected at all. However, the predicted frosts of the last few nights did not materialise. I think I will leave them as they are…. not pretty, but we don’t sit outside much at this time of year!

3)

Parsley and sage continue to do well during the winter – rosemary and thyme are in other flowerbeds. (I won’t start singing, you will be very pleased to hear!) I have reduced the parsley by about two thirds and the sage by a similar amount. I find that the mint still grows but has no real flavour in the winter. It still smells “minty” when I cut it back or pull it up though!

4)

The Nerine and the Dicentra Spectabilis are showing healthy shoots already.

5)

I know I should cut back the lavender during the season, but it is very popular with the bees so I just leave it for them to enjoy. Not many bees around at the moment so, since I had a spare half hours a couple of days ago, I went out armed with shears and secateurs and came back in 2 hours later! I thought I had cleared away all the debris (two wheelbarrow loads) but I can see that there are quite a few bits I missed. I pruned the Mexican Orange Blossom shrub (down the back garden in front of the brown bin) too, so you can imagine the aromas coming from the shredder that afternoon!

6)

One jar of raspberry jam! If we don’t eat the raspberries as they ripen, I just put them straight into the freezer and bring out enough to make a jar as we need it. I prefer to do this since I find it tastes better than making many jars and storing them in a cupboard. Granny’sGardenHimIndoors likes this on his Weetabix loaf – a healthy version of Sultana cake! I would rather have the unhealthy, proper Sultana cake! Have a good weekend.

22 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday 05-01-2019

    1. My #1 son-in-law is Mr Propagator who is decorating his large garden shed (assisted by his #4 child) and they have used all their flower pictures. If you have a look at his tweets during the week, you will be quite amazed at how pretty it looks!

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  1. The lavender pruning looks good and I imagine the scent when you also had the choisya to prune… I love this scent ! When I’m looking at your hellebore picture I think they are not so different from mine. Maybe mine are a bit darker?
    Talking of jam made me want to do a few tomorrow. I still have blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries and plums in the freezer. Which one do I choose?

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    1. For jam, raspberries every time! I like a few strawberries with stewed apples in a crumble. Plums gently stewed with an almond flavoured sponge on top. Blackcurrants in a smoothie with maybe a few strawberries or raspberries and half a dessertspoonful of molasses sugar and milk. At least, that’s what I like!!!!

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  2. I’ve got that song in my head in now! I can almost smell the herby scent of the chopped leaves of the mexican orange blossom and the lavender. I always miss things when chopping back. Nice paving stones.

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  3. I’m still amazed that you make jam a jar at a time with berries from the freezer. Last week I had enough figs to make jam, done the traditional way, and I made six jars. There are enough figs left on the tree for some more! I wish I’d thought about protecting my bay trees from frost last year as the two I released from pots into the garden both ended up with serious damage on their trunks. One has sent a perfect sucker up making a good replacement. The other: looks good but the bark is coming off, so I expect it will die eventually. Sigh.

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    1. Good morning/evening, Jane. Any other jam I would make en masse but since raspberry jam simply needs the same weight of sugar as berries and sets very quickly, it can be done as I am making the breakfast/lunch/dinner. I envy you your figs. Plenty of little ones in the spring which fall off or don’t grow bigger.

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      1. Perhaps I might give it a try, Granny, but they’d have to be store bought raspberries. Wouldn’t taste as good as yours, I bet!

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  4. I have never covered my Bay tree and it seemed to survive the beast from the east alright, but you have reminded me to go out and prune it whilst I can see the whole tree as it is planted right next to the corkscrew hazel so now is the best time for me to actually see the size of it! My flat leaved parsley is still going strong, but the curly stuff died off in the cold last spring. I might buy some more for the herb bed as it does look very pretty.

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      1. I’m not sure there is a difference in taste. I suppose the flat leaved is easier to chop up and use on top of dishes whereas the curly makes a nice garnish on the side of the plate. And how do you kill a tree?

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      2. I have spent a few hours outside today and looking around realised that I have managed to kill at least 2 trees in the last year! The plum tree doesn’t look as though there is much hope for it and the Pussy Willow in the front garden is pretty dead too. I can’t remember doing anything to either of them, so I reckon it was The Beast from the East last year.

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    1. No, they were always that colour. I noticed an advert in a magazine for 12 hellibores for £12 at Hayloft nurseries near Pershore in Worcestershire. I have “enough plants” but since that is not a phrase you understand, you might be interested!?

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