Six-on-Saturday 19-01-2019


Bit chilly today but not as much of a frost as was expected the last couple of days. The theme this week seems to be mostly mauve or purple…… by accident rather than by design.

Our youngest grandson is with us again this weekend so we will be making shortbread by popular demand from Granny’sGardenHimIndoors.

1)

These crocuses become rather a pale mauve by the time they open out. There is a reasonable number of them but I need to remove the forget-me-nots and that celandine, plus the perennial geranium to be able to see them properly!

2)

The packs of purple, white and purple-and-white tulips were planted last year and look quite healthy. Maybe this year I will have a decent display not eaten by whatever eats tulip bulbs!

3)

Is it pink or is it mauve? Debatable, but one of the less chewed primula plants in the garden. Plus the perennial geranium.

4)

Well, I reckon there is a purple look to these, especially on the back of the flower buds. That Hebe behind is growing well and looking good but no flowers since I planted it about 12 years ago. Never mind, that perennial geranium will provide colour, as always!

5)

I can’t find any more purple, so on to white to finish. Nearly flowering snowdrops! I will photograph them again when they actually flower.

6)

The strangely named “Money Plant”. This is the umpteenth cutting from the original from at least 40 years ago. It has flourished and multiplied, unlike the money! (That pot is actually quite large, around 40cm diameter. We won that about 25 years ago at a golf tournament.) The tiny flowers are not quite out yet and are not that striking but always welcome.

That’s it again. Keep warm and enjoy your weekend.

Advertisements

Six-on-Saturday 12-01-2019

We have our youngest grandson staying with us for a couple of days this weekend. He has been having a go at a “puzzle ball”, i.e.a jigsaw which is a ball shape – not easy! I would have asked him to help me with finding suitable items for my Six-on-Saturday, but that was even more of a challenge!

Anyway, here are the Six-on-Saturday I managed to find for this week.

1)

Just to complete the song from last week……..these are the rosemary and thyme plants. That perennial geranium is getting warmed up for the season – taking over already!

2)

Last year the purple aubretia was quite successful rooting itself in the small gap at the edge of the slabs. However, this year, it has moved down amongst the stonecrop and a lavender has seeded itself in its place. I think I will do a bit of rearranging in the spring.

3)

The peonies are beginning to shoot at various places in the garden. Meanwhile, I have been pulling up most of the forget-me-nots as I weed the flowerbeds, I missed one here! I am gradually digging in/gathering up the leaves as I make my way around the garden.

4)

One of the sempervivums doing well in the kitchen.

5)

The clematis that brought down the trellis several months ago was looking decidedly dead but I looked a bit more closely this morning and noticed a few buds showing – albeit slightly blurred in some cases!

6)

The compost heap hasn’t been shown for a few weeks so I felt it should be included. Actually, following the advice of #1 son-in-law, I have kept some long blackberry twigs that were growing up inside the Mexican Orange Blossom shrub (which I pruned recently) in order to deter the slugs. I just put them on top of the autumn raspberries, beside the heap, to dry out. (They are the green, slightly wilted twigs you can see.)

That’s it again. We need to go and finish the Lightning McQueen Puzzle ball before tea and then make some Soda Bread (Granny’sGardenHimIndoors’s favourite) and some shortbread. Our grandson wants to be a baker when he grows up and is certainly showing a keen interest at the age of 5.

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.

Six-on-Saturday 29-12-2018

I nearly forgot it was Saturday! I can cope with being retired and every day being a holiday but when Bank Holidays are put into the mix, it is most disconcerting.

We were out all morning so I’m a little later than usual. We had a very good Christmas Day with Mr Propagator and family. They really spoiled us with an excellent meal and generous presents. I had a guided tour of the compost heap and can report that it was steaming away nicely but Mr P decided not to cook the turkey in it, although it can be done if it is left in for a couple of days, apparently.

Anyway, here is my Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

Boxing Day was spent with our #1 son. Again, excellent fayre and great company. Our main present from our son and daughter-in-law was a large hamper, or rather a home made tray (see above) full of all sorts of “goodies”!

This garden notebook – which I have claimed and Granny’sGardenHimIndoors has claimed the packs of golf balls and tees – was on the top. There were wines, cheeses, sweets, bath salts and biscuits and other stuff. I only thought I should have taken a photo before I emptied it, after I emptied it! The base itself is an ideal, large size seed tray which I will put to good use in the spring.

2)

This is the pruned, miniature kiwi fruit plant. It was rather straggly before. It is suggested that one main stem should be kept but there are a couple of other stems which have green buds on so they have stayed. The trellis needs a new strut – the missing one was completely rotten. They have lasted quite well…. I think I made them about 8 or 9 years ago.

3)

My collection of smashed eggshells ready to put on my raised bed to deter the slugs – we shall see!

4)

These are photos of “anticipation”. The sweet peas are in the toilet rolls and the broad beans are in the seed tray below. I sowed them this week but they are not new ones so I will give them a month or so, then, if nothing appears, I will buy some new seeds.

5)

The Cerinthe Major is looking very good. There are several “patches” of them around the garden. They need to be thinned out but not yet.

6)

A few things to mention here :- the pruned rose near the front of the photo is that lovely “Peace” rose. That obelisk was supposed to be covered in sweet peas last summer, but it didn’t happen. If I am unsuccessful growing them from seeds, I will buy some plants. There are some forget-me-nots around the garden although I pulled ALL of them up earlier in the year! The shrub behind had 2 barrowloads of cuttings taken from it a few days ago. As a result, I had a happy half hour shredding them later.

That’s it for 2018! Happy New Year and see you next year.πŸŒΈπŸ΅πŸŒ»πŸ‡πŸ…πŸ“πŸŽ†πŸŽ‰

Six-on-Saturday 22-12-2018

Right, so, the daylight is starting to stretch out as we speak/write but I can’t find any spring flowers yet. For the first week in ages, I couldn’t find any of that perennial geranium in flower. Never mind, I managed to find six items for this week’s Six-on-Saturday although some of you may not find it easy to find anything of real interest. (How many “finds” can you find in this paragraph?)

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

1)

This plant has been on a shelf in the bathroom for nearly 10 years and was quite happy until about a month ago when its leaves all started curling up and turning brown. I took it apart and found very little soil but plenty of very wet roots. I have tried the Mr P approach and split it into 3 separate plants then put them on the conservatory windowsill where I hope they might pick up and produce some new shoots soon. (That table needs to be rubbed down and revarnished.)

2)

The perfumed narcissus bulbs are progressing slowly but definitely won’t be in bloom by Christmas!

3)

I am pretty sure that those are irises starting to show in the first trough. Nearly all the garden pots/ troughs are planted with the many bulbs given to us earlier in the year by a kind relative. Most of the containers are showing some growth.

4)

That geum won’t give up! Meanwhile, there is so much cutting back and removing of dead foliage around the flowerbeds, I must go out and get on with it before it rains again.

5)

The cyclamen foliage is very pretty in amongst all those fallen leaves.

6)

How else could I finish? I know you will notice that it’s not a real tree (although many people have been fooled by it, especially since it drops the occasional “pine” needles!) but I bought it about 15 years ago and it is still going strong. The decorations may not be the most tasteful but all have memories, especially the “toilet roll” and homemade Santas. (How many can you spot?)

Happy Christmas to all you Sos participants. I hope you have a good time however you spend it. We are very lucky because every year for the last 17 Christmases, we have been invited to Mr Propagator’s for Christmas day with his lovely wife and delightful children. His skills are not restricted to the garden, he and Mrs P produce an exceptional meal, with the rest of the family providing the entertainment! On Boxing Day, we go to our son’s for the day and are entertained by him and his lovely family – lucky us! Have a good week.

Six-on-Saturday 15-12-2018

Rather a severe drop in temperature last Sunday when we arrived back in England after a few days in Dubai – at least 20Β°C! We had a good time with our daughter and her family but were nearly eaten alive by the mosquitoes!! Apparently, they are seasonal and should disappear in a few days. (I wish we hadn’t picked their active season to visit.) I did take some extra photos of our garden with me so that I could still participate in the Six-on-Saturday without confusing everyone.

We came back to stories of gales and torrential rain while we were away. Certainly, some of my supporting stakes were leaning at different angles from when we left and my full bucket of nettle stew had been blown over leaving a very small proportion of what was there before.

Never mind, I should be able to make a few lots of nourishing plant food from what’s left.

On to this week’s Six-on-Saturday – looking forward to reading all of yours.

1)

The main theme, to start with, is “Paths”

I made a rather ramshackle path from bricks and slabs found under a huge pile of cuttings left behind the garage when we moved in 18 years ago, but the Mare’s Tail just kept pushing through and it needed to be weeded every few weeks which took AGES. So about 3 years ago, I redid it with the leftover block paving stones and some of the original, old bricks on top of a barrier of double thickness, permeable black membrane. It has been a big success since no Mare’s Tail has managed to get through. It does still appear in the flowerbeds and around the path but it is much more manageable.

2)

Rather than plodding through the wet earth, I have put down a few bricks and paving slabs to walk on around the vegetable and fruit garden.

3)

These stepping stones are 30 cm square. The ones at the bottom of the garden are fine, but some of those nearer the top are showing only about a 10cm square!. I laid them to follow the edge of the flowerbeds at that time which were packed with well established shrubs before I dug at least 80% of them up. Next job, exposing each slab by cutting away the turf around them and filling in with sand to make them sit flush with the lawn.

4)

An even more of a Hotch Potch path towards the Daleks. Not a thing of beauty but serviceable. You will notice the wooden pole from an old patio umbrella and the muddy golf club. I was thinking of buying a compost aerator but they have mixed reviews and do not seem to last very long. It is easy to rotate/aerate the wooden heap (made by Mr Propagator, in case anyone didn’t know that) because I can remove the front panel and get to the base with a fork. I need to approach the compost in the Daleks from above, for obvious reasons, so need to use a narrow implement. The golf club will not go very far down since it is too wide, so I decided to push the pole (with its pointed end) into the heap to make the golf club’s approach easier. This seems to work quite well, certainly the air can get to the compost better now and I can rotate the golf club within the heap. (I don’t know where that hollyhock came from!)

(I haven’t shown you this for a while, have I?)

5) Look away now, Lora!

The Brussels survived a major attack from caterpillars earlier in the year, but when I went to see whether there was a picking for the evening meal after we came home, I saw something else had been at them and stripped the leaves!! I think pigeons, anyone any other ideas? Meanwhile, the Brussels did not seem to be affected and were very delicious…….yes they were, Lora.

6)

The garlic continues to grow very well. I hope the bulbs are forming under the soil and not all the goodness is going into the leaves. (All 30 cloves I planted have come up.)

(Just a quick extra photo:-

What do you think #1 son-in-law is getting for Christmas? I will wrap them in fancy paper before I give them to him, of course!)

Anyway, the grandchildren may be talking about “10 more sleeps until Santa comes”, but we are thinking “1 more Six-on-Saturday until Santa comes”, aren’t we? Granny’sGardenHimIndoors is getting his Bah Humbug hat ready (his Bah Humbug mug broke a few years ago).
Have a good weekend. I’m not sure how good the forecast is but let’s hope we can get some gardening done.

Six-on-Saturday 08-12-2018

Getting closer to the days turning, thank goodness! It looks as though this week shouldn’t be so dreary and wet.

Anyway, on to this week’s Six-on-Saturday.

1)

A few indoor plants this week. This Begonia Rex has been going on for ages and ages. Occasionally we get a few flowers but they are not spectacular. It is another plant that thrives on healthy neglect.

2)

This is a spare sedum from the original “lot” I purchased to go into the miniature terrarium last March. It is doing well because it has more root space than those that I probably packed too tightly into too small a space.

3)

This is the 6th year this orchid has sent out a stem of flower buds. I don’t know much about orchids but I haven’t repotted it, nor have I fed it, nor have I put in any fresh compost – it likes to be treated mean!

4)

The African Violet is a cutting from my neighbour a few years ago. It is quite happy but whenever I look underneath the foliage to check for dead leaves, the main stem seems to be very loosely attached. I am afraid to repot it in case I break it completely. I think I will carefully top up the compost and gently pat it down.

5)

This watering can must be over 80 years old. My father-in-law passed it on to us when he stopped gardening. I don’t use it for watering because the holes in the spout are so small……and it leaks but it looks nice! The stems in the greenhouse behind are from a Passion Flower plant and some couch grass . Both are awkward to get at to pull up, so I don’t think I will be able to remove the roots completely.

6)

A rather new, rather different, rather pretty watering can. A birthday present several months ago from my neighbour who looks after the greenhouse when we are away. Behind the greenhouse is a rather straggly verbena bonariensis in another “hard to reach” place. I can probably stake it if I can gather the stems together.

That’s it again – houseplants and watering cans, maybe next week there will be some new shoots! Enjoy the weekend.