Six-on-Saturday 01-12-2018

It doesn’t feel as though we are nearly at Christmas but the longer days are approaching! The garden isn’t getting any livelier or lovelier yet but we can look ahead to masses of new daffodils, tulips and irises, at least I have planted masses of new daffodils, tulips and irises…..we shall see.

Anyway, another Six-on-Saturday with not a lot of colour.

1)

The Pittosporum which looked rather unhappy earlier in the year picked up once the “spring” rains stopped and has been much healthier looking ever since. I gave it very little water during the hot summer months, just enough to dampen the soil occasionally and, in spite of losing many leaves early on, it looks fine now.

2)

The trellis is back in place after being brought down by an overgrown clematis a couple of months ago. It is screwed in more securely now so I will make sure I keep next year’s growth under control!

3)

At the start of the season I ventured into the watery depths at the bottom of the garden. I cut back, dug up and pulled out as much of the weeds and undergrowth as I could on the bank. Some of it has grown back but not the majority. I need to do some tidying up soon.

4)

Those little white foxgloves that I repotted are growing slightly more now. The ones on the right are a bit smaller.

5)

As usual, not a good photo but you may see several green shoots from the perfumed, indoor narcissi showing through. I don’t think they will be in bloom by Christmas though.

6)

The old wheelbarrow in amongst the lilac and the forsythia leaves. I am hoping that some strong winter storms will blow them away, or, perhaps Mr Propagator will pay me a visit and gather them up for his leaf mold!

Have a good weekend weather permitting.

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Six-on-Saturday 24-11-2018

I haven’t sewn many of the “winter” seeds yet. I have been intending to sew Sweet peas, broad beans and, even at this late stage, some Swiss chard. It may be too late but it will be worth a try. As a result, most of the photos are of equipment, DIY tasks and some updates on previous tasks……and will be for a few weeks until more of the bulbs show through.

We had a good few days in sunny Aberdyfi, West Wales last weekend. The weather was glorious, although, on Saturday the wind was so strong, we could hardly stand up some of the time! On the Friday and Sunday afternoons, we managed to sit outside for over an hour in the sunshine!

Back to the cold, cold temperatures although it is slightly warmer than a couple of days ago. Here are my Six-on-Saturday for this week.

1)

I don’t know how I managed before I had this garden “holdall”. It has slots for eight implements around the sides and plenty of space for string, plant labels and other stuff inside. My lovely daughter-in-law runs a business called “Growing Obsession” which deals in almost anything to do with gardening. I bought this from her several years ago. She is on Facebook and Instagram if anyone wants a look.

2)

These are actually cup hooks I used to use in the kitchen but I have a couple of shelves for that purpose now so they are ideal for hanging various tools onto the greenhouse frame, as you will see in my next picture.

3)

Not very clean and tidy but very handy! (The green string is used in the summer to tie the tomatoes to: that is, I tie some string to the bottom of the tomato plant, carefully wind it around the stem and tie the other end to the green string above as soon as they need some support.)

4)

That coat is very useful with big pockets, a hood and a warm lining. You can see the colours of different items I have painted over the years – the shed, the wheelbarrow and the raised bed amongst other things. (I do give it a quick wipe over for when I go to town.) The old trainers have done a few miles in their time and are now used to plod round the garden.

5)

I keep the stakes and bamboo canes on the greenhouse shelf, along with the indispensable headless golf club which I mentioned in an early post, but they kept falling off. So I designed and made a couple of wooden “holders” out of part of the original garden bench which I demolished last year because it was unsafe. (Not Grandpa’s bench, that’s fine!) I am considering patenting the design before someone cashes in and makes a fortune from my idea!!??

6)

Grandpa’s bench against the conservatory, still with the bay trees beside it. Granny’sGardenHimIndoors suggested I put it further down the garden but I reminded him that, although the bench is very solid and well made, it will topple over backwards if whoever is sitting on it leans back too far! (Oh dear, I see another job that needs to be done…….those gaps between the stones need to be weeded. Never mind, it’s quite a good task for a cold day using the patio brush.)

Well that’s it for another week. Looking forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday, as always. Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 17-11-2018

The weather is looking quite good for the next few days but then rather a cold spell – well what should we expect in November? This week, I am still managing to find some colour. Although most, if not all, have been featured before. They earn their place through their durability.

We are having a couple of days in Wales this weekend. We sat outside in the sunshine for over an hour when we arrived yesterday, so a good start!

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

1)

The sedums beside the front step have been reliable all summer. Not much dramatic colour but no fallen leaves or dead flowers to sweep up. (I must remove those twigs that make their way to the top of the soil.)

2)

These completely different sedums are showing an interesting change of colour. They look good from the first leaf buds until I cut them back when the frost demolishes them. (I must clear away that ground elder and the nigella seedlings.)

3)

The penstemon next to the previous sedums has not been ablaze with colour and flowers this year. I am not unhappy with it but it usually has fewer “blind” stems and more blooms. (I must cut off those dead-heads to tidy it up.)

4)

I mentioned the tiny, white foxglove seedlings. Well here are about 30 that I pricked out last week. I do hope they start getting bigger but maybe it is the wrong time of year for any worthwhile growth.

5)

Look away, Lora! A repeat but the sprouts are growing nicely. They are quite small at the moment but I would like to start picking them soon – I must be patient.

6)

That geum is still showing enough colour to stop me from cutting it back. The rest of them around the garden have given up flowering now!

Meanwhile, you may have noticed the hollyhock leaves behind the geum, this (slightly blurred) close up shows new buds which are rather confused about the season! Should I remove them? I am not sure.

6)

This Euonymous has had these pretty berries for several weeks now. They started off a delicate pink, but seem to be turning a deeper red now. My favourite plant is still flowering away!! It mingles very nicely with the Euonymous.

There we are again. I hope the weather continues to be good over the next few days for all you weekend gardeners. I still have quite a bit of tidying up to do, again prompted by looking at the areas around the plants in the pictures – see the first few comments with the photos. Will I ever get the garden perfectly tidy and weed-free? Unlikely!

Six-on-Saturday 10-11-2018

I hope the storms forecast for the next few days don’t materialise, certainly, the rain yesterday morning was not too bad which was fortunate because I had plenty of bulbs to plant. I think I have planted about 60. Yes, I know, this is small fry compared with those of you who have thousands?

I have been potting on several foxglove seedlings. I planted the seeds in early August and they germinated quickly. However,they seemed to come to a halt, but when I was pricking them out, the roots varied from 5cm to 15cm in length although they are very fine. The size of the leaves is only about 3mm, on average. I haven’t bothered to include pictures of them, they are still too tiny!

I expect Mr Propagator is enjoying being home and wallowing in delight now that he is back with his compost heap!

I have managed to find quite a bit of colour although many are repeats as you would expect at this stage of the season.

Here are my Six-on-Saturday……enjoy your weekend.

1)

I have put most of the standard geraniums into pots and am going to see whether they survive the winter in the cold greenhouse. (I will remove the flowers now that I have photographed them, I just wanted to include a bit of colour!) The front tray has at least a dozen tiny cuttings of that silvery green, trailing foliage plant that is common to many hanging baskets. I could have retrieved over 100 tiny rooted sections from this year’s baskets but I don’t know where I would put them and what I would do with them next year.

2)

Less than a fortnight ago I planted 30 garlic cloves and I think I counted at least 28 shoots today! (That soil was sieved carefully a few months ago but look at it now! Bits fall down from the Tamarix tree and I am sure twigs work their way up to the top of the raised bed.)

3)

These two packs of bulbs have been planted in the three containers beside the Magnolia Stellata. Rather different from my usual pink ones. I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I thought they were quite good value. (I did feel rather left out earlier this year when Mr P led an impressive tulip fest.)

4)

I was hoping my gladiolus selection would have some brightly coloured blooms. Well, just before the frosts, this appeared, but, sadly, the frost stopped it in its tracks….. maybe next year.

5)

Three very different foliage shots. The Berberis is beginning to lose its leaves but looking good; the Weigela surprised me this year, I don’t remember such a bright yellow and then there are dozens of Cerinthe Major seedlings which I may have shown a few weeks ago.

6)

This may be a Peace rose, but it is at the opposite side of the garden from my usual one and it tends to send out some very long stems. Many of the other rose bushes have been affected by the frost and are not looking as good.

Looking through my post, I realised how untidy the flowerbeds look close up! Weather permitting, my tasks for next week are clearly sorted.

Finally, is anyone else still picking strawberries? A bumper crop here this week! Not sure what I will make with them……. maybe a pavlova for our pudding? I will have to see what Granny’sGardenHimIndoors would like.

Looking forward to seeing your Sixes-on-Saturday.

Six-on-Saturday 3-11-2018

November already. Quite a mixture of weather here this week. The frosts have put paid to several plants, as you will see in my post, but the sun is shining today and I even mowed the lawn!

Last week “One Man And His Garden Trowel” suggested that I leave my pile of cuttings for a wildlife haven. What a good idea, I thought, but then realised I would simply be creating a perfect “Take Away restaurant” for our cat who has progressed from bringing in just old feathers and garden worms, to dead, or nearly dead, or decapitated birds or small mammals! Needless to say, I decided to spend time this morning shredding that pile plus the frosted fuschia and the frosted runner beans. Unfortunately, the frosted items clogged up the shredder because, obviously, they had quite sludgy leaves and stems, as frosted plants do – silly me!

Here are my Six-on-Saturday. It is becoming more challenging to find pretty or interesting plants/items to include, but the garden never stops changing. I shall look forward to seeing the gardens in their spring colours from the other side of the world!

1)

The sorry sights of the fuschia, the tumbling begonias and the Apple of Peru plants after the frosts. Since the fuschia cuttings clogged up the shredder, I decided to “mow” them when doing the lawn. They didn’t clog up the mower, so all is well.

2)

I have tried a couple of times to take this photo over the last few weeks. The twigs of the blueberry plants are a beautiful, soft shade of red. This picture doesn’t do them justice either but it’s not bad. (I could do with Hey Jude’s help here, her photos show the colours and plants so clearly!)

3)

A sack of well-rotted horse manure ready to be spread around and gently dug into the greenhouse bed. (That mass of green behind the greenhouse is a rampant, ornamental mint which I dug up completely a few months ago – not very effectively!)

4)

I may have shown this before but the Stonecrop provides a simple and effective border to the greenhouse.

5)

That compost heap (don’t think it has featured for a couple of weeks) emptied last weekend then half filled yesterday with the shreddings and the grass cuttings. I usually cover it in the winter but it could do with some rain to help the composting process and rain is forecast this week, so I will leave it open.

6)

Finishing with some colour! The previously much maligned standard geranium is still flowering. They have been a big disappointment since they took months to get started then have not “bushed out” at all, but they have survived the first few frosts and maybe I will find a corner for them in the greenhouse. (I think I was contemplating that last week, too.)

That was my Six-on-Saturday for this week. (I must be repeating myself a lot because the predictive text finishes many of my sentences before I have decided what to write!! It did the whole of that previous sentence………. technology is taking over!🤔😱🤖) Have a good weekend.

Six-on-Saturday 27-10-2018

I’m not looking forward to the cold temperatures forecast for this weekend! Maybe I will turn the compost heaps, it was too warm to do it last weekend. The troughs need to be emptied but I am not sure whether I want to keep the geraniums in the greenhouse through the winter, they weren’t very spectacular this year. Perhaps it is worth giving them a go and see if they can thrive with my usual healthy neglect!?

The “ready to be shredded” heap is taking over the bottom of the garden so, since there’s a lot of cutting back to be done in the next few weeks, I think I will need to do that as well soon.

Here are my Six-on-Saturday. I hope you manage to keep warm and enjoy your garden!

1)

This shrub which hides the brown garden waste bin is having its second flush and is looking good. I’m not sure what it is called – the foliage has a rather strong, although not unpleasant, smell.

2)

The aforementioned heap, which I have added to since!

3)

This week’s harvest – rather small spring onions which tasted good in mashed potato cakes; more raspberries, to my surprise, from the autumn fruiting variety which I start picking in June but I thought had finished; plus the thinnings from the broccoli which are thriving in spite of being shredded earlier in the season by some pest or another. (The potato and spinach curry was a good way to use them…..see below.)

4)

Something is eating my camelia leaves – the size of its “bite” and it’s individual teeth marks are quite frightening!! Any ideas, Jim? The buds are not touched.

5)

Not obvious yet, but 30 garlic bulbs have been planted here this week. Years ago, I planted a few near the roses having read that they helped deter green flies*, but whether I pulled them up by mistake or whether the supermarket ones just didn’t grow, I can’t remember. These are proper ones from a garlic supplier so should be good.

*I haven’t noticed a single greenfly on my roses this year. That may seem good but there have been no Ladybirds either – rather worrying, I think.

6)

I may not have included it for a few weeks, but that beautiful rose is still flowering!

That’s it, again. Rather later than usual today because I had to go shopping to buy the cat’s food in Tesco – he turned up his nose in disgust at a cheaper brand I gave him a while ago – however, they had sold out! How is it that that was all I went for, yet I came back with three bags of shopping having spent nearly £40!

Have a good weekend and enjoy your garden.

Six-on-Saturday 20-10-2018

Last week we went to have a “Faulty Towers” experience and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The actors who played Basil, Sybil and Manuel were very good. Many thanks to our lovely children.

The weather was perfect in Wales for our few days away and I have managed to do some tidying in the garden since we came back. There is a small area behind the shed which I leave through the summer, but the buddleia had gone berserk, so I have cut it back and tidied the area around it – plenty of twigs to shred this weekend…..my favourite activity!!

The forecast is good, so I hope you all get a chance to enjoy your garden.

Here are my Six-on-Saturday.

1)

I have planted the indoor bulbs which I mentioned last week. (I hope they look as good as the picture on the packet!!) They should flower around Christmas time. I want some of the outdoor ones to go into the troughs so I will have to remove the geraniums which still have quite a bit of colour left. I will probably do that later in the week after Mr and Mrs Propagator’s #4 child has had a short visit to us, or maybe she will help me to plant them? I have heard that she sometimes helps Mr P in the garden.

(Behind the narcissus pot you can see a small rubber plant. This is a direct descendant of the plant which had lasted for about 30 years. I noticed a few years ago that the parent plant was looking decidedly poorly so I cut half a dozen healthy looking side shoots from it and put them in a jar of water and left them for a few months until I could see roots forming. I then potted them into compost and three flourished, one of which you can see here! Years ago, I tried the “correct” method for propagating rubber plants by cutting into the stem and wrapping it up with soil inside a polythene bag but keeping it attached to the plant itself. Yes, very fiddly and not as successful. When I dug up the original plant, I saw it was rotten inside, possibly too much watering or just too old.)

2)

Mr P kindly gave me some of his wallflowers last week. He has tweeted that his look rather unhealthy, as do mine, but I think they should pick up once they settle in.

3)

I noticed this rather confused primula in amongst the perennial geraniums and the Catmint! What will it look like in the spring? Will it flower again?

4)

The Nerine looks good with that perennial geranium! I will have to pull out a lot of the geranium, it is taking over the garden, with some help from the forget-me-nots, already!

5)

I have featured the rather moth-eaten, or rather caterpillar-eaten, leaves of the Brussels but the sprouts themselves are doing well, as I had hoped they would.

6)

That fuschia goes on and on! I enjoy it every year. Behind it is another bloom on the rose bush I thought was dying at the start of the season. I have had to cut back a lot of dead wood but it has continued to flower through the summer although the foliage is not as healthy as usual.

That’s it for another week. Granny’sGardenHimIndoors and I are looking forward to seeing our granddaughter and perhaps visiting an RSPB site so that she can use her binoculars and her bird book. Unfortunately, where we live, we are nearly one and a half hours from the nearest site but will go for most of the day so I hope she will enjoy it.