“What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.” I’ve always taken heed of these wise words of the poet William Henry Davies. Every morning, before setting off for work, I take a moment to look out at the garden and watch the antics of the birds on the feeders. As a worrier this provides me with a moment of calm, a minute or two where I take a brief break from trying to anticipate what lies in store for the rest of the day. However, as winter fast approaches and the hours of daylight continue to dwindle, I’m aware that very soon I’ll only get to see the garden and its feathered visitors on Saturdays and Sundays and the odd day off. I’ll miss these early morning pre-work worry free moments but I’ll make the most of the calming and restorative power of garden gazing and pottering during the winter weekends.
1. Every spring I admire tulips in other people’s gardens and eye them rather enviously on Gardeners’ World when Monty or Carol wax lyrical about the beautiful varieties that are available. However, the last time I attempted to grow tulips (in a pot) they didn’t do very well and I’ve given them a miss ever since. Yet tulip bulb planting has featured a fair bit in other gardening blogs and tweets over the past couple of weeks and I began to wonder whether it was time to give them another go. Last Sunday I succumbed to the lure of the tulip and purchased a few packs during a visit to our local garden centre. I’ll be planting them later today or tomorrow, as soon as I’ve retrieved a few pots from behind the blue shed (never an easy task).
2. I think the Viola may be my favourite plant. Pansies are a bit too blowsy for me, but there’s something very endearing about violas.
They provide a welcome splash of cheerful colour during the winter, offer a bit of scent up close, and will go on flowering well into the spring.
With any luck they’ll do a bit of self-seeding and pop up elsewhere in the garden. And there’s a huge variety of colours to choose from.
3. Talking of cheerful colour and self-seeding. The Snapdragon growing in the crack between the house and the drive is flowering again.
And there are still a few flowering in the back garden too. I think these may run violas a close second.
4. Sea pinks (or thrift) remind me of holidays on the Isles of Scilly. This clump grows outside the front door and has started flowering again.
5. The Japanese anemone that I purchased last month is still in bloom. I still haven’t decided where to plant it yet. Maybe near the Daphne odora (which, rather surprisingly, appears to be doing okay after its move a month or so ago).
6. And finally… My wife and I went for a walk in Taunton’s Vivary park last Saturday to suss out a new cafe for my weekly Saturday coffee and cake fix (Americano, black, no sugar in case you’re interested and pretty much any cake really, though I am particularly partial to carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting).
After a nice coffee and generous slice of vegan chocolate and cherry cake we walked back through the park and discovered this lovely scented Viburnum:
Initially I identified it as Viburnum ‘somethingorotherus’. But yesterday evening, when I was scrolling through Twitter, I came across this tweet asking if anybody knew what this was…
A knowledgable tweeter identified it as a Viburnum bodnantense. I reckon the one we saw in the park could be the same variety. What do you think?
And they were my Six on Saturday. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, take a look at the site of the chap who started it all over at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.