Six on Saturday (1 December 2018)

Well, it’s the 1 December and the start of the meteorological winter. However, if you prefer to determine when your seasons begin and end based on the astronomical method, winter won’t arrive until the 21 December. I think I follow the meterological seasons. It seems to match the ebb and flow of the garden and nature more closely (although apparently that’s a whole other way of determining your seasons – the phenological method) plus spring gets here that much sooner. Why wait until the 20 March to celebrate the start of spring when you can celebrate it on the 1 March?

While some of the antirrhinums, scabious/scabiosa/scabiousesses (delete as appropriate) and a rose are still just about flowering, the garden definitely has more of a winter look about it now. The rain and gales over the past week have rendered most of the deciduous shrubs leafless, with the odd exception of the Philadelphus which is still looking quite green and leafy.

1. This photograph of the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ was taken last Sunday when we had a rain free day. It’s turned a lovely colour. However, glancing out into the gloom a few mornings ago, it was looking a lot barer. Next year’s flower buds are developing nicely though.

2. In addition to the dwarf sweet box, which featured in a SoS a few weeks ago, we have a larger variety (Sarcococca confusa, I think). It’s rather messy looking and, as you can see here, tends to sucker.

Yet it’s a mass of flower buds that will hopefully soon open and release their sweet fragrance.

3. The Daphne odora appears to have coped okay with being moved a third time. Last year it took a while to recover from being repositioned and didn’t flower at all.

This time however we have flower buds! My mother-in-law has one of these and it fills her garden with heady scent early on in the year. After this one has flowered I’m going to give it a light pruning to see if it will encourage new growth further down the rather bare branches.

4. The leaves on the Cotoneaster horizontalis have begun to turn all autumnally and will soon fall.

5. On that rain free Sunday I planted the tulips that featured in last week’s SoS.


One pot has the 15 bulbs planted in three layers. This was the first layer, with a bit of added grit. The ‘frost resistant’ pot has seen better days. The snow and ice we had last winter caused quite a bit of damage. I’ve planted the 7 Humilis Persian Pearl bulbs in another pot.

6. And finally… after I’d planted the tulips I topped the pots off with the newly purchased violas

And rather jolly they’ll look too over the coming months, their cheerful faces looking towards the house.

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


15 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (1 December 2018)

  1. You’ve got a lot of good smells in the shrub department. It must be a wonderful place to walk through. That cotoneaster is really colouring up nicely. What happens to the violas when the tulips come through?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wondered about that when planting them. In theory the smaller tulips will grow up in the centre of the cream pot while the violas form a nice edging to the pot. That’s the plan anyway. With other pot I may have to dig ’em up before the tulips swamp them. We’ll see how it goes. They might all have to be dug up and placed elsewhere come the spring.


  2. We had an impressive cotoneaster on the front of our previous house which came back year after year and appreciated being cut back and shaped every year. These Sixes-on-Saturday, often bring up reminders of past successes/failures!


  3. ‘One pot has the 15 bulbs planted in three layers. This was the first layer, with a bit of added grit.’

    What a good idea! I never thought of adding bulbs in layers and then topping off the pot with pansies or whatever. I missed a trick there… methinks a good excuse to go to the garden centre 🙂

    I am curious – why the grit?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could claim credit for layer planting but Monty Don and the back of the packet of tulips suggested it! Monty and Carol Klein also seem to add grit to everything. I bought a bag of the stuff to use when I was planting some alliums in our clay soil (another Gardeners’ World suggestion) and figured I’d add some to the bottom layer of the pot to aid drainage. It probably wasn’t necessary but it looks good! It’s always great to have an excuse to go the garden centre!


  4. Hooray for violas! So reliable and colourful. I still have a few left over from spring, but they’re finding the weather a bit hot now. That’s it now, until the days cool down a bit, and then up they’ll pop again. I very much like the idea of planting layers in pots…might have a go at that myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were a few 🐝 on the winter honeysuckle this afternoon. I made the most of the fragrance whilst trying to take a few snaps.

      Liked by 1 person

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