Six on Saturday (5 January 2019)

It’s 2019, the Christmas merriment is over, the decorations have been taken down, I know what day of the week it is again and that strange phenomenon that afflicts my work trousers the same time every year has occurred once more – they’ve shrunk a little in the waist.

But New Year trouser shrinkage isn’t the only strange phenomena to have occurred during the past few weeks. Oh no, far stranger things have been going on in the garden…

1. The first of which is grass cutting. On New Year’s Eve I noticed that the back lawn had put on a surprising amount of growth since its last trim back in early November.

My little push mower struggles with the grass when it gets too long so it seemed wise to tackle it there and then. However, I don’t think I’ve ever mown the lawn this late on in the year before. I’m hoping the recent spell of chillier weather will continue for a while and slow things down a bit.

2. It’s not just the grass that has been stealthily growing during the mild winter we’ve had so far. Despite thinking I’d been pretty ruthless with the forget-me-nots last year, reducing them to just a few plants here and there, I appear to have failed miserably. They’re coming up everywhere.

3. As are the common red poppies, which is odd as they didn’t do very well at all last summer.

Californian poppy seedlings are also popping up all over the place. Unfortunately the orange ones tend to be more prolific than the yellow.

4. Weeds have been enjoying the recent mild weather, especially the bittercress. I don’t normally weed during the winter but it might be necessary to get shot of this particular nemesis before it flowers and sets seed.

This shiny leafed weed always thrives in the shady damp bed. I’ve no idea what it is.

And this ivy has appeared out of nowhere. I’m not sure whether I should keep it or not. Would it do okay in a pot, trailing nicely over the sides? Would it be good as ground cover? Or should I just get shot of it? Suggestions welcomed.

5. This is a view from the sofa in the conservatory. The fuchsia is still flowering and the vinca is looking good but will definitely need to be taken in hand soon. It’s doing a good job at softening the remains of an old bird bath but is in danger of taking over the bed.

6. And finally… bulbs. These might be daffodils (with some viola, honesty and other as yet unidentified seedlings.

Crocus and a whatsamajig…

Some something-or-others…

And rather excitingly I think these might be the ranunculus…

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.

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27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (5 January 2019)

  1. The shiny weed is one of the willowherbs, or quite likely a hybrid. The seeds blow in from all over. Myself I’d get rid of the ivy, it’s a dull thing and only of use to wildlife at flowering size, which you probably won’t want it to reach. I nearly put flowering bitter cress in my six but felt too ashamed. I still haven’t pulled it out though.

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    1. I’ve still not pulled the bittercress up. Thanks for IDing the shiny weed. General concensus seems to be get shot of the ivy.

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  2. I would get rid of the ivy too but then my garden is covered in ivy in parts. I don’t mind it covering walls as it gives a good cover and feeds the birds in winter but it’s a pest. Then I pull up vinca too. I had loads last year and pulled it all out or so I thought! I’ve noticed another patch growing and flowering away. Such a invasive plant. Happy new year and enjoy your weeding!

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  3. I agree with Jim. I’d dig up the ivy or put it in a pot … I have a whole messy bed now and I don’t know when I’ll find the time to remove all the 50*3m covered with ivy … A lot of signs spring in your garden (the lawn that needs to be mowed in January … where are we !?)

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    1. Thanks for the advice. I definitely need to tackle the weeds sooner rather than later. I’m hoping the cold snap will slow things down a bit!

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  4. Sadly I didn’t get around to giving my grass a mow in November as it was too wet, now it is like a mini meadow. I am seriously contemplating getting rid of all of it this year! Like others have said I would get rid of the ivy. I have some in my garden that grows up fences etc and doesn’t bother me, but I wouldn’t want it to start creeping into the borders. Bittercress is springing up everywhere too – I halfheartedly did a bit of weeding mid-week and now I have read what the shiny stuff is (thank you Jim) I must go and pull that up too before it gets established. Funny how weeds have no trouble in growing! But it looks like we have lots of bulbs to look forward to. 🙂

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    1. Thanks. The ivy will be going al9ng with the bittercress and shiny leafed willow herb – I just need to motivate myself to get out there and do it (I sort of object to the idea of weeding in January!)

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  5. I have some variegated ivy which is less invasive than its plain, green cousin. I dig up the green one and it still comes back! I think I have many bulbs coming through but the perennial geranium in covering some of them. I must be more ruthless!

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    1. I’ll dig the ivy up. It’s hard being ruthless sometimes. The one time I was (with ragged robin) I regretted it the following year after I realised there was hardly any left!

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  6. The one thing I don’t miss about gardening in England is mowing the lawn… but at least you have a few grass cuttings for your compost heap. 🙂

    Ivy, I’d add to a pot so it trails over the side. Do you guys create winter gardens in pots with lots of different evergreenish colours?

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    1. I think Mark Lane on GW planted up such a pot. Alas I don’t have a compost heap – no room. I look at other people’s compost heaps with a bit of envy!

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      1. After reading P’s post on compost heaps, I gave up with mine. I am now experimenting using a huge plant pot (I found up the rubbish bins) to see if I can generate any sort of compost. I am also asking hubby to pee on it as I read that helps break down the contents quicker. The bin looks neater and far smaller than a conventional heap. It may or may not work. Have you thought of trying a smaller version?

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      2. I tried a leaf litter cage last year but decided it took up too much valuable plant space. I’ll look into this pot idea. Not sure about peeing on it though!

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  7. Like everyone else, I say remove the ivy. Too soon it could be ineradicable. I’m envious of your poppies even if they are ‘common red’ ones. I have had no luck at all in growing them from seed.

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    1. Thanks. The ivy will go. I wonder if it was the dry spring and summer that prevented most of mine from growing last year. I read somewhere that poppy seeds lie can dormant for many years waiting for the perfect growing conditions. Maybe one year yours will come up.

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    1. A bit less now! Reluctantly did some weeding this afternoon. I like the orange Californian poppy but I must admit I prefer the yellow one. I tried growing a red version from seed a few times but without success for some reason.

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