Six on Saturday (2 February 2019)

It’s been a funny old week. It was wet and extremely windy last weekend (which put paid to any outdoor pottering for this fair weather gardener), damp and dismal during the first half of the week, cold and frosty midweek and then the snow arrived Thursday evening and we were greeted with this Friday morning.

It’s been hard to keep up and it hasn’t been without its challenges. Which leads me to my first Six on Saturday.

1. I made an accidental online purchase of a climbing rose the other week. After the gales last weekend I’ve managed to justify the purchase by viewing the rose as a vital fence support. It’s David Austin’s Gertrude Jekyll, a scented rose which can apparently be grown as either a climber or a shrub. Miss Jekyll was bought as a bare root plant and I found her sitting by the side gate upon my return home from work on Wednesday evening. I’d read you shouldn’t plant bare rooted plants in frozen ground and naturally, after months of relatively mild conditions, the weather contrived to turn all icy the moment Gerty arrived. I left her all wrapped up in the shed the first night and did a bit of googling (other search engines are available) to determine the best course of action. On Thursday evening, in a race against the elements, I shoved her in a bucket of water for half an hour or so, had my tea (bean and potato moussaka in case you were interested), and then, as the first few snowflakes began to fall and under the cover of darkness, removed her from the bucket, plonked her in a pot with some compost and hid her under the swing seat cover. As soon as it warms up a bit I’ll plant her properly.

2. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with lupins over the past few years, but as summer came to an end last year we had well and truly fallen out. I’d raised and nurtured several lupins from seed almost two years ago. It had been a constant battle to protect them from slugs, snails and aphids and after they failed to flower last year I decided I no longer cared what fate had in store for them. They were on their own. Me and lupins were through. Forever.

When I took a quick look around the garden late on Saturday I was rather surprised to discover that a few of them were still alive and looking surprisingly healthy and unnibbled. It’s all a bit puzzling really as the slimy plant assassins of the night are obviously out and about if the leaves of the primroses are anything to go by. Still, I’m not going to get my hopes up.

3. The Golden Graham Honeysuckle was showing signs of life last Sunday. It may have had second thoughts after the snow. I need to read up on when to prune it as I can never remember. Early Spring perhaps?

4. Although a bit annoying rose-planting-wise, the icy weather we had mid-week beautified some of the plants in the garden, particularly the old flower heads of the Sedum.

5. The Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ tree has just started to flower. There are only a few flowers out at the moment but I think it’s going to put on a good show as the weeks go by.

6. And finally… Another accidental purchase that arrived on Friday despite all the snow. I’ve been pondering getting this plant for a while now and I’m hoping it will go in the newly extended patio bed. What was that? What is it? Ah, all will be revealed next week…

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.

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (2 February 2019)

  1. Your lupin travails are all too familiar. None of ours ever made a comeback, a blessing in disguise. I’ve seen acres of them naturalised between railway lines in Liverpool and all over New Zealand; don’t they have slugs?

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    1. That hardly seems fair! Stupid lupins. I have the same issues with delphiniums but fear I may give them another go this summer having given them a miss for a year or two.

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    1. I have been lately! I blame Six on Saturday. You discover all these new plants that you never realised you needed to try and grow. Tea was very tasty.

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  2. Of course the question is, Did you Open Immediately?? Lupins seem to love my rocky limestone filled soil and self seed (or grow where I scatter seeds) quite readily. Bonus for me is the rabbits don;t seem to care much for them!

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    1. I didn’t! I opened it today and its braving the cold and increasingly windy great outdoors. You’re not helping my lupin mood! 😄

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    1. There should be a support group – congratulating and reassuring each other that buying a plant/plants was the right thing to do. Hang on, I’m being told that’s not what a support group is for. That can’t be right.

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    1. Did it flower in its first year? I accidently (not on purpose!) ordered the climber and shrub version initially. When I phoned to double check I’d cancelled the shrub GJ they said they were one and the same so I guess it’s all about the training or pruning, or both. Good for shadier spots apparently.

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  3. I laughed…’accidental online purchase’. How many of us have done that? Your second purchase is intriguingly large. I just love lupins, but have had so little success. I always seem to overwater them, and yes, they get eaten by snails. As Jim said, they grow wild in the South Island of NZ in their tens of thousands and thrive on neglect.

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    1. The box turned out to be quite a bit taller than the plant inside it. Perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope then for the lupins as they’re not getting anymore cosseting from me!

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  4. I’m convinced lupins thrive when we ignore them. I’ve succumbed to starting a couple dozen again this year… okay more than a couple dozen. So far, so good, but planting them out will again be the true test. Over here on the northwest coast of the U.S. I also ordered a trio of shrub Gertrude Jekylls and planted them in the fall. You, The Propagator, and I will have to share our progress.

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    1. Good luck with your lupins! You’re right, it’ll be intesting to see how the Gertrude Jekylls do. Mine’s going in a slightly shady spot but according to the growing instructions GJ seems okay pretty much anywhere.

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  5. Unfortunately the kind of weather you talk about does keep us indoors and even though I am busy doing other things on my computer, like blogging, my fingers keep going to the bookmark ‘online nurseries’ and I see something and think, ‘Ah, I wonder what that one sells?’ – next minute I appear to have ordered some plants as an email thanking me for my order pings into my mail box. One of these purchases lead to a delivery of 6 dwarf lupins (free), I don’t grow lupins for all the reasons you have mentioned, plus the last time I did they were covered in blackfly all summer, not a nice look. Still, I have shoved them in the raised bed and we’ll see. I’m ambivalent either way!! GJ is an ‘either’ ‘or’ rose. I had mine as a shrub in a pot and pruned her each year, now she is free in the garden to climb up a fence should she so wish 😉 Must confess, several bare rooted shrub roses almost leapt in to the shopping cart…

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    1. It’s tricky this accidental plant purchasing thing!Good luck with the dwarf lupins. The only lupin that has done okay in our garden is the Persian Slipper variety, though it’s never fully recovered after I split it to get a few more plants. I’m going to grow GJ as a climber near the blue shed where hopefully we’ll be able to appreciate its scent.

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  6. No!!!! I can’t wait a whole week to find out what is in the box. And I’m away until Monday so won’t find out until then. *sigh* I suppose I will have to cope. Gertrude is a great choice, lovely rose. It is sods law that the weather changed at the vital moment, sure she will be safely tucked up very soon. Now, let’s get back to the box, you can tell me, I promise I will keep it to myself …….

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  7. I love the phrase accidental purchase 🙂 I daren’t order anything online. I have considered ordering some rare succulents but after my recent disasters with my three most expensive plants, I’m not so sure.

    As for your lupins I’d do the same. Any plants I discard I plant on the open ground next door and they either live or die.

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