Six on Saturday: It was a dark and stormy night… (9 February 2019)

In the wee small hours of Thursday morning I awoke to the sound of a howling gale outside. I lay there for a while worrying about the same thing I always worry about during stormy weather – the aging fences. Having trained a variety of plants up them, I don’t relish the potential hassle if they’re flattened and need replacing. But I decided there was no point worrying, there was nothing I could do. Just relax. Forget about the fences. Ignore the ominous sounds outside. Just try to get back to the land of Nod.

But then I suddenly remembered the swing seat cover. Earlier in the week I’d noticed that one of the corners of the cover had become detached from the scary/cute (delete as appropriate) hedgehog ornament. I’d forgotten to reattach it. Damn. It was 1.30am. Could I really be bothered to do it now? After all it would probably be fine. Nope, I needed to find my inner Zen, forget about the gales and the swing seat cover just as I’d managed to forget about the fences… hmm, were they still standing? No, stop that. Empty my mind of all thoughts, including the thought of emptying my mind of all thoughts. Embrace slumber.

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Five minutes later, holding a pocket torch in my mouth whilst attempting to reattach the corner of the swing seat cover to the hedgehogs (which look even more sinister at night) I felt strangely calm. Out in the garden the wind didn’t sound quite so bad as it had when I was lying in bed. But adding to this sense of calm was the rather lovely scent of my first Six on Saturday…

1. Oh yes, it’s the Sweet Box… again! Small flowers yet a mighty scent. I much prefer this small compact variety than the bigger and rather straggly version we have near the back door. It’s in full flower now. The berries are also rather attractive.

2. The bulbs under the Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ tree were doing rather well when I took this photo earlier in the week (they’ve received a bit of a battering since those gales and Storm Erik). Crocuses and a solitary snow drop. I spotted some pots of flowering snowdrops on sale in town last weekend and I think I’m going to purchase a few to provide this one with a bit of company.

3. Talking of purchases, last weekend’s visit to Wilko (one of my favourite shops as it seems to stock pretty much anything) resulted in a few plant related buys including a pack of freesia. I’ve always fancied growing these as my wife and I are keen on their scent. Come March I’ll need to find a spot for them.

4. I used toilet roll tubes for my sweet peas last year and they did a grand job. I’m collecting more for this year’s sweet peas but I’ll still be reusing my vast array of plastic pots for seedlings (and will continue to do so until they’re no longer fit for purpose). However, I spotted these fibre pots for a pound. Apart from the plastic wrapping, it’s rather encouraging to see the shops providing an increasing number of alternatives to the plastic variety.

5. Remember the mysterious unboxed accidental purchase from last week?

Well, I unpacked it and here it is – a nondescript twiggy thing/standard ‘Marina Blue’ Hibiscus.

I’d always admired the flowers of a large Hibiscus that grew in a front garden I used to pass on my way to and from work. It was a show during late summer and the flowers remind me a bit of crepe paper. I’ve been pondering getting a Hibiscus for a while now but wasn’t sure where I’d put it. The recently extended patio bed (which may be extended a tad more) has hopefully provided the ideal spot. The grand plan is that it’ll add a bit of height and obscure the view of the patio/path a bit (depending on where you are) so that you can’t see all of the garden in one go (admittedly a bit tricky in a small garden). Apparently you can prune it back each year if required so I’m hoping it won’t get in the way of any sheets hanging on the washing line.

6. And finally… a birthday present. A bird feeder in a box. It’s an ingenious idea and it was easy to put together (I didn’t require any adult supervision).

We get a good variety of birds feeding in the back garden but I’m going to attach this one to the outside of the living room window where hopefully we’ll get to enjoy the odd feathered visitor up close.

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.

27 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: It was a dark and stormy night… (9 February 2019)

    1. I’m liking the grey trunk of the hibiscus at the moment. Are freesias tricky then? I was lured by the colourful blooms on the front of the packet!

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    1. Apparently this variety do okay over here (well, fingers crossed!) The scent of the Sweet Boxes is filling the garden at the moment. Rather nice during the miserable weather we’ve been having lately.

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  1. Gardener’s insomnia – I suffer from that too sometimes. Last week, when it was -7 outside I was worrying about my clay pots cracking. I had a similar cardboard box arrive this week. It was an apricot tree I’m going to train against a wall. It’s the first time if tried this so but I can’t wait!

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    1. -7? Crikey! My granddad used to train a few victoria plum trees against a wall. Good luck with the apricot tree. I look forward to seeing how it goes.

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    1. Hmm, Fred also struggled with them. I may have to do a bit of research if it’s more complicated than just plonking them in the ground. I hope they don’t turn out to be as pesky as lupins to grow.

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  2. Reading this, you sound just like my OH. He hates the wind with a passion but it is usually me who ends up braving the storm to move pots under the cover. We shipped a beautiful pot from the UK but sadly it fell victim to the first major storm we had so now I’ve learned to brave the weather.

    Your greenhouse looks good and the perfect size for bringing on seeds.

    Freeishas,,, my goodness they were cheap! I paid 25 cents for each bulb.

    Love your bird feeder and the idea of attaching it to the window. What a great idea!

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    1. I’m hearing freesias may not always come back so they may not be quite such a bargain! I need to do a bit research about what to do with them. Unless I treat them like annuals.

      That’s a pity about the pot.

      I’ve not used the greenhouse yet (though do gaze at it from time to time!) I’m waiting for the sun to get a bit higher in the sky (roll on March!)

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      1. I grow my freesias in plastic flower pots. The previous year I let them die down, removed the bulbs from the pots and stored in the garage. Last spring, once they finished flowering, I let the foliage die down and left the bulbs in the pots in a dry corner of the garden. Once I was ready to plant up the bulbs I emptied all the pots and collected all the bulbs which I replanted and these are now in bud waiting to flower. I also try and feed all the bulbs at the moment. We will see.

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    1. Glad you liked it. Gardening is generally relaxing and good for the soul but there are times when it’s not! The last time I was out in the garden at silly o’clock was when I rememered I’d left the zinnia seedlings out for the slugs. I’m puzzled by the love for the hedgehogs!

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      1. I’m not sure why the hedgehogs struck me, perhaps the bits of moss on them, perhaps because there’s two of them together…or maybe because they look like they belong in the garden versus some other brightly-colored garish garden ornament!

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  3. Can’t wait to watch the progress of your new hibiscus! Marina Blue sounds so promising. A friends recently gave me my first sweetbox which is in bud here. I still haven’t planted it out yet so it’s still happy in its pot in the garage instead of in our major snow. Plants with winter fragrance can’t be beat.

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