Six on Saturday: one year on (25 May 2019)

I think it was T. Bangles that said ‘Time it goes so fast when you’re having fun’. It came as a surprise to discover it’s been a year since I joined in with Six on Saturday, a meme started by The Propagator that has introduced me to a friendly lot of gardeners from all over the world and led to the discovery and purchase of plants that I never knew I needed.

When I started I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find six things in our small garden to write about each week, particularly during the winter months. Yet Six on Saturday has made me take more notice of what’s happening on our little patch of green and it’s made me appreciate that there’s always something going on, even in the depths of winter. At this time of the year though it can be a tad tricky choosing just six things in the garden to share. But I’ve made those big tough decisions and so onto to my first SoS…

1. Foxgloves. I used to be very wary of Foxgloves as a kid, thinking that if I so much as touched one I’d most likely snuff it. This time last year the pink foxgloves were flowering merrily away out in the back garden but they’re only just coming into bud at the moment. However, a few white ones are flowering in the sunnier front garden. They self seed each year and you never know what colour combo you’re going to get. I’ve not had this white one with purple spots before.

2. Over the past week and a half I’ve started hardening off plants. The tomatoes and the morning glory have been the top priority as they’re getting too big for the mini greenhouse and I’m hoping to plant these out over the long weekend.

I have a tendency to start hardening plants off when they’re rather small (I get bored of potting on and the constant watering). I was planning on putting some of the zinnias and dahlias into the ground rather than big pots this year but they’re so tiny at the moment I fear the slimy plant assassins of the night would make short work of them. They’re going to have to spend a few more weeks on the swing seat, which is a pity because I’d quite like to sit on it.

3. A new purchase made last Saturday, Primula vialii ‘Red Hot Poker’. I used to have one that grew next to the small pond. It came back year after year until I decided to split it. One half was planted in a bed near the bird bath and the other half was re-planted near the pond. The plant placed near the bird bath was doing well until it was dug up, along with a white Ragged Robin, by a badger. The other half died back over the winter and was never seen again. This new one is going near the pond.

4. The deliciously scented Margaret Merril featured in my first SoS and has just started flowering. She was moved to the new patio bed early in the year and seems to be doing okay so far.

5. I know, I know, I can’t quite believe it either. Lupin buds! I grew several lupins from seed two years ago. For the first two years they were cosseted and vigilantly protected from slugs, snails and aphids. But when they failed to flower last year I washed my hands of them. The ungrateful so-and-sos were going to have to fend for themselves. Three or four have survived and this one (which I’ll admit to having assisted lately by squashing the odd aphid or three) has several buds and is almost as tall as the hibiscus. What was that? Err, no, the hibiscus still looks decidedly deceased, though I scratched the surface of a few stems the other day and found green so perhaps all is not lost.

6. And finally… Yes, more Dutch Irises. Purely yellow ones this time. Some of the others are beginning to go over but these, near the pond, don’t get quite so much sun as the rest and flower that little bit later. I’m going to miss them when they’ve finished.

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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28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: one year on (25 May 2019)

  1. I’m like you, time goes on and this friendly group of gardeners motivates me to buy more plants or sow new things: what a pleasure!
    Your white floxgloves and these new primulas are gorgeous! I hope you keep them for the next few years
    My zinnias are planted in the ground for 2 weeks and I have to take a look at the slugs, but they resist so far. I only lost coneflowers Tomato Soup and Mexican sunflowers … I have to sow again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t checked our coneflower for a few days now. It wasn’t looking very good when I last looked at it. I may give up on it and replace it with something more robust.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I suspect the dosage of foxglove makes them prohibitive as a murder weapon, but there are many more helpful plants in a garden to choose from, should you have the need. Love the white one. They aren’t often seen in gardens but always brighten up whatever spot they’re in. Great shot of the lupin. Great shot of everything, really. Lovely Six. Happy SoS Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! You sound as though you have been watching too much Miss Marple or Midsomer Murders with your knowedhe of lethal plants!

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  3. It’s nice to see a wider view of your garden – it puts things in context a bit more. Love those irises. We have a teeny-tiny pond which has an iris but no sign of flowers yet. Someone on my Twitter timeline said they had a raft spider in their small pond – I’ve been scared to go near mine since!

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    1. I don’t fancy the idea of a raft spider! There’s a shiny black spider that appears in the greenhouse at night. It worries me (we’ve had the odd false widow) but I’ve left it alone for now.

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  4. What that foxglove says to me is that I need to seriously up my game from the self sown wild things that we currently have. Have you scraped the soil away to look at the roots of your Hibiscus? If the top seems to be alive but wonโ€™t grow Iโ€™d suspect dead roots.

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    1. My glimmer of hope for the hibiscus is now dimmer. It didn’t have much of a root ball when I planted it. Is it doomed then if it has dead roots or is there still a Princess-Bride-mostly-dead-is-slightly-alive type chance it might pull through?

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      1. In my experience root problems tend to be all or nothing in nature with mostly dead and dead being the same thing. I am something of a hardcore pessimist though. If it really looks like there may be some life in the roots, by which I mean some new growth, I would lift the plant, gently remove compost and dead roots, repot and cut the top back hard. Then keep as evenly moist as possible but especially not wet.

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      2. I’ve contacted the supplier in case I can get a replacement but I may try this. Thanks.

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  5. My daughter-in-law gave me masses of white foxglove seeds last year. They have germinated well but are very small. I have planted them out so maybe later in the year? So you are another one with ๐ŸŒน – mine are only just in bud!

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    1. I find foxgloves vary year to year. Sometimes they look really impressive. Sometimes they turn out rather spindly with few flowers. You never know what you’re going to get! Only one big rose out so far, although a patio one is flowering.

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    1. Thank you! We walked a bit of the coastal path near Falmouth around this time last year. Wild flowers galore, including foxgloves. Just as beautiful as any planned garden.

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  6. I grew up with similar stories of foxgloves…..made me buy more! Love them and as you say, the colours are a surprise each year! I had about 10 lupins in my cottage border and only one survived the heat of last summer. I have planted more but I think they suffered. Apparently very few around….I was chatting to an old guy at the garden centre and he agreed that it was the worst year for lupins that he could remember in a while so praise your seedlings for being so resilient! Lovely 6.

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    1. I shall consider myself lucky then on the lupin front! Sorry to hear about yours. The garden seems rather dry already. Could do with a shower or two.

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  7. What about moving your plants from the swing seat onto plastic beer crates or something similar… gotta have the seat for G and T, wine or a beer or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the foxglove. … Lupins,… the bugs… I just hope you are not reincarnated as a lupin bug ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I have worried about karma. I’m quite ruthless with slugs and snails these days too – they pushed me too far with my seedlings one year and that was it. Rather than carry them across to the Green (and have the neighbour’s wondering what I was doing) I now apply the trowel to the blighters.

      We have another bench of the non swinging variety so all is well!

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  8. The dry weather of late is helping keep the slugs and snails slightly more manageable of late but rain would be welcome! The garden is getting quite dry.

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