Six on Saturday (11 January 2020)

Feeling rather gloomy last weekend, I decided a spot of online horticultural retail therapy might help lift my mood. Though there was an accidental last minute purchase of a small bag of Dutch Iris bulbs, the other purchases were of the premeditated, guilty as charged your honour kind, including a scented I-sort-of-know-where-it’s-going-to-go small tree and a few packets of seeds.

Some seeds I’ve grown before, like the Ceratotheca triloba or South African Foxglove (sadly it didn’t flower before the first frost struck but I’m going to try again) and the Crepis rubra or Pink Dandelion. Some I haven’t, such as the Bishop’s Children Dahlias (I’ve decided to give them ago after reading Joshua’s blog). This weekend I’m going to start checking my existing packets of seeds (many collected from the Garden News Magazine) to see what I’ve got. I probably should have done this before ordering any more. I also failed to take into account self seeders in the garden, which leads me to my first SoS.

1. A lot of seedlings are coming up in the patio bed. I planted Alyssum and cornflowers here last summer so I’m wondering whether any of these seedlings might be their offspring. Looking at this photo I’ve just noticed some clover that needs pulling up. An Erigeron karvinskianus (or Hestercombe Daisy) seedling may also have to go; it seeds itself everywhere.

2. The garlic is growing away nicely in the troughs and a big terracotta pot. Whether it will split this year and form some decent sized cloves who knows. I’d feel more confident if we had a spell of seasonably cold weather.

3. While the garlic is looking well, the same can’t quite be said for the Daphne x transatlantica Eternal Fragrance which has suddenly started to shed some of its leaves. The shrub is described as a ‘semi-evergreen’ so I’m not overly concerned, though I didn’t notice it losing any leaves when we had a cold spell last winter. I’ll keep an eye on it.

4. I almost bought my wife some flowers the other day but then, ever the romantic, decided that a few pots of bulbs would surely be better value as I could plant them in the garden after they flowered. I bought her some hyacinths (her dad always used to grow them in pots indoors)…

… and some Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’.

5. I’ve seen a lot of photographs of flowering Rosemary of late and I always feel a bit envious; ours has never flowered. It started life in a pot several years ago, got planted into a herb bed briefly, and was then dug up and put back in a pot. It’s remained small, mainly because we use it quite often in our cooking, and I’m assuming this is why it has never flowered.

6. And finally… Oh yes, the Violas are back. They’re thriving in this mild weather. I have a particular soft spot for this one and wish I knew what variety is was as I’d consider purchasing some seed. I might attempt to take some cuttings from it in the spring.

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


21 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (11 January 2020)

  1. I like the idea of bulbs for a present. My hubby knows better than to buy me cut flowers. 🙂 Maybe your rosemary needs full sun to flower? and is that rhubarb I can see… I gave most of mine away this summer in a fit of temper because everyone else can sem to grow it except me. 😦

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  2. Good seed list there. I’ve got enough free seeds from magazines that I’m not ordering anymore. Got enough cosmos, poppies, aquilegia to fill my garden several times over. I hope the Bishop’s Children work out for you as I now feel responsible for their success.

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    1. Don’t feel responsible for their success! I’ve grown dwarf dahlias from seed for a few years but not the full size variety. Last year the dwarf variety didn’t do very well so I’m prepared for potential disappointment. Hopefully some will make it.


  3. I’m sure your wife appreciated the bulbs – much longer-lasting. I don’t tend to use rosemary in cooking much so mine flowers regularly! Good luck with your indoor narcissi, mine started enthusiastically last year, then came to a halt and did nothing more.

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  4. I use my Rosemary for cooking all the time, hence the strange shape, and it still flowers. It may be the cultivar, the climate or the situation in your garden that is not conducive but in the background I notice rhubarb to be very proud of.

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  5. Your garlic is superb and looks healthy. Your seeds purchases are interesting, especially these South Africa foxgloves. I can’t wait to see them in bloom!
    Finally these violas are really nice, I like the way the light passes through the petals.

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  6. I was surprised & very pleased to see that viola again! I do hope you can successfully take cuttings, as it’s wonderful. Perhaps some of its seeds’d come true. I have garlic envy. Mine did nothing this year & I haven’t a clue as to why. At the rate the weather has been going in your area, that rhubarb won’t get eaten til spring!

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  7. I’m intrigued by the Crepis Rubra. I’ve just seen it mentioned in a book by Mary Keen where she’s included it in a planting plan. The description ‘pink dandelion’ rather put me off, but if you are buying the seeds again then it must be good.

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