Six on Saturday (22 February 2020)

Thankfully, the garden survived Storm Dennis unscathed and the rickety fences are still standing (something of a miracle as a new sturdy looking fence in a nearby garden was flattened). Having been off gallivanting these past few weekends, today and tomorrow will be spent at home. I’m hoping to sow some sweet peas and prune back a patio rose today (if the weather improves) and on Sunday I’m off to a garden centre to pick up a few bags of peat free compost as I’m down to just the one bag, something that always leaves me feeling strangely uneasy. I have vowed that during my visit to the garden centre I will be strong, resisting the temptation to purchase anything resembling a bulb, corm, twig or leafy thing. Willpower will be deployed. Oh yes! There will be no new plant-like purchases featuring in next week’s Six on Saturday. Err, did that sound convincing? No, I didn’t think so either. Ah well, time for for my first SoS…

1. Delphiniums. I sowed the Pacific Giant variety last summer. At the time I thought it was folly and I still don’t think it will end well for them. Previous Delphiniums, purchased as plants, haven’t lasted long, savaged by slugs and snails in the spring, never to recover. Having died back in the autumn, these have sprung to life again. I began to harden them off last September, preparing them for life in the great outdoors. However, the slimy ones soon found them and they were returned to the mini greenhouse where they have spent the winter. They’ll have to fend for themselves at some point though.

2. Last weekend I braved Storm Dennis to head up to the old ancestral home in North Wales for a long weekend. These beauties were photographed during a brief spell of sunshine on the Monday, after the storm had passed.

I’d been feeling a bit dismayed about the lack of crocuses in our own garden this year. However, I may have been a little too hasty in my woe-is-me-ing as I noticed quite a few of these yesterday. Later today, weather permitting, I shall be poised, ready to photograph them when they open.

3. Our garden is seriously lacking in snowdrops. Yet up at the ancestral home there were clumps of gorgeous Galanthus everywhere. I’m going to place an order with the free nursery in Wales for some of these.

4. Next up, tomatoes! Yes, they’ve finally appeared and a very pleasing sight they are too.

5. Now I have a bit of a love/not-quite-hate relationship with Vinca/periwinkles. I love their evergreeniness and the flowers. I’m less keen on their tendencies towards world domination. They get chopped right back a few times a year but inevitably some make a run for it. I think the purple variety has made it under the fence and into the neighbour’s garden.

6. And finally… I’ve always fancied a nest box but feared that with several feeders scattered around our small garden it was unlikely that anything would take up residence. Curious, I acquired this one a few weekends ago. I don’t think it’s deep enough for blue or great tits, though perhaps wrens may find it suitable. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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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41 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (22 February 2020)

  1. My nest boxes never get any residents which I think is partly down to the number of feeders in my garden. They need a bit of space between. But if I don’t provide them I miss out the chance.
    I’ve been thinking my crocuses were never coming but lots of signs of life this week and the first few flowering.

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  2. Your delphinium is looking good, I’ve never had too much luck with them, mainly due to the slimey ones. I know what you mean about feeling a bit uneasy when the compost is getting low, I await your result in being restrained at the garden centre. What is that? Cut price snowdrops …… 🙂

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  3. When I went on my only visit to Plantbuyers anonymous meeting, the tip regards going to buy compost, is leave all cards at home, don’t take your mobile, only take cash sufficient to buy the compost. Otherwise send someone else to pick up the specific bags. During a meditation period, my inner guru said, so long as you can afford it, that it is not eating into your nest egg, that you love it and will plant it, then there is no need to be abstemious. I’m sure I met many SOS at that meeting, and non of us have returned!

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  4. I always get mildly panicked when I see pictures of seedlings like your tomatoes and mine are still in the packet. I am determined to hold out until the date I sowed them last year; why should that be a struggle, but it is. I’ll sow something else to scratch that itch.

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  5. No tomato sowing for me just yet but I think it will in a week or so. Like Fred I do like that vinca flower. I’ve got to stock up on the Fish Bone and Blood and like you have plans to go straight in and straight out again. No browsing at all.

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  6. I am going to sink the new slug/snail traps into the soil near the delphiniums soon. I will let you know whether they work. I don’t have any dark, purple crocuses, just the yellow and the pale purple ones. Yours are a lovely, bright colour.

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  7. Your crocus were just biding their time and will be opening soon just like those at the old ancestral home. Hope your Delphiniums can stave off the next slug attack.

    I don’t think there’s any gardener who can go into a garden centre and resist buying something for the garden! I’m meeting my two sisters this week and we’re going to have that lunch in one of ours. And then we’ll shop.

    We usually share a trolley. Often it’s not enough – but every time we go there we asked each other ‘are you buying today’. And the answer is usually ‘no’.

    I suspect you will fail – just like the rest of us! We’re all looking forward to seeing what you buy. 😂

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  8. Looking forward to seeing what you didn’t buy at the garden centre! Crocuses are so lovely now, it’s a joy to see a few pushing their way up and presenting their little smiley faces when the sun comes out. I’m impressed with your tomato seedlings. I shall buy plants this year, I think.

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    1. I try to resist non essential trips to garden centres but have found myself acquiring pots of things from the county market shop and the plant stall man in town far more often than I care to admit. I bought a budding pot of Jetfire daffs yesterday from the county market shop. I didn’t really need them (I planted some in the autumn) and yet I came home with them anyway. I guess I’m helping to support local business.

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  9. I’ve got last years delphiniums in the greenhouse too. Every time I put them outside they got massacred. This spring they’ll have to go out anyway, but I’m hoping that they bigger they are before they face the enemy, the better.

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  10. What is it about delphiniums? Everyone complains about the S&S and yet we all seem to weaken and have a go with them each year! I’ve had the same problem with them being eaten and disappearing forever. Even if I can’t find what I went to the nursery to buy, I still manage to find something – or some things.

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  11. Maybe your delph’s’ll be big enough to fend for themselves by the time it’s warm enough to put them out again. One can hope. Speaking of hope, how did the shopping go? And that ‘free’ nursery in Wales, that probably doesn’t have anything to do w/cost, does it? Your crocuses are really stunning, especially the ones on the right. Photos next week?

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  12. A good six this week. It will be interesting to see if anything takes up residence in your birdhouse.I was tempted to ask Mr P to make one, but our little birds nest in the hedges or bourganvelia climber. Have you thought about a bee hotel? that’s one of my next projects.

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    1. We have an occupied bee hotel that has been moved to new location to make room for the bird box. My hopes are low that anything will nest due to the nearby feeders and bird traffic. However some people don’t mind living next to shops and busy roads so you never know!

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