Six on Saturday (29 February 2020)

Good grief. Another weekend, another storm. There have been moments of stillness during the week. Heck, there was even dazzling sunshine and blue sky. But when you’re stuck in an office all day this makes it all the more frustrating when you know, come Saturday, things will take a turn for the worse and you’re in for yet another weekend of wet and windy weather. It has toughened me up though. I’ve forced myself to get out in the garden to undertake this and that the moment the rain has stopped, and that leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. Last Sunday I made that trip to the garden centre to purchase a few bags of compost and to sample some carrot cake with a mug of coffee (it was raining, I needed a pick-me-up and I’m sure carrot cake counts as one of my five a day). Late in the afternoon the skies cleared a little and I headed out to sow my sweet peas in some seed trays that I’d made from leftover boxes. Some Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ and Scabiosa ‘Summer Sundae’ seeds were also sown and I potted on the Lupin seedlings. Despite the gloom it felt good to be outdoors.

2. Fresh green leaves are unfurling everywhere at the moment. The Hydrangea, Miss Belgium, is sporting some nice, unnibbled foliage. I must chop off last year’s flower heads though.

3. Now this is freaky. The old Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ got the chop last Autumn and I created a few log piles around the garden for wildlife. But look, it lives… sort of. Quite a few of the logs have sprouted new growth. I’m very tempted to try propagating some of the branches just out of curiosity.

4. The new Daphne odora, purchased over a year ago to replace the one that I’d moved around one too many times, is about to flower. I’m looking forward to appreciating their fragrance when they open.

5. I managed to photograph some of the crocuses as they opened earlier in the week. Some are still flowering though quite a few have got flattened in the wind.

6. And finally… During my trip to the garden centre last weekend I almost made it out without purchasing a plant. Almost, but not quite. Last February I purchased an Ilex Crenata ‘Dark Green’ as an alternative to box. It went to look very sickly in July and it’s never fully recovered. At the garden centre I spotted an Ilex crenata ‘Twiggy’ and initially I dismissed it, thinking it foolish to try a Japanese holly again. Yet I found myself walking past it again a little later. I picked the plant up, studying it more closely this time, but then put it down and walked away, feeling slightly smug at my demonstration of willpower.

Twenty minutes later, standing at a till, I found this in my trolley, shoved between the two bags of compost, two boxes of chicken manure pellets (it was a buy one get one free offer and t’would have been madness not to), a pack of coir pellets (I was curious), a bag of grit and another bird box. I’ve dug up the sickly ‘Dark Green’ ilex and planted ‘Twiggy’ in its place. Was it holly, I mean folly? Probably.

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


29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (29 February 2020)

  1. Do you suppose there’s a worker employed at the garden centre specifically to mind read what the customers want and slipping it carefully in the trolley behind the compost? I think there’s one at our garden centre as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How interesting about those logs. Keep us posted on their progress. As to the box planters, do you bury the entire box or lift the seedlings out of the cardboard?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clever idea using the old boxes as seed trays. I tried using coir pots last year but in all the rain they started to collapse before the seeds had chance to germinate. Probably best used in a greenhouse! Jane’s comment made me laugh! The number of times I find myself buying something that I didn’t go in for! My solution is to stay away from all nurseries and garden centres unless absolutely necessary!


  4. Much better to find it’s jumped into the trolley than to go home, brood about it and then go all the way back to get it. Dazzling sun during the week? I must have blinked and missed it. I like the cardboard box idea, I always run out of seed trays.

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  5. Love this entertaining post. It made me laugh. Perhaps because I identify with the whole garden centre scenario. Right down to the cake!

    That’s a clever way to use old boxes – mail order cardboard is usually very tough, so I’d imagine it will withstand all the watering that the seedlings need.

    YOu mentioned your lupin seedlings – can I ask a question? My Lupin ‘Lilac Javelin’ seeds arrived in the post yesterday (yes, the ones I copied from you!) and I think I’ll get started on my seeds this coming week. Did you soak the seeds before sowing them?? I remember reading somewhere to do that with lupin seeds, but there’s no direct instruction on the packet.

    The perfume from the Daphne odora will be a delight when the flowers open.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The cardboard box seed tray is inspired! Definitely will be trying that. I hope the Ilex does OK, I’m thinking of trying one in the back garden, if I can find a space…. I’m a week ahead of you with my hydrangea, took the seed heads off this week and our lovely Daphne is already going over. We are a tad further south west I think.

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  7. You are right, being outside one can hear the wind and the birds. Seeing your seed sowing marathon is making me realise I ought to get on with mine! Or ought I to wait just another week?


  8. I hope you get on well with the New Horizon compost. I’ve had mixed results, but I’m willing to give it another go (especially since I’ve not found any other peat free brands for sale locally). We’ve had a prunus (variety unknown) that threw up suckers all over the lawn in an 8ft spread. I think they might be impossible to kill.


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