Six on Saturday (7 March 2020)

Despite the wind and rain last weekend I managed to nip out into the garden in-between showers and make a start on tidying up this and that. The faded flowers of the hydrangea ‘Miss Belgium’ were snipped off and some cuttings of the Verbena bonariensis and the zombie Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ were taken. I potted up some newly acquired pompom dahlia tubers from Wilko just in case those I left in the ground over winter have rotted away (after all this rain I fear the worst) and I chopped back the Phlox, Buddleia ‘Buzz’ and the Hylo-telly… the Hylo-telephony… um, the name’s on the tip of my tongue… Nope, it’s gone; I chopped back the Sedums.

It was a start, but there are no end of weeds that need pulling up, foxgloves and forget-me-nots to reposition and seeds to start sowing. I was hopeful the garden was going to dry out a bit during the week as Monday and Tuesday were bright and sunny. Alas, the rest of the week was wet (though thankfully not windy) and it looks like I might be dodging showers again this weekend. Ah, well, there’s still plenty of time to get things started and, as the evenings get ever lighter, I’ll soon be able to undertake some after-work gardening, weather permitting. Anyway, enough woe-is-meing. Time for my first Six on Saturday.

1. This lupin is looking remarkably healthy and suspiciously unnibbled. It’s strangely unnerving. I can only assume the slimy plant assassins of the night are just biding their time, toying with me, lulling me into a false sense of all-will-be-well-with-the-lupins-afterall security before making their move.

2. The newly unfurling leaves of the Sambucus nigra Golden Tower, a new addition to the garden last year, were looking good in the sunshine earlier in the week. They look a bit like mini rhubarb at the moment and it’s hard to imagine they’ll eventually turn a yellowy green.

3. The Hyacinths have begun to open. This one, near the small wildlife pond, is growing on a slightly raised bed making it easier to appreciate the heady fragrance.

4. My parents purchased this Trachelospermum jasminoides for the garden when they visited last summer. My wife has always wanted one but it’s taken me this long to figure out where to plant it. I’ve settled on the sunny back bed near the patio. I’m hoping in time it will replace the increasingly shabby looking bamboo screen that was here when we bought the house. The drystone/rubble wall behind it is mostly comprised of the mortary bits chipped off the bottoms of paving stones that have been taken up over the years to create more planting space. They look better from a distance.

5. I’m hoping the Trachelospermum will release its wafty scent when I’m sitting on the patio come the summer. In the meantime I’ve been enjoying the fragrance of the nearby Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’ (which has a paler yellow flower and a greyer leaf than the Coronilla by the front door). It’s been blooming since the end of December and is still going strong.

6. And finally… Throughout spring and early summer last year I waited patiently for a twiggy, leafless Hibiscus that I planted in February 2019 to spring to life. Alas, it never did (the full tale of woe can be found here) and a replacement was received and eventually flowered. Having resigned myself for a long wait to see if this one had made it through the winter (apparently they can be notoriously late to come into leaf) I was amazed to see this tiny bit of green so early on in the year. I’m well chuffed.

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


30 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (7 March 2020)

  1. I love taking photos of the droplets placed on the young leaves of Lupins. Your photo is very successful!
    About the Trachelospermum I’m almost certain that it will quickly climb and next year it should have reached half or 3/4 of the height of your fence. That’s about the size that mine grows each year

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  2. Lovely photo of the lupin leaves with water droplets. I’ve only really seen that on the alchemilla, so I’ll have to go investigate mine later. I’ve not noticed any of my lupins being eaten either thankfully, but each year some of them don’t make it through the winter and I’ve no idea why.

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  3. Coronilla – my favourite plant for the winter. It gives and gives and gives. I share your misgivings about Hibiscus. I’ve given up on them totally – I couldn’t stand the suspense.
    My 6 later if I have time.

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  4. The Trachelospermum jasminoides seems to be a much nicer climber than the usual Jasmine and being evergreen is in its favour. Do you know how well it withstands wind? I want to remove some bamboo which is spreading in all the wrong directions and if I do then there will be space to plant a decent climber to roam over the back fence. But that is where all the south westerlies blow in from! My lupins are unnibbled too at the moment. I suspect the S&S are biding their time until the juicy flower buds appear…

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    1. I was always under the impression they weren’t fully hardy so was always a bit wary of them. Just done some googling and according to the RHS website “It likes a warm, sunny, sheltered spot”. Sometimes plants surprise you though. This one has come through the winter okay living on the patio, enduring all the rain and gales.


  5. I have my fingers crossed for your lupins! I hope they make it to maturity for you. That Sambucus nigra Golden Tower looks beautiful (I’ve googled it to see it in full growth). Do let us see it again a wee bit later in the season.

    The star jasmine will be wonderful in the summer and as for Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’ – have to admit I’ve never heard of it, but perfume in winter and spring must be a delight and those lemony flowers are beautiful.

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  6. Lupins are one of my favourite plants but I haven’t had a lot of luck growing them. Is your Hibiscus a syriacus? Being leafless, I thought it might be. It’s the only kind I can grow here as the others are too tropical for our frosty winters. I hope yours continues to grow and give you pleasure.

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