Six on Saturday (28 March 2020)

A week of blue skies and sunshine made the first full week ‘self isolating’ not half as bad as it could have been. Still, working from home has proved challenging at times. A dining room chair isn’t as comfy as an adjustable office chair (though a strategically placed cushion has helped). I miss multitasking with two screens (minimising this and that has proved decidedly troublesome). Chocolatey snacks are far too easy to lay my hands on and the working day seems a little longer somehow. On the plus side I’ve been able to spend tea and lunch breaks sitting on the swing seat in the garden watching a bee fly feeding on the nectar from the first of the flowering forget-me-nots, listening to the chirruping of the house sparrows and planning what plants will go where come the summer. With the weather set to turn decidedly chilly from today I suspect such breaks will be taken indoors next week. However, from tomorrow the evenings will be lighter and more after work gardening can commence. That deserves a contented sigh.

Last weekend I potted on the Antirrhinums. Well, most of them; as usual I sowed far too many, got bored of placing individual seedlings in pots and plonked clumps of them in the ground, leaving them to take their chances. Some new seeds were sown, I chopped back the Buddleia and gave the lawns their first trim. And just in time too as our green waste collection has been cancelled for the next few months. I don’t think there’s any major pruning left to do so that shouldn’t prove too much of a problem. As for lawn clippings, I’m going to opt for regular mowing without the grass collector as I’m sure I read that short clippings are beneficial to the lawn. Oh how I wish I had room for a compost heap! Anyway, enough preamble, lets get on with Six on Saturday.

1. First up, Tahiti. When I first grew these last year I wasn’t sure I liked them. However, they won me over and I planted some more bulbs last Autumn. They’re slightly fragrant too.

2. This Pasque Flower in the front garden almost went unnoticed as it was being smothered by a lavender. It always ends up smothered by a lavender. Usually I move the Pasque Flower (which results in a period of sulking). This time I moved the lavender as the border in which they are growing inexplicably grew larger after edging the lawn.

3. This standard Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens can also be found in the front garden, growing in a pot. Last spring the flower buds shrivelled up for some reason so I’m a little anxious how it will fare this time. It was given a trim in the summer and I refreshed the top layer of compost last Sunday, adding some chicken manure pellets. Fingers crossed we’ll have powder blue flowers this year.

4. Next up, more buds. After a successful dalliance with tulips last spring I planted several varieties in November. I’m not sure which these are. Possibly Brown Sugar tulips or Doll’s Minuet. Maybe both. They have some pretty hefty looking stems. However, some tulips are already in flower…

These Single Early Prince Mixed tulips (not the most exciting name as far as plants go) are looking lovely in their pots and a few are also flowering in the borders. The yellow flowers are slightly fragrant which is a pleasant surprise. Yet they’re not the only tulips blooming, oh no!

5. These tulips of short stature are providing a bit of floral drama. Again, some are in pots and some are growing in the ground. In theory they’re supposed to be Clusiana Tubergen’s Gem, a small striped yellow and red tulip that can naturalise if content. Yet there’s no sign of yellow on any of those that have flowered so far. It’s a bit of a mystery. I can only assume a mix up occurred when they were packed by the nursery.

6. And finally… In my last SoS I was pondering the acquisition of some pale blue and white Grape Hyacinths to add to the blue variety that featured last week. I figured I would acquire some next year, but as luck would have it I found both at the County Market shop last Saturday, just before it closed. They’ve been planted along the curving path where they’re adding some much needed spring-like cheer.

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. Stay safe.

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34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (28 March 2020)

  1. Paul introduced the Pasque flowers still a bit closed, you show them open. It’s beautiful !
    I was this morning taking a look at my ceanothus and I have not yet seen a single flower bud.
    Last thing, your close-up of tulip is very pretty

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  2. Don’t read my post (that’s if you were going to!) you will only get compost heap envy. I would like to recommend a good supplier but I don’t think he makes them on a commercial basis. Your tulips are lovely. Mine are mostly still in a cardboard box in the garage because I forgot to/didn’t have time to/was too lazy to bother to plant them out again. I am hoping that a year’s rest won’t have ruined all of them. I will leave them in the ground next year. Meanwhile, how is Bolt getting on? I don’t think he has appeared in your posts since his introduction.

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  3. Loving those muscari. I have some wine ones that were a gift planted in a little jug. I shall put them in the garden as soon as they are over. Also you have lovely early tulips. Ours have buds but not really ‘up’ yet. Hope you and yours are well and keeping safe.

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  4. The red tulip is delightful, even if it turns out to be the wrong one. Glad to see that you bought the white muscari!

    Here’s hoping your Ceanothus flowers beautifully for you. It’s not a plant I have, though my sister has one and I’ve always admired it.

    Maybe you should treat yourself (or perhaps your work should) to a decent office chair before you end up with an aching back. Wouldn’t be good if you couldn’t work in the garden. 😬 (Could you have your chair sent over from the office?) I’m just remembering way, way back to the days of the 3-day-week. I think it was the miner’s strike? Anyway, we transferred part of our office during the non-electricity days in the office part of town to my mother’s living room in the other half of town that did have electricity. Chairs, tables, & office equipment were all dropped off by van. It was actually hilarious – but we got the work done. My poor mother was frazzled!

    Goodness, it’s strange the things you remember! lol However – enjoyed your Six on Saturday!

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    1. I did ponder collecting my work chair! I’ll see how I do this week. I relocated to the conservatory on Friday and found the sofa worked quite well and provided a view of the garden!

      We used to have big deep blue cenathothus in the front garden which was here when we moved in. The neighbour was concerned it was going to damage the foundations and we decided we’d remove it when it had finished flowering. The moment the final flower had faded he rang the door bell, a saw in hand!

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  5. So happy and spring-like – nice to think of you enjoying the forget-me-nots in your lunch break. I wonder if you used to walk out quickly on a grim pavement for a sandwich? Even disasters bring good things. Your tulips are glorious. I tried to buy ‘Brown Sugar’ in the autumn after having another blogger recommend it. No joy (I buy mostly from Peter Nyssen who’ve discontinued it). Where did you get yours? Enjoy your week!

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  6. I love clusiana tulips and have a number in my garden. They seem to like it here. I saved some seeds from last year’s ‘Lady Jane’ and have my fingers crossed that they’ll germinate. Ceonothus is another plant that does well here as it doesn’t need much water. It’s always a lovely blue show in spring.

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  7. I think the unopened tulip is brown sugar judging by the tones. It’s a superb one so good choice. This week is definitely one for pasque flowers what with yours and Pauls and my cheat one from the garden centre!

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  8. That pasque flower is gorgeous. So glad it finally got to take its place in the ‘noticeable’ category of flowers. Hopefully the lavender aren’t too upset. How disappointing to have the ceanothus buds shrivel last year. Hopefully this year’ll be better, tho I’ve heard they only live about 10 years or so. At the moment, they look pretty good. And those tulips! Love the purple stems.

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  9. Everyone’s Pasque flowers are blooming already – but not mine. I have a red and a purple if they ever decide to flower. Not sure about the tulips. I have Brown Sugar and Cairo (which are very similar) and Dolls Minuet (new this year) so I’m not sure what they look like in bud. How big is the pot your Ceanothus is in? I really like them, but no room in the garden. Looking up to see if there is a dwarf variety I came across this

    “Most ceanothus are shrubs, albeit fairly large ones, and a few are trees. The ones that are trees tend to have a reasonably distinctive tree like growth and larger flowers than the shrubs. All ceanothus put down a deep taproot which make them difficult to get out but they are not dangerous to buildings.”

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    1. I should have shown that to the neighbour! This one is growing in a container about 40cm square/deep. This variety can be kept small in a pot apparently. Google standard Ceanothus and you’ll find a few images – a pale blue rather than the deep blue (which we prefer but this was a better option for a pot). The flowers are very popular with the bees.

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  10. Our green waste collection has been cancelled too, which I was expecting. Our big lock down garden problem is that we have no petrol for the lawn mower and the grass has really got long now. Lovely tulips and the white muscari is beautiful.

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