Six on Saturday (4 April 2020)

The weather is set to turn warmer from tomorrow but last week was decidedly chilly at times. Yet when the sun shone it was very pleasant indeed sat on the swing seat with my gilet on, warming my chapped, decidedly older looking but impeccably clean hands on a mug of hot coffee. The garden appears to be stepping up a gear. Colour is appearing everywhere but not just courtesy of flowers, oh no. And that leads me straight to my first Six on Saturday…

1. A lot of plants in the garden are sporting fresh new foliage, bare branches becoming greener by the day. The evergreen box balls are looking particularly vibrant at the moment with new, rather fetching lime green leaves.

2. This Iberis featured back in January just as it was starting to flower. It’s in full bloom now and mingling nicely with the Grape Hyacinths. I must have another go at trying to propagate it, or perhaps dividing it, so that I can have some more dotted around the garden.

3. Last weekend was spent braving a brisk wind to paint the folding metal garden bench. It was beginning to look very faded and was starting to go rusty in places. I applied a first coat of black paint on Saturday afternoon and a second coat on Sunday. Actually, that’s not totally true. Some of it got a second coat.

When I were’t lad my Head of Year at school told us a story in assembly about a furniture maker who spent just as long sanding and varnishing the underneath of a table as he did the top. Someone once asked him why he did this as nobody would know what the table looked like underneath. The furniture maker simply smiled and replied “But I would know.”

Come Sunday evening I’d finished giving the top of the bench a second coat. It was cold and it was late but the tale of the furniture maker sprung to mind, as it often does. Could I really just leave the underneath of the bench with one very patchy coat of black paint? I pondered this for a while (well, a few seconds) and decided “Sod it, I’ve had enough.” The fiddly/intricate interlinking arches on the front of the bench were left unpainted too; I’ve decided to make a feature of the contrasting black and copper for now.

4. While I was painting the garden bench I discovered this yellow Hyacinth in the border behind it. I always forget this is here, which is a shame as it’s rather lovely.

5. Next up, the undisputed stars of the garden at present, the ‘Brown Sugar’ tulips. Where have you been all my life? I’m burying my nose in the fragrant flowers every time I wander to the patio. These are in pots but I’ll plant them in the borders when they’ve finished. More will be acquired at the end of the year.

6. And finally… The bee fly has been an almost constant visitor to the garden over the past few weeks, enjoying the nectar of Saxifraga, Grape Hyacinths, Primroses and emerging Forget-me-nots. On Thursday afternoon I found it taking a rest on the bottom of a ‘Black Lace’ elder leaf. They’re cute looking things.

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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34 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (4 April 2020)

  1. Nice overview with the bench repainted, the color is nice
    These ‘Brown Sugar’ tulips are beautiful! The reflections with the sun are really cool.
    Obviously what can I say more than your photo of beefly is very beautiful (but I said it already on twitter)πŸ˜‰

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  2. The last picture has wonderful clarity…I’m getting to know more about this little bee. As for those tulips they are wonderful. Hope you enjoy your lovely bench on Sunday when it is said to be like a summer’s day.

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  3. Wow your bee fly photo is amazing! This SoS is awful, my “want/need” list is getting longer and longer. Those tulips are incredible, I must have them! The bench looks good, I won’t tell anyone you didn’t finish off underneath, promise. Stay safe and well πŸ™‚

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  4. I thought for a moment you were going to give the underside of the bench a second coat. 😁 Wise choice. The Iberis is very pretty, as are the tulips and that lovey yellow Hyacinth.

    I’m now left wondering if you will go back and paint the arches on your bench…

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    1. I think the contrasting copper arches have grown on me so unless they start getting rusty I may leave them this year! Looking at my handiwork today up close it could probably to with a third coat in places! I’ll claim I’m going for the distressed look. I should look out for more yellow Hyacinths next year.

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  5. I wish you great success, propagating the Iberis. What a great addition for this time of year. Your painting story made me laugh. Actually quite like the copper & black contrast, myself. Didn’t realise the Brown Sugar tulips were scented. I’m going to be out, sticking my nose in all sorts of rude place this avoe, I do think. Love that hyacinth.

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  6. Lovely bee fly! They are so cute aren’t they? We have a darker one than that, I think it’s the Dotted bee fly but not sure. That fresh growth on the box is simply lovely, as are the Brown Sugar tulips. I wish mine would hurry up and flower!

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    1. I’m a bit anxious all the tulips will have finished flowering soon. They all seem a bit early here, although those in another pot haven’t opened yet. I’ll have to look up the different varieties of bee flies. This one looks quite a different colour on his underside compared to his top.

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  7. Wow that bee fly photo is amazing! I don’t think I have ever seen bee flies. Now I shall be on the lookout. And I think your bench looks very smart from here without my glasses on. Two tone is good. I have / had Brown Sugar tulips – they are very similar to Cairo, so now I get confused as I didn’t label them when I removed them from pots. Last year something – pest or wind – snapped the flower heads off every single one just below the head too so I couldn’t even put them in a vase. Very odd. So far this year any that have reappeared seem to be doing just fine. They do smell lovely as do Ballerina.

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    1. I wonder what did the damage to those tulips last year. Very strange. I found a dead bee in one of the flowers today. I’d heard this happens with tulips but I’m not sure why. The bee was covered with pollen. I got lucky with a very dozy bee fly when I took that photo!

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  8. Fabulous tulips you have there. They’re looking amazing. The bee fly photo is superb – a great close up, especially as they’re always so busy and fast moving.

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  9. I have serious ‘Brown Sugar’ envy this year, as i couldn’t get any in the autumn. Your bench is superb – don’t tell anyone about the bits you didn’t paint. As for that bee fly – my husband has been ranting on about them (lying on his tummy) for the last week. When he wakes in the morning, I must show him your fantastic photograph. Have a good week!

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