Six on Saturday (18 April 2020)

Rain! Water butt replenishing, garden soaking, plant rejuvenating rain. Blue sky and balmy sunshine is all well and good but after a while you can have too much of a good thing and yesterday’s wet stuff was very much welcomed. More is forecast for today. We’ve also had the odd frosty morning or two in Somerset, though thankfully seedlings were tucked up all safe and sound. Most of the tulips have gone over now (I’ve come to terms with it) but there’s still plenty of colour to be found in the garden, although this week’s Six on Saturday features quite a bit of blue…

1. First up, bluebells. They’re supposed to be our native variety but I’m not so sure; they’ve always looked suspiciously hybridised to me. However, I’m learning to live with them as past attempts at pulling up the bulbs have proved futile; besides, they look nice.

2. Continuing the blue theme, the standard Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. repens has bloomed. Last year it failed to do much of anything but it’s upped its game this spring. Interestingly, prior to opening, the flower buds resembled the deep blue of the old and rather large Ceanothus that used to grow in this spot. Now they’ve opened the flowers are a pale blue and proving popular with the bees.

3. The sweet peas are looking nice and healthy so far, much better than last year’s batch. I pinched their tops out earlier in the week. One box of sweet peas will be left on my mother-in-law’s door step in a few weeks leaving me with two boxes of plants to find space for; it might be a struggle.

4. Back to flowers of bluey hue. The forget-me-nots are flowering away now and are a big favourite of the bee flies.

5. As predicted, the red and white Saxifrages I planted last spring didn’t make it through the winter. Replacements were purchased at the beginning of March and I’ll continue to treat them like annuals.

6. And finally… The only Clematis that I haven’t yet managed to kill, the nutmeg scented Montana, is in full bloom. Last year it escaped over and through the fence into the neighbour’s Pyracantha. I’m keeping a closer eye on it this year. It usually gets a very harsh prune after it’s finished flowering to keep it vaguely under control.

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 Stay safe everyone.


31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (18 April 2020)

  1. Like Fred I love the Fragile boxes, very arty. Your montana is wonderful, I know they can get a bit out of hand, but they look amazing. Two different blues, two flowers for the price of one. It has been nice to see all the bees about, more than usual I think. Perhaps more survived the mild winter. Have a good week. 🙂

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  2. I wonder what a pure bred Spanish bluebell really looks like. Are they as rare as pure English bluebells and are Spain’s bluebells contaminated with genes from ours. Mostly I wonder how much it really matters.

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  3. The hose is out here Graeme. This week has been cold, but dry and sunny with more to come by the looks of things. The garden is needing some rain though.

    Whether the bluebells are native or not, they’re lovely. You could decide to plant ‘the genuine article’ and then realise that you liked the original better. The Ceanothus is looking good and those sweet peas will be found a home!

    The Forget-me-Nots are ever-so-pretty and the Saxifrages are worth replacing each year. I’m needing to prune my Montana – just a bit wary in case I kill it off. Yours is a beauty…as usual I have to report that mine is not yet in bloom.

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    1. I’m very brutal when it comes to pruning the Montana (we don’t have enough fence to allow it to get too big) and so far, touch wood, it’s come back each time.

      I hope you get some rain soon. We’d not had any in quite a while and two of the three water butts were empty. If it could rain at night, at least a few times a week, and be warm and sunny during the day, with a very gentle breeze, that would be good!


  4. I see you have pinched out the tops of your sweet peas as well. Meanwhile, not having noticed a beefly at all, I have now seen them in several places….in the garden on the pulmonarias, on the cerinthe majors, on the forget-me-nots and in the greenhouse. Lovely Six-on-Saturday.

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  5. Love the clematis and the saxifrage – my saxifrage took a beating with the wet winter, I know better now than to leave uncovered. Hoping that it manages to revive itself over the summer, but maybe treating it as an annual is the way to go. And I love the fragile seed boxes! (I’d also love the gin…. ) no sweetpeas for me this year, they have been disappointing the last two so I am having a break from them.

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  6. Your ceanothus is really spectacular. Love the little yellow dots against the blue. I’ve left my saxifrage (which looks like yours) out every year until last winter when I put it in the potting shed. It looks worse now than it did when I left it out. Funny old plants. They are lovely, tho, so worth keeping as annuals.

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  7. I can’t bear bluebells in my garden, but as you say, they are essentially indestructible, even when I think I’ve been victorious, getting the bulbs up entire. dug up a few yesterday evening in fact. they’ll be back…

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  8. Beautiful photo of the Clematis Montana. Hoping mine will flower this year it has buds so looking positive. I am really jealous that you have had rain. It must be a good 5 weeks since we have had any and we are also bang in a Scandi High that could affect the weather around here for weeks.


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