Six on Saturday (9 May 2020)

For the most part gardening helps me to forget my worries about this and that and provides an opportunity to appreciate nature up close in our little patch of green. Potting on seedlings in the evenings, cheering on the sparrows as they pick off aphids and smiling at a small posse of starlings as they search for leatherjackets in the lawn and shamelessly steal the grubs from each other; all of these things have helped maintain my inner Zen over the course of the week.

However, gardening can sometimes lead to minor despairings, mutterings and dark doings. I’m having real issues with Zinnias this year. Germination has been poor for some reason and many of the seedlings that have come up have either been eaten by slugs or simply keeled over. I’ve sown more and woe betide any slug that crosses my path (I’ve been wielding my trowel in ninja type fashion against the slimy plant assassins of late). Thankfully, there’s plenty of things in the garden to help me shrug off my minor Zinnia woes and that leads me to my first of this week’s Six on Saturday…

1. Mrs Bradshaw, a Geum, is adding some nice splashes of vivid red in the garden. I’ve acquired a few more varieties of late and I’ve finally got around to ordering Totally Tangerine.

2. For reasons unknown I’ve been unable to capture the true blueyness of my next SoS. This Lithodora grows underneath the dwarf Lilac and seems to be doing particularly well this spring. Both my phone and camera were deployed in photographing it, but the deep blue of the flowers end up up looking decidedly washed out.

3. Now this was an exciting discovery. I sowed a packet of Aquilegia seed last year, free with the Garden News magazine. The first one to flower turned out to be purple, which was nice enough, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t wowed.

Then on Thursday evening I discovered this elegant yellow one. Some more are about to bloom so I’m curious now to see what other colours there might be.

4. The Dutch Iris have begun to open. These will feature a lot over the coming weeks. For now I will limit myself to this white variety. You have no idea how much restraint that took!

5. The standard Buddleia received a severe pruning in March. After a slow start it’s finally got going foliagewise. These shoots should be several feet high in a month or two, if they don’t get snapped off in any high winds.

6. And finally… The first of the Purple Sensation Alliums have opened. Globes of purple perfection, alas hidden somewhat behind the garden bench!

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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43 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (9 May 2020)

  1. Lovely form to the yellow aquilegia. Your alliums and iris ahead of mine. The alliums almost ready to pop. Might get some into next week’s six. Do you direct sow your zinnias or sow in trays? I’ve got a few packs and was looking to fill a few gaps.

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    1. I sow the zinnias in pots and modules as I don’t have much faith in them surviving the slugs and snails if sown directly in the ground. A third batch are coming up. Fingers crossed they do better. I’ve brought them indoors for the night.

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  2. Great minds think alike, we have three flowers in common this week! Love that yellow aquilegia, such long spurs. As you say, very elegant. Good luck with maintaining your zen, it is very tricky sometimes. Enjoy your week. 🙂

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  3. Pretty white dutch iris. My first (blue) has been open since yesterday too. I have less than last years on the other hand …
    Otherwise, gorgeous aquilegias (especially the yellow; I love it!)

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  4. All lovely! I am missing perennials – there is only some old stuff in the bed we had cleared – poppies, solidago a lot of crocosmia that is so congested `I’ll be surprised if it flowers. Can’t wait to be able to get to the Garden Centre.

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  5. Wonderful geum! Mine died after 2 years – I wonder if you have to divide them regularly? Lovely yellow aquilegia, too. I struggle sometimes with zinnias as well. Some years they are a dawdle, others not so much (usually more difficult when we get hot weather, then rain, then heat again). (I hope I don’t post this twice. My internet connexion is really playing up!)

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  6. I hope the packet of seeds rewards you with more yellows – that one is beautiful.

    The Buddleia is looking good – I’m sure that one will definitely reward you soon, hope the winds are kind to it.

    Mrs Bradshaw is looking quite happy, nice that she has some more Geum companions. Sorry you’re still having problems with your Zinnias, mine have germinated, but getting them to grow in the garden might be a different story.

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    1. My tomatoes seedlings are looking a bit ropey now! The zinnias have been brought into the conservatory tonight as I think we’re getting gusty winds tomorrow.

      I think this is the best Mrs B has looked. A yellow one has yet to flower and a new ‘Scarlet Tempest’ has a bit of growing to do!

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  7. Lovely iris….stop restraining yourself, sneak in a couple of extras.🤭 I get frustrated with the depth, or lack of depth, of colour in many of my photos. I tried waiting until the sun was going down which lessened the glare but still didn’t show the plants at their best.

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  8. Ah, Aquilegia envy. I’d have been happy if the packet I sowed a couple of years back had produced a single plant that got through to flowering size but they all seem to have disappeared. I think cameras tend to oversaturate red and undersaturate blue. Photographers use polarizing filters to deepen the blue of the sky, I wonder how that would work on blue flowers?

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  9. I love iris and I’ll be joining you in posting loads of pictures of them in the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing yours. I’ve not grown Zinnias so I don’t have any advice, but I did sow a packet of foxgloves once with zero germination, so I think we sometimes just get a duff packer of seed.

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  10. Completely get you on photographing blue flowers, I have real trouble capturing their true colour – & red come to that! Nice post as always 👏🏻

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  11. You are right about the garden being the place to find your inner Zen 🙂 As for slugs, I read somewhere they are poisonous to touch because of the slime. But some are GM so perhaps there’s some truth in that. I love the Aquilegia. I wonder what other colours you will be gifted with.

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  12. Wow, I hope you get other nice surprises. It’s great when the free gift turns out to be better’n free. I see you bench is still 2 toned & looking good. And geums . . . such a great idea to whomever created those. Their colours are just what a flowerbed needs.

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  13. Geums definitely do better in sun than shade. I have just moved my Koi and already it has a flower bud! I like your red one, not sure about more orange in the garden with TT though I see she is very popular with SoSers. My orange comes from the nasturtiums that self seed every year. I do love the Lithodora – and if that is washed out then I’d love to see it for real. I’m trying some new annual climbers this year, that is if the slimy assassins as you so brilliantly call them, don’t get to them first! Have a good week!

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    1. My Koi is in a shady spot and doesn’t look very happy. I’ll move it. I haven’t grown any annual climbers this year. That was remiss of me! I have some moon flower seeds left from last year. They all got eaten before they were even close to flowering but maybe I should give them another go.

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  14. The garden is most definitely a sanctuary during these time! The Lithodora looks lovely despite the blue colour not being true.Those camera woes are all to familiar to me, and I find that red is another colour that does not always come through true to type in photos. The yellow Aquilegia is a wonderful colour while the Allium is stunning!

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  15. i gave up waiting for ladybirds, hoverflies, sparrows and the like, i ended up giving my roses a dilute bug spray a couple of weeks ago. not strictly kosher these days buy very effective – no more aphids.

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    1. I usually deploy fingers and squash them but a thick covering of ugly grey aphids that appear tp love the new Black Lace elder are going to have to be dealt with in a different way – the thought of squishing them made me feel a bit funny!

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