Six on Saturday (31 October 2020)

Remember that list of gardening chores from last week’s Six on Saturday? Well, I actually accomplished a few of them. I know, I know. I was surprised too. But more on that later. Last Saturday was a complete washout (and today isn’t looking very promising either) but I did manage to make a plant purchase before the heavens opened and that leads me to my first SoS…

1. This is a fragrant perennial Viola that was spotted whilst passing the stall of ‘The Plant Man’ in town. The flowers are larger than your usual Viola; almost Pansy-like. The label says it’s ‘Rebecca’ but after a bit of internetting I reckon it’s ‘Etain.’ I’m going to attempt to take some cuttings.

Viola ‘Etain’

2. The Harlow Carr standard rose is having an enthusiastic final flush of flowers. It was planted near the patio last November, the perfect spot at the time. But this summer I added an arch and all of a sudden the rose looked out of place. I was originally planning on moving it next month, once it had finished flowering, but when Sunday dawned surprisingly bright and dryish I decided to relocate the rose there and then.

A photo of Rosa ‘Harlow Carr’ taken just before it was moved

I soon regretted my decision as the spot I’d decided to move the rose to (near the garden bench) turned out to have a great big lump of cement and rubble lurking a mere 4 inches below the soil. The pickaxe was deployed and, after a fair bit of muttering, a hole was dug. The rose was extracted relatively easily but removing the blasted stake that had caused me so much grief last year resulted in more muttering. Fingers crossed ‘Harlow Carr’ survives the move.

The new Bay tree (with the relocated Rose in the distance)

3. Another reason for moving the rose earlier than planned was the arrival of a standard Bay tree. I’m hoping this won’t turn out to be a foolish purchase as supposedly they’re not fully hardy below -5°C. However, I’ve read they’re tougher when planted in the ground and I have some fleece on standby should temperatures plummet. In theory the evergreen will provide a bit of patio privacy once it fills out. I’d originally planned to get a self-fertile holly but a free supply of bay leaves for soup and stews proved too tempting.

4. On Sunday afternoon I decided to tackle the Jasmine. I started by the swing seat and got as far as the bird box which had been lost amongst the foliage of the rampant climber. I’m never sure how much I can chop off on the neighbour’s side of the fence; I must read up on Jasmine pruning etiquette.

Chopping back the Jasmine

I gave up when I got to the section where the Jasmine merges with a thorny climbing rose and the Pyracantha. Alas, I don’t think I’ll be completing the job this weekend.

Yet-to-be-chopped-back Jasmine

5. Two varieties of Rudbeckia were sown from seed in the spring. This one is ‘Daisies Mixed.’ The other one, ‘Cherry Brandy,’ has only just started to develop flower buds and I’m not very hopeful they’ll open. We shall see.

6. And finally… Another Viola which will provide some floral cheer during the winter.

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 Right, I’m off to brave the wind and the rain to retrieve a couple of empty pots that have been blown down the garden. Stay safe.


40 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (31 October 2020)

  1. I’ve mentioned bay trees in my post this week. I wrapped bandages around the trunks of my two last winter to protect them from the frost, having lost two the winter before and they both survived.
    Violas are excellent plants and quite tough, aren’t they. I like your Étain. Good luck with the transplanted rose!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I hate when I find cement under the soil – usually old fence or trellis posts, some so large that I have to abandon plans and just put pots on top of the offending material. I’m sure Harlow Carr will be hoping that you’ve finished shuffling it around the garden. You’ve reminded me that I have a standard rose due in soon, I should be preparing it’s planting area…when the rain finally stops next week. Another job to tackle.

    Love that Bay tree, it’s gorgeous. Good luck finishing the Jasmine – better wear some really thick gloves!

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  3. How far north are you? I had a small bay in a pot during the very cold winters and also one large one in the ground, and I’ve never had any trouble. If it had been grown somewhere like Italy, it might need cossetting for a few seasons maybe.

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  4. I too had to trim my jasmine a bit, which was taking up too much space. This is not necessarily the best time since what is recommended is at the end of winter, so that it starts in the spring. Beautiful rudbeckia and viola photos !

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  5. The pansy/viola is lovely, and although they don’t seem to do much here over the winter, come the spring they really look great until its time for the tender stuff to be planted out, which makes them good value I think. I believe once Bay gets to a few years old (as yours must be) it is hardy. There are some 9ft bay bushes in gardens near here (East Midlands) which must have survived a fair few cold winters in their time.

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  6. Jasmine is to rampant but the bit you’ve pruned looks very good now. Love your violas and I’ve never seen one as large as your Etain. It’s a beautiful colour combination too.

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  7. I’ve got a jasmine and honeysuckle competing for fence space. I’m interested to see which wins as they can both be pretty rampant. If it’s a neighbours you can cut what is above your ground but you are meant to give what you cut back to the owners though I don’t think my neighbours would appreciate me giving all the Clematis Montana I cut back from theirs each year.

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  8. That little viola is so pretty. Love the bay tree – should be ok where you are. There is an inherited one in a pot outside our front door and it seems to do ok – but doesn’t look very healthy. I keep meaning to repot it…

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  9. The bay may be tougher than you imagine. I have two at the front door, in large pots, and they have been good to -7C which was the winter of 2010/11, an exceptionally cold one here.

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  10. Nice Six! It is amazing that the one spot we chose to plant something, the perfect place no less, always has a gurt big rock or lump of concrete in it. There is possibly a law to describe this phenomena. Lovely violas, always so jolly. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I think the perennial Viola is beautiful! I will have to keep a look out for one here. Violas are my go to flowering plant for winter and spring. It is annoying when what appears to be aa simple task turns out into a nightmare! Glad you finally managed to move the rose, and I hope it survives the move as its flowers are a beautiful colour. I used to mourn the passing of my jasmine; however, when I see just how rampant it is, I think it was a blessing in disguise!

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