Six on Saturday (12 December 2020)

Last Sunday afternoon I finally finished planting my spring bulbs. It was a relief to tick it off the ‘to-do’ list. That just leaves the pond to tidy up, a Korean Lilac to move (it’s too close to the new garden arch) and the borders to mulch… unless I leave the border mulching until the spring. Decisions, decisions. One job I don’t need to worry about this weekend is rose planting, which leads us straight to my first Six on Saturday…

1. A bag containing not one, not two but three bare root roses arrived in the middle of the week. I went for another Little Rambler climbing rose for the other side of the garden arch (I pondered getting a different variety but decided to opt for symmetry), a Chandos Beauty for my wife and a purple Minerva. I was a bit panicky when they were delivered and planted them during my lunch break assuming they needed to be plonked in the ground there and then. But after reading the planting instructions it turns out they could have stayed in the bag as was for up to two weeks.

2. The faded flowers of the ‘Miss Belgium’ Hydrangea are still providing some interest. They’ve turned an unusual greeny-pinky colour.

3. Ilex crenata ‘Twiggy’ was dug from the ground in early spring to make space for a standard lavender. It seems to be happy in a pot over by the blue shed, though I think it will be a while until it needs any pruning.

4. I put up a few nest boxes towards the end of February. Nobody moved in. However, I spotted a pair of blue tits inspecting this one earlier in the week so it looks like they have already started sussing out potential nesting spots for next year. It’ll be interesting to see if we have any occupants in the spring.

5. Talking of birds, I noticed this robin watching me plant the remaining spring bulbs on Sunday, all the while singing very softly. This was one of the few non-blurry snaps I managed to take; an interesting pose as he/she eyes the feeder.

6. And finally… The buds of the Coronilla in the back garden have started to open. It’s a paler variety than the one that grows out in the front and more of a climber too. It’ll go on flowering now until April. Hopefully, when the sun shines and my sense of smell returns I’ll be able to appreciate the fragrant blooms.

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.


32 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (12 December 2020)

  1. I had a bare root rose delivery too. You should soak it in water for a few hours before planting, carefully level with the soul, add mycorrhizal fungi but don’t have time for all that. Planted in a pot and a bit of grael on the top. They are resiliant enough plants. It might not be giving it the best start but it will be fine. I will give it some fungi when I get round to visiting a garden centre but not going until Christmas rush dies down maybe as we go into spring.

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  2. That coronilla is gorgeous. We grew one in a barrel at the kitchen door for many years until the barrel eventually fell apart. I used really love it, a divine pale yellow – Coronilla glauca subsp valentina, to the best of my recollection.

    Mary’s job for today is to plant two containers with tulips – which arrived in yesterday’s post, a last minute special offer from Farmer Gracy which she couldn’t resist.

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  3. I’ve noticed the blue tits are back in our garden now. I hope they choose your nesting box. They are so pretty to have around. I too had the bare root rose panic, thinking I’d treated it badly by leaving it in the bag for a couple of days, only to find it was fine in there for quite a while.

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  4. Very original photo of the robin who wonders if he should go up into the circle.๐Ÿ˜‚
    The photo of the coronilla is also very successful.
    I have not yet seen blue tits flying around my nesting boxes but it’s very nice to know that these birds are still present in the region. I can see them feeding on fat balls though

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  5. That’s so funny about your panic planting. I once bought a whole load of bare-root roses (I love a bulk buy bargain) and kept them in buckets of water for a few days until I got round to planting them so that’s always another option. I look forward to seeing how they look next year. Your coronilla is indeed lovely.

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  6. I love robins. I have one which frequents my garden, but the best photos I have taken recently have been in other gardens. They are such friendly birds, I can quite understand how you had one feeding from your hand. Love the Hydrangea too with its skeleton petals. They are still very much in flower down here! And yes, I quite agree with you over the bulb planting, much as I like them in the spring planting them is such a chore.

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      1. I left most of mine in their pots from the spring, but still had a pile that I had emptied out. I only bought a few new tulips. But my motivation definitely wasn’t there this year. I usually have all my bulbs planted (in pots) by October. Maybe this year has more of an affect on us than we realise? ๐Ÿ™„

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  7. Ah roses! I would have been tempted to plant them out immediately too! I do like the nesting box, so I hope that it will be hosting a bird family soon! I love the little robin! They are delightful little birds. One always used to sing to my Dad when he was out digging in the garden. I do not know the Coronilla at all and went and looked it up. I notice that is a food plant for certain butterfly larvae. I will go and research that some more.

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  8. Like you I am luxuriating in the pleasure of having planted the last of the bulbs. The coronilla is new to me and looks fab, just what is needed at this time of the year. I have been watching the birds at the feeder every day and was happy to id a new visitor for me – a dunnock, very pretty.

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