One of the main things that Six on Saturday has taught me over the past few years is that even during the short cold days of Winter there’s always something going on in the garden. There may not be as many cor-look-at-that-stunning-flower photography moments, but when you start looking you always find some signs of life and reminders that the garden will be green once more and filled with floriferousness aplenty come the spring.
1. Some signs of life seem a little early though. These new unfurling leaves on the Hydrangea ‘Miss Belgium’ took me by surprise. It seems far too soon for such goings on and I’ve not chopped off her faded flowers from last year yet.
2. The Persian Slipper Lupin is also sporting new foliage. This variety tends to fare a bit better than other lupins when it comes to slugs, snails and aphids. It got relocated a few months ago when I was doing a bit of rearranging so it’s nice to see it has survived its move.
3. Now this one is more of a sign of signs of life; of the feathered variety. Over the past week the blackbirds have polished off most of the Pyracantha berries (with some assistance from a male blackcap). I guess they’ve been saving them for a cold spell. Only a few bunches remain, over by the mini greenhouse where they aren’t quite so easy to get at.
4. Next up, a photo of the frosted foliage of the Esceallonia hedge out the front. 20 years old and shared with the neighbour, it has been looking increasingly sorry for itself over the past few years. Sections have become brittle and bare of leaf in the summer and other Escallonia hedges on the estate appear to be suffering from the same problem. I tried cutting one plant right back to the ground last spring and a section of the stump sprouted some new growth, but not much. It was also sprayed every now and then with an organic black spot treatment and given a regular feed during the summer, but I’ve not noticed any obvious improvement. Our neighbour doesn’t seem too concerned but I wonder whether the whole lot will need digging up and replacing at some point. I hope not.
5. Since the Autumn the edge of the shed roof, just above the guttering, has been sporting an increasing number of green mossy clumps. I do like a bit of moss.
6. And finally… Daphne odora II is sporting flower buds. Hopefully it won’t be long until the fragrant flowers open and I can tiptoe across the border again, trying to avoid trampling on the emerging shoots of bulbs, to inhale their delicious scent and take another photo.
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. Stay safe.