Six on Saturday (30 January 2021)

I could be imagining it, but when the sun has shone this week it has seemed different somehow. Brighter and a little warmer. It’s certainly starting to reach a bit more of my north facing garden. Evenings are getting noticeably lighter too, and after finishing work on Thursday I did a little impromptu pruning. The winding woody stems of the honeysuckle were tidied up, the budding branches of the roses were shortened and, after eating a chocolate cherry liqueur for Dutch courage, I finally committed to a task I’d been umming and ahing over for a while…

1. Yes, I’ve chopped the Sambucus ‘Golden Tower’ to the ground. Planted back in the summer of 2019, it was doing grand until I decided to tackle the aphids that were enjoying the new leafy growth towards the top of the 7 foot shrub last spring. A homemade garlic infused soapy spray was over zealously applied on a regular basis and before long the upper most leaves stopped developing and began to drop off, one by one. It was a sorry sight to behold. The lower section of the elder has been showing signs of new leafy life for weeks now but the section that was sprayed has not.

They advise chopping ornamental Elders right back for more dramatic foliage but I was planning on letting it do its own thing in the hope that it would provide a bit of privacy from the houses behind. Fingers crossed, it will put on new growth with Buddleia like speed. Those new shoots poking up from the ground are certainly encouraging.

2. One shrub I won’t be pruning back just yet is the Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue.’ The seed heads look rather nice up close.

3. There are bulbs coming up everywhere at the moment which is rather cheering. This photo was taken yesterday. A survivor from a batch planted a few years ago, I’m hoping this crocus will open later today.

4. The fragrant flowers of the Sarcococca have opened en masse. The one on the left grew from the rooty remains of a plant that was removed last year. Tiny blooms. Mighty scent.

5. Up next, a primula of some sort, growing in the ‘winter interest’ pot. It has flowered, off and on, for a few months now.

6. And finally… Do you remember the shoddily grafted yellow ‘Friesia’ rose from last year? Back in the autumn I took two cuttings and it looks like I may have to find space for two new roses at some point as leaf buds are developing. The caterpillar was taken to the Daphne where the robins hang out.

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. Right, I’m going to pour myself a coffee, wrap up warm and brave the chilly conservatory so I can do the Big Garden Birdwatch. If it’s anything like previous BGBs the birds that regularly visit the garden will have gone awol.

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35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (30 January 2021)

  1. I hadn’t noticed that the caryopteris could be so pretty in winter… I’ll go take a look later. But you’re right, you shouldn’t cut it down right now, you have to wait a little longer, at least until March.
    You were right to find the time to add your first crocus in bloom ( we talked about it last night).
    Finally, a very nice photo of this caterpillar along the rose stem

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The mention of sunshine almost had me packing my bags to move over to your area! I reckon your elder will be fine – says the chap who has one that is about 15 feet tall and hasn’t been pruned in ten or more years because it is holding up a nice clematis!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely positive six, like Granny I had to go back and look for the caterpillar, I would not get any points for observation! I am sure your sambucus will be just dandy, looks like you have given it a blanket of something yummy to help it along. Have a great week.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations on the rose cuttings – they look great and I think you made a good call on the sambucus. Beautiful close ups, especially the sarcococca shots. Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What is it about the weather when the Bird Watch weekend is on? A bit damp here (that’s understatement for thick fog / low cloud) but I did spot one wren and one robin earlier! Poor crocuses are getting sodden again so they fall over before having the chance to open. But it is nice to see some daylight after 5 pm and crocuses, irises, snowdrops and aconites flowering and even a hellebore niger in my garden. Soon be time to join the SOSers again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve a dark leaved Sambucus which being relatively new got it’s first serious pruning last year. I cut it down to about 3 ft and it responded by putting on about 5ft of new growth. So definitely in the buddleia category for speed of growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Spring is on the way! It’s great to see the stretch in the evening and with it the chance to get out gardening.
    Chocolate cherry licqueur… Very well deserved! 👏👏👏 I’m realising I’ve seen that word umpteen times, yet would have spelled it incorrectly. Now I know.

    Liked by 1 person

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