Six on Saturday (24 April 2021)

April seems to be racing by. Last Sunday I tackled a few jobs I’d been putting off, planting pots of this and that (including some Sweet Williams that really should have been planted last autumn), creating more planting space (another patio slab has come up) and potting on a few seedlings. Alas, there’s still no sign of rain and, as I’m down to my last water butt, ‘bucketing’ has commenced. It’s a term my wife came up with for the slightly tedious activity of showering with a bucket to collect water for the garden. It’s now a verb. He buckets, she buckets, we bucket, they bucket. To have to bucket in April seems odd though. It’s normally a summer activity. But enough preamble. It’s Six on Saturday time.

1. First up, Iberis something-or-other has been flowering for a a few months now. An attempt to take cuttings last year ended in failure but a few weeks ago I found a stem that had rooted in the ground.

I dug it up, planted it a little further along the curvy path border and behold! Flowers!

2. Another plant that has been flowering for a while now is the Daphne x transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance.’ I think I say this every year but every garden should have one. It produces fragrant flowers throughout much of the spring, summer and autumn. In fact it can be tricky finding a time to give it a light prune.

3. Next up, Tulip ‘Green Dance,’ one of many varieties planted back in November. Tall and rather elegant when the flowers are closed, most of these were planted in the ground. Will they reappear next April? I hope so but I won’t get my hopes up.

4. The cold spring has extended the flowering period of the narcissus but it’s held back a few plants. Back in 2020, the pink buds of the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ had begun to open by the 11th April. It’s a few weeks later this year. I think this could well be my most favourite shrub, producing deliciously fragrant flowers. It may feature again once in full bloom.

5. A last minute substitution (apologies to a white Saxifraga), this small standard Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Repens lives in a pot out in the south facing front garden. It will hopefully be covered in six-legged buzzy wing-ed things once the flowers open fully.

6. And finally… More tulips. Three varieties growing in pots on the patio. World Friendship (the yellow lot), Burnt Sugar (the orangey pink lot) and Purple Doll.

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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33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (24 April 2021)

  1. With most favourite and must have shrubs featured this week, I would be interested to know how tall they grow and how quickly. Is Daphne x transatlantica ‘Eternal Fragrance.’ in semi shade?

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    1. This Daphne is a sunny spot and is about a meter tall and wide (light pruning each year has helped keep it compact, although I don’t think it gets much bigger if left unpruned). It was planted about 8 years ago as a tiny shrub. I have a pink variety that grows in a much shadier position and is growing much more slowly, with less flowers. The Viburnum is marginally taller, but again is easy to keep small.

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  2. Green Dance is elegant. I liked the focus on scent this week – such an important dimension of gardening that does not get enough attention because of the almost entirely visual nature of blogging. Your ceanothus looks like it is flourishing. How often do you water it?

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      1. I have read that, planted in the ground, this plant is intolerant of supplemental water and feeding once established, at least in our climate, so I was curious about how it does in a pot.

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  3. I’m with you on the daphne – an outstanding plant. We had one in a pot for two years – dithering over a planting spot – but put it out about a month ago and look forward to it making some size and flowering well.

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  4. It’s incredible to see the sheer variety of tulips popping up on SOS, Green Dance is very elegant, I do like the lily-flowered ones. I had no idea Daphne could flower for so long, is it just this variety that does it? Like you, I also really appreciate the Viburnum carlesii at this time of year, I keep getting delightful whiffs of it in the evening, it’s a fabulous shrub.

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  5. It’s fascinating that some of our garden plants seem to be following the same calendar (my tulips are in full bloom this week) while others are SO far apart! The first part of April was quite warm here, which may have affected us in the opposite way your cold early April did… But my favourite is the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ – I have three growing and the flower buds survived the hungry rabbits this winter. Should be blooming sometime in the coming week!

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  6. Some unusual tulips. I like the “rough” petals on them. I would like to get some more fragrant plants, the only sweet smelling ones just now are some multi-headed narcissi. The peonies will have a pleasant perfume soon, but that’s all.

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  7. I might follow your lead and commence bucketing this week. The kids still have a bath, so perhaps I’ll have to bail that out. In fact I could probably stick a bucket in the kitchen, as most of the bath water ends up on the floor and slowly drips through the kitchen ceiling.

    Onto the subject of plants (!): I really like the Viburnum – I think they’re excellent shrubs. The Daphne certainly is a fine looking thing. I’ll have to see if I can find some room…

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  8. Bucketing sounds like fun! Too bad you can’t divert water from the drain into a rain barrel. I just added a 4th 55 gallon barrel to the ‘collection’ collection. It will water the front garden. It was tricky to make it functional yet invisible.

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  9. Oh the woes of not having enough water – something we know only too well! Hopefully it will start raining for you soon. The selection of tulips you have are really lovely. Well done on the iberis; it is really pretty. The ceonothus is looking amazing, and it is a lovely blue colour. I need to try a Virburnum again!

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