Finally, rain! On Tuesday I had three completely empty water butts and one half empty/half full (delete according to your outlook on life). On Wednesday I awoke to find the two connected to the guttering of the house completely replenished. Plants are certainly looking a lot perkier but I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on some of my seedlings; I fear the slugs and snails are going to have an extra glide to their slide.
Later today the process of hardening off the sweet peas will begin. Once they’re ready to live out the rest of their days in the garden I’ll have space in the mini greenhouse for the adolescent Black-eyed Susan and Tomato seedlings that have been living a far too cushy life on window sills. The Black-eyed Susans are growing at a frightening pace despite pinching out the main shoots. Still, they’re not in quite the same league of rampant growiness as my first Six on Saturday.
1. Clematis Montana may well be the only clematis I haven’t managed to finish off. It’s buds have just started to open and the egg custard/nutmeg scented flowers are looking rather splendid, especially against a blue sky.
It grows up and occasionally over a fence. I usually chop it back hard every other year or so, but last year I decided to send it over to the blue shed, bridging the gap with some wire. I may come to regret this (shoots have already made it inside the shed) but it’ll be easy enough to stop the monster Montana in its tracks should I need to.
2. From Montana to Mahonia, not something I thought I’d find myself writing as I’ve always been a bit anti-Mahonia. The flowers are lovely and fragrant but I’ve always found the leaves to be freakishly out of proportion somehow. I know, I know, I have issues. But a few years ago I came across Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ and found myself adding it to my maybe-one-day wish list. On a trip to a garden centre early in April I spotted this little Mahonia, the last one, and it’s now planted in the rather shady conservatory bed to help provide some more structure. The leaves are pleasingly ferny (and in proportion) and the flowers will be an added bonus come late summer and autumn.
3. Growing in the same bed as the Mahonia are these Blue Bells, the native English variety. Those growing in another bed are almost certainly a hybrid lot that I’ll attempt to get shot of once they’ve finished flowering, although I don’t fancy my chances of success.
4. Next up, a Saxifraga. A White one. They never survive the winter here for some reason so I treat them as annuals.
5. The Forget-me-nots have been flowering for a while but they’ve gone full-on frothy now. Once they’ve started to die back and set seed they’ll be removed to make space for other things.
6. And finally… I appear to be somewhat lacking in flowering Honesty this spring, though there are plenty of seedlings coming up in the wildlife bed. Perhaps I was a little too ruthless pulling up last year’s seedlings.
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.