Six on Saturday (20 November 2021)

November is racing by and winter is fast approaching, although you wouldn’t really know it weather-wise. Last Saturday I donned my serious gardening get-up (torn trousers and ancient fleece) and set to work tackling those tasks that needed doing before bulb planting could finally commence. The Dahlias were dug up, a few phloxes were split and moved and most of the Zinnias were got shot of. Preparation complete, it was time to tackle my first Six on Saturday…

1. I thought I’d purchased far fewer bulbs this autumn but after checking an SoS from around this time last year I’m not so sure. Sunday was spent planting those that were going in the ground (including Narcissi, Crocuses and several varieties of supposedly perennial Tulips). I adopted a new method this year: the dig-the-holes-plonk-the-bulbs-in-leave-uncovered-until-all-other-bulbs-are-in-to-avoid-digging-them-all-up-mere-moments-later-when-planting-the-rest method. As dusk fell the first stage of bulb planting was completed, although by the time I’d got to the Crocus bulbs I’d adopted the usual scrape-a-shallow-ditch-and-throw-the-sodding-things-in-any-old-how method.

2. The rest of the bulbs are going in pots, hopefully a far less onerous task. Fingers crossed they’ll all be planted by Sunday, including these dwarf iris that were purchased last autumn, put in a draw for safe keeping and completely forgotten about until the summer.

3. To finish off the pots and provide some winter colour I need to acquire a few ‘essentials’ from the Plant Man in town this morning. Last weekend I bought this fragrant Cyclamen. I suspect some more will be joining it later.

4. While most of the Zinnias have been pulled up there are still a few blooming away, including these diminutive ‘Jazzy.’ They seem far tougher than the other Zinnias and will be grown again next year.

5. As will Calendula ‘Snow Princess.’ I must try and save myself a few quid and collect some seed.

6. And finally… An evergreen dangly winter flowering Clematis. I’m rubbish with Clematis as 8 out of 10 Clematis would tell you if they hadn’t joined that great big compost heap in the sky. However, there are two varieties that have survived. The first? An indestructible Montana. The second? This Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ that’s growing up the garden arch that was installed last summer. It has reached the top already and is now headed down the other side. Apparently it appreciates shelter from strong, cold winds but it’s proving to be a pretty rampant variety (possibly the only kind I can grow).

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


31 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (20 November 2021)

  1. I am looking at your Clematis Freckles with envy! Those flowers are gorgeous! I bought 2 Montana just before our winter, and they died back inn spring and I thought I had lost them…..then unbelievably, new growth appeared! I am thrilled they survived winter, now they just have to survive the hot summer. These are my second and third Clematis…… ! The snow princess is really beautiful too. I have only come across the usual yellow variety, and I’m determined to keep an eye out for this variety – if it is in Australia at all! Good luck with completing the bulb planting! Your garden is destined to look amazing in spring!

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    1. Thank you. It was a rather damp day today so I just emptied the old compost from the pots today and planted a new bare root rose that I’d forgotten about when it arrived earlier in the week. Miraculously, I didn’t end up digging any bulbs when planting it. Montana are tough old things. I hope yours do well this year.

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  2. You won’t be disappointed by these small Iris reticulata, they are very floriferous. Mine have been in the ground for several years and right now I can already see the leaves appearing through the ground. I also have calendulas in bloom as well as a clematis but on the other hand my zinnias are over. Yours are very pretty

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  3. The tips one picks up reading the blogs and comments from Andrew, : planting crocus shallowly. I tend to leave my bulbs in so dare not plant any more. I am regretting now not getting any specials to plant in bowls, but I intend growing from seed and am waiting for the various societies to release their lists to make my choice.

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  4. Haha… love both of your bulb planting methods! I have done exactly the same in previous years! This year though I have put nearly all of mine in pots except for some perennial Tulips – not convinced they will return as the last time I planted some I never even saw them during the first year! A sunnier spot this time so we shall see. Freckles is rather lovely. I wonder if I can find room for him? (Sounds like a him).

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    1. I had a similar experience when planting tulips in the ground one year. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the so called perennial ‘species’ tulips planted last year reappear. If they do I’m taking a year off planting any bulbs in the ground in 2022. That’s interesting regarding Freckles – I immediately thought Anne of Green Gables!


  5. I have mixed feelings about Calendula, having grown them for one whole year now 😆. They’re easy to start, look cheerful all summer, easy to collect seeds, very frost hardy( still some in bloom here!)….but…they need deadheading almost every day! Like they expect me to be out and about, gardening with my secateurs at the ready, constantly! Still…

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  6. Very pretty clematis, and good to know that it is a tough one. The Zinnia look very pretty too. I see you have an impressive bulb haul there. I had also managed to convince myself that I had ordered fewer this year, but the as yet unplanted tulips would prove me wrong.

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  7. Freckles clematis is quite lovely. I appreciate snow princess’s soft glow and will have to look into getting my hands on this variety. You’ve set yourself quite a task with the bulbs; I know what you mean about relaxing on the planting protocol as fatigue sets in. I look forward to seeing them emerge in spring!

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  8. Having a late catch up as we had visitors last weekend. That clematis is beautiful in the sunshine, so fresh looking for the time of year. My Snow Princess is still going too, with three blooms, but hasn’t produced any seed which is annoying. Does yours set seed? I was late sowing it so that’s perhaps why.

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