Six on Saturday (29 January 2022)

The past week has flown by with alarmingly speed. Out in the garden there’s not a great deal going on photogenic-wise. More bulbs are coming up and Clematis ‘Freckles and the Coronilla are still flowering away. But you’ve seen them all before and therefore, in order to shake things up a bit, we’re venturing indoors for my first Six on Saturday…

1. Yes, it’s a houseplant, not something I tend to feature very often. A succulent of some sort (a Sempervivum?), it was acquired on holiday in Truro back in August. And look! A flower bud. Err… does that mean the end is nigh for this little fellow?

2. While we’re indoors I might as well show you another houseplant: Houseplantus redshinyflowerus ‘a cutting from my mum.’ It went to look rather ropey last year but seems to be thriving since being moved to the landing window. This is its first bloom. A proud moment.

3. Out in the garden there are encouraging signs of life on this Rosa ‘Timeless Purple.’ Planted back in November near the patio (or what’s left of it), I seem to have created something of a rose border without really intending to.

4. Not all that far away is a bird box that was put up back in the winter of 2020. Nobody took up residence last year other than a few snails and a weird looking spider (there may have been a minor manly shriek when I cleaned it out). Perhaps someone will move in this spring, although I wonder whether the blue tits and great tits object to the local gang that tends to hang out in the garden most of the day…

5. Until relatively recently house sparrows were a rare sight in this garden. Goldfinches were by far the most common visitors to the feeders. Yet over the past two years the goldfinches have all but vanished and now the garden appears to have been adopted by this lot. When they’re not in the back garden they can be found furtling in the hedge out the front. They’re a cheerful, chirpy lot.

6. And finally… I had a bit of a premeditated shrub shuffle back in September in order to make space for a Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso.’ As usual when it comes to online plant purveyor sites, the estimated overall height is a bit of a mystery. One site says this Salix will only reach 1.5m, another states it will grow to 3m in 20 years (but doesn’t say how much bigger it gets after that) and a third suggests a maximum height of 2.5 to 4m in 5 to 10 years. This standardised specimen was just over 2m tall when it arrived and though 4m would be far too big, it’s highly choppable so should be easy enough to keep in check. As well as providing a bit of privacy in the summer, it will hopefully provide some winter colour curtesy of its pinky-red catkins. A few have just begun to open…

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

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (29 January 2022)

  1. I do love both sparrows and the furry catkins on Salix, the latter are so tactile and yours have an unusual colour too. RHS revision: is this species dioecious and therefore have you got a male plant? Your houseplants are looking good, is the red one some kind of Arum lily?

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  2. Your succulent is an echeveria and no it won’t die after flowering! Sparrows rule the roost here too, but they are a cheerful lot, though quite garrulous. Your salix has lovely coloured catkins.

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  3. So pretty pink catkins you have ! On French websites they say that it will reach 3m high and 2m in diameter.
    Otherwise, I see that you have very beautiful indoor plants and I can’t wait to see the open flower of that echeveria !

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      1. Yes you can cut the salix down each year. I’ve had mine for three seasons, and care was given to me by no less than John Massey of Ashwood Nurseries, when he showed us round his garden and he had a nice specimen.

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  4. It’s wonderful to see House Sparrows. They were scarce here but increased in number when we kept hens – plenty of free food – but have declined again despite my putting out food for them.

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  5. Your roses seem way ahead of mine, I haven’t noticed any buds yet. We have had a similar experience to yours with garden birds, although goldfinches are still regular singers from the aerial on our roof. That catkin is most unusual but very pretty.

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