When my wife and I got the keys to our new house towards the end of July 2012 the first thing we did was buy a swing seat. It was one of those flat pack jobs that came in many, many pieces and took the best part of a swelteringly hot afternoon to assemble. Although it was meant for sitting on and gazing at our little patch of evolving green whilst gently rocking back and forth, regular readers will know that it was usually occupied by pots of seedlings and dahlias in an attempt to keep them out of the reach of the slimy plant assassins of the night.
Last spring I spruced up the ageing swing seat, painting it a fetching ‘stone’ colour (a cunning remarketing of ‘white’). At the time I tried to ignore the odd sign of rot here and there and the fact that several of the seat slats were beginning to come away from their slots (despite the odd whack with a mallet) hoping it might last a few more years. Warning – the first Six on Saturday contains images some readers may find upsetting…
1. A new small tree arrived last Saturday and after plonking it in the spot previously occupied by a Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ (I couldn’t be doing with a fourth year of battling giant aphids) I decided to survey it from the swing seat. After removing its winter cover I sat down and heard an ominous crack. Alas, some of the slats that had been coming away from the frame of the seat had rotted. The feet and canopy frame were also ominously soft in places too. Come late Sunday afternoon my wife and I began to dismantle it, which proved a far quicker job than… err… mantling it. Then the power saw came out to ensure the remains will fit in the little Suzuki when they’re taken to the tip later today. Ah well, at least you can see the Coronilla more easily at the moment. I’ve spent the past week perusing swing seats online and I think I’ve finally chosen a replacement.
2. The other week I did an online health and safety course which stressed the importance of making sure your work area is clear of trip hazards. Did I heed such advice when embarking on the dismantlage of the swing seat? Did I heck as like. Bags of compost, a water feature and several pots resulted in the odd stumble and I very nearly fell on this Hyacinth. Photographed yesterday (and propped up after being flattened by the rain) the camera struggled a little with the vibrant flowers. I originally thought it was ‘Woodstock’ but I’m not so sure now.
3. Some more slightly soggy flowers: Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle.’ I wasn’t entirely sure I liked these when I saw one in flower at the Country Market shop a few weeks ago. But they were cheap and it would have been rude not to purchase a pot. Their shaggy appearance has grown on me.
4. That mixed pack of Iris reticulata from Wilko is still throwing up a few new varieties, including this one with its luminous central bluey-lilac feathery petals.
5. Another Narcissus up next. ‘Jet Fire’ is about to do its swept back ‘whooshy’ petal thing, if they don’t all get eaten first. I really should have planted more of these but forgot. Can someone remind me next autumn please?
6. And finally… after many attempts over the past few weeks to photograph this ‘Single white blotched’ Hellebore I’ve finally managed to get a reasonably non-blurry one. Planted last spring, it’s proving to be the most prolific flowerer of the three I have so far.
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.