Six on Saturday (19 March 2022)

Well it’s about time. Just as astronomical spring is about to begin, the weather has finally started to become, well, springlike. Wandering around Bath Botanical Gardens last Monday, the birds singing and the blossoms of this Magnolia radiant against a sky of blue, it felt rather cheering. The clement weather has continued, for the most part, and later today… or perhaps tomorrow… seed sowing will finally commence. But enough pre-ramble, it’s time for Six on Saturday.

1. First up, some fragrant stripy pink Hyacinths that almost collapsed during all that rain we had the other week and required some emergency proppage.

2. Slugs and snails are no longer pests. Slugs and snails are no longer pests. Slugs and snails are no longer… Nope, it’s no good RHS, I’m not ready to accept this just yet.

3. Still, they haven’t munched on these Narcissi. I appear to have planted more ‘Martinette’ than I thought as they’re bursting into flower everywhere. A casualty was plonked in a recycled mini glass bottle and is filling the living room with its heady scent.

4. Last weekend I finally started chopping back this and that, including the roses. Blood was spilled. However, ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ was given a serious chopping back a few months ago and is sporting some rather pretty red-tinged foliage.

5. The foliage of Muscari is slightly less appealing (it’s a tad messy at times) but all is forgiven when they bloom. I’ve planted a few other varieties of Grape Hyacinth but I think the regular bluey-purple lot are my favourite.

6. And finally… You caught a glimpse of it last week but here it is up close. The Coronilla has been flowering since December but in March it reaches its floral crescendo. Bumble bees have been enjoying the fragrant pea-like flowers as has this gardener. I shoved a cutting of this in a pot last autumn and to my surprise it appears to have taken. It will be nurtured and hopefully, fingers crossed, will replace this one some day (they’re not very long lived apparently).

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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29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (19 March 2022)

  1. I don’t go with that mantra either, I wonder whether they leave them all to rampage in the RHS gardens or leave the eaten bits for everyone to enjoy? They probably have trainees on a round the clock parade, who gather the blighters but then what do they do with them? Maybe Jim will know what they do? You are tempting me again with that Coronilla, Those Gardens are in Bath are magic, must get on the bus and go and have a look.

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    1. Yes, I’d not heard of them before until I spotted something in the Garden News magazine. I appreciate some slugs have a role to play in composting but when they start eating my seedlings they go too far. I wonder if the RHS would like my slugs and snails? They are very welcome to them.

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  2. I can see that the S&S are a part of the ecology of a garden, but why don’t my garden birds eat more? Best I stop putting out bird seed – oh, but wait a minute – if I do that the birds ignore the garden altogether. I am waiting for my first pack of nematodes to arrive. Sorry sluggies, your days are numbered. I agree that ‘Martinette’ is beautifully fragrant. I transplanted some of mine from the pots into the garden last year and they have popped up to scent the air. Makes weeding almost a pleasure.

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    1. I was rather excited to see the sparrows on the remaining Elder this week searching for aphids. They completely ignored them last year. I have a few frogs in the garden but the slugs outnumber them considerably. I wish we got song thrushes here to tackle the snails – but I’ve not seen a song thrush in years. Let me know how you get on with the nematodes. I gave them a go one year but the weather was against me – too cold and dry.

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  3. I love muscari. I completely forgive that scrawny foliage when the little blue-berried pyramids appear. I encourage it, within reason, all over the garden. And where it settles where I dont want it, I dig up and put into pots ’til it’s finished flowering. Coronilla is such good value in the early months of the year. It grows like a weed here (I’m not too far from you) and also seeds itself freely. If you want more and you’re ever in east Devon, then you’re welcome to take some! It’s a positive thug!

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  4. Re S&S are not pests, I’ve also read an article this week about how weeds are not weeds and we should allow them in our garden. Well I can’t really stop them, but I don’t think I can bring myself to embrace them.
    The new rose foliage is such a lovely colour. I’m fascinated by how the green transitions into the dark red.

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    1. Yes, l mutter a bit when I read articles that encourage you to leave dandelions alone. I look across at the green opposite the house where there are swathes of them (and where they look very beautiful) and figure insects can enjoy the dandelions over there and visit my garden for the ornamental flowers.

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  5. I’m on the side of the autotrophs, keeping them happy is in the interests of the heterotrophs, including S&S. It’s the autotrophs that capture solar energy and the rest are just sponging off them. Overgrazing, whether by livestock, deer, rabbits or slugs, cannot be a good thing.

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  6. I can’t quite agree with the slugs and snails statement by the RHS. I’m all for not using slug pellets etc., but there’s no way you can argue that they aren’t still pests (especially when they munch straight through a tray of seedlings)!

    I never get tired of seeing fresh Rose shoots and the Coronilla looks fantastic đŸ™‚

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  7. I wish I could see slugs & snails like that too – and yes, Noelle probably has it right. They have teams of captive apprentices out patrolling RHS gardens (in the dark, it would have to be?) … love that Coronilla especially.

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  8. The magnolias around us are about to burst into flower. Unfortunately, our Stellata in a pot is not looking too good but I noticed today that there are a few blooms, so I shall investigate how to prune them and see if it improves next year.

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