Six on Saturday (14 May 2022)

I’m sure the house sparrows think of the garden as their own and view me as an annoyance, disrupting their busy routine when I’m out pottering. A possie of them spend each day eating sunflower hearts and taking baths of both the watery and dusty kind. They battle with pieces of string I’ve used to tie in this and that (apparently it would be put to far better use as nesting material), squabble occasionally, and search amongst plants for aphids. Yet until earlier this week, they hadn’t discovered the horrible grey aphids that have set up home on the Sambucus nigra ‘Golden Tower.’ However, the other evening I watched as one sparrow ventured into the narrow elder of yellowy-green foliage and started to pick off the little sap-suckers. And where one sparrow ventures, others are quick to follow. A small flock of starlings have also been making frequent visits to extract leatherjackets from the lawn (it’s a bit disconcerting to see just how many of the grubs lurk beneath it). Now if only the resident amphibians would eat a few more of the slimy plant assassins of the night who will no doubt set upon my first Six on Saturday in a few weeks…

1. Last Monday I decided to start the process of hardening off some of this year’s seed-sown plants. Ah, it seems like only yesterday they were but tiny young seedlings. As is often the way, the weather turned wet and rather breezy almost as soon as I started, but I’ve stuck to the plan. I’ll carry on ferrying them in and out for another week and then I’ll have to figure out where to put everything.

2. Next up, Geum, ‘Tequila Sunrise.’ Part of the ‘Cocktail Series,’ I’m hoping it will produce more flowers than it did last year. Two ‘Banana Daiquiri’ may have been acquired in April and are being nurtured in pots until they’ve put on a bit more growth.

3. As the Tulips go over the Dutch Iris have started to bloom. I usually find myself planting more of these every autumn but I completely forgot last October. Fortunately, they seem to do well here, coming up each year. Although that wasn’t the case with my next SoS…

4. A Wilko purchase back in November 2020, only one rather sad looking Dutch Iris ‘Carmen’ flowered in the spring of 2021. However, there are at least three in bloom at the moment so perhaps they just take a little while to get going.

5. Alliums are also beginning to do their thing. This lot were carelessly tipped into a pot in the autumn during the I’m-flippin’-sick-and-tired-of-finding-somewhere-to-plant-blubs-I’m-not-bothering-next-year stage.

6. And finally… For many years I’ve tried to grow Welsh Poppies, transplanting some from my mother-in-law’s garden, scattering seed and even purchasing the odd plant. They have never returned or seeded themselves… until now. I’ve read warnings that they’ll take over and I’ll be forever pulling them up. Well, I don’t care. They’re wych.

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.

33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday (14 May 2022)

  1. This is the first year that I have grown Welsh poppies ( I sowed them early at the beginning of the year), however, knowing that you had trouble keeping them, I will save seeds!
    Very nice ‘Carmen’ Iris and ‘Tequila Sunrise’ has arrived here too.

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  2. Hooray for the Welsh poppy, I’m afraid I don’t know much about the different poppy varieties, I have purple ones that self seed. I also need to get better with Iris. It’s all a learning curve.

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    1. Six on Saturday is great for learning all about new plants that you’ve never heard of and didn’t realise you needed or already have but never knew what it was. I spotted a geranium in a post today that I’m sure I’ve got but hadn’t got a clue what it was (in fact, I don’t even remember planting it).

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  3. I guess it is standing room only for cocktails in your garden with the seats already being taken. Make mine a Tequila Sunrise, if all have gone, any other cocktail will do nicely.

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  4. Those same sparrows are in our garden, they are thugs! But charming and wonderful to watch. We must be doing something right. Your iris are looking great (adds to list). Geums are brilliant, I’ve got Mai Tai that is lagging behind a little. The best time of the year!

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  5. The star of your post for me is definitely the Welsh poppies! I don’t think I have seen one before! The iris are lovely, and the Geum is beautiful! Sparrows and rhubarb seem to be the themes amongst the Six’s this week, judging by the first three blogs I’ve read today!

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      1. I’ll be keeping an eye out for seeds of the Welsh poppies. It will have to be an internet search as I’m pretty sure I have not seen any in the conventional gardening shops. Having a Welsh heritage means I’ve got to try and find them 😉

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  6. I think it was your photos of the Dutch irises which made me buy some last autumn. I have two open at the moment and they are lovely. I also like your Geum, ‘Cocktail Series’ seems made for me! Though I’d have thought Tequila Sunrise should be more orange. Sparrows always seem to be squabbling, but I can’t wait for the mothers to bring their fledglings to the feeder, it is so funny watching them being fed.

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  7. I enjoyed seeing your setup for hardening off seedlings. Very pleased to hear that the aphids are being attended to; I finally removed the infested kale after they finished blooming, and my honeysuckle continues to struggle.

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  8. Like your photoof the Welsh Poppy. I have them sprinkled in my shady borders, they brighten up a dark corner. So far they are well behaved, maybe it would be different if they were in thr sun.

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  9. I loved your wild life introduction. I wish I had a bunch of aphid eating sparrows but they don’t venture into my garden. Lovely geum. I have Banana Daquiri and its now in its second year and flowering its socks off.

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  10. I had a smile about the ‘I’m-flippin’-sick-and-tired-of-finding-somewhere-to-plant-blubs-I’m-not-bothering-next-year stage’ comment. I feel like that quite often. There’s also the ‘why am I standing with this plant in my hand and where am I going to squeeze it in?’
    I have Geum ‘Mai Thai’ in my garden and I now realise it must be one of the cocktail series you mentioned.

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  11. House sparrows are unfortunately scarce here, a loss, but birds do contribute enormously to our enjoyment of our gardens.

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