Six on Saturday: a catch up one (11 February 2023)

Right. Let’s see if I can remember how to do this Six on Saturday blogging thing. Yes, I have returned. I said I would. The first set of exams for this year have been sat (one was horrid, the other slightly less so) and after reaching the point of brain frazzleage earlier this week, it’s a relief to be done with them. However, despite taking a short break from blogging, I still found myself wandering around the garden during revision breaks, photographing six garden related things each week. As this blog has become a useful record of what was doing what when, I figure I should fill in the missing 5 weeks…

1. We start with the 7 January and the first of the flowers of the Coronilla in the front garden, rose hips on the ‘Little Rambler’ rose, the remaining flowerheads of a Hydrangea, some emerging bulbs, fragrant Winter Honeysuckle flowers and a slightly nibbled Viola.

2. Back on the 14 January Clematis ‘Freckles’ was doing its full-on fluffy seedhead thing (and still is), the first Snowdrop and Hellebore looked like they were about to flower (until the cold weather returned and put them into suspended animation), Sambucus leaf buds were forming nicely and Euonymus ‘Kathy’ was providing some variegated evergreen interest.

3. By the 21 January the first of the sweetly scented Sarcococca flowers were beginning to open, Hydrangea leaf buds were looking surprising advanced, a new Kalanchoe was adding some indoor cheer, an Allium seedhead had become ensnared in the Weigela, the Iberis sempervirens was thinking of blooming and the Winter Honeysuckle was still going strong.

4. On the 28 January the House Sparrows were keeping a wary eye on me, metal mushrooms were doing their rusty iron-worky thing, Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ was still flowering, an old Hellebore was looking quite promising bud-wise, a newly planted Hellebore was providing some instant floral gratification, and that Snowdrop from a few weeks back still hadn’t opened.

5. Alas, quite a few Cyclamen coum appear to have gone AWOL, possibly casualties of the new fence back in November. However, come the 4 February one of the survivors had finally produced a photo-worthy flower. The Winter Honeysuckle was still blooming away, that Snowdrop had finally ‘dropped,’ the Crocus in the lawn were looking quite promising and a flower bud on the dark red Hellebore was on the cusp of opening. Rather unexpectedly, I found myself acquiring a cast iron bird bath after the old concrete one disintegrated overnight, presumably due to the prolonged cold.

6. And that brings us up to date. After a few sunny days earlier in the week, a clump of Snowdrops from the former Ancestral Home have shot up. More of the Sarcococca flowers have opened and are doing their size defying wafty-fragrance trick. The daft Crocus flowers that looked so promising last week now resemble little Crocus corpses (I feel I should draw chalk outlines around them). Self seeders are appearing here and there (I suspect these may be Honesty) and Loropetalum chinense ‘Black Pearl’ has thankfully survived a few nights at -5 degrees Celcius without any protection.

Yet it’s the Winter Honeysuckle that continues to be the star of the garden. It has been flowering for a few months now and appears to have reached something of a floral crescendo which is going down well with honeybees and the odd large bumblebee.

They were my Six on Saturday, a meme originally started by The Propagator. For more Sixes on Saturday, from all around the world, head over to the blog of the current Six on Saturday host, Jim. Talking of memes, I’d always thought ‘meme’ was pronounced ‘me-me’ until my sister corrected me the other month, guffawing at my total lack of street cred. It was a tad embarrassing.


22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: a catch up one (11 February 2023)

  1. Nice catch up! Always a fan of mushroom-shaped stakes. Your loropetalum is healthier than mine, since the tender leaves were roasted but the plant survived. You were right… Next year I will wrap it. (advantages of French, “même” ( = same in english) and meme ( = meme) are pronounced the same way, but are not used the same way )

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    1. Thank you. I’ve had a recurring nightmare for years that I haven’t started revising for uni exams or even checked when they are. There have been times lately when I wonder why I’m putting myself through it again. Quite how I managed to revise several subjects at school I’m not sure.

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  2. Totally with Rosie on exams. Of all the things in my younger life I wouldn’t want to revisit, they’d be very near the top. Having said which, I can’t help but wonder how I’d get on in an RHS exam, just out of curiosity. It was a good strategy to save up six sixes, makes it seem like a flower rich time of year.

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  3. After my PGCE course back in 2003/4 I swore I would never, ever under any circumstance take an exam or course again. But I hope you do well in yours. Nice catch up, I am still envious of your winter honeysuckle which seems so much more floriferous than mine. In fact I am thinking of getting mine removed this year. make room for a nice little Azalea. And that’s a swanky birdbath – do the birds like it?

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    1. Thank you. I’ve yet to see anything in the bird bath but my wife tells me she saw a blackbird in it yesterday. I have a feeling it may be a bit deep for the smaller birds and might require a pebble or two to create a shallow end.

      I swore no more studying after my archive diploma many years ago. I’m not sure I took the whole exams thing into account when I signed up for this course in 2021. Still, there are no assignments which is a relief. Sort of.


  4. ha ha Me-me! Love it (that would be a great word for a selfie!), we all have those blunders with new words that come up! Some new words I deliberately mispronounce, just to annoy the children, with quite pleasing results! Your garden has been quite busy over that last few months! Thanks for the beautiful photos.

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  5. That was a lovely catch up, so many lovely flowers. Don’t envy you the exams though, bad enough when I had to take my teaching certificate when I was 60, I’d been teaching for years without! I now know that I must buy a winter flowering honeysuckle, yours is so beautiful!

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    1. They are good, if a little messy looking in the summer somehow – I tend to prune a few stems to the ground in the spring to encourage new shoots and tidy it up a bit. There seems to be so much studying for exams and yet they’re over in no time and only a small proportion of what you revise ever crops up.


  6. Really enjoyed your run through. Great to see you back and hope the e*ams went well. Although progress in the garden seems slow, once you see it all put together like that, it apparent how much has happened in the last few weeks.


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