Six on Saturday (18 February 2023)

All of a sudden there are flowers, and just enough for a full-on flower themed Six on Saturday. It came as something of a surprise as earlier in the week there seemed to be very little going on at all and I was doubtful I’d find anything floral other than Snowdrops and the Winter Honeysuckle. However, it appears the garden is beginning to wake up.

1. We start with Crocuses. The purple kind, although it looks like there’s a rogue yellow one in this clump growing near the wildlife pond.

2. On the opposite side of the garden is the Viburnum, grown from a cutting my wife took of a shrub in the tiny back yard of our old rented house, over 10 years ago. It finally seems to have perfected the whole flowery thing this winter and has started producing another mini flush of fragrant blooms which look rather nice against the fresh new foliage.

3. Nearby, the Snowdrops from the former Ancestral Home have finally opened.

4. Next up, Iris reticulata ‘Alida,’ which I very nearly missed as it was hidden amongst some Allium foliage. I’m hoping more will appear over the next week or so. Thankfully the slugs and snails haven’t found it yet.

5. I used to be rather anti-Hellebore, finding the flowers disturbingly out of proportion to the rest of the plant. However, I was won over by Helleborus liguricus back in 2021 and even ended up acquiring a few more varieties. I seem to remember it’s meant to be fragrant; I’ll have to try and get down to flower level later today and have a sniff.

6. And finally… some non-flattened white Crocus. It appears both myself and Mrs OMAHGT have been guilty of squashing them whilst walking around the washing line (and I don’t think the odd stampede of wood pigeons have helped either). Planting them in a tiny lawn occupied by a washing line was a foolhardy idea. I should have planted them in the large and less trampled upon front lawn instead.

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. Right, I’m going to head out into the blowy outdoors to see if that was a frog I just spotted in the pond. Could there soon be frogspawn? I hope so.


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.

Six on Saturday: hopeful signs (31 December 2022)

At this time of year the garden can sometimes seem a rather dreary place, especially after endless days of rain. Although we’ve made it past the shortest day spring seems a long way off. The borders are sodden and bare, the gravel path has become both muddy and puddly and let’s not mention the lawn. Actually, no. Let’s mention the lawn because, despite resembling something of a quagmire in places, there are hopeful signs of brighter and more colourful things to come.

1. Behold… some of the Crocus that were planted in the lawn a few winters ago have begun to emerge.

2. And while it’ll be a little while until the Crocus go all floral, the first of the flower buds on the Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ have begun to open.

3. Over near the bird feeding station there are more signs of hopeful stirrings. After a slightly disappointing performance flower-wise last spring I’m hoping the Hellebores will put on a better show in 2023.

4. Talking of the bird feeder station, I purchased a new ‘squirrel proof’ feeder yesterday after growing weary of two grey squirrels polishing off the sunflower hearts. Alas, the sparrows aren’t impressed and have given it a wide berth so far. Hopefully they’ll brave it in time. And the squirrels? Annoyingly, they haven’t visited since it was put up, depriving me of any opportunity to (hopefully) gloat.

5. While squirrels can be a nuisance, they can also be irritatingly cute at times. However, they’re not as cute as a felted mouse tucked up in a walnut shell with a stocking. Yes, it’s another new Christmas tree decoration.

6. And finally… the Violas seem to be doing okay so far, with no sign of the black spot-like disease that a batch suffered from a few winters ago. I may have mentioned this before but Violas are my most favourite of plants, especially during gloomy winter days.

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.

I’m probably going to be taking a short break from Six on Saturday blogging to focus on studying and exam revision during January. However, I’ll still be stopping by and enjoying SoS posts and I’ll definitely be back in the second week of February. In the meantime, all the very best for the New Year.

Six on Saturday (5 March 2022)

This time last year I’d tidied up my paths, sown some seeds, cleaned the mini greenhouse and given the lawn a trim. I’ve done none of those tasks yet; I’m feeling oddly unmotivated for some reason. However, I did acquire a few bags of peat free compost last Sunday in readiness for sowing this and that. I just need to work out what this and that will be, which leads me swiftly to my first Six on Saturday…

1. Packets of seeds. I’ve yet to look through this lot, mostly collected from the Garden News magazine together with a few recent purchases and some seed collected from the garden. I need to be ruthless, choosing just a dozen varieties or so to… err… sow.

2. A while back I featured the rounded foliage of Cyclamen coum. Well, it has finally bloomed and fingers crossed it’ll spread about a bit in time.

3. Not too far away these Crocus are flowering. I have a feeling they might be a batch planted back in 2020 – something of a miracle as they usually vanish, never to be seen again. It’s surprising what a difference a bit of sun makes, barely open one minute and then full on dazzleage…

4. Dangling above the Crocuses are the feathery seedheads of Clematis ‘Freckles’ looking all yellow and shimmery in the sun earlier in the week.

5. Over on the other side of the garden, near the mini wildlife pond, are a few more Crocuses and this old Hyacinth that has reappeared each spring for several years now.

6. And finally… a Primula elatior (Oxlip) that grows near the pond. I keep meaning to split it. Maybe I’ll get around to it this time.

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 Right, I’m off to write a strongly worded letter to Channel 5 for bringing about the demise of Neighbours, the long running fly-on-the-wall documentary about the residents of a street in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Teatimes will never be the same again after this summer.

Six on Saturday (12 February 2022)

All of a sudden the garden is waking up. After many weeks of struggling to find at least one pleasingly picturesque ‘featured image’ for these Six on Saturdays that wasn’t a Viola, I found myself spoilt for choice today. Have I gone for the correct one? Hmm, I don’t know…

1. I very nearly went for this Iris, reticulata ‘Alida.’ Many of the feathery pale blue beauties started their lives in pots back in 2020 and 2021 before being moved to the borders. They’re one of my favourites but, alas, also popular with the slimy plant assassins of the night.

2. While spring flowering bulbs usually do pretty well, I don’t tend to have much success with the summer flowering lot. Undeterred, I’m having another go, this time with these Gladioli.

3. I have a feeling this Narcissus may also have been a Wilko purchase. Possibly ‘Martinette,’ like the ‘Tête-à-tête’ that featured last week it seems a tad early.

4. Planted back in the autumn of 2020, the lollipop Bay hasn’t required any cosseting this winter so far. The leaves have yet to be sampled for culinary purposes but I’m going to give them a go this year.

5. Another Iris of short stature from, yes, you’ve guessed it, Wilko. I’m hoping there might be the odd yellow one lurking in this pot.

6. And finally, the ‘featured image’ plant: a white Crocus. Quite a few have popped up in the lawn, surviving another soggy winter and miraculously surviving tramplage by a big-footed gardener. What was that? Another Wilko purchase? Err… yes, yes it was.

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

Six on Saturday (15 January 2022)

The garden designers of yesteryear

Had never had to reason

Just where to hang out sodden clothes

In their vast expansive Edens.

‘Capability’ Brown et al had had it rather easy,

The thought of accommodating laundered smalls

Would probably have made ’em queasy.

One Man and His Garden Trowel

My nemesis, the rotary washing line, was the cause of some discord the other week. The whole garden is designed around the washing line to ensure unobstructed laundry drying. However, it appears that a mini quarter standard rose was planted a little too close, resulting in an incident whereby a sheet became repeatedly snagged on its thorns. There was damage, but thankfully not to the rose, which has since been pruned back a little. Now in my defense, it was blowing a gale at the time, but perhaps I should have factored in stormy sheet billowage (oh the joy of hindsight). The washing line is also indirectly responsible for my first Six on Saturday…

1. The sorry state of the lawn. There are some stepping stones across it to avoid setting foot on all the monocotyledons, but alas, the location of the pesky rotary washing line (slap bang in the middle of the circular lawn) often requires the large footed gardener to go cross country when damp garments are hung out to dry. Fine in the summer. Not so good at this time of the year when the lawn is decidedly squelchy. Miraculously some of the Crocus that were planted in it back in the autumn of 2020 have survived and come up again, although I suspect most will be stood on before the spring.

2. And there are more and more signs of bulby life to be found elsewhere in the garden. It’s rather cheering.

3. As is this new indoor addition: Primula obconica ‘Morrisons.’

4. Next up, a Christmas present. A wealth of information on all things pesky to plants, this is proving to be an interesting read, although it’s probably not a book to peruse when eating your tea or before heading to bed (some of the pictures of garden pests are a bit too up close and personal for my sensitive disposition).

5. This close-up won’t be putting me off my tea or causing nightmares though. Bolt has weathered nicely since he was acquire a few years ago.

6. And finally… a Viola, possibly the most cheerful plant you’ll find in the garden at this time of year.

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

Six on Saturday (13 March 2021)

The garden has received a bit of a battering over the past few days. Thankfully, most of the spring flowers are made of pretty tough stuff, shrugging off the strong winds and showers. Around this time last year I had uncovered the swing seat. I can’t see that happening this weekend, but I do have a list of chores to keep me occupied, weather permitting, mostly of the choppy-back-diggy-up-and-movey kind. And that leads me swiftly to my first Six on Saturday.

1. Forget-me-nots. Originally sown from seed about 8 years ago, they have spread themselves here, there and everywhere. I started tackling a thick carpet of them near the patio last weekend, transplanting them around the garden. I thought I’d done a good job but I must have gone forget-me-not blind as further thinning is definitely required. A few have begun to flower.

2. Sown at the end of February, the tomato seeds have germinated. My tomatoes were something of a disaster last year, taking an age to get going. This year I’ve gone for a dwarf variety of cherry tomato called Minibel. They shouldn’t require any staking and hopefully will do okay in pots outdoors.

3. Next up, ‘Tete-a-Tete’ Daffodils. Soggy ones. More will definitely need to be planted come the autumn.

4. Now this is exciting. Last year a grew Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ from seed. Two plants survived but I wasn’t very hopeful either would make it through the winter. But look! Life! I guess I’ll have to commit to planting them in the ground at some point.

5. Last autumn’s Violas haven’t done all that well, many succumbing to some sort of fungal disease soon after they were planted. I’d decided not to bother replacing them but then I spotted this variety in Wilko. Resistance was futile.

6. And finally… Oh yes, more Crocus. Probably long since flattened since this photo was taken earlier in the week.

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

Six on Saturday (6 March 2021)

Having declared Spring sprung last weekend, I donned my scruffy gardening getup (not worn since November and inexplicably snugger fitting than I remembered) and set about this and that. The mini greenhouse was cleaned, several packets of seed were sown, the still rather sodden circular lawn was given a quick trim and I tackled a bit of hard landscaping. And that leads me to my first Six on Saturday.

1. Annual mulching has resulted in borders that are higher than the paths. The recycled bricks that I used to edge the paths (thankfully not cemented down) had begun to disappear under the earth and gravel. Initially I just intended to clear the soil and gravel from the edging, the surface of which was flush with the level of the path. However, before I knew it I’d started raising the bricks a little.

By the time I got to the the blue shed I found myself wondering whether the path needed to be quite so wide and, somewhat inevitably, a little more border space was created. My wife has yet to attempt to retrieve her bike from the shed since this minor alteration, but surely more planting space is worth a little less bicycle manoeuvring space?

2. An increasing number of Daffodils/Narcissus are beginning to flower. I think this one is Jetfire, although the petals have yet to do their swept back ‘whooshy’ thing.

3. The pruned roses are sporting some nice new growth. Worryingly, a few aphids have already been spotted on the fresh red leaves.

4. Next up, Hyacinths. Those on the left are growing in the front garden and appear to be a double variety of some sort. The one on the right grows next to the tiny wildlife pond. Talking of which…

5. You might remember that, for the first time ever, the frogs had spawned in the pond. But by Sunday morning the frogspawn had vanished, presumed eaten by something or other. I feared that was that but on Thursday more appeared, and on Friday more still. Fingers crossed this lot survives.

6. And finally… Yes, it’s another Crocus.

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

Six on Saturday (27 February 2021)

It’s a few days shy of March but what the heck, I’m declaring spring sprung here. The birds are suddenly more tweety, leaves are beginning to unfurl and, for the first time ever, the frogs have spawned in the little pond. Yesterday, in preparation for seed sowing, I gave the mini greenhouse a clean. Tomatoes and sweet peas will hopefully be sown later today, after an apple and blackberry crumble has been made. But first things first; it’s Six on Saturday time.

1. And we begin with the fragrant flowers of the Daphne Odora. Planted around two years ago, it hasn’t put on much growth. In fact it looks rather bare of leaf and I wonder whether I should have plonked it in a less shady spot. I’ll give it another year and see what happens.

2. Growing next to the Daphne is this Oxlip. It has started to form a nice clump and will be split once it has finished flowering.

3. The Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ was a new addition to the garden last April. She has been covered in flower buds for months and they’ve finally started to open. Alas, they’re not fragrant but the flowers are pretty and it’s adding some nice evergreen structure to the East facing border.

4. Another Viburnum up next. A deciduous variety that was grown from a cutting nearly 10 years ago. It’s supposed to bloom during the winter months but has yet to fulfil it’s wintery-flowery potential. The unnibbled fresh new leaves are a pleasing sight.

5. Now you may want to sit down for this one, I know I did. A few of the white crocuses that were planted in the lawn have actually made it to flowerhood without toppling over or getting stood on.

They’re rather pretty but I’m not sure it was the wisest of ideas with such a small lawn. If they don’t return next year well, hey-ho. I definitely need to plant some of these elsewhere though.

6. And finally… Iris reticulata ‘Alida.’ Most were grown in pots but those in the beds have done just as well. I have my eye on a few other varieties for next spring, including ‘Blue Note.’

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

Six on Saturday (20 February 2021)

For at least a day or two it seemed as though Mother Nature had turned up the thermostat, opened those big cloudy curtains in the sky and allowed the sun to shine once more, encouraging the emerging shoots and buds to resume their growy-openy thing. But then the rain came. And the hail. And oh yes, the wind. The lawn is a muddy, squelchy mess, littered with casualties of the toppled white crocus kind. The borders aren’t much better. However, it’s not all doom and gloom out there.

1. First up, snow drops. It appears I have more than I thought. Some have begun to appear in the border near the wildlife pond. It has been a pleasant surprise as I’d assumed they hadn’t survived. The difference a bit of warmth and sun makes to their appearance is also surprising; they can look positively perky.

2. The sun also encouraged a few more of the Iris reticulata (possibly Harmony) to open…

3. … and this lone purple beauty that has since had to be propped up with a few twigs to help it withstand the wind and the rain.

4. Self sown seedlings have started to appear here and there. These popped up in the ‘wildlife’ border back in January but it’s only now the proper leaves have formed that I’ve been able to figure out what they are: Honesty, and there’s loads of them. Next month I’ll dig some of them up and plonk them around the garden.

5. While the cream crocuses in the lawn have been a disaster so far, one crocus, hidden away at the back of the Eucalyptus bed, has opened without incident. Fingers crossed some others will make it to flowerhood.

6. And finally… Last week I featured Hellebore ‘Single White Blotched,’ one of two Hellebores purchased the other week. This was the other one: Rodney Davey Marbled Group ‘Reanna’s Ruby.’

As the flowers have aged the marbling has become more distinct. They look almost metallic. I’m proud to say that thus far (good word ‘thus’) I have resisted purchasing any more. I have ordered another rose though.

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