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 (10 December 2022)

Finally, some frost. In fact it got down to -5 degrees Celsius one night. The Zinnias and Cosmos are no more, which is how it should be really, and the car has needed de-icing the past few mornings. Alas, there are no frosted foliage photos in today’s Six on Saturday (at this time of year most of my SoSs are taken the preceding Saturday or Sunday as it’s too dark to snap this and that during the working week). Perhaps next Saturday. Today you’ll have to make do with a selection of mostly brown and crispy, the odd splash of colour and some rusty metalwork.

1. And we start with a pot of summer bulbs that I didn’t get around to planting out in a border: Allium ‘Millennium.’ There’s something very pleasing about Allium skeletons.

2. Lamium maculatum ‘White Nancy’ is still brightening a shady corner of the garden and possibly plotting a spot of world domination.

3. More brown and crispy up next. The yellow Aquilegia grown from seed a number of years ago has yet to produce any offspring. I’ve left the seedheads this year but forgot to harvest any. Fingers are crossed a few seedlings appear and that they turn out to be vaguely similar to the original plant colour-wise.

4. It’s getting very tricky to find anything pleasingly petalesque in the garden at the moment. This Cyclamen featured the other month but has produced even more flowers of late.

5. Over the years a number of metal garden ornaments have been added to the garden. Back in December 2021 these rusty metal ferns were purchased at a riverside shop in Exeter.

6. And finally… The leaves of the Cotoneaster horizontalis have turned all red and fiery. Moved last month, it’s been nice to see it in a more prominent position in the garden.

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.

Six on Saturday (5 November 2022)

A briskish Six on Saturday today. After thinking I had weeks to prepare for a new fence it turns out the fencing chap is starting work on Thursday. The next few days will be spent emptying and moving the shed a few feet and digging up those plants that are most at risk of tramplage. Naturally, the weather is set to be decidedly damp over the next few days, but luckily I was able to take Friday afternoon off, making the most of a brief dry spell. The Pyracantha, Coronilla and various climbers that were growing up the trellis fence have been chopped right back to the ground and the lean-to mini-greenhouse has been detached from the shed. Note to self – don’t plant anything near fence posts in future. Anyway…

1. We start with something else I’m going to have to move before Thursday. Pots. This is one of those not-so-hardy Cyclamens that has spent the past year or two outdoors and is still going strong.

2. While brown and crispy is usually a bad thing during the spring and summer, in the autumn it can be rather lovely, especially when it comes to Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise.’

3. Next up, a Cosmos out the front. It looked rather splendid when the sun shone yesterday afternoon.

4. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai,’ waiting for it to reach peak autumnal fiery foliage perfection before taking a photo. However, you don’t want to leave it too long as you may end up with a shrub that is bare of leaf instead. This was taken just before the Coronilla got the chop and I wonder if I may have jumped the gun ever so slightly. I might try again next week.

5. Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’ doing its strangely artificial looking, purple-berry thing. I didn’t used to be a fan. I am now.

6. And finally… Remember the Delphinium requienii that was on the cusp of flowerhood last Saturday? Well, this isn’t that one. However, it dawned on me that I planted another seedling in the south facing front garden. I went in search of it one morning before work, hoping that it might be further ahead than those out the back. It was. More will be grown next year.

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 suppose I’d better make a start on the shed. If you hear a manly shriek, don’t be too alarmed, it’ll probably false widow spider related; there seem to be a few that have set up home near the shed and greenhouse.

Six on Saturday (17 September 2022)

Last Saturday afternoon I surprised myself with some impetuous on the hoof spontaneous pruning. The Escallonia hedge that is shared with the neighbours on the right was given its second trim of the year and, in preparation for a possible new fence in the back garden, the rampant yet sweet smelling Jasmine was given a severe prune (keeping a wary eye out for the thorny stems of a climbing rose and Pyracantha that lurk within its depths). I’ll have to ask the neighbours on the left to tackle their side of the fence the next time I see them. It wasn’t the only spontaneous thing that happened last week, oh no. My wife and I decided to spend a few days in Newquay.

We’d never visited this surfing mecca before and first impressions as we exited the train station were a bit ‘oh heck, what have we done?’ However, once we’d discovered the older sections of the town, Fistral Beach, the coastal paths, Trenance Gardens, the crazy golf course and some nice places to eat, we decided it was actually alright. Anyway, I’ve garbled on for far too long. ‘Tis time for Six on Saturday.

1. And we start with Cylamen hederifolium. Acquired from my mother-in-law a number of years ago, it has spread all over the garden and has been flowering for a while now. The foliage has yet to make an appearance.

2.  The pygmy water lily that grows in the mini wildlife pond failed to flower last year. Back in the autumn I enlarged the pond slightly and heeding Fred’s advice, repotted the lily in some new aquatic compost. After a slightly slow start (presumably it has been focusing its energy on producing new roots) the dwarf water lily has begun to bloom. The leaves are also much larger and more prolific this year and proving very popular with the young frogs. Thanks Fred.

3. Growing nearby, a Crocosmia is still sporting a few blooms. I think this is George Davison.

4. And behind George is this Cosmos somethingorotherus, grown from seen earlier in the year and looking just as good from the back as it does from the front. It’s growing in a border that I always think of as rather shady (not usually the best spot for Cosmos) and I suspect it was plonked here in a “I’ve run out of space and patience so you’re going here and will just have to lump it” moment. It’s doing much better than some of those that were planted in far sunnier locations.

5. Next up, a Japanese anemone. They’ve struggled somewhat this summer but all the rain we’ve had of late has helped revive a few. I think this might be ‘Honorine Jobert,’ although I’m sure I planted ‘Wild Swan’ nearby.

6. And finally… Another Cosmos: ‘Brightness Mixed.’ This started flowering back at the end of June/beginning of July and has continued to flower ever since. Short and Marigold like, I think it may be my most favourite plant this summer.

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 Somerset Scythe School to do an ‘Introduction to Scything’ course. Wish me luck! Hopefully I’ll still have 10 toes when I return home this evening.

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 (8 January 2022)

A blink and you’ll possibly miss it Six on Saturday today. And we’re diving straight in with…

1. The fragrant flowers of a Coronilla that are adding some cheer during the winter gloom. This is the paler yellow variety (subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’) that’s usually sold as a climber. What was that? Didn’t you show us this back in November? I did, and I suspect you’ll be seeing it again over the next few months.

2. Planted last September, these Cyclamen coum have been smothered by Foxgloves and were completely forgotten about until recently. Rounder of leaf than the Cyclamen hederifolium (although it took me a while to figure this out) the Foxgloves will be moved to another spot in the not so distant future. I’m hoping I haven’t missed the flowering stage.

3. Despite a very brief cold snap (still no frost mind you) it’s been a very mild winter so far down here. Quite a few plants have jumped the gun, including ‘Miss Belgium’ who was still sporting her old foliage until fairly recently. If frost doesn’t get these new leaves then the secateurs will come the spring.

4. It’s not the only plant that’s a little early. I’m assuming this is a Narcissi of some kind.

5. Next up, rose hips. I’ve taken a photograph of these most weeks but end up swapping them for something else at the last minute. Not this week.

6. And finally… another fragrant flowerer. The Lonicera fragrantissima is in full bloom and has been visited by the odd bee of late. I think that’s a tiny fly on the flower on the right.

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 (18 December 2021)

A brisk Six on Saturday today without preamble/pre-ramble. We’re jumping straight in with…

1. The faded flowers of the Hydrangea ‘Miss Belgium.’ She seems to have put on quite a growth spurt this year and is doing a good impression of an evergreen.

2. Growing nearby is the Cotoneaster hortizontalis originally acquired as a seedling from the free nursery up in North Wales (my mum’s garden). The berries were polished off long ago but the leaves are adding a nice splash of colour.

3. While the stems of the Cotoneaster will soon be bare other deciduous shrubs, like this Sambucus nigra ‘Golden Tower,’ are already sporting the buds of next year’s foliage.

4. It’ll be another month or so until the dwarf Sweet Box (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis) does its wafty scenty flowery thing. Yet this is a plant that provides interest all year round with evergreen foliage and berries that turn from crimson to purpley-black as the year progresses.

5. Next up, a winter pot. Planted last winter, the variegated Ivy, Fern somethingorotherus and a red Cyclamen are still going strong, although the latter is getting a little swamped by its companions.

6. And finally… Last week I casually mentioned a hideous watering can bauble that I’d purchased online and had banished to the back of the Christmas tree. While there were a few comments about the featured plants, there were far more requests to see the dubious decoration. Well, here it is in all it’s overly large, splodgily painted, glittery golden glory. Annoyingly, it looks marginally better in this photo than it does in reality, the camera failing to capture it’s true awfulness (although this is its best side). Attempts to convince me that it’s actually rather nice will be greeted with a “PAH!”

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 Have a very Merry Christmas.

Six on Saturday (20 November 2021)

November is racing by and winter is fast approaching, although you wouldn’t really know it weather-wise. Last Saturday I donned my serious gardening get-up (torn trousers and ancient fleece) and set to work tackling those tasks that needed doing before bulb planting could finally commence. The Dahlias were dug up, a few phloxes were split and moved and most of the Zinnias were got shot of. Preparation complete, it was time to tackle my first Six on Saturday…

1. I thought I’d purchased far fewer bulbs this autumn but after checking an SoS from around this time last year I’m not so sure. Sunday was spent planting those that were going in the ground (including Narcissi, Crocuses and several varieties of supposedly perennial Tulips). I adopted a new method this year: the dig-the-holes-plonk-the-bulbs-in-leave-uncovered-until-all-other-bulbs-are-in-to-avoid-digging-them-all-up-mere-moments-later-when-planting-the-rest method. As dusk fell the first stage of bulb planting was completed, although by the time I’d got to the Crocus bulbs I’d adopted the usual scrape-a-shallow-ditch-and-throw-the-sodding-things-in-any-old-how method.

2. The rest of the bulbs are going in pots, hopefully a far less onerous task. Fingers crossed they’ll all be planted by Sunday, including these dwarf iris that were purchased last autumn, put in a draw for safe keeping and completely forgotten about until the summer.

3. To finish off the pots and provide some winter colour I need to acquire a few ‘essentials’ from the Plant Man in town this morning. Last weekend I bought this fragrant Cyclamen. I suspect some more will be joining it later.

4. While most of the Zinnias have been pulled up there are still a few blooming away, including these diminutive ‘Jazzy.’ They seem far tougher than the other Zinnias and will be grown again next year.

5. As will Calendula ‘Snow Princess.’ I must try and save myself a few quid and collect some seed.

6. And finally… An evergreen dangly winter flowering Clematis. I’m rubbish with Clematis as 8 out of 10 Clematis would tell you if they hadn’t joined that great big compost heap in the sky. However, there are two varieties that have survived. The first? An indestructible Montana. The second? This Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens ‘Freckles’ that’s growing up the garden arch that was installed last summer. It has reached the top already and is now headed down the other side. Apparently it appreciates shelter from strong, cold winds but it’s proving to be a pretty rampant variety (possibly the only kind I can grow).

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 (30 October 2021)

Last weekend I finally made a start on preparing the garden for winter. One of the South African Foxgloves, an Agastache and a Verbena Hastata were dug up, plonked in pots and put in the mini greenhouse (after a battle with the ‘easily adjustable’ shelving). And the other evening I took a few quick cuttings of the Salvia ulignosa ‘African Sky’. There’ll be no more brief after-work garden potterage from tomorrow though. Oh no. After the clocks go back tonight gardening will be restricted to the weekend-weather-permitting kind. And now that the big delivery of bulbs has arrived I must confess that I’m hoping the weather won’t permit gardening of any kind this weekend. I hate planting bulbs. Which make my first Six on Saturday all the more puzzling.

1. Another Wilko bulb purchase. I’ve never grown Camassia before but have decided to give them a go. I’m sticking to just the one pack for now to see how they fair. If they’re a success more will be acquired this time next year.

2. Back in April I planted a Mahonia ‘Soft Caress.’ The leaves are pleasingly ferny and I’m hoping the flowers will be as fragrant as those of the spikey leaved variety. I’ll soon find out looking at these buds.

3. While the Mahonia should be flowering my next Six on Saturday shouldn’t. At least I don’t think it should. This Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ certainly wasn’t in flower this time last year. I’m not sure what’s going on.

4. Next up we have a Cyclamen. One of those fancy varieties that’s not necessarily all that hardy (although a red one left outdoors in a pot last winter is in full flower again). This has been living outdoors for the past month or so, but the other day I suddenly remembered that back in 2020 Jim had mentioned a fragrant variety. Curious, I sniffed this one and was pleasantly surprised to detect a sweet fragrance. It is now living in a posh pot indoors.

5. ‘Rudbeckia ‘Daisies Mixed,’ sown from seed back in 2020, is still going strong. I hope it survives another winter as it’s been one of the stars of the garden this summer.

6. As has Fuchsia ‘Army Nurse.’ She resented being moved a few years ago but has finally forgiven me. Back in October 2020 Eileen’s Tiny Welsh Garden found some details regarding the background to its intriguing name (details can be found here).

And 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 (2 October 2021)

I can delude myself no longer; autumn is well and truly here. Mind you, a lot of the annuals and perennials are still going strong, even attracting a comma butterfly earlier in the week, a rare sight in the garden this year. Although not as rare as this lesser whitethroat that visited yesterday afternoon.

Thankfully it seemed happy hanging around in the Pyracantha, just outside the back door, giving me a chance to grab my camera and photograph it from indoors. I doubt there’ll be butterflies and warblers in the garden today though if the weather forecast is anything to go by. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday.

1. And we start with the Cyclamen that grows near the Pyracantha, that most vicious of shrubs that drew blood last week when I attacked it with the secateurs after discovering one of its branches had made it into the open mini greenhouse.

2. Growing just to the right of the Cyclamen is this Hesperantha coccinea, acquired a few years ago from the Great Aunt’s garden up in North East Wales. A white variety (probably ‘alba’) was purchased in the spring but appears to have vanished.

3.  Now these next two photos were taken several days apart. An online purchase last year, Rosa ‘Friesia’ has surprised me and thrived, despite looking very ropey when it was delivered. This is its third flush and the fragrant flowers constantly change, starting off a rich yellow (occasionally tinged with pink in places) before fading as the days pass by.

4. While some of the Zinnias are looking decidedly nibbled, several have shrugged off the attentions of the gourmet gastropods, including this beauty. They’re doing much better than last year.

5. Next up, Salvias. My mother-in-law has gone in for them in a big way. Several tiny plug plants that she planted two summers ago have became large and shrubby. I took a few cuttings from them last year and they were doing great until I dropped them all on the floor last autumn. Thankfully two survived, although naturally they ended up being the same variety. It’s one of those plants, along with the Lavender and Agastache, where I find myself rubbing the aromatic leaves and sniffing my fingers every time I walk past them.

6. And finally… It’s another plant that drew blood the other week. The long thorny stems of the climbing Rose ‘New Dawn’ tend to hide amongst the monster Jasmine (which I’m forever trimming in an attempt to keep it in check) and occasionally surprise the forgetful gardener. The scented pale pink flowers are lovely 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