Six on Saturday (23 January 2021)

Brrrrr. It’s rather cold outside this morning and there’s talk of sleet and snow in these parts on Sunday. I’m considering venturing out into the garden later, after a coffee and a slice of leftover Christmas cake, to tie in a few climbing roses and to remove some of the duckweed from the pond. Then again, I might just make myself another coffee, have an After Eight mint or three and watch the birds from the comfort of the sofa. But first things first; ’tis Six on Saturday time.

1. Last weekend I went through my existing collection of seed, disposing of several packets of this and that. I was quite ruthless and yet I still have more than I probably need. And I placed an order for some more on Sunday evening… and bought two packets on Friday.

2. Back in November I committed to planting crocus bulbs in the lawn. I was beginning to think they were never going to make an appearance, but over the past week I’ve noticed several shoots. Alas, I didn’t really think it through as many are coming up along the routes taken to get to the shed, bird feeders and patio. I fear most will be trampled on before they reach flowerhood.

3. Yesterday, as I was making my way to the patio to chill out with a pair of robins that furtle beneath the Daphne, I detected the unmistakable fragrance of the dwarf Sweet Box. It’s covered in buds (and berries) that are poised to unfurl. Only a few flowers have opened thus far but it won’t be long until these tiny blooms are filling the garden with their sweet and wafty scent.

4. Next up, another Wilko purchase. I’ll probably regret this come early summer when the slimy plant assassins of the night are snacking on the new foliage. However, if it survives and the flowers resemble the photo all will be forgiven.

5. The frost hardy Gardenia ‘Crown Jewels’ purchased last summer appears to be sporting some new growth. Fingers crossed it shrugs off further colder snaps.

6. And finally… The skeletons of some little alliums over by the Daphne; a welcome reminder of last 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


Six on Saturday (18 July 2020)

Last Sunday I finally planted the Zinnias. Yes you heard correctly. After putting the task off for weeks they were finally set free from their pots to fend for themselves in the wilds of the borders. Thus far (I’ve not used ‘thus’ in a long while) one plant has been set upon by the slimy plant assassins of the night but the others are still doing okay… for now. Ever the optimist, I have a reserve batch, sown late last month, living on the swing seat. The swing seat usually serves as a sanctuary for particularly vulnerable plants, protecting them from the gourmet gastropods, but something has gone wrong. One pot of young Zinnias has been nibbled. I’ve checked on them both night and day, peering under and in pots, but I can’t find the blighters. There can be only one explanation. Slugs and snails can teleport. Ah well, time for Six on Saturday.

1. First up, another Phlox, the one referred to as ‘the Other Pink One.’ Subtle in hue it is not, unlike this next plant…

2. Advertised as a frost hardy Gardenia, ‘Crown Jewels’ was a rash purchase a few months ago (selecting the option to receive notifications of special offers from online plant suppliers was asking for trouble). It was the promise of “intensely fragrant” flowers that I found hard to resist and this one certainly hasn’t disappointed. My wife is less keen on the fragrance though.

3. I’ve sown a variety of Cosmos this year but as usual got them all mixed up when I planted them out in the garden. This might be ‘Gazebo Red’ or possibly ‘Sensation Mixed’. I was rather ruthless and pinched the flower off the top of a very spindly looking plant in the hope that it’ll bush out a bit. The yellow rose was a casualty from a bouquet of flowers.

4. Next up, a Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise.’ This was a new addition to the garden back in March. It’s a half standard to maximise planting space. Apparently the flowers will turn pink as time goes on.

5. The yellow Geum ‘Lady Stratheden’ has been flowering for a few months now. Another one of the same variety went to look decidedly deceased and was almost dug up and thrown away. However, it turned out to be only mostly dead and, as we all know, mostly dead is still slightly alive. I doubt it’ll flower this year though.

6. And finally… Regular readers may remember the tale of the Agapanthus. After failing to flower last year it has redeemed itself big time. I’m very tempted to try growing another variety.

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