Six on Saturday (26 November 2022)

I think it may have rained pretty much every day last week. And my, what rain. Horizontal at times. As a full-time nine to fiver, gardening opportunities are limited to weekends during the autumn and winter and if the weekend forecast is bad you’ve had it. Luckily, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning turned out to be pretty decent weather-wise, providing a few shower free hours to tackle my first Six on Saturday…

1. Bulbs. Alas, after taking this photo I got completely sidetracked and ended up spending both days moving shrubs instead (more on that next week), although I did manage to plant a few packets of ‘Ballerina’ Tulips. I’m going to do better today, weather permitting.

2. Growing nearby is the fragrant Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima). I usually chop a few of the older stems right down to the ground in April or May but didn’t bother this time. It has just started to flower and will hopefully go on flowering from now until the spring, providing nectar for the odd brave bee over the coming months.

3. Remember the Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ last Saturday, with its flaming red foliage? Well this is it what it looks like now…

4. Growing nearby is the lollipop Bay Tree that was planted back in 2019 I think. I’ve yet to pick any leaves for culinary purposes as someone on Twitter put me off the idea after suggesting it would have been sprayed with who-knows-what to provide a pristine, sale worthy specimen. Surely it should be okay to pick the odd leaf now though, 3 years later?

5. Up next, a Viola. A few trays of these bargain beauties were bought last Saturday from the plant man in town. Most of them will probably end up being plonked on the top of potted up tulip bulbs. Expect to see more in the coming weeks.

6. And finally… a non-pesky snail. It’s been a while since I’ve featured Bolt. He’s still hanging around the wildlife pond and occasionally getting toppled by the boisterous sparrows.

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.

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Six on Saturday (19 November 2022)

After many years of procrastination, the rickety half trellis fence is no more. All of the fencers who provided quotes seemed jolly good and were similar price-wise, but only one was able to do the work before the spring. The idea of bulbs getting flattened on the cusp of flowerhood wasn’t very appealing and so the chap who was able to replace the fence before Christmas (well before Christmas as it turned out) was hired. He did a great job too…

1. An overly rampant Jasmine used to help provide some privacy on the trellis section of the old fence in the summer but during the winter you were left feeling very exposed. In theory, the Jasmine (which appears to have started life on the neighbours’ side between the fence and their raised bed) is no more, although I suspect there’s still quite a bit lurking beneath the soil, just biding its time. The new fence is wonderfully anti-social and somehow you feel more at ease when out pottering. It is rather fence-like though, and that leads us to SoS number 2.

2. A Cotoneaster horizontalis. The Pyracantha that was originally growing in this spot was chopped back and dug up the other weekend in preparation for the new metal posts (I’m sure a blackbird eyed me disdainfully as the berry laden Pyracantha branches were loaded into the car). Last Sunday, at dusk, I decided to fill the spot vacated by the fearsome Firethorn with a Cotoneaster that had been growing, largely forgotten, in a dark and shady spot on the other side of the garden. Acquired from the former ancestral home/free plant nursery in North Wales a number of years ago, I hadn’t realised how big it had gotten. Last minute winter evening shrub moving doesn’t really lend itself to careful diggage to ensure mininimal root damage, but hopefully it will survive and provide the birds with berries for many years to come.

3. Another plant that had to get chopped back and dug up was a Coronilla that had been grown as a climber. I’ve plonked it back in the ground in the hope that it survives. If not, a replacement will be acquired; a second winter/spring without the fragrant pale-yellow flowers of a Coronilla in the back garden is unthinkable. In the meantime, the Prunus Kojo-no-mai (which is looking even more fiery than it did a few weeks ago) will have a bit more space to spread its branches. I suspect they’ll be bare of leaf in a week or so.

4. Now I’ll come back to the flowering red rose that’s growing near Kojo in a moment. First though, come and take a look at this climbing patio rose growing up the metal arch. ‘Little Rambler’ has never looked so good or smelled so sweet as it does now. Planted back in 2020 it’s finally starting to make some progress of the vertical kind.

5. Back to the red rose, ‘Nerf Herder’ is still going strong. What was that? Err… no, that’s not its real name. I’d have to search past posts to remind myself of what it’s really called.

6. And finally… it’s a Calendula that also featured a while back. How much longer flowerage will continue now that temperatures have begun to fall who knows. It got down to 0.6 last night.

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 make a start on bulb planting. I just wish I was feeling a little more enthusiastic about the task.

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 (26 March 2022)

I don’t know why, but I’ve not felt all that motivated gardening-wise this month. However, as more and more spring flowers open and young leaves continue to unfurl, my gardening mojo has begun to return. And that leads me swiftly to my first Six on Saturday…

1. Seed sowing. Last Saturday, after I’d finally sorted out my pots which lay scattered in toppled heaps near the mini greenhouse, on the patio and down the side of the shed, I mixed up some peat free compost with perlite (something I’ve not used before) and sowed the first batch of this and that, including several varieties of Cosmos. I think Cosmos might well be the speediest of seeds to germinate as they were up by Tuesday. Fingers crossed they fair better than last year’s batch which seemed to stall come mid summer.

2. These Narcissus ‘Lemon Sailboat’ were purchased as a pot of green leaves from the local Country Market shop in town around a month ago (along with a rather tasty coffee cake if I remember correctly). I wasn’t sure what to expect (apart from the lemony yellow) but I really liked the name. I’ve not been disappointed and an unexpected added bonus has been the fragrance. I hope these return next year.

3. And here’s another Narcissus. A dinky one. Whereas ‘Lemon Sailboat’ are still in their pot, complete with label, these are free range daffs growing in the borders, completely labelless. I spent a week trying to remember what they were but was stumped. And then it came to me at silly o’clock the other morning. ‘Toto,’ a name I can’t say without doing a Dorothy Gale impression. The yellow trumpets gradually fade as the flowers age.

4. Next up, some more yellow, this time in Hyacinth form. I do like yellow.

5. A mere snail’s throw away is the Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai.’ Bought as a half standard back in 2018, it was meant to help screen the view above the fence. And it probably will, one day, 20 years from now. Still, it’s growing faster than my Hibiscus and for a few short weeks it looks resplendent in its blooming blossominess.

6. And finally… The new seedling nursery… I mean swing seat. A few weeks ago the old rotting swing seat was dismantled and disposed of. It’s replacement arrived early Friday morning and was assembled in around 20 minutes by the delivery chap (I suspect it would have taken me several hours). I was slightly concerned it wouldn’t fit on what’s left of the patio but thankfully all was well. Here’s hoping it lasts as long as its predecessor, if not longer.

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.