Six on Saturday (6 August 2022)

Another week and still no rain. Actually, no. I tell a lie. We had the briefest and lightest of showers on Wednesday where the rain pretty much evaporated on impact and that was that. Buying new plants during this drought would be foolhardy given the amount of watering they’d need initially… and yet I still found myself returning from Taunton Flower Show yesterday afternoon with several new purchases. However, I’ll save those for next week’s Six on Saturday (oh the suspense). Today? Today we start with brown and crispy.

1. Now brown and crispy isn’t usually something you’re aiming for in a garden during the summer… unless you’re wanting to collect seeds. A few of these seedheads from Aquilegia ‘Yellow Shooting Stars’ have been plonked in an envelope and labelled. I really need to get a move on and sow the Sweet Williams and Foxgloves this weekend if I want them to flower next year.

2. For the first time ever I managed to successfully overwinter Agastache and Verbena hastata (they were dug up and placed in the mini greenhouse). However, those that were were replanted in the sunniest borders (including this ‘Black Adder’) have really struggled over the past three or four weeks, requiring watering on a regular basis to reverse leaf droopage. I have a feeling I should have replanted them much earlier in the year so that they could get more settled in root-wise. Ah well.

3. When we moved here 10 years ago I spent a few years getting shot of an orange variety of Crocosmia that was taking over the garden. I think it may have staged a sneaky come back (it certainly isn’t the other variety of orange Crocosmia ‘Ping-pong’ I introduced a few years ago). It is pretty though.

4. Another plant that has a tendency to run a little too rampant is Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax). First sown from a packet of seed around 6 to 7 years ago out in the front garden, it’s not faring too badly in these arid conditions. It’ll need a spot of ‘editing’ at some point.

5. The pinkification process of the flowers of ‘Miss Belgium’ is now complete. This Hydrangea has coped well with the dry spell, no doubt helped by its shady position.

6. And finally… Zinnia. There have been but two Zinnia casualties so far, yet they’ve been down to the heat rather than the slugs or snails for a change (one of the few benefits of all this dry weather I guess). With the exception of Zinnia elegans ‘Envy’ (the green one) these are Zinnia haageana ‘Jazzy Mixture.’ They’re shorter, bushier and, for the second year running, far more slug and snail resistant than other varieties.

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.

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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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com. 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.

Flowers from Seeds: long flowering, insect friendly and easy to grow blooms

Growing plants from seed is a great way of filling your borders, allowing you to grow loads of your favourite flowers for peanuts. Sow sparingly though; sprinkle a whole packet of 500 Antirrhinum seeds in a tray of compost and you’ll come to regret it come pricking out and potting on time.

Mind you, not all of the seeds you sow will make it to flowerhood. There are always the odd no-shows as well as casualties along the way. You’ll probably find yourself offering words of encouragement to ailing seedlings or uttering dark mutterings as you wander around the garden or greenhouse at night, seeking out slugs and snails that have taken a fancy to this and that. But come the summer you’ll experience an immense feeling of satisfaction when carefully nurtured tiny shoots of green have grown into fully fledged flowering plants.

The sight of newly emerging seedlings never gets old. It’s both wondrous and exciting and each spring I’ll try growing something I’ve not tried before. Yet there are several plants I sow from seed every year, the ‘old reliables’ that are long flowering, insect friendly and easy to grow. What was that? “What are these long flowering, insect friendly and easy to grow ‘old reliables’ of which you speak?” I’m glad you asked.

Scabious ‘Blue Cushion’

One such old reliable is the hardy annual Scabious. They come in a variety of colours (including lilac, red, white and pink) and will flower throughout the summer and autumn with regular dead-heading. The slugs and snails tend to leave them alone (always a bonus) and some will often survive a winter or two, forming bigger plants the following year if chopped back in the spring.

Scabious St George

Now I must admit it took me a while to discover the joys of Cosmos. They’re speedy germinators, have fine, feathery foliage that is generally ignored by gourmet gastropods, and go full-on-floriferous from around July all the way through to late autumn with regular dead-heading.

Cosmos ‘Gazebo White’

These annuals come in a variety of colours, flower shapes and sizes and do well in borders or in pots on a sunny patio. Just remember to pinch out the tops of leggy seedlings to create bushier plants.

Up next, Calendula, an easy and quick to grow hardy annual that does best in a sunny position, flowering throughout the summer and autumn.

And they don’t just come in orange these days, oh no. Another favourite with pollinators, start them off in pots or sow straight into the ground in the spring and if you’re lucky you may find they self-seed the following year. Talking of self-seeders…

Calendula ‘Snow Princess’

There are some flowers that you will only ever need to sow once, prolific self-seeders that will do the work for you in subsequent years. I sowed a packet of Forget-me-nots straight into the borders way back in 2012 and they’ve spread themselves here, there and everywhere ever since. A biennial, sow them outdoors in early summer and you’ll have flowering plants come spring.

They’re easy enough to pull up to keep them under control, but their small blue flowers mingle rather nicely with most plants and they’re a big favourite of the bee flies.

Bee fly

Another self-seeder that just gets on with it is Honesty (Lunaria). Sow this shade tolerant biennial in early summer and you’ll have white or purple flowering plants in the spring and pretty silvery paper disk-like seed heads by winter. It’s another good mingler, though like the Forget-me-nots, you may wish to pull out the odd plant to curb any attempts at world domination, perhaps potting some up for family and friends.

And finally… Sometimes you don’t want your flowers subtle. Sometimes you want bright and bold. Summer flowering California Poppies are another of those sow-them-once-and-they’ll-probably-be-in-your-garden-for years-to-come plants. Chop them back when they start to get a little leggy and they’ll flower again later in the year. I often plonk a few of their cheerful blooms in a bud vase to provide some indoor floral sunshine and never grow bored of watching their petals close up in the evenings and unfurl in the mornings, even indoors. These cheerful plants will usually last a few years but more often than not you’ll find their distinctive grey-green feathery leaved offspring growing close by.

Keen to discover more gardening tips and join in with the virtual Spring Flower Show (Monday 3rd May until Sunday 9th May)? Then head on over to Tweeters Gardening and follow the #TweetersFlowerShow hashtag.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday (6 February 2021)

The frogs have returned. A newt too. Late on Tuesday evening, armed with a torch, I decided to take a nose at the pond to see if there was any sign of amphibian activity and lo and behold there was: two frogs and a male common newt in his wavy crested ‘look at me ladies aren’t I something?’ breeding getup. It prompted me to order some new bare root aquatic plants (hopefully more suitable for a tiny pond than past plant purchases). They arrived yesterday and were promptly potted up in some pond compost and gently lowered into the water. And it was while I was readjusting a submerged brick to alter the depth of an iris that my respect for amphibians grew. The water was flippin’ freezing. Potting up pond plants wasn’t the only bit of gardening I did last week, oh no. And that leads me to my first Six on Saturday.

1. I’ve been on something of a perennials spending spree of late but I think I’m done now. Possibly. One online order arrived last weekend and on Sunday I did my first spot of proper gardening of the year. ‘Verona,’ ‘Venice’ and ‘Washfield’ Astrantia and Astilbe ‘Rock and Roll’ have all been potted up until they get going, as has this bargain Geranium ‘Splish Splash’ from Wilko.

It felt good to get my hands in some compost, although I have to confess I struggled to work out which way was up with the ‘loose root’ Astrantia. They’ve all been labelled using sticks saved from frozen yoghurt ice lollies that have proved popular whatever the season.

2. I also sowed my first lot of ‘early’ seeds on Wednesday: a white Black-eyed Susan and a Morning Glory ‘Royal Ensign.’ They’re sat on a window sill in the spare bedroom. After a troubled year with seedlings last year, possibly due to the New Horizon peat free compost, I’ve splashed out on some Dalefoot this year, including a bag of their wool seed compost.

3. Next up, snowdrops. Last February there were but two solitary snowdrops in the garden, the only survivors from a pack of bulbs planted way back when. I planted some more bulbs in the autumn and a few were purchased ‘in the green’ back in March. I think these were acquired from the old ancestral home in North Wales last summer. It’ll be a while until I have a carpet of snowy white but perhaps I’ll have a small rug in a few years.

4. The primroses are starting to get into their flowery stride. The native variety have a simple elegant beauty.

5. Now I have a confession to make. While I love close up shots of Hellebore flowers, when confronted with a real life Hellebore an ‘oooh’ has turned to an ‘eeew.’ The flowers seemed freakishly out of proportion to the rest of the plant. What was that? You Hellebore heretic! Steady on. The other week I spotted a tweet regarding a fragrant Helleborus liguricus and decided “what the heck.” I think I can detect a faint fragrance from its stripy green flowers, though at the moment the heady scent of the Sarcococca is filling the garden, making it tricky to smell much else. I’ve been studying it from all angles and I’m getting used to its proportions. Have I become a Hellebore convert? Well, more have certainly been perused online over the past few days.

6. And finally… I was wandering around the garden yesterday and spotted an iris in bud. Half an hour later it had opened.

Here’s a compulsory close up.

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.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday (16 January 2021)

A wet and miserable day like today seems the perfect time to start planning and placing my seed orders. But before any hasty online purchases are made I’m going to spend an hour or so sorting through my leftover packets of seed, reminding myself of what grew well (Cosmos) and what was disappointing and will never be grown again (Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ will top that list). I’m also going to ponder whether to have a third and final attempt at growing the “easily grown in a cool greenhouse or sheltered spots” (but apparently not for me) South African Foxglove. Anyway, time for Six on Saturday.

1. Last year’s crispified flowers of the Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ are still adding some structural interest in the garden, although I find quite a few of the flower heads on the lawn after a breezy day. I must look up how to prune this come the spring.

2. I spotted a goldfinch enjoying the seeds of a Verbena bonariensis earlier in the week. Those in the south facing front garden have started to sprout new growth. Although it readily self-seeds around the garden, I tried taking cuttings of these new shoots last year, without success. Undeterred, I’m going to give it another go.

3. There are signs of new life elsewhere in the garden too. The Black Lace Elder is covered in leaf buds. Alas, the Golder Tower Elder that I over zealously sprayed with a home made aphid-zapping soapy concoction last summer is not. Lesson learnt. There are plenty of buds lower down the 7 foot stems though. I’m considering chopping it right back to the ground in the spring in the hope of generating some vigorous new growth.

4. Next up is something of a panic buy. It seems a little early to be purchasing Dahlias but I spotted these in Wilko, there were only a few left and it would have been madness not to acquire a pack there and then along with another variety that I’ll share next weekend.

5. The Dahlias haven’t been the only plant purchases though, oh no! I had a £10 voucher from Sarah Raven last month and last Sunday, with just 1 day left before the voucher expired, I started making my way through her spring catalogue. Several plants and a packet of seed were ordered but before I knew it I had strayed onto the websites of other plant purveyors. Several more purchases may have been placed, most of which won’t be dispatched until March. However, one lot arrived on Friday, which took me by surprise. I’d not purchased online perennials before the first Lockdown. I quickly discovered that posted perennials can be somewhat underwhelming, so my expectations regarding the contents of this box were far more realistic than they would have been in 2020.

Hopefully these will one day become a fully grown Geranium of some sort, Anemone leveillei and Anemone ‘Wild Swan.’ I think I’ll leave them in their pots for now.

6. And finally… Around this time last year I bought a few pots of bulbs to create some early indoor pre-Spring cheer. I’ve done the same again. This photo was taken 2 weeks ago.

And this is it now.

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. Stay safe.

Six on Saturday (14 March 2020)

I don’t know about anyone else but March seems to be racing by. Next weekend isn’t going to provide any opportunity for gardening so I’ll be cramming in as much as I can over the next two days, if the weather plays nice. Although the forecast isn’t looking very promising for tomorrow there’s a rumour that things are set to improve next week. I hope so. There are perennials to move, seedlings to pot on, lawns to edge and seeds to sow. Well, more seeds to sow, which leads me pretty sharpish to my first Six on Saturday…

1. Last Sunday I had a bit of a seed sowing marathon. Dahlias, Rudbeckia, Calendula, Cosmos, Zinnias, Pink Dandelions and African Foxgloves were sown in somewhat breezy conditions, one or two seeds taking flight. Some pots are now sat on window sills upstairs while others are in the mini greenhouse. I’ve already run out of space, which is a worry as I ordered a few more packets of this and that after perusing the Chiltern Seeds catalogue earlier in the week.

2. To the right of the mini greenhouse is the Winter Honeysuckle which has been flowering since December. Now the leaves are back the flowers are coming to an end. It’s been providing a source of nectar to some big bumble bees over the past few weeks and I’ve been inhaling the fragrant blooms each time I pass, making the most of them while I can. As soon as the flowers are no more I’m going to chop one big stem to the ground to help encourage some new growth. That’s the theory anyway.

3. The flower buds of the Daphne odora that featured a few weeks ago have opened. Photographing this was no mean feat as the border in which it’s planted is a clayey claggy mess. Growing near the small wildlife pond, it’s not in the most sensible place to appreciate the fragrant flowers but it was the only spot I could find. However, my mother-in-law’s large and ancient Daphne manages to fill her garden with scent so hopefully this one may do the same in years to come (I have made a solemn oath not to move it, so hopefully it will do okay).

4. Now the Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’ was planted in a much more sensible location right next to the blue shed where its fragrant white flowers can be easily enjoyed come April. The buds are swelling nicely and the new leaves are looking all fresh and spring-like.

5. I experienced Jet Fire envy last spring as it featured in a lot of SoSs. Bulbs were planted in the autumn, though the clump on the left was purchased in bud from the local Country Market shop. Initially I was slightly disappointed when the flowers opened as the trumpets didn’t seem very orange, but as the days have gone by the colour has deepened and the petals have done their sweepy-back-whooshy thing. More will be acquired come the autumn.

6. And finally… I planted a rose tree (Harlow Carr) and a small rose (Togmeister) in the patio bed in November. I’ve been pondering getting a scented climbing rose for the tiny bed behind the swing seat in an attempt to make this area a fragrant hotspot during the summer and last Sunday, after a bit of research, I ordered a yellow climber called Teasing Georgia. This package was waiting for me on Thursday.

She’s supposed to be happy in bit of shade, something a Passion flower currently growing in this spot appears to struggle with. Alas, I’m off to work this morning (most inconvenient) so bare-rooted Georgia will be plonked in a bucket of water to await my return in the afternoon. I just hope there’s enough room for me to move the swing seat out of the way; it wasn’t something I planned for when I dug up some of the patio last 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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday (29 February 2020)

Good grief. Another weekend, another storm. There have been moments of stillness during the week. Heck, there was even dazzling sunshine and blue sky. But when you’re stuck in an office all day this makes it all the more frustrating when you know, come Saturday, things will take a turn for the worse and you’re in for yet another weekend of wet and windy weather. It has toughened me up though. I’ve forced myself to get out in the garden to undertake this and that the moment the rain has stopped, and that leads me to my first Six on Saturday…

1. Last Sunday I made that trip to the garden centre to purchase a few bags of compost and to sample some carrot cake with a mug of coffee (it was raining, I needed a pick-me-up and I’m sure carrot cake counts as one of my five a day). Late in the afternoon the skies cleared a little and I headed out to sow my sweet peas in some seed trays that I’d made from leftover boxes. Some Rudbeckia hirta ‘Cherry Brandy’ and Scabiosa ‘Summer Sundae’ seeds were also sown and I potted on the Lupin seedlings. Despite the gloom it felt good to be outdoors.

2. Fresh green leaves are unfurling everywhere at the moment. The Hydrangea, Miss Belgium, is sporting some nice, unnibbled foliage. I must chop off last year’s flower heads though.

3. Now this is freaky. The old Prunus cerasifera ‘Hessei’ got the chop last Autumn and I created a few log piles around the garden for wildlife. But look, it lives… sort of. Quite a few of the logs have sprouted new growth. I’m very tempted to try propagating some of the branches just out of curiosity.

4. The new Daphne odora, purchased over a year ago to replace the one that I’d moved around one too many times, is about to flower. I’m looking forward to appreciating their fragrance when they open.

5. I managed to photograph some of the crocuses as they opened earlier in the week. Some are still flowering though quite a few have got flattened in the wind.

6. And finally… During my trip to the garden centre last weekend I almost made it out without purchasing a plant. Almost, but not quite. Last February I purchased an Ilex Crenata ‘Dark Green’ as an alternative to box. It went to look very sickly in July and it’s never fully recovered. At the garden centre I spotted an Ilex crenata ‘Twiggy’ and initially I dismissed it, thinking it foolish to try a Japanese holly again. Yet I found myself walking past it again a little later. I picked the plant up, studying it more closely this time, but then put it down and walked away, feeling slightly smug at my demonstration of willpower.

Twenty minutes later, standing at a till, I found this in my trolley, shoved between the two bags of compost, two boxes of chicken manure pellets (it was a buy one get one free offer and t’would have been madness not to), a pack of coir pellets (I was curious), a bag of grit and another bird box. I’ve dug up the sickly ‘Dark Green’ ilex and planted ‘Twiggy’ in its place. Was it holly, I mean folly? Probably.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

Six on Saturday (11 January 2020)

Feeling rather gloomy last weekend, I decided a spot of online horticultural retail therapy might help lift my mood. Though there was an accidental last minute purchase of a small bag of Dutch Iris bulbs, the other purchases were of the premeditated, guilty as charged your honour kind, including a scented I-sort-of-know-where-it’s-going-to-go small tree and a few packets of seeds.

Some seeds I’ve grown before, like the Ceratotheca triloba or South African Foxglove (sadly it didn’t flower before the first frost struck but I’m going to try again) and the Crepis rubra or Pink Dandelion. Some I haven’t, such as the Bishop’s Children Dahlias (I’ve decided to give them ago after reading Joshua’s blog). This weekend I’m going to start checking my existing packets of seeds (many collected from the Garden News Magazine) to see what I’ve got. I probably should have done this before ordering any more. I also failed to take into account self seeders in the garden, which leads me to my first SoS.

1. A lot of seedlings are coming up in the patio bed. I planted Alyssum and cornflowers here last summer so I’m wondering whether any of these seedlings might be their offspring. Looking at this photo I’ve just noticed some clover that needs pulling up. An Erigeron karvinskianus (or Hestercombe Daisy) seedling may also have to go; it seeds itself everywhere.

2. The garlic is growing away nicely in the troughs and a big terracotta pot. Whether it will split this year and form some decent sized cloves who knows. I’d feel more confident if we had a spell of seasonably cold weather.

3. While the garlic is looking well, the same can’t quite be said for the Daphne x transatlantica Eternal Fragrance which has suddenly started to shed some of its leaves. The shrub is described as a ‘semi-evergreen’ so I’m not overly concerned, though I didn’t notice it losing any leaves when we had a cold spell last winter. I’ll keep an eye on it.

4. I almost bought my wife some flowers the other day but then, ever the romantic, decided that a few pots of bulbs would surely be better value as I could plant them in the garden after they flowered. I bought her some hyacinths (her dad always used to grow them in pots indoors)…

… and some Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’.

5. I’ve seen a lot of photographs of flowering Rosemary of late and I always feel a bit envious; ours has never flowered. It started life in a pot several years ago, got planted into a herb bed briefly, and was then dug up and put back in a pot. It’s remained small, mainly because we use it quite often in our cooking, and I’m assuming this is why it has never flowered.

6. And finally… Oh yes, the Violas are back. They’re thriving in this mild weather. I have a particular soft spot for this one and wish I knew what variety is was as I’d consider purchasing some seed. I might attempt to take some cuttings from it in the spring.

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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.