Six on Saturday 2nd January 2021

Happy new year all! I’m still trying to decide on new year’s resolutions but one is definitely going to be to pay more attention to my blog …. starting now!

It was a bit of a challenge to find any inspiring garden related things to take photos of this week, but I think I’ve managed it. My first two points are entirely to demonstrate how cold it is. I hate winter and everything it embodies!

Point one is our frozen bird bath! I think you can tell it’s frozen, or is it just that I know it was? Hubby is going out there religiously every day with a bottle full of hot water and defrosting it so we don’t get robin (Cousins) and jay (ne Torvil) ice skating on there (too tenuous? Sorry!)

Next up is this perfectly formed Tupperware ice cube in the strawberry patch. Hubby fills a little takeaway tub with water every day for the wildlife in our garden – we have passing hedgehogs, foxes and many cats as well as the birds – and he normally waters the strawberry plants with it when he changes it. At the moment, however, given the minus temperatures, we’re just a couple of tots of rum short of a strawberry daiquiri!

Phew, that was strong! So, to sober us up, a reminder of summer past and winter present (did I mention I hate winter?) Here’s a deceased Agapanthus flower. Much as I’d rather it was still luscious and alive and sun-baked, I did think it was attractive enough to be photo-worthy.

Moving in to something far more colourful, here’s some beautiful Cyclamen cheering up the garden. I can see these from the kitchen window and they do look cheery.

Penultimate point for this week is a promise of better things to come. I’ve been struggling with the cyclical nature of life this week as I always do at new year (the best way I can describe it is that, for me, life’s like a game of snakes and ladders and I make really good progress all year but then at midnight on new year’s day I land on that really long snake at number ninety nine and slide all the way back down to number one and have to start again!) However, the circle of life is also represented in these daffodils starting their ascent back into the world, bringing with them their beauty, heady scent and, most importantly, hope. You can see a hint of them pushing through the Cyclamen too. I’ll try to remember this when January threatens to bury me with its cold and dark gloom!

I’ll finish this week with my Curly Red (Leucothoe axillaris) which has lived up to its name for the first time. It’s currently back in its pot because it didn’t fare so well when I planted it out. I might put it in a nice permanent pot when I can bear to spend long enough outside! There’s so much that needs doing outside (see the weeds in the backgrounds of most of these photos), but I’m definitely a fair weather gardener.

Hope everyone returning to work next week (even if it is just in your spare bedroom like me) does so with minimal ‘ugh’ and that 2021 brings everyone lots of Six on Saturdays (check out the Propagator), good health and a vaccine so we can start building a new normal.

Six on Saturday 19th December

Wow, it’s been so long since I wrote a post that I’d almost forgotten how to! I haven’t intentionally neglected my blog, I just seem to have either been busy with other creative pursuits or too dog tired to string two sentences together. I slept really well last night though, and I’m buoyed by the knowledge that I only have two working days left before I can sleep for twelve whole days should I so desire!

First up is my Rhododendron that I snapped up from the sale table at the garden centre that is half a mile from home. I went up during the first week that they were allowed to reopen and this beautiful girl was half price even though she was still in full flower. I popped out to the garden today for the first time in ages (too cold and soggy for my liking!) and noticed loads of buds on the Rhododendron. I’m still not sure that I’ve planted it in the right place, but time will tell!

Along similar floral lines, as we pulled on to the drive this afternoon after making my penultimate Christmas present drop of the year, I noticed that the Azalea that somehow manages to stay alive underneath our hedge without the slightest bit of attention is flowering. I think it’s an Azalea anyway – we inherited it with the garden. Lovely splash of colour in an otherwise grey world.

Number three sees us return to the back garden and my namesake, Fuchsia Delta Sarah. I think it’s named well, because like me, it’s clearly stubborn and is forging on with its flowers. It didn’t flower profusely in the summer, but is hanging in there now. Well, why not deny winter is happening if you possibly can? I certainly would if it wasn’t so flipping cold.

More seasonally apt is this Hellebore. I’m sure it’s called Christmas something or other. I’ve got the label somewhere, but I’ve got a snoozing pussy cat on my lap so I can’t go and verify. I love how the light’s caught it in this photo. No filter needed!

My Ornamental Kale is still looking beautiful. I know I shared this in a previous Six, but I couldn’t resist taking a snap of it with the rainfall glistening in its midst. It’s such a stunning colour and really brightens up the catio that it hangs on.

Finally I’m ushering you back to the front of the house because, you know, in the current climate and us being in tier 3 and all, you really shouldn’t be in our back garden. Also, I’m fishing for advice. Does anyone know what this is? It’s really big and voluminous. I’m pretty sure I weeded it out in previous years before it could flourish so it must be pretty determined! This year I left it to grow through the summer and it’s gone from strength to strength and has now produced these pretty, and very Christmassy I think, berry-like fruits. It may well be a weed, but it’s welcome to stay – I like it.

That went quickly! I must make more of an effort to pay attention to my blog. After all, it’ll soon be summer and there will be more to write about, I’ll have regained my effervescence and hopefully (please, please, PLEASE) Covid will have beaten a hasty retreat.

Oh, almost forgot – don’t forget to check out the Propagator for more Sixes. Until next time, I bid you fair adieu! Stay safe out there.

Six on Saturday 3rd October

I’ve been a bit remiss with keeping up with my blog. I was away last weekend so that’s my excuse. Anyway, here I am for a Six.

I’m going to start with a couple from our trip away. We went to Edinburgh for a few days for my birthday and we had a really great time (more of that on another post somewhen). I thought I’d come back with loads of planty photos because we’d planned a trip to the Botanic Gardens, but, as luck would have it, the day we’d planned that was the only day we had rain! Typical! We decided to do indoor things instead but we were fully booked every other day so had to take a literal rain check on the gardens. Good excuse to go back!

We came across this house in Prince’s Street gardens and I was taken with how pretty it is set in its lovely garden which was blooming with roses and lots of colour. I googled it to see if I could find out anything about the house and it’s the head gardener’s house but was also used in a BBC children’s programme.

On my birthday we’d booked a trip to Loch Ness which was absolutely brilliant. It was a long day, we met the tour at 8am and arrived back in Edinburgh at 8pm, but it was worth it. We stopped at several picturesque places on the way to Loch Ness and back.

Our tour driver was super knowledgeable about all things Scottish and he told us that there came a point when trees were dangerously low in numbers because there was no legislation in place to ensure replanting of trees after felling and it became a critical issue, so now for every tree that’s felled, another has to be planted. However, when this legislation was introduced, most of the trees that were planted weren’t native to Scotland meaning that now Scotland has more non-native trees than native. They were pretty impressive at this stop on our way back to Edinburgh.

This isn’t the best of photographs because I took it from a moving bus but you get the idea. We saw a few restaurants and shops whose entrances were entirely bedecked with beautiful flowers and plants, but this is the only picture I managed to snap. This is in the New Town part of Edinburgh where the architecture isn’t quite as lovely as it is in the Old Town, but the injection of colour really perks the buildings up.

Back home and the garden is in sore need of some tidying, but given the weather today and the upcoming forecast, it’s going to have to stay messy for a while! I have sunflowers which have flopped, wind battered runner beans and straggly pansies.

My ornamental kale is looking beautiful though.

This is hanging off the catio facing outwards in case furry friends nibble it, so we can’t see it unless we go out, but I’m happy just to know it’s there!

My fuchsias are still providing some much needed colour on these dreary days.

I feel that there hasn’t been enough fuchsia love on my blog this summer and I think it may be because they haven’t been as impressive this year, and I think that’s my fault. I must research fuchsia care so that they thrive next year. I have three and they all flowered, but they didn’t get many leaves and they didn’t get bushy like they were originally. Maybe some timely pruning is needed.

I may be slightly cheating with this last photo as it encompasses six in one! The photos may be multiple, but the point is singular.

And that point is, simply, colour! I took all these photos this morning before the rain started and it did make me happy to see all this colour after a week of dreary weather and the prospect of months of it to come.

That’s my Six for the week. As ever, the link to join in or just to read more Sixes is