Six on Saturday 28th September

It feels like a very long time since I did a Six on Saturday. I was away on holiday in Spain for a week, and then I had a day to catch up, then had to jet straight back off to Spain for a work trip, then it was my birthday the day after I got back, so it feels like I’ve had a hectic couple of weeks. It felt really luxurious to have a lie in this morning.

The weather at home while we were on holiday was pretty good so the garden didn’t look too bad when we got back, but then while I was away for work there was a day of heavy downpours and, going by the look of my bistro ……

…… it was somewhat windy too! Unfortunately my leaf blower died on me last time I used it, so I may have to sort this out longhand (so to speak!)

Anyway, on to today’s Six. Don’t forget to pop over to the Propagator’s blog if you want to check out more Sixes.

Number one.

I’m far too embarrassed by the state of our front garden to show you the whole thing – suffice it to say, there’s somewhat of a dandelion party going on! I would like to show you my Hydrangea though.

This was an acquisition earlier this Summer from the sale table at Notcutts and it’s done really well. I wanted something that will grow quite big so it’ll take up lots of space and make maintaining the front a bit easier (hopefully!) so I jumped at this as soon as I saw it. Its flowers have been the palest of green through the Summer, but now they’re morphing into this beautiful pink.

Number two.

Into the back garden for the rest of my points, and I think I’ll start with my Sunflower which is almost properly open.

I was worried it would open while we were on holiday, and then while I was away for work, but it’s held on to save the best for my return. Probably tomorrow or Monday it’ll be at its full glory.

Just to give you an idea of how tall it’s grown, that’s the top of my head, and I’m five foot four. I’ll measure it later, but it’s got to be eight feet tall.

Number three.

The Coleus and Eupatorium cuttings in the greenhouse look to be doing quite well.

The purple Coleus and the Eupatorium are both starting to grow new leaves, which seems like it should be a good sign, but as this is my first time taking cuttings I might be wrong! Hopefully they’re growing roots as well as leaves. Maybe I should pinch the new leaves out so they focus purely on the roots. Any words of wisdom on this?

The red Coleus doesn’t look as happy, but I found the slithery perpetrator of that nibbled leaf still in the pot, so that explains it! He got unceremoniously chucked up the garden!

Number four.

I’ve still got some veg on the go.

Charlotte potatoes which have started to sprout nicely. I’ll get out later to cover as much as I can with compost to try to encourage more spuds. These are supposed to be ready for our Christmas lunch.

There’s a few leeks growing as well. These were supposed to be ready in October, but they look a way off yet, so maybe we’ll be able to have these for Christmas lunch too in a nice cheese sauce. Yum!

Number five.

The plants that continue to delight through Autumn are coming into their own.

The Eupatorium is starting to flower. They look pink to start off with and then when they open they’re a lovely bright white.

The Heather is showing off beautiful bright colours ….

…. as is the Cyclamen.

Finally the Callicarpa Bodinieri is starting to grow its purple berries, which is precisely why I bought one after falling in love with the berries this time last year.

Number six.

The trusty Cosmos.

Still going strong, as you can see.

The poor things are in desperate need of some deadheading though so I’ll do that over the weekend to try to prolong their pretty blooms.

That’s it then for this week. I’m off to the shops soon on a birthday shopping trip so no doubt I’ll tell you all about that soon.

Have a great weekend folks!

An Autumnal Realisation

I wasn’t strictly planning to post today, but I find myself in a sticky situation and unable to get up to go and plant the container for which I’ve just bought multi purpose compost and horticultural grit!

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You see I have a snoozing Tinkerbell on my lap and I hate to move her! She’s all snuggled on my new Teddy Bear throw that I bought yesterday because I’m fed up with being cold!

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Genuine Teddy Bear. We all know how I feel about Teddy Bears (or if you don’t, check this post out) so I seriously hope no teddy bears were harmed in the making of this throw!

I went to the gym this morning, and as I was driving there gasping at the beauty of some of the trees as they change to their autumnal colours, I pondered on some of the blog posts I’ve read recently whose authors have been extolling the virtues of Autumn and declaring their love for this season in which we find ourselves.

I’ve found myself wondering, as I’ve read these posts, why all these people so love Autumn when my heart slowly fills with melancholy as the days draw in and the bright pinks, yellows and purples of the Summer garden are replaced by bronzes, coppers and burnt oranges.

It occurred to me that whilst I’m fully aware that there are four seasons in a year, I actually think of us as only having two proper seasons, Summer and Winter, with Spring and Autumn merely turning up as the warm up acts (or should that be cool down act in the case of Autumn?)

I asked myself, if Summer came after Autumn would I still dislike Autumn? I thought about all the things that I like about Autumn. Stunning trees with bright red leaves that take your breath away with their vividness. This one is up our road and the photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Shuffling through fallen leaves.

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Cool enough weather to wear hoodies but not so cold that you have to struggle into fifteen layers before it’s safe to leave the house.

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Being able to sleep in past 5am because the sun gets up later, but it not being so dark that I’m tired all. the. time (SAD anyone?)

Woah! Breaking news, turns out it’s not Autumn I dislike, it’s the fact that Autumn means Winter’s coming and it’s only going to get colder, darker and soul destroyingly miserable. I was not designed for the Winter months. I hate getting up in the pitch black and coming home from work in the pitch black! I hate hate hate being cold (hence the acquisition of the Teddy Bear throw) but I begrudge having to pay unscrupulous utility companies more and more each year (seriously, when are the price rises going to slow down?) just to keep at a reasonable temperature, I hate snow. Absolutely don’t understand anyone other than kids who may get the day off school getting excited about it. Yes it’s pretty until it’s been trudged through, but it’s cold, it’s slippy, it’s disruptive, it’s potentially dangerous. I digress.

I’m going to try to see Autumn as its own distinct season from now on, and maybe we’ll become happier bed fellows.

The Gousto delivery driver knocked the door as I was writing this and scared Tinkerbell off so I got to plant my container after all. I planted allium giganteum, normal alliums, tulip and snowdrop bulbs and on top I added a Calluna Vulgaris (one from the sale table at Notcutts) and some Cyclamen which were reduced in Homebase. Roll on Spring when they’ll delight us with their colour (sorry, I might have realised Autumn’s not as bad as I thought, but it’s still not a patch on Summer, and Spring means Summer’s nearly here!)

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Showing off my flowers

I really need to fill in my passport renewal form tonight before we jet off on holiday and I’m craving some crochet time too, but I just wanted to pop in to see you before I get on with other things.

Here’s my crochet wip for you to look at.

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It’s from this book by Sarah Zimmerman who also has a fab blog. Check her out here.

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It’s  supposed to be done with chunky yarn and quite a big hook, but I didn’t have any chunky so I’m doing it with double knit and a 4mm hook. It’ll just be smaller than the book intended. Anyway, more about that when it’s finished, but do check out Sarah’s blog if you like crafty pursuits.

I’ve been enjoying the last of the summer garden this week, and today I got to show off the progress we’ve made this summer to my Dad and Step Mum and my Aunt and Uncle. I don’t get to see my Dad and Step Mum as often as I’d like (busy lives and a bit of geographical distance) and my Aunt and Uncle even less (much much more of a geographical distance). Thank goodness for technology, social media gets berated sometimes, but it does mean it’s easier to stay in touch from a distance.

It was lovely to hear people step into the garden and gasp because so much has changed since last they saw it. Admittedly the real ‘wow’ change was accomplished by the three beefy guys with chainsaws who chopped away the jungle, but I think we’ve made a real cosmetic improvement since then.

I really wanted to just share some photos with you that I took yesterday morning. It had rained in the night and the shimmer of water in the early morning light made the colours of our plants and flowers really pop. I just had to risk being late for work and I trotted out to capture the beauty.

Look!

My standard roses! I’ve shown you these before, but I think they deserve a second airing. They’ve done so well and they got a few admiring comments today.

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Beautiful patio rose. I can see why bees delve into flowers. This just makes me want to dive into it. So beautiful.

I love vibrant orange. On the left is a magnificent marigold looking like the plant version of a Pomeranian puppy and on the right glorious gazania just starting to unfurl itself as the early morning light wakes it up.

I’m really not a pink person so I’m surprised that I’ve been drawn to all this perfect pinkness for our garden. Doesn’t the rainwater bring out the beauty in the colours? Starting top left and going clockwise these are cosmos, gerbera, erysimum, cyclamen, fuschia and dahlia.

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These are my viola bunny ears. This little viola withstood the hot hot weather during July and August and has come out the other side happily and is still rewarding us with beautiful flowers. Can you see why it’s called bunny ears? The two purple petals on each flower peek up just like perky little bunny ears.

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This is my diascia cherry blossom. This is one of my big success stories. It was past its best when I brought it home, but today it’s thriving and it makes me grin.

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This is calluna, normally just known as heather. I don’t buy many full priced plants. I prefer to save plants from the sale table, but I couldn’t resist this. I love the pink and white against the lime green. Lovely.

Anyway, thanks for popping by, I’d better dash and start my passport form.