Six on Saturday 22nd January

The weeks are flying past and it’s time for Six on Saturday again! I’m watching a garden programme on QVC as we speak, and am trying to restrain myself from buying everything!

The last item that I bought from QVC is first up this week. It’s Daphne Rebecca!!

Clearly, she doesn’t look like much in this photo, but I have high hopes! QVC has promised me that she’ll have beautiful vibrant blooms and she will live happily in her barrel planter for years to come. She arrived as a tiny plant and her barrel planter was included in the price. I planted her up last weekend because too long in this house and anything green is likely to get chewed by a little furry friend which isn’t generally good for either of them! I was slightly concerned that the cold would kill little Daphne off, so I’ve kept her in the greenhouse. I was still a bit apprehensive that I might find a murder scene when I went to check on her in the greenhouse this morning, but she looks ok – phew!

Just outside the greenhouse is this little euonymous which self seeded at the top of our garden. I think it’s a euonymous anyway. I rescued it and it’s in a pot now waiting to get big enough for me to plant it on somewhere. It caught my eye this morning because it’s developed a lovely pink tinge. Anyone who reads my blog regularly, or who knows me, will know that I don’t ‘do’ pink, but this pink looks lovely against the green.

Next, imagine, if you will, that you’re wandering away from the greenhouse (with relief at not stumbling upon a murder) and meandering over the gravel bistro to check out the plants on there and then gasping with delight, because, look ……

…. Since last week buds have appeared on my camellia! This is a tiny camellia that was new in autumn 2020 and it didn’t flower last year. I had one bud but that’s as far as it got. My mum said maybe it didn’t have enough water so this year I’ll make sure I rectify that. It’s a white camellia (I know that because it had the remains of a flower when I rescued it from a sale table). My aunt has a white camellia and hers is already flowering, but maybe this is a later one (fingers crossed!). Something appears to have been munching its leaves over the winter but it looks pretty much healthy.

Continue your meander around my garden, and head for the big planter and peek over the edge.

Look! Lots of tiny little sedum cabbages! I was very pleased to see these. I mentioned last time that something (I suspect cheeky squirrels) has been digging in this planter and I wasn’t sure what had fallen foul of the digging. Well it appears that the sedum has triumphed over the squirrel Nutkins!

Let’s continue up to the patio and we’ll check out what’s new there. Hoorah – cyclamen buds!

I’ve been very envious of other people’s lovely cyclamen posts on Instagram and was becoming despondent because mine were just masses of leaves, but looky looky, they’re getting going! The eagle-eyed amongst you might notice a joyful daffodil poking its nose through at the top of the photo too. Hoorah again! Spring is on its way!

Finally, pop through the house with me (that’s allowed now) and have a quick look under the hedge in the front garden.

The rhododendron is gearing up to bloom as well. There’s a lot of pink (or potential pink) in this week’s post which is odd for someone who hates pink, but I’m much more partial to it in nature. This rhododendron is baby pink which is my worst kind of pink, but the flowers are so intricate and beautiful that it gets away with it. If I’m honest, any hint of flower, whatever colour, makes me happy at the moment because it’s proof that the seasons are doing what they’re supposed to.

I know I always moan about winter, but I can see that the end is in sight. I can see the plants making progress towards blooming every week at the moment, so whilst from a distance the garden still looks asleep, when you get up close you can see the miracle of nature happening right before your eyes. On that note, I’ll leave you, and all that remains to say is don’t forget to check out the Propagator for other posts.

Six on Saturday 15th January

I was up early for a Saturday, to watch Andy Murray play in his first final since his return. Unfortunately that didn’t go my, or probably more accurately, his way, so I took myself off out to the garden in a mild huff to see if summer had arrived early. Spoiler alert: it hasn’t as demonstrated by my first photo – frost edged hellebore leaves. I tried to take the leylandii detritus off the right hand leaf for improved aesthetics, but it was frozen solid! The air must have been warming up slightly though because the whole garden sounded alive (which, of course it is) as the frost thawed and dripped through the trees in the gardens either side of ours.

Summer may still be some way off, but spring is definitely trying its hardest to out trump winter. In addition to the daffodil shoots that I shared a couple of weeks back, I noticed this morning that the bluebells have also made an appearance. I don’t know how they manage to push their way through the weed control under this gravel, but manage it they do, every year.

There are more signs of spring springing in my birthday planter in the form of my pink damask, again covered in frosty winter detritus. I don’t recall these shoots peeking through quite this early in previous years. I wonder if the mild weather over the festive period woke it up too early. According to BBC weather, there are likely to be a fair few more frosts for it to endure.

From my birthday planter I crunched over the grass to see what’s happening in the other big planter. I’ll tell you what’s happening! Squirrels (I assume) are digging in it and disrupting my careful planting. The oxalis that I bought from Osborne House looks to have gone but I’ll have to wait for warmer weather to properly assess the damage. Anyway, my sarcococca which was new last year and hadn’t really had time to establish is looking like it’s gearing up for great things. Apparently this smells amazing so I’m looking forward to its assault on my nostrils.

I’m finishing with a smattering of colour. My cowslip which was a present from the birds or the neighbours has a flower! This is one of my favourite plants and it was completely free. I just love the colour. it looks a bit raggedy, I don’t think it likes the cold. I completely understand!

Finally, I bring you one of my erysimums. It literally never stops flowering! It’s covered in flowers in the summer but it manages to have a couple of flowers all year round.

I hope everyone’s having a good start to 2022 and let’s hope we’re turning a covid corner, to coin a phrase. Right, I’m off to read the Propagator’s Six for this week before nipping round to Boris’ for a party. *

* only one of those is true, I don’t fancy going to a ‘work’ event and the wine’s on Fridays anyway (allegedly).

First Six on Saturday of 2022 – 1st January

I’ll start by thanking the Propagator for publishing his Six today, because without that I would’ve had absolutely no idea what day of the week it is! Secondly – happy new year everyone! I started the day fed up (isn’t that obligatory on 1st January?) For me, rather than a chance to start afresh, it always feels like anything good that I achieved in the previous year is null and void and I’ve got to start from the beginning again! As if the whole point of the year is to get to the end, only once you do, it just starts again and you’re back to square one. Of course that’s not true and once I’ve given myself a good talking to, I get a grip and the eternal optimist in me wins out.

As part of my getting a grip, I decided to go out into the garden and see what’s going on. I have to say, I could’ve come back in thoroughly depressed because it’s a mess! A combination of a bad back, the weather and the time of year means that nothing’s been done out there for some time (other than hubby taking it upon himself to clear a load of leaf fall) and you can tell. However, my back’s starting to feel a bit better and the weather will improve soon so I’ll be able to crack on and get a lot done before too long. In the meantime, here’s what caught my eye today.

I’ve got a little ahead of myself because my first picture is actually inside the back door. I got this lovely little cactus from my brother, sister in law and niece. Isn’t it cute in its little teacup? Perfect colour to brighten up a dreary winter’s day too. Cacti are one of the few plants I can grow inside because our cats have learnt not to go near them!

Continuing the yellow theme next is this lovely biden bloom. I’ve featured my bidens a couple of times over the summer but didn’t think they’d still be going now after a couple of coverings of snow and several frosts. Admittedly there aren’t many flowers left, but this one is certainly not too lonely. The plant does look a little straggly now so I’ll have to see how it goes and whether it will revitalise for the summer.

Speaking of snow covering, my poor cordyline suffered a bit, as you can see! The fronds have bent down under the weight of snow. It seems to be recovering a bit already so hopefully all is not lost. Maybe next year I should put some protection around it.

As I wandered behind the squished cordyline I noticed this grass. This was a freebie from my mum when I visited last May when restrictions were finally lifted. It’s doing really well. I obviously managed to (accidentally) plant it somewhere that it appreciates. Actually, despite being on the shady side of the garden, things planted here do, on the whole, thrive. There’s still a bit of space here so I’ll have to find something to fill it this year.

I’m going to finish with two photos of good things to come! Firstly you can see the daffs are already pushing through with their promise of gorgeous yellowy hope in a few short weeks. I can’t wait – I feel so cheered when the first daffs bloom because then warmth and light stretches out ahead of us for months!

Moving to the front garden and the hope is continued there in the form of camellia buds! This is a beautiful deep pink camellia and, although the blooms only last a couple of weeks before they drop, during that fortnight they make my heart happy

Right, nearly time for tea, and it’s kind of a last supper before the new year healthy eating regime starts (again!) I’m remaining positive that the sunny holiday that we have booked in April IS going to happen, unlike the last two that we’ve had booked, and I’m determined to feel comfortable in swimwear!

Hope everyone still off work enjoys the rest of their holiday, and for those who have had to work throughout, like my hubby, you can feel smug in the knowledge that you don’t have that sinking ‘going back to work’ feeling to come! Having said that, I’m hoping I don’t have that – my new year’s resolutions are mainly work related so I’m going to make this a positive career year.