Six on Saturday 16th May

Saturday again! I think! Our local Chinese takeaway has reopened, oh joy of joys, so I have more of a reason to remember when it’s Saturday now! You wouldn’t believe how good it tasted after more than two months of it being closed!

I was back at work for three days this week, but I clocked off for another three weeks yesterday. This furlough business has its pros and cons. Less pay is obviously not what anyone aims for and the uncertainty is very unsettling, however, ever the optimist (most of the time, anyway,) it also means lots more time for gardening and crocheting so I guess all I can do is make the most of it and hope for the best. Who would’ve predicted these circumstances? Just crazy!

Anyway, on to my Six for this week. I’m starting with Hosta which appears to be doing remarkably well. I’m almost one hundred percent convinced that it’ll succumb to the slimy things before long, so I thought I’d document it now! I’d actually forgotten I’d even got any Hostas. I got it from a sale table last year (or maybe even the year before) and it disappeared almost as soon as I’d planted it out so it was a lovely surprise to spot those lovely stripy leaves earlier this week.

Speaking of garden nasties brings me to my next point. Actually, I don’t know if these are nasties or not, but they don’t look very pleasant to me! Millions of baby spiders have hatched on the door handle (the outside) to my greenhouse. Should I be worried? In my head I’m going to wake up to John Goodman in a boiler suit in my garden (the film Arachnophobia for those of you who weren’t so traumatised by it to have had it burnt into your memory for ever more!) Should I move them? I suppose they’re actually quite pretty, as arachnids go. Not sure I’ve seen a yellow spider before. Maybe they mature to brown?

Moving on to a far more pleasing garden fellow. The bees seem to be huge this year. I’m sure Olive, one of our cats, made friends with one through the window yesterday, perhaps mistaking it for a fellow feline given its size!

This one wasn’t so big, but it did very compliantly sit on my Geum to have its photo taken earlier this week. I love this Geum. The flowers sit upright and wave around in the breeze and the colour really pops. It’s so bright you can see it from most places in the garden. Maybe you can see it from space? No ok, maybe that’s going a bit far!

I shared my new Camellia in last week’s Six but I felt compelled to share again this week because it has the most beautiful flower.

I don’t know if this has a specific name other than Camellia, but honestly, don’t you think it should be called Wedding Day? It’s so perfectly delicate and pure. I didn’t expect to see any flowers until next year given that our other Camellia has already dropped most of its blooms. Another lovely surprise. I can’t wait for it to get big and have dozens of these flowers. Perfection in plant form!

I’m hoping someone can confirm what my next shrub is. I’m pretty sure I didn’t plant it, although that’s always a possibility and I’ve forgotten it in the multitude of sale finds, but no, I’m sure it was in our garden when we moved in. This is the first year it’s flowered, or the first time I’ve noticed anyway, and surely I would have noticed a shock of bright pink petals before. Is it an Azalea?

I’m being a bit cheeky and including two for one in my last photo, except I can’t remember what the beautiful photo bomber is called and I can’t be bothered to search through my labels. I think it begins with S! It was one of my rare full price plants because it made me gasp it was so pretty. It had to come home with me. I should do it the courtesy of remembering its name really!

Anyway, the reason I actually took the photo was to showcase the Osteospurmum, not the beautiful mini me behind it. It’s been in bud for a good week or more, and today I looked out of the window and they’d all opened. Such a beautiful display.

Wow, that’s all Six! That was quick! If it was too brief and you’d like to see more Sixes, check out the Propagator for more.

Six on Saturday 9th May

Well, I’ve had a lovely day! Probably the best lockdown day so far. We had a day in the garden yesterday clearing away loads of weeds, and it inspired me, so this morning I decided to take the plunge and go to stand in the queue at Homebase. Actually I stood in two! I queued for about half an hour to get in, and I have to say, the queue was very well managed and I was never within six feet of anyone else. Then I had to wait to be let back outside to the garden section! Again, very well managed. Well done Homebase. I decided to make the wait worth it, and I spent rather a lot of money, but, let’s face it, I’m not spending on anything else other than food so I think the bank manager will forgive me. I spent the rest of the day alternating between planting my new stuff, sitting in the sun and playing swingball.

Number One – Garden Hardware

I got the two terracotta pots from Homebase today. I decided a while ago that I’d like lots more pots around the garden. I know they take more work in terms of watering and maintenance, but I love the look of lots of pots. The plastic beige and grey pots I found in Poundland a couple of weeks ago (where social distancing is not adhered to effectively because of the limited width of the aisles, so I won’t be going back there for some time!) I think I’ll plant the pots with pansies and petunias that I bought today. I’ve put them in the greenhouse for now because, after the glorious weather today, apparently it’s going to be 10° tomorrow! The trellises and sunflower stakes came in a delivery today from Blooming Direct. I’ve put the stakes in place ready for the Sunflowers in the greenhouse once they get big enough to plant out.

I have twenty seven Sunflowers seedlings so I’m not sure where they’re all going to go! I guess they won’t all make it, but even so, I think I should’ve ordered more than five stakes!

Number Two – Sale Table Finds (oh sale table how I’ve missed thee!)

On my way back from Homebase I called into Halls, our local garden centre, because, although they’re only operating on a click and collect or delivery basis, I did notice that they had a half price table set up outside. I picked up a couple of great plants.

A white Camellia which I’ve planted in our bistro …

… and this beautiful Rhododendron.

Gorgeous! I couldn’t resist.

Number Three – Lupin

This was the only blue/purple Lupin amongst a field of pink, so I snapped it up. Such a striking plant. I had a Lupin before from a sale table, but it didn’t make it so I hope this one is more successful.

Number Four – Chrysanthemums

I bought these today as well, and I’ve put them in the pot that the Lupin came out of and another that I found in the dim dark recesses of the garage! Wonderful splashes of colour.

Number Five – Dicentra Bleeding Heart

Finally! It’s flowered!

I’m hoping it has a growth spurt this Summer because it’s still quite small. This was from a sale table, so I guess it didn’t have the best start in life but it seems to be reasonably happy now. I’ve seen some fabulous Dicentras on Instagram that dwarf my little plant, but I love it and its little rows of hearts just the same.

Number Six – Self Seeded Oxalis, or is it?

I thought this was Oxalis that had self seeded from a plant I bought from Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens a couple of years ago, but now I’m not so sure!

Whatever it is, I’m very happy that it decided to grow in our garden because it’s very pretty indeed. Surely a weed is only a weed if you don’t want it? I’ve learnt to be a lot less precious about weeding in our garden. It’s somewhat rustic in nature which means it’s never going to be perfectly manicured so I’m embracing the imperfection and I’ve left seedlings that in previous years I’ve whipped out before they’ve had chance to develop and it’s resulting in some delightful flowers, and it means less weeding for me – win/win!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into our little garden haven. I can’t tell you how much we’ve appreciated our outdoor space over the past weeks. If you’d like to have a sneak peak into other bloggers’ gardens, nip on over to the Propagator’s page.

Six on Saturday 2nd May

Whoop! It’s May. Officially the start of Summer as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been furloughed so I’ve got a fair bit of gardening done over the past week or so, but not as much as I’d like because the weather hasn’t always been kind. I did get out there today though, and got a bit done.

1. I ordered twenty four Begonia plug plants at the very beginning of lockdown, and just as Homebase and B&Q have reopened meaning I could have gone and bought some in person, they arrived! Never mind, I stayed safe, and it was exciting receiving plants in the post for the first time.

I know I should probably harden them off, but after looking at the weather forecast I decided it would be safe to go for it and plant them out. I did this last year with teeny tiny Begonia plug plants, and not only did they survive not being hardened off, the ones in one of my hanging baskets have survived the Winter and are growing back for a second Summer! As you can see, I’ve put some in a different hanging basket, and I’ve filled my wheelbarrow with them. These are apricot colours which I’m really looking forward to.

2. I’m moving on to my favourite kind of plants now – free ones!

These started pushing up round the edges of the weed control fabric on our bistro last year and I thought the leaves looked quite pretty, and possibly not weed-like, so I decided not to be over zealous with my weeding and this year they’ve rewarded me with beautiful flowers. I didn’t know you could get Poppies any other colour than red, but I’m reliably informed that that is indeed, what they are. Beautiful! I will definitely be harvesting the seeds to scatter elsewhere.

3. Another freebie, but unidentified this time. I discovered it in the undergrowth at the very uncultivated top of our garden! Obviously it’s some kind of grass, and I’m pretty sure it’s not grass as in lawn, but I’ve no idea what it is. There are lots of grasses in our garden that it could’ve come from, and obviously it might not even be from our garden. I’ve potted it up for now and I’ll see how it develops.

4. Another grass that’s self seeded. I think it’s either Carex Milk Chocolate or offspring of a grass which was gifted to us from my Dad and C’s garden whose name I don’t know. It was growing in a really random place so I dug it up before it got trampled on. I decided to make use of half of our chimenea which got broken in a storm over the Winter. I sunk it slightly into the soil to keep it together and filled it with compost. If the grass thrives, I imagine it’ll outgrow the chimenea, but for now I think it looks great, and I’ve saved putting more rubbish into landfill. I need to find something else for the other half of the broken chimenea.

5. Moving on, but keeping a somewhat tenuous link with free plants due to the number of runners that have grown new plants to strawberries.

There were all sorts of weeds sprouting up in the strawberry bed, so I weeded it thoroughly but I left a lot of the leaves that have made their way in there in the hopes that slugs and snails might not like sliming over them to get to my precious strawberries! I also made use of these strawberry mulch mats that were a Christmas present. We only got one strawberry last year and I’d really like a decent harvest this year.

We’ve got our first flowers appearing so it’s so far so good! I’ll keep everything crossed.

6. This has made me happy! My Clematis Montana always gets masses of leaves, but has never flowered before.

I was planning to relocate this Clematis so it got more sunshine, but I’m guessing now might not be the best time. It’s got hardly any leaves so far this year, and just these two flowers, but I’ll take that – I actually know what it’s flowers look like now.

I really struggled to narrow my points down to six this week which is good because it means the garden is waking up! If you’d like to check out other people’s Sixes, have a look at the Propagator’s blog for lots of garden happiness.