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 https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/six-on-saturday-03-10-2020/#respond

Six on Saturday 5th September

September … a bitter sweet month for me. It’s my birthday in September which is generally a positive, or at the very least conjures up memories of when birthdays were something that seemed to take an age to arrive but were worth the wait, and when becoming another year older was a good thing. However September also heralds the end of my favourite time of year. I’ll soon be swapping my Summer front door wreath for my Autumn one. I’ve worn boots for the first time since March. The heating’s been on and the Winter duvet is on the bed. I do not do cold! I haven’t had to turn the SAD lamp on yet, but it won’t be long.

Anyway, enough with the doom and gloom – maybe we’ll have an Indian Summer – and on with the business of the day

First up, an update on the tourniqueted Sunflowers and, well, you win some …

… and you lose some!

At least I tried to save them both. I’m pleased that one of them has thrived despite the squirrel assault.

Harvest time is coming to an end, but I did bring some produce back in with me after my usual Saturday morning potter around the garden.

These are my first ever peppers and I’m stupidly happy about them. The courgette is somewhat squat! I don’t know what I do wrong with my courgette plants. Most people get a glut of courgettes but this is only the second one I’ve had – all the rest have rotted. I have had loads of runner beans though, and the carrot crop will keep us going for a while. I’ve chopped everything up and frozen it so nothing gets wasted (apart from the courgette because they go mushy – we’ll have that next week in a stir fry most likely).

My lovely Berberis is getting its gold edging back for the first time since I bought it.

I bought this from Hop Pocket, a lovely shopping village near Worcester which is filled with crafty things, home baked goods and, importantly, a garden centre. However, when I planted it in the garden, all its leaves fell off and it really didn’t look happy, so I whipped it out again and kept everything crossed that it would recover in a pot. It survived but never returned to its former glory until now. It looks like it’s coming along in leaps and bounds.

My Pussy Willow is starting to lose its leaves.

I bought this earlier this year before lockdown and it’s done pretty well through the Summer. Sad as it is that it’s preparing for the cold weather, the skeleton leaves do look pretty spectacular.

We built a catio for our cats over the last couple of weekends. They’re house cats because we live on a busy road, so we thought they might like a little bit of outside space to smell the air and nose around. I decided to prettify the catio with some plants hanging off it.

This is my favourite one. I’ve coveted an ornamental kale for ages. I think they’re so pretty. The plants are all on the outside of the catio so there’s no danger of the cats ingesting something they shouldn’t.

Finally, I want to ask for opinions!

What on God’s green earth are these that have appeared in the soil at the base of one of my tomato plants? Some kind of spider egg? Apart from the usual arachnophobia worries, do I need to be concerned about this?

As ever, don’t forget to check out the Propagator for more Sixes.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Six on Saturday 29th August

I didn’t think I’d have time to write a Six today as we have a busy day ahead, but I’m awake earlier than anticipated so I took myself out in to the garden to see what delights I could share today. Would you believe it, it’s dry! Rather blustery, but dry. At last! I really thought I was going to need an ark at some point soon!

Anyway, on to my quick Six and first up, I think, an update on my tourniqueted Sunflower which I shared last Saturday. We now have two tourniqueted Sunflowers due to the squirrel’s obsession with climbing them (and, some may say, stupidity for not realising, if it didn’t hold it last time, it’s not going to hold it this time either!)

This is the flower, so it seems that my rather dubious first aid attempts are actually working! I have to admit, as I sat at my home office desk this week gazing out over the garden being buffeted and blown by the high winds, I didn’t think it’d hold, but it’s clinging on there. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to share a fully open flower.

Moving on up (moving on out, time to break free? Black Box anyone? No? Never mind!) to the greenhouse and my peppers are finally going red.

This is a definite red now. Last week you had to squint and look at the right angle to see it but now, yep, that’s red! There are two that are like this, and another five at various stages of green. I’ll call that a success for my first time growing peppers.

Next in the greenhouse are my tomatoes.

Last week I only had the ones on the left, but now there are some growing on a second plant as well. I think this is very late and I’m keeping everything crossed that we get enough sun over the next couple of weeks for these to continue maturing (also for the rest of the peppers to grow and ripen). Although I don’t actually like tomatoes, I LOVE the smell of the plants. I may have to rethink growing them in the greenhouse next year (or grow fewer plants) because the tomato jungle has meant I’ve had no space to try taking and growing cuttings which I really wanted to do.

Next for some colour.

I’ve shared these Begonias before, but they really are looking stunning. I think they’re my favourite thing in the garden at the moment. Although, oh, my Eupatorium, and, hmmmm, my Dahlias. Well, they’re definitely in the top three anyhow! These Begonias are in my wheelbarrow planter and they’re directly in my eyeline as I sit in my home office. They look beautiful and cheerful even in the rain and I think I’ll most likely plant these every year until I die! I can’t see me ever tiring of them.

Well, ok, if you insist, of course I’ll share another picture of my Eupatorium. It would be rude not to now I’ve mentioned it, wouldn’t it?

It definitely hasn’t got as tall this year, which I hope won’t be an ongoing trend. Maybe I really should try a cutting of it, just in case! I did take one last year, and it was doing ok until it got cold and damp and then it died. Maybe I could find somewhere cat-proof inside to nurture a cutting. It has lots of new growth coming through at the moment so it’s still got time to get taller. It flowers in the Autumn though, so not much longer probably.

Finally, in recognition of the rain this week, I’ll share a rainy grass.

This is one of my Festuca Intense Blue babies that self seeded on our bistro. I nearly pulled them up last year when they appeared, but decided to leave them to see how they looked growing higgledy piggledy around their mother, and I’m glad I did because they look lovely. This one particularly took my fancy this morning as the early morning sunlight glistened off the droplets nestling in its fronds. As ever, the photo doesn’t do it justice, but it’s still lovely.

There we go, that was a quick Six so now on with the business of the day – lunch at Webbs Garden Centre, followed by a browse of the plants (and most likely a purchase or three) and then off to meet my lockdown nephew for the first time. A coronial baby apparently is the newly coined term! Have a mosey on over to the Propagator’s blog for more Sixes.