Six on Saturday – 30th April

I’m typing whilst sitting on my new egg swing chair (must feature it one week, perhaps when there’s a dearth of prettiness left to feature) and I’m being entertained by music from next door’s youngest’s fourth birthday party. There’s a bouncy castle for the little ones but the parents are enjoying an 80s playlist which suits me down to the ground. That’s my era!

This is the closest I’m going to get to gardening beyond a bit of watering this weekend. We’ve just got back from a lovely week in Lanzarote, during which I managed to go flying off an e-scooter landing (heavily) mainly on my palms and left knee so kneeling is out for a while and dirt in grazed palms I’m guessing wouldn’t be a good idea. We stayed in a lovely hotel which, informatively, named a lot of the plants in its grounds.

I presume most people would know even without the label that this is a geranium (or maybe not?) but there were lots of succulents and other plants and shrubs which I was interested to identify. I thought it was a nice touch.

I’d sowed some seeds in the greenhouse before we went and gave them a good soaking on our morning of departure hoping they’d make it through the week.

I checked yesterday and the cosmos in the little terracotta pots had sprouted but nothing else. I gave everything a good watering and left it up to the lap of the gods. This morning I checked and a few nigella have appeared and one petit pois. I really hope I get some more petit pois. I may sow a few more when my hands are healed.

It seems the garden didn’t mind us being away because it’s got on with the business of the season admirably on its own. A couple of the pots were looking a bit sorry for themselves, but a swift watering and they’ve survived. The rhododendron was looking like it was about to explode with colour before we left and I was worried that we’d miss it completely …

… but it waited for us. A couple of the flowers are out but most are still getting ready. Such a beautiful bloom, this one. I’m so glad I rescued it from the sale table when garden centres reopened in the first relaxation of covid measures.

This Welsh poppy self seeded itself this year in one of my pots and before we left it had lots of foliage but no buds. Yesterday I noticed a bud, and this morning it had opened!

Similarly, my clematis Montana had some leaves but no buds just over a week ago, but now she has lots of flowers. More than ever before, in fact. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that she didn’t flower at all for a couple of years, then I got one or two flowers a year, but now there are quite a few. Lovely delicate linen coloured petals.

I’ll finish with geum Totally Tangerine. I thought I may have lost it this year, because an awful lot of the leaves were dead when I did some weeding and maintenance recently, but it’s just about hung on in there and now it has a flower. It’s definitely somewhat depleted from previous years, but let’s hope it picks up and gains strength through the summer.

That’s your lot for this week. It’s got to that time of year where I have to prioritise what to feature, rather than scrub around trying to find anything of interest. I imagine others are the same, so I’ll pop over to the Propagator to see what others have prioritised. I hope everyone has a great bank holiday weekend.

Six on Saturday 16th April

I’m writing this sitting outside drifting backwards and forwards on my new egg chair (thank you QVC) having spent the day getting stuck into some well needed gardening. I’ve decided to call it a day now, partly because I’m exhausted and partly because time’s getting on and I want to get a Six done today because this time next week we’ll be in Lanzarote (covid, security/check in delays and flight cancellation permitting!) so I won’t be writing a post then (although you could still pop to see the Propagator without me next Saturday and see what other treasures people are sharing).

Most of my points today relate to this photo taken yesterday as we left Dobbies with a fully laden boot.

My main purpose for going was to have lunch in their restaurant (check) and for compost (check) and bedding plants (check). However I also came out with several unforeseen purchases. Isn’t that always the way with garden centres?

So on with my first point (I’m counting the above as a preamble, not a point).

Most of the bedding plants have found a home, whether it be square, round or semi-circle. It was BOGOF on packs of twenty violas and pansies, so I got one of each. I’m so happy it’s finally warm enough to get on with the early summer planting. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think we can be fairly confident that the final frost has been and gone. I had one cowslip in the wall basket from last year and I noticed another couple had self-seeded themselves halfway down the garden, so I dug them up and rehomed them, and added a couple of violas to make a pretty wall display.

I was intending to replace all my strawberry plants this year, but I decided to give the ones in our big planter one more year to see if they’ll perform so I just bought three new plants to replace the three original ones I had in a pot.

These are alpine strawberries and it says they’re perfect for pots so hopefully they’ll do well.

Somewhat dominating the space in my boot was a cotoneaster. I absolutely wasn’t intending coming home with a cotoneaster but, well, it happened!

I moved a couple of things around in the space behind my birthday planter and the cotoneaster fitted in perfectly there. It fills a space nicely. I also took the opportunity to deadhead last year’s flowers from the hydrangea that you can see in the background now the aforementioned frost has passed.

I sat down for a few minutes after planting the cotoneaster because it needed quite a big hole digging, and my back was complaining, and look who chirruped over to see if I’d turned up any worms.

Little beady-eyed robin red breast. He’s never far away when I’m out gardening.

I spent a bit of time in the greenhouse – 26.5° it was in there!

I sowed petit pois seeds in the green containers. I decided to try to start them off in the greenhouse this year because last year I sowed them direct and not a single one germinated. In the small terracotta pots are cosmos and in the bigger pot is nigella. I don’t know if either of these will grow because they’re old seeds that have been in the greenhouse since last year, but I thought I’d give it a go.

Finally, the first bluebells are opening their little heads to see the sun.

Aren’t they pretty? They seem to take so long to flower and then once the blooms have died you’re left with a load of unattractive leaves. Still, best to appreciate them while they last because there’s certainly no getting rid of the abundance of them in our garden.

I hope you’re all enjoying a relaxing Easter weekend with lots of relaxing, chocolate and maybe a bit of gardening. I’ll catch you all on the other side of our holiday.

Six on Saturday 19th February

What a dreary day! Better than yesterday in terms of potential danger to life (or fence panels), but it’s snowing and grey! Would you believe I actually had to water my big planter today, even after all that rain? My fuchsia Delta Sarah was looking a bit crispy because it’s so well sheltered by next door’s trees (watch this space – they’re due to be chopped next week). I popped out to the garden in between showers and managed to get some pics.

Considering the damage caused in some areas of the country, we got off lightly. Fence panels are all in tact, greenhouse and shed haven’t flown off and even the lockdown swingball remained upright. The swing chair toppled over early doors so we anchored it where it fell with a couple of slabs and I noticed this morning that the cold frame has flipped over.

Other than that, the garden fared quite well. I’m really not sure how, but even Ziggy my pet garden triceratops remained upright. I have had a bit of an affinity with triceratops ever since I first learnt about them. For those who don’t know, I’m Sarah and when I was little I decided that these were tri’Sarah’tops! Imagine my glee when I saw this little chap in a garden centre when I visited my mum before Christmas. There was no way he wasn’t coming home with me.

Speaking of glee ….

…. my first daffodil has emerged! It’s amazing how much of a boost the first signs of spring give me. Daffodils in particular, I see as such a symbol of hope. Such a shame I can’t have any inside, but a certain angelic looking feline ….

…. likes to chew plants and daffs would be a particularly bad choice given their toxicity to cats.

I’ve shared my hellebores recently, but they’re worthy of a reshare. In this first picture you can see the stages of the Christmas hellebore. The pure white flower at the bottom is a fresh new bloom and after they’ve dazzled in white for a while they slowly metamorphose into the mottled pinky green above and finally to lime. The plant that’s constantly reinventing itself.

My second hellebore, which will remain nameless (because I don’t know it!) is also showing off its beauty and, if Christmas doesn’t mind me saying so, in a much more flamboyant manner. It reminds me of a French regency period frock – unashamedly flouncy and happy to stand up and be counted.

Finally, my new hebe, and I do like how perfectly it matches with the nameless hellebore. This new purchase is still in its pot – maybe I should plant it near the hellebore. It was completely green when I bought it so its name, Red Edge, was slightly confusing, but now I understand!

As ever, thanks to the Propagator for hosting this Six party. Have a good weekend everyone.