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.

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 25th September

I’ve been somewhat remiss with my blog lately. There’s been quite a bit going on and my head’s been elsewhere, and I’ve also had to have a largely enforced absence from the garden due to a back issue. I’m now seven sessions into physio and it’s a lot better, although after a few hours weeding and digging yesterday followed by standing/walking for a few hours in the evening at a Peaky Blinders night at the Black Country museum it’s feeling a little delicate today.

Anyway, I’m here now, so on with the first of my Six. This Welsh poppy has sprung up in a new place. Welsh poppies first appeared last year, presumably a present from the birds and I do love their cheerful yellowy orange splash of colour. The original ones flowered again this year back in June/July and went to seed long ago, so I was really surprised (but delighted) to see this one.

Just across the path from the poppy is my eupatorium. I usually feature this several times because it’s probably my favourite plant in the garden. My dad, last time he was here, admired its beautiful leaves and stems with their contrasting green and purple. Clearly I’m a chip off the block because that’s why I love it too! It’s starting to produce its flowers now. They start off this pinky colour, but by the time we hit mid autumn they turn white. They’re not particularly impressive – the leaves are definitely the main draw of this beauty.

You’ll note that I said the eupatorium is ‘probably’ my favourite plant. This time last year it was ‘definitely’ my favourite, but it may have been replaced by my fatsia japonica. It has really come on in leaps and bounds this year and it is stunning!

On the left you can see its mature leaves in all their fabulous two tone glory and on the left the beginnings of new leaves just emerging. They have something of a look of frogs feet about them. It’s quite hard to believe that they’ll eventually grow as big as their older siblings.

Next I’d like to share a trio of fuchsia. I wish I could tell you with certainty which varieties they are, but I can’t, apart from the middle one which is Delta Sarah. This fuchsia has taken really well to being moved to our new planter. I gave it a good prune and it’s done much better than previous years, despite being regularly assaulted by a fox which likes to dig in the planter, much to my annoyance!

Completely without certainty, it’s possible that the beauty on the left is Mrs Popple, which my grandad used to grow in his fabulous garden in Betchworth when I was a child, and maybe the pink lady on the right is Paula Jane. Whatever the variety, I adore fuchsias and I don’t think you can have too many. I currently have seven (and counting!)

Penultimately, I’m sharing my beautiful begonias which are still a feast for the eyes well into September. I guess they’ll keep cheering my soul until the first frost, whenever that may be! I ordered these from Thompson and Morgan because it’s very rare to find these apricot shades in a garden centre. Last year every single one was apricot, but these year I’ve been treated to yellow and white as well.

Finally, another fuchsia, and this time I definitely don’t know which variety it is. A quick google seems to suggest it might be Tom West. It arrived in early summer from QVC along with five other varieties and it had been turned upside down by Hermes so all were in a sorry state, but as you can see from the first photo, this one was particularly battered. I put it in one of granny’s pots that I inherited, along with a little fairy for good luck, and I was so happy when I went out yesterday and saw that it has finally started to recover. The fairy has obviously kept a good watch over it! I just hope its big and strong enough to survive the winter. Maybe I should move it to the greenhouse if it’s looking like a really cold spell is on its way. The danger then though is that I’ll forget to water it!!

Despite my backache, I really enjoyed getting back out in the garden yesterday. There are still a few jobs that I’d like to get finished before the weather turns so hopefully I’ll be able to get back out a couple of times over the next few weeks which should mean I’ll have plenty of Six fodder! Hope you all have a good weekend, it’s my birthday tomorrow so I’ll be treating myself to all my favourite things starting with a new hair cut this afternoon and followed by some Lego building tomorrow and maybe a jacket potato from Ted’s Potatoes, the best purveyor of jacket potatoes in the world end of story, goodbye, the end (as Mad Eye Moody would say!!) TTFN.