Six on Saturday 13th February

Gosh, I’m struggling to type this today. I went out to the garden to look for Six-worthy photos and it is bitterly cold out there and my hands haven’t thawed out yet! I was only out there for about five minutes and that was over an hour ago! According to the BBC weather app, it’s going to be in double digit figures, temperature-wise, all next week and I can’t flipping wait!!

It was quite a sad wander through the garden. It’s been so cold recently, for a prolonged period, and I don’t think the garden is very happy about it at all. It’s a good job I’m not spending much during lockdown, because, having looked at the garden, I think I’m going to have to invest quite a bit in new plants in the Spring/Summer because some of them definitely don’t look like they’ll recover.

One such plant is this Osteospurmum.

It’s made it through the two previous Winters without a problem. I even repotted it last year because it had done so well but, as you can see, it really hasn’t taken well to being snowed on and frozen for days! I’m annoyed, because, being in a pot, I could’ve moved it into the greenhouse for a bit of protection, but I didn’t think to.

There was proof in the greenhouse of just how cold it’s been – my thermometer shows the low and high temperatures and the low is now lower than it’s been since I got the greenhouse at – 4.8 degrees!

I left a half full watering can in there and it’s frozen solid! Unfortunately, a ladybird has fallen/landed in there and it’s frozen to death! Poor thing.

Back outside, I spotted a skeleton Pink Damask flower in my birthday planter.

Hopefully this plant will survive the elements. It dies down completely in the Winter before coming back in the Spring/Summer and with it being in my planter, hopefully it will have been kept a bit warmer underneath the soil.

I managed to find a bit of colour in the form of my Dogwood.

There are so many problem areas in our garden, and this is one of them. I’m sure this Dogwood would probably be doing much better somewhere else, but I’m limited in what I can grow because of next door’s jungle. At least it’s survived the arctic out there!

I’ve saved the best two photos for last! There is some regrowth happening! I really didn’t expect to see anything getting ready for Spring – even the daffodils have collapsed under the snow and now I’m not sure if they’ll bloom. However, there are some signs of Spring.

This Heuchera was given to us by my Dad and C when we first moved in and it’s survived every Winter so far, even this one! It has a beautiful delicate flower later on. I’m glad it’s stuck its middle stamen up at the snow and forged ahead to produce new growth.

The other bit of new growth I noticed is one of my patio roses. I have two of them, both from the sale a couple of years ago, and they could do with a bit of a prune. They’re also both leaning which I presume shows me which way the prevailing wind blows! I noticed the new leaves that have appeared, but what I didn’t notice until I got in and looked at the photo is that at the back there, there’s a rose bud. I hope that doesn’t try to bloom too early because it’s definitely still too cold for it.

I’m hopeful that soon there’ll be more signs of Spring for me to share, and if not, hopefully I’ll be able to get some new plants to replace the poor deceased ones.

I’ll sign off now but before I do, I’ll just remind you to check out the Propagator’s blog for other Sixes. People from all over the world join in, so there should be some colourful contributions from people living in different climates. Have a great weekend all.

Six on Saturday 19th December

Wow, it’s been so long since I wrote a post that I’d almost forgotten how to! I haven’t intentionally neglected my blog, I just seem to have either been busy with other creative pursuits or too dog tired to string two sentences together. I slept really well last night though, and I’m buoyed by the knowledge that I only have two working days left before I can sleep for twelve whole days should I so desire!

First up is my Rhododendron that I snapped up from the sale table at the garden centre that is half a mile from home. I went up during the first week that they were allowed to reopen and this beautiful girl was half price even though she was still in full flower. I popped out to the garden today for the first time in ages (too cold and soggy for my liking!) and noticed loads of buds on the Rhododendron. I’m still not sure that I’ve planted it in the right place, but time will tell!

Along similar floral lines, as we pulled on to the drive this afternoon after making my penultimate Christmas present drop of the year, I noticed that the Azalea that somehow manages to stay alive underneath our hedge without the slightest bit of attention is flowering. I think it’s an Azalea anyway – we inherited it with the garden. Lovely splash of colour in an otherwise grey world.

Number three sees us return to the back garden and my namesake, Fuchsia Delta Sarah. I think it’s named well, because like me, it’s clearly stubborn and is forging on with its flowers. It didn’t flower profusely in the summer, but is hanging in there now. Well, why not deny winter is happening if you possibly can? I certainly would if it wasn’t so flipping cold.

More seasonally apt is this Hellebore. I’m sure it’s called Christmas something or other. I’ve got the label somewhere, but I’ve got a snoozing pussy cat on my lap so I can’t go and verify. I love how the light’s caught it in this photo. No filter needed!

My Ornamental Kale is still looking beautiful. I know I shared this in a previous Six, but I couldn’t resist taking a snap of it with the rainfall glistening in its midst. It’s such a stunning colour and really brightens up the catio that it hangs on.

Finally I’m ushering you back to the front of the house because, you know, in the current climate and us being in tier 3 and all, you really shouldn’t be in our back garden. Also, I’m fishing for advice. Does anyone know what this is? It’s really big and voluminous. I’m pretty sure I weeded it out in previous years before it could flourish so it must be pretty determined! This year I left it to grow through the summer and it’s gone from strength to strength and has now produced these pretty, and very Christmassy I think, berry-like fruits. It may well be a weed, but it’s welcome to stay – I like it.

That went quickly! I must make more of an effort to pay attention to my blog. After all, it’ll soon be summer and there will be more to write about, I’ll have regained my effervescence and hopefully (please, please, PLEASE) Covid will have beaten a hasty retreat.

Oh, almost forgot – don’t forget to check out the Propagator for more Sixes. Until next time, I bid you fair adieu! Stay safe out there.

Six on Saturday 30th May – a Jamaican Affair

So right about now we should be about twenty minutes into our flight to Jamaica but instead, ‘wat a gwaan?’ That’s Jamaican for what’s going on? (apparently!) We’re having a non-Jamaican lockdown party for two instead. We’ve got Bob Marley playing on repeat, we’ve got all sorts of Jamaican themed food and beverages planned, and this happened in the garden earlier.

So I’ve decided that the theme for this week’s Six is yellow, green and black in honour of the Jamaican flag. Yellow and green is obviously easy to find in the garden, but I’ve had to be a bit more creative with the black!

First up is this lovely Pansy which is yellow and as close to black as you generally see in nature. I’ve added a lot of pots filled with bright bedding plants to the garden this year. It’s nice to have the time to spend titifying the garden at the moment (although I would really like some normality soon). At least the weather’s good so we can all get out into our gardens for some light relief (those of us that are lucky enough to have them, of course).

I’m counting this next photo as green and black (like the chocolate – yum!) Well, it’s green runner bean plants in a black flexi-tub! I hardened these off for a few days early in the week and planted them out on Friday. It’s my first time growing runner beans so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a good crop. You can’t see, but I drilled lots of holes in the flexi-tub for drainage.

I may have included this Geum in a Six before, but it’s beautiful and it fits in with my theme so I hope you don’t mind seeing it again. It was a sale table find last year and, as so often happens with sale table plants, it didn’t do a lot last year, but this year it’s covered in flowers and the bees love it. My other Geum (Totally Tangerine) has just five petals per flower, but this one is wonderfully layered and was a real surprise because I was expecting similar blooms to Miss Tangerine.

Next I’ve included another green and black offering, my gorgeous Pittosporum. I’ve a feeling I paid full price for this because I just couldn’t resist the contrast of the two colours of leaf. It lives quite happily in a container by our swing chair so we can enjoy it while swinging (that sounds wrong!)

Here’s some green. These are Nigella seedlings that have, overnight, developed their first true leaves. I sowed these in a pot and they’ve been in the greenhouse ever since. I think I need to do some research to see if I need to thin the seedlings out. There are rather a lot of them.

I’ll finish with more yellow. I guess many people would count Buttercups as weeds, but they’re bright and cheery so I’ve left some of them this year. They remind me of my childhood too – who hasn’t held a buttercup under their best friend’s chin to find out if they like butter or not?

Right, I’ll get back to my non-Jamaican party now. It’s nearly midday so it’s almost acceptable to have a Pina Colada, right? 🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲

Don’t forget to pop over to see the Propagator for more (probably not Jamaican themed) Sixes.