Six on Saturday 16th November 2019

Is it officially still Autumn? It doesn’t feel like it (especially not as I have a man in my porch fitting a smart meter meaning the gas is turned off hence no heating!) It’s soul destroyingly Wintery.

Anyway, I went wandering in the garden this morning to snap some pics for a Six and the sign in my greenhouse seemed very apt.

I think I’ll start in the greenhouse for number one. It’s chilly in there as is corroborated by both my posh and accurate thermometer …

… and my pretty but slightly less trustworthy thermometer.

The cuttings are having a very similar reaction to the cold as I am – a bit lacklustre and definitely not as happy as a couple of weeks ago!

A fellow blogger advised me a few weeks ago to keep them fairly dry but not bone dry, but, despite not having watered them for well over a month they’re just not drying out at all! I need a heated greenhouse, but that would send the new smart meter into spasms of panic I fear!

Conversely, the Gazania and the two Fuchsias (one hardy, one not but I can’t remember which is which) seem quite happy with their surroundings.

I’ll have to ask my Mum which is which when I see her as she took the cuttings. It’s not going to hurt having them both out of the cold given how small they are.

Meanwhile, back outside we have today’s number two, which is two Cordylines looking beautiful.

They’re both in planters, the green one stands proud at the back of my birthday planter and the pink one is nearer the house in my patio planter. They give some welcome interest and much needed colour to the sleeping garden!

There are still a few plants desperately soldiering on and producing colourful petals to cheer the gloom. For number three I’m going to share my Erysimum.

This was from the sale table in Notcutts in Summer 2018. I planted it out last Spring and it did well all through this Summer. I’m not keen on pink, but this pink is rich enough to delight the senses.

Number four was a recent purchase that was planted out towards the end of the Summer.

Fatsia Japonica, whose leaves have something of a look of a giant Marijuana plant! How do I know this, you may ask with a knowing smirk? Well, you try going to the Caribbean and not seeing Marijuana leaves depicted on every piece of tourist tat for sale! Anyway, there’s nothing illegal about this lovely specimen. It’s supposed to get pretty big and it’s grown quite a few new leaves already so here’s hoping.

For my penultimate point I’m using a photo that I took purely because I liked the way the rain looked on the leaf.

This is a cluster of leaves on my Scarlet Patio Rose. I love how the leaves are tinged with pink, picking up the pink of the emerging shoots below and the blurred Heather in the background, and the rain droplets that reflect the light and accentuate the leaves’ veins.

I’m going to end on a festive note which I think is acceptable given that the big day is only five and a bit weeks away.

Holly! We have an abundance of it in the garden which can be painful when it gets too big and requires pruning! None of the Holly bushes flower or get berries which I think must mean we only have one sex of Holly bush resulting in absolutely no copulation at all, and therefore no offspring.

Right, I’m off to do something that doesn’t require gas or electricity now I can see exactly what it’s costing us! While I’m freezing to death in the dark why don’t you pop over to check out more Sixes on the Propagator’s blog.

Six on Saturday 19th October

Here I am! I’ve been AWOL for a few weeks so I’ve made a special effort to take some pics to share. I find my enthusiasm for being outside wanes considerably at this time of year so I’ve spent next to no time in the garden recently. I wandered out this morning to check my cuttings (they’re fine) and had to avert my eyes from everything that needs doing.

Anyway, on to my Six. Don’t forget to check out the Propagator’s blog for more Sixes.

1. Fuchsia

The hardy Fuchsias are still going strong.

The top one is Delta Sarah and was new this year from Gardeners’ World Live. I had one last year which didn’t make it through the Winter, but this one’s bigger so hopefully it’ll cope better.

I’m not sure what variety the bottom one is. This did make it through last Winter and flowered beautifully all Summer. It’s in a pot outside our kitchen window so I can see it every day.

2. Autumnal Blueberry bush

The Blueberry bush had a very successful season. I got loads of yummy blueberries, which surprised me because the year before it did nothing! Now the season’s over its leaves have turned the most beautiful red. This is also outside our kitchen window so I see it every day.

3. Rose Hot Chocolate

This Rose did amazingly well this year too with loads of repeat blooming. It’s in the shade but it doesn’t seem to mind. It’s still trying to give me one last flower now. Don’t know if this will come to fruition – guess that’s all down to the weather in the next couple of weeks. Maybe I should chop it and bring it inside. I’m planning to prune it quite hard once it’s definitely finished because it’s got quite leggy so I guess it might not be happy with me next year.

4. Wet Marigolds

I hate Winter weather, but I do appreciate how pretty the rain can make the garden. I think these wet Marigolds, which are in my wheelbarrow planter, look almost like leather after a recent downpour. They’re all still going strong at the moment adding some brightness as I gaze out of our back windows.

5. Berry watch

Three different colour berries.

The top shrub we inherited with the house so I’m not sure what it is, but it has these lovely orangey berries every Autumn/Winter. Maybe it’s a Pyracantha?

The second is my Callicarpa Bodinieri that I bought about this time last year. I couldn’t resist the glorious purple berries so I had to have it. It doesn’t seem to have grown very much yet, but it could potentially get pretty big in time. I hope it does so I get even more of those beautiful berries.

The last plant is also reasonably new. It’s an Ilex Verticillata. It had red berries when I bought it sometime at the beginning of the year, it had them all through the Summer, and it still has them now! I think it’s a bit confused because it’s only supposed to fruit between October and November!

6. Patio Planter

Last but not least, an update on my patio planter with which I’m so in love! I’m so glad I made this planter to cover the ridiculous gap in the patio. As you can see, everywhere’s wet and the falling leaves make it seem so Autumnal and gloomy, but there are my Stipa, my pink Cordyline and the four Hebes just stoically getting on with the job of looking divine and cheering my day. There’s even a couple of Begonias in there that were left over when I planted my hanging basket that are still going strong. This is definitely one of this year’s success stories.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks. I’m off out later to catch up with a special friend who I haven’t seen for far too long.

A mini garden transformation

I’ve been meaning to crack on with this project for ages, but as usual I’ve procrastinated for weeks! To be fair, I’ve been doing other jobs, but today I decided to get on with it.

Off I trundled to Homebase to get supplies.

Power tools! I do like to play with power tools. I did actually give up on the saw in favour of my jigsaw too because I really can’t saw in a straight line, especially not with a dodgy, old and rusty saw! Turns out I’m not so great at jigsawing straight either (not helped by being precariously balanced over the kitchen sink because my jigsaw isn’t cordless so I couldn’t do it outside) so I got to use a third power tool, my sander!

I was ably supervised by my little furry Olive while I did a bit of drilling and a few screws and four brackets later my project was assembled.

So, what was I making?

Our patio area had a couple of slabs missing. I think it was probably done intentionally as a bit of a feature, but it just looked like it wasn’t finished.

See what I mean? I decided to do something about it.

Perfect fit! My carpentry skills might not be tip top, but I’m pretty pleased with it. I’d bought one big bag of compost, but it needed two, so I had to down tools and pop back to Homebase – good job it’s only a mile away.

I had several plants patiently waiting for their forever homes and I could finally oblige them.

Drumroll moment …..

Lovely symmetry! This is the bed from either end, but you can only tell by the different coloured Hebes in each corner. The pink ones are closest to the house so we can see some colour in the Winter (I didn’t just say the W word, fingers in ears, lalalalala).

In the middle is a Cordyline and either side of that are Stipas. These Stipas were 50p each in a sale at B&Q. There was nothing wrong with them when I bought them and they’ve been swaying happily in the wind in their pots ever since. I hope they continue to thrive in their new home.

I can’t decide whether it needs a few bedding plants down the sides or not. I think I’ll leave it for a while to see how I feel in a few days.

In other garden news, the seeds in the greenhouse are coming on in leaps and bounds. There’s daily progress at the moment, particularly with the Cosmos.

On the left was yesterday afternoon and on the right was today. They’re shooting up!

Yesterday there was no sign of any Sunflower seedlings, but today …

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I know it doesn’t look like much, but right there in the middle is the beginning of a Sunflower. I’ll try to follow this one through from its very beginning here to hopefully it growing up to a couple of metres tall.

I’ll leave you with a photo of our gorgeous Camellia. In a couple of weeks its flowers will all have dropped, so I’m making the most of it now.

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Have a great week!