Six on Saturday 17th April

Well, I think it’s safe to say that Spring has finally sprung. It’s warm outside, the weeds are starting to go crazy and there’s hope in the air. I’ve just popped in to do a really quick Six because I’m actually going out to eat tonight for the first time in over six months! So exciting! Hope it’s not too cold!

I’ve decided to showcase the uncultivated end of our garden today. Some might say the whole thing is uncultivated because it’s certainly got a thrown together feel, but it’s a whole lot better than it was when we moved in. We’re slowly working our way through the whole garden, but we’ve chosen our battles wisely and thus far the end of the garden has just received enough attention to stop it running completely wild till such time that we can decide what to do with it.

Here it is in all its glory.

I’m not counting that photo as one of my Six – that’s just to illustrate what I’m talking about!

We need to get out there and do our annual damage control because I noticed today that we have a couple of what I think are sycamore trees in the making courtesy of the wind and next door and I don’t want or need sycamores. They do look surprisingly pretty as the leaves unfurl though.

I spotted two other new additions that must’ve blown in on the wind or via a bird today and I’m unsure whether they’re worth leaving or moving elsewhere. The first is this which looks like some kind of euphorbia to me.

If anyone has any clue, please let me know your thoughts. It certainly looks more attractive than the nettles and dock leaves that populate the area in numbers!

The second is this variegated delight. Some sort of euonymous, do you think? Definitely worth saving if so.

It’s definitely worth having a scout around up there at this time of year, because the odd beauty does appear. A couple of years ago this cowslip decided to grow itself and I moved it to my birthday planter and it’s gone from strength to strength. I love it’s beautifully cheery yellow flower.

This next plant is determined to make itself at home and reappears in droves every year. We usually pull most of them up but leave a few remaining because the bees absolutely love it. I’ve put it in a plant identification app and I think it might be a great forget me not.

My final point seems apt today, being the last Six before my Granny’s funeral. On the day that Granny passed away, as I was sitting working away blissfully unaware of what had happened a hundred or so miles away, a whole load of white feathers came puffing out of a tree over our lawn. I’ve mentioned before than whenever I see a white feather in the garden it makes me feel close to my Grandad who passed away several years ago and now I wonder if Granny was somehow letting me know that she’ll be there with him overseeing my garden adventures. Who knows!? It’s a comforting thought.

Told you it would be quick! All that remains to say is that the Propagator’s blog is ready and waiting for you to check out other Sixes.

Six on Saturday 20th March

It’s officially the first day of Spring today but my garden is seemingly still in the slumbers of Winter. I’ve got some daffs and the bluebells are starting to spring up but the rest of the garden is, at best, yawning and rubbing its eyes. Still, I’m sure it’ll smell the coffee soon and throw off the duvet and get on with the job in hand.

It was drizzly and grey this morning but the drizzle was short lived and I was soon able to get out there and get on with assembling this cold frame.

I took delivery of it earlier this week. Aldi are celebrating Spring by selling a range of gardening bits and bobs. I’ve been after a cold frame for ages so I snapped this one up when I saw it. It’s not the highest quality, but what do you expect for less than forty quid? I’m sure it’ll do me for a couple of years and then I can decide whether or not to invest in a more expensive one. It’ll save me having to cart my seedlings in and out of the greenhouse when it comes to hardening them off. I’ve sowed a fair few seeds already but nothing’s happening with them yet.

The drizzle left behind beautiful diamonds on my lupin leaves. This is the second of the two lupins that I bought last year. I’m really pleased that they’ve both graced me with their presence this year. Let’s hope they produce beautiful flowers in the summer. I was quite disappointed last year by how short lived they were, but they were very welcome while they stuck around.

My poor pieris was already suffering from thrip but now it seems to have struggled with the cold snap at the beginning of the year too. Its leaves are looking pretty black, and I thought I may have lost it but I noticed today that it is struggling on and has produced its gorgeous bell-like flowers. I’ll have to see how it goes.

This is a new cowslip that has appeared. There are quite a few out there that I haven’t planted. One appeared a couple of years ago at the end of the garden, so I relocated it to my birthday planter and it seems that they self seed quite prolifically. That’s fine. I think they’re really pretty with their cheerful yellow flowers.

My final two points are unidentified additions to the garden that, the same as the cowslip, I haven’t planted, and I could do with some help in identifying them.

First is this leafy plant that has sprung up in a random plant pot that I hadn’t emptied. Is it honesty? I had some honesty a couple of years ago that I picked up from a sale table. It was just sold as a wild flower, but it turned out to be honesty. I intended to collect the seeds but didn’t get round to it, but I guess nature might have done its thing.

Finally is this shrub which looks like giant coriander. Could it be a gooseberry bush? It looks like it according to Leafsnap, but I don’t understand how a gooseberry bush has just appeared from nowhere. The new leaves are growing on what looks like old wood underneath, but I’ve never seen it before! I’m not even sure if I like gooseberries, but it’d be nice to find out.

That’s my Six for this week. I hope we get some prolonged dry spells soon so I can get out there and do some tidying. There’s nothing worse than pulling weeds and random detritus when they’re all soggy. I need it to dry out and then I can get stuck into sorting out the Winter damage.

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Propagator for more Sixes.

Six on Saturday 6th March

First Six in March and the world is feeling more hopeful and Spring-like. The kids are going back to school on Monday, not that I have any, but it feels like a step in the right direction and two weeks after that we’re allowed to gather up to six of us outside, including in our gardens.

I’ve not been well all week and have struggled through work and then pretty much collapsed in bed so today is the first time I’ve ventured in the garden since last weekend. If I’m honest, I was expecting to see more signs of life and changes since then, but I guess I need to be patient! Not my forte!

There was one plant showing signs of life though which always makes me happy.

I realise this doesn’t look like much, but if you look closely, and perhaps squint a bit, you can see top right and bottom left, the first little purple shoots of my eupatorium starting to regrow after its long Winter snooze. It didn’t grow as big last year as it did the previous two years but I’m keeping everything crossed that it does well this year. I may take a couple of cuttings once it gets properly going.

Also showing signs of return are my Welsh poppies which just appeared last year for the first time.

These have a beautifully cheery bright yellow flower in the Summer and they have sprouted up behind the chairs on our bistro so we can sit and enjoy them whilst we’re soaking up the sun (hopefully) in a few weeks.

My bergenia ‘elephant’s ears’ has produced some flowers since last weekend.

This is generally as good as they get! They were given to me by the cleaner at work from her garden a couple of years ago. She brought them in without any soil on their roots and I plonked them in the garden when I got home. They’re completely in the shade and probably water deprived by next door’s trees but they are demonstrably still alive so that’s good enough for me for a completely free plant.

Also starting to look like it’s waking up is my honeysuckle.

This flowered for the first time last year, in its second year, so I’m hoping for good things from it this year.

Moving on to a plant which is coming to the end of its flowering season.

This is a hellebore which lives in my birthday planter. It was from a sale table a couple of years ago and this year has been its best performing year so far. Its flowers start off pure white but they’ve morphed into lime green now. I only noticed today how gorgeous the middle of the flower is. It looks like loads of babies feeding on their mother. I’m sure there’s probably some green science to this but I’ll just admire the prettiness.

For my final point I’m going to share my latest plant delivery.

I ordered this from QVC so long ago I’d completely forgotten about it! It’s a Prunus Kojo-No-Ma which means butterfly dance. It’ll have gorgeous pinky white flowers in a few weeks with any luck and I’ll be able to show you why it’s called butterfly dance. Just got to decide whether to keep it in a pot or not, and where to put it.

As ever, I’ll be sharing my post in the Propagator’s comments – why not check some other Sixes out.