Six on Saturday 2nd April

Here we are again, Saturday and time for Six on Saturday with our esteemed host, the Propagator. The weeks, and indeed months, are flying by! Maybe it’s because, unlike the past two years, something resembling normal life is possible again. Whilst I’m not grieving for the majority of 2020 and 2021, I would take the weather of two years ago over the Arctic excuse for spring that’s happening outside at the moment! It’s freezing!! Hardly any gardening has been done and I really need it to warm up so I can go and sow some seeds before it’s too late. Anyway, despite the polar bear climate, I braved the elements to take some photos.

My hydrangea is starting to fill out with leaves again. On the ‘Jobs to do this weekend’ section of Gardeners’ World last night, Monty suggested deadheading last year’s hydrangea flowers if the last frost has passed. According to BBC weather it’s going to be -4° tonight, so the dead heads can stay for another week or two.

Next up are my giant lilies – two weeks apart. I’m quite amazed by the spurt they’ve put on. I’m sure they were quite late last year, but, correct me if I’m wrong, I think that’s normal in their first year. These were from QVC last year and they look and smell delicious once they get going.

There are very few benefits of bad weather, in my humble opinion, but one of them is most definitely the appearance of diamonds in my sedums. Ok, I know it’s rain really, but don’t they look like little, sparkly gems nestling in between the leaves. Nature is beautiful.

Next I’m looking for advice. As you can see, my lovely cordyline suffered in the last bout of bad weather. We had a tiny amount of snow a couple of months ago and my cordyline literally bowed under the pressure! I was hoping it would spring back but it hasn’t. Do I just have to wait for new growth or is there some gardening magic that I can conjure? Next question, if I manage to restore it to its former glory, what do I do next year to prevent it happening again, short of running out there every time it snows and shaking it off?

I’m going to finish up with two colourful points. Firstly my two completely free cowslips that just appeared, the orange rimmed one last year and the yellow the year before. I’ve featured them both already since they woke up again this year, but they’re so lovely that I think it’s worth showing them off again.

Finally some daffs. They’re all coming to the end for another year now so I’m taking this opportunity to feature them for probably the last time, and I think these two are particularly gorgeous daffs to say farewell with (until next year, obviously!)

Right, now that’s done, I’m off to make myself a hot chocolate to warm me up and I’m going to binge the second half of Stay Close on Netflix whilst snuggled under a blanket!!

Six on Saturday 19th March

Today, the weather was finally warm enough for this fair weather gardener (and her less fair weather husband) to get out and get some jobs done. There are many, MANY more still to do, but at least we made a start. I got to use my new gloves and knee pads for the first time. These were a Christmas present from my Dad and C. and they were really good.

The knee pads, whilst not the stylist things I’ve ever sported, really made weeding easier without having to keep moving my old pad around with me, although I did forget a couple of times and go to move it before realising the pads were attached to me!!

I tackled the patio planter first. It was in dire need of some tlc and weeding. I had two stipas, that I got from the sale in B&Q years ago for 50p each, which I thought had died – they’d both worked themselves out of the soil somehow! One definitely was dead, but the other had a couple of vestiges of green so I divided it and replanted and now I’ll keep my fingers crossed – they really were gorgeous grasses. Then I moved on to one of the hebes at the end which had become very leggy. I’ve never pruned it, and I didn’t even look up what I’m supposed to do with it, but as you can see from the picture on the right, there is growth at the bottom, so I’ve pruned it pretty hard and will, as with the stipa, keep everything crossed.

Once I’d pruned it, it seemed a shame to just throw the off cuts away because they were covered in beautiful, delicate hebe leaves. There were also a couple of daffodils which had got bent so I liberated them along with some cosproma, hellebore and euphorbia and made an arrangement. It’s having to stay outside because the daffs are poisonous to our cats but at leave we can see it when we’re in the kitchen.

There was so much tidying to be done on the patio that I didn’t really make it further down the garden, but I did go and check to see if my eupatorium has thrown up any new shoots yet. It has!

Only a couple so far, but hopefully some more are on their way. I say this every year, but I’ll try to remember to take some cuttings this year and try to grow some more plants. It comes back every spring, but slightly weaker each year which would suggest it’s got a shelf life. I haven’t seen another one in any garden centre since I bought this one, so maybe they’re not that common.

I’ll finish with a couple of front garden photos because it’s coming alive as well. The first flower appeared on this azalea a couple of weeks ago but I decided to wait to share it until a few more buds had bloomed. This azalea is under a hedge (a rather unruly one that really needs to come down!) and I do nothing with it at all. It flowers every year and I love it (even though I don’t do pink!)

Finally …… drumroll!! First camellia has finally bloomed! Isn’t she gorgeous? I must make an effort to go out the front often in the next couple of weeks to soak up all the camellia goodness that I can before the flowers drop. It’s such a shame they don’t last longer, but I intend to appreciate them every day whilst I can.

I feel so much happier today for having been outside and got lots done. Also, because it’s finally warming up and all the happy months are stretching ahead of us with promise and hope.

Right, time for tea – don’t forget, as ever, to pop over to check out the Propagator. TTFN.

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.