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.

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.