Six on Saturday 2nd May

Whoop! It’s May. Officially the start of Summer as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been furloughed so I’ve got a fair bit of gardening done over the past week or so, but not as much as I’d like because the weather hasn’t always been kind. I did get out there today though, and got a bit done.

1. I ordered twenty four Begonia plug plants at the very beginning of lockdown, and just as Homebase and B&Q have reopened meaning I could have gone and bought some in person, they arrived! Never mind, I stayed safe, and it was exciting receiving plants in the post for the first time.

I know I should probably harden them off, but after looking at the weather forecast I decided it would be safe to go for it and plant them out. I did this last year with teeny tiny Begonia plug plants, and not only did they survive not being hardened off, the ones in one of my hanging baskets have survived the Winter and are growing back for a second Summer! As you can see, I’ve put some in a different hanging basket, and I’ve filled my wheelbarrow with them. These are apricot colours which I’m really looking forward to.

2. I’m moving on to my favourite kind of plants now – free ones!

These started pushing up round the edges of the weed control fabric on our bistro last year and I thought the leaves looked quite pretty, and possibly not weed-like, so I decided not to be over zealous with my weeding and this year they’ve rewarded me with beautiful flowers. I didn’t know you could get Poppies any other colour than red, but I’m reliably informed that that is indeed, what they are. Beautiful! I will definitely be harvesting the seeds to scatter elsewhere.

3. Another freebie, but unidentified this time. I discovered it in the undergrowth at the very uncultivated top of our garden! Obviously it’s some kind of grass, and I’m pretty sure it’s not grass as in lawn, but I’ve no idea what it is. There are lots of grasses in our garden that it could’ve come from, and obviously it might not even be from our garden. I’ve potted it up for now and I’ll see how it develops.

4. Another grass that’s self seeded. I think it’s either Carex Milk Chocolate or offspring of a grass which was gifted to us from my Dad and C’s garden whose name I don’t know. It was growing in a really random place so I dug it up before it got trampled on. I decided to make use of half of our chimenea which got broken in a storm over the Winter. I sunk it slightly into the soil to keep it together and filled it with compost. If the grass thrives, I imagine it’ll outgrow the chimenea, but for now I think it looks great, and I’ve saved putting more rubbish into landfill. I need to find something else for the other half of the broken chimenea.

5. Moving on, but keeping a somewhat tenuous link with free plants due to the number of runners that have grown new plants to strawberries.

There were all sorts of weeds sprouting up in the strawberry bed, so I weeded it thoroughly but I left a lot of the leaves that have made their way in there in the hopes that slugs and snails might not like sliming over them to get to my precious strawberries! I also made use of these strawberry mulch mats that were a Christmas present. We only got one strawberry last year and I’d really like a decent harvest this year.

We’ve got our first flowers appearing so it’s so far so good! I’ll keep everything crossed.

6. This has made me happy! My Clematis Montana always gets masses of leaves, but has never flowered before.

I was planning to relocate this Clematis so it got more sunshine, but I’m guessing now might not be the best time. It’s got hardly any leaves so far this year, and just these two flowers, but I’ll take that – I actually know what it’s flowers look like now.

I really struggled to narrow my points down to six this week which is good because it means the garden is waking up! If you’d like to check out other people’s Sixes, have a look at the Propagator’s blog for lots of garden happiness.

Six on Saturday 18th April

The weather’s been pretty good all week when I’ve been holed up in my home office in the back bedroom, spending my time staring out of the window longingly at the garden whilst on conference calls, and finally it’s Saturday so I can get out there …… but it’s raining!

Sigh! I did pop out to see if there was anything of interest to share today and I got drizzled on and came back in with frizzy hair (not that it matters – can’t go anywhere for anybody to see anyway!) I did snap a few damp pictures though.

The first thing to take my fancy was this Rhododendron which I (surprise surprise) liberated from a sale table last year. It’s got bluebells growing through it at the moment. No idea how I managed to plant it without disturbing the bulbs!

I had no idea what colour it would be or how well it would grow, but it’s done me proud.

Speaking of bluebells, I’ll include them as my second point.

They seem to be out earlier than usual. Or maybe not earlier, but the time between the leaves emerging and the flowers appearing seems shorter. I remember in previous years getting really impatient for them to bloom but this year all of a sudden they’re there! If anything, you’d think it would’ve felt longer this year since I’ve pretty much been sat at home, chin resting on heel of palm, waiting for something (anything) to happen!

I’m not sure if this is a new thing, or if I’ve forgotten that we’ve had them in previous years, but some of my ‘blue’ bells are pink and white!

I’ve seen other people posting pictures of Dicentra Bleeding Heart in full flower and I admit to a bit of envious disappointment that mine was just a mass of leaves, but, progress is being made!

Hopefully I’ll be able post it in it’s full glory soon.

My Erysimum is looking beautiful. Another sale table find that has come up trumps. It has at least one flower for most of the year, but this time of year and through the Summer is when it’s at its best.

Spot the Grape Hyacincth photobombing the Erysimum!

My penultimate point is one of my two Geums. This was from, yep, you guessed it, the sale table. I bought it in Summer 2018 and it wasn’t spectacular that year, but Summer 2019 really saw it impress. I’m hoping that this year will bring more of the same.

The first bud has already opened, and there are plenty more where that came from! I acquired a second Geum last year (no need to tell you where from) and I’m hoping it’ll follow suit and come into its own this Summer. It’s a beautiful bright yellow so the two complement each other well.

I’m going to finish with a pile of what can only be termed cr*p!

I’m putting this here in the hopes that it’ll give me motivation to get rid of it so I can post a cleared space later in the year. It grew and grew last year! There’s leaves, branches, weeds aplenty, slabs, pots and goodness knows what else under here and I need to get rid!

If anyone would like to take part, or read other Sixes this week, check out the Propagator’s blog. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the weekend. The weather’s looking more promising tomorrow.

Six on Saturday 28th March

Is it really less than a week since we were allowed out for non-essential activities! I’ve been working from home all week and am going slightly stir crazy, but, it’s got to be done and at least we’ve had a couple of nice sunny days this week and I’ve been able to wander in the garden (at lunchtime, not when I’m busy working!) I do feel for people who live in flats without balconies – they must feel so cooped up!

There’s loads that needs doing out there but it’s still too cold for me to be out there much. I do not do cold! There are leaves and pine needles everywhere that need sweeping up, last years dead stuff to clear, seeds to sow, weeds to pull, roses to prune etc. etc.

Anyway, on to this week’s Six.

I have two Euphorbias. The first was a gift from my Dad and C.

I planted this shortly before we got the jungle at the end of the garden chopped down and it got completely bashed by the guys dragging all the chopped trees. That was two years ago now and it finally looks like it’s starting to recover, although it is still tiny.

The second, Euphorbia Rudolph, was from the sale table in Notcutts last year and it’s done really well and has got pretty big.

Also from the sale table was my Buddleia which I bought in the hopes of attracting butterflies. It’s also got really big so let’s hope this year the butterflies find it. Here’s a before and after.

It’s got lots of new growth coming through. I’ll have to check what to do to stop it getting too leggy.

Next up is some grass (also sale table – do you spot a theme to my plant shopping?)

I planted this in the shade last year, not expecting it to do that well because it likes sun really, but it’s thriving and has thrown up some ears. It needs some combing through to clear the dead fronds – I’ll add that to my list of things to do when it warms up!

This morning I noticed my first lilies coming through. I’m sure these weren’t there earlier in the week.

See what I mean about needing to clear pine needles? These were a sale table find too, but this time from Homebase (I think). I think this is the beautiful yellow one. I have a white one and a purple one too, but they aren’t showing signs of life yet. I’ve a vague recollection that this one was first to flower last year. I’ll have to watch out for the dreaded lily beetle!

I’ve noticed a couple more Cowslips have appeared in odd places.

This one’s growing in the cracks in the path. I’ll relocate it to somewhere where it won’t get trodden on when I can brave the elements. I’ve a feeling I may end up with lots of these now I have a couple, so I may have to be ruthless about which I keep. I do like them though, so I’m happy for them to spring up with their lovely yellow.

I’m going to end with some daffs while they’re still there.

These are Tête-à-têtes that I planted the first Summer we were in our house. They bloom reliably every Spring, and this year I’m loving the contrast of the sunny yellow with the magenta of the Cyclamen underneath.

As ever, don’t forget to check the Propagator for more Sixes. Now I’m off to dream about spending my Saturday browsing a garden centre – that’ll be one of the first things I do after seeing all the people that I’m missing while we’re all confined largely to the indoors!