Six on Saturday 9th March

I popped out in the garden one night this week to inspect Spring progress and said to myself, yup, definitely got to do a Six on Saturday this week. I was away last weekend so it was a couple of weeks since I’d properly seen the garden in daylight and so much had changed.

So, here we go with numero uno – Spring bulbs. Here’s my barrel planter two weeks ago.

Reasonably well defined – Heather in the middle surrounded by Cyclamen with the Giant Alliums coming though at the back, Tulips (I think) on the left and an at-that-point unidentified smaller bulb nearer the middle.

Here’s two week’s progress for you.

I think I made a school boy error with the Giant Alliums! They’re taking over the world! It’s like Little Shop of Horrors! I’ll see how they fare this year, and then I may have to relocate them to somewhere with more space for next year. I didn’t appreciate quite how giant Giant Alliums would be! The size of the bulb should’ve been my first clue really – mahoosive! I now know that the previously unidentified leaves are a Snowdrop, but I’m sure I planted more than one bulb. Maybe they were either dug up by squirrels or have no room to bloom due to the giantness behind! I think the suspected Tulips are struggling for space too! Oh well, you live and learn.

Sticking to the theme of bulbs for number two, the Bluebells are continuing to pop up all over the garden. I’m sure there are significantly more than there were last year.

You can see them pushing through all around the edge of the bistro, and even through the weed control fabric around my Festuca pot and in the middle of the gravelled area. We have them in pretty much every bed, and I noticed today that there are hundreds of them in what I lovingly refer to as ‘the wasteland’ at the top of the garden. That’ll be really pretty when they flower.

Number three is my Bergenia, or Elephant’s ears.

This was given to me by the cleaner at work from her garden. It was just in a plastic bag with no soil, and I planted it a couple of days afterwards, not really expecting much, but it’s thrived and has lovely pink flowers waving at me. Spot the Bluebells vying for its spot!

On to number four.

Beautiful pink Camellia in the front garden. We inherited the Camellia when we moved in and I don’t do anything with it, it just keeps going and stuns us with its gorgeousness every Spring. Doesn’t it look luscious with the raindrops nestling in its petals?

Number five is something special, not that bulbs, Bergenia and Camellias aren’t, but this is a project that’s been a long time in the imagination. Regular readers will know about my raised beds that I built last summer and my greenhouse that I got for Christmas. Here’s how they’ve looked since the new year.

On Wednesday we took delivery of thirty slabs, three bags of sharp sand and one bag of cement.

Very conveniently (for me) I was in Frankfurt on business when they arrived so hubby humped them all the way down the garden to the greenhouse. Must remember to be away whenever heavy goods are being delivered!

Today my Dad came over to help me lay the slabs. We were a bit will we won’t we to start off with because he lives fifty miles away and we couldn’t decide whether the weather was going to play ball and cause him a wasted trip (other than seeing yours truly obvious!) Eventually the blue skies won through and we were able to lay half the slabs and I’m so pleased with how they’ve turned out so far – much better than the picture in my head.

We ran out of sand and cement at this point, hence we stopped. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to finish it off because the forecast is for wet weather for the foreseeable future. Soon there will be strawberries, raspberries, carrots, potatoes, leeks and courgettes growing in those beds. How exciting!

I foresee more slab laying in my future because we have a LOT of space and don’t they look good? People are always trying to get rid of slabs on freecycle too so it can be a cheap, rewarding and fruitful project.

I also now have this hanging around the garden so I’ll be off to peruse Pinterest later to see what I can make with it.

I will finish and leave you with something for number six that made me very VERY happy this week when I spotted it. Sometime back towards the end of summer I wrote about my beautiful Berberis that lost all its leaves as soon as I planted it out. It really was beautiful when I bought it from Hop Pocket out near Worcester.

See its beautiful leaves that look like they’ve been gilded with gold? It is deciduous, so it may have been just coincidence that I happened to plant it out when it was time to lose its leaves, but they went so quickly that it just didn’t seem right, so I dug it up and put it back in its pot and whispered sweet nothings to it whenever I popped out over the Winter and look what’s happened.

It’s alive, it’s alive! I have some garden centre vouchers so I’m going to treat it to a nice pot and nurture it and love it on its own just in case it doesn’t like our soil.

So there’s my six for this week. Do pop over to the Propagator’s blog to check out his and others’ sixes.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

An Autumnal Realisation

I wasn’t strictly planning to post today, but I find myself in a sticky situation and unable to get up to go and plant the container for which I’ve just bought multi purpose compost and horticultural grit!

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You see I have a snoozing Tinkerbell on my lap and I hate to move her! She’s all snuggled on my new Teddy Bear throw that I bought yesterday because I’m fed up with being cold!

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Genuine Teddy Bear. We all know how I feel about Teddy Bears (or if you don’t, check this post out) so I seriously hope no teddy bears were harmed in the making of this throw!

I went to the gym this morning, and as I was driving there gasping at the beauty of some of the trees as they change to their autumnal colours, I pondered on some of the blog posts I’ve read recently whose authors have been extolling the virtues of Autumn and declaring their love for this season in which we find ourselves.

I’ve found myself wondering, as I’ve read these posts, why all these people so love Autumn when my heart slowly fills with melancholy as the days draw in and the bright pinks, yellows and purples of the Summer garden are replaced by bronzes, coppers and burnt oranges.

It occurred to me that whilst I’m fully aware that there are four seasons in a year, I actually think of us as only having two proper seasons, Summer and Winter, with Spring and Autumn merely turning up as the warm up acts (or should that be cool down act in the case of Autumn?)

I asked myself, if Summer came after Autumn would I still dislike Autumn? I thought about all the things that I like about Autumn. Stunning trees with bright red leaves that take your breath away with their vividness. This one is up our road and the photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Shuffling through fallen leaves.

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Cool enough weather to wear hoodies but not so cold that you have to struggle into fifteen layers before it’s safe to leave the house.

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Being able to sleep in past 5am because the sun gets up later, but it not being so dark that I’m tired all. the. time (SAD anyone?)

Woah! Breaking news, turns out it’s not Autumn I dislike, it’s the fact that Autumn means Winter’s coming and it’s only going to get colder, darker and soul destroyingly miserable. I was not designed for the Winter months. I hate getting up in the pitch black and coming home from work in the pitch black! I hate hate hate being cold (hence the acquisition of the Teddy Bear throw) but I begrudge having to pay unscrupulous utility companies more and more each year (seriously, when are the price rises going to slow down?) just to keep at a reasonable temperature, I hate snow. Absolutely don’t understand anyone other than kids who may get the day off school getting excited about it. Yes it’s pretty until it’s been trudged through, but it’s cold, it’s slippy, it’s disruptive, it’s potentially dangerous. I digress.

I’m going to try to see Autumn as its own distinct season from now on, and maybe we’ll become happier bed fellows.

The Gousto delivery driver knocked the door as I was writing this and scared Tinkerbell off so I got to plant my container after all. I planted allium giganteum, normal alliums, tulip and snowdrop bulbs and on top I added a Calluna Vulgaris (one from the sale table at Notcutts) and some Cyclamen which were reduced in Homebase. Roll on Spring when they’ll delight us with their colour (sorry, I might have realised Autumn’s not as bad as I thought, but it’s still not a patch on Summer, and Spring means Summer’s nearly here!)

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