Six on Saturday – Conform to Type

primula

For this Six on Saturday I have resolved to conform to type.   I will be featuring stereotypically seasonal issues only.  Possibly.  We shall see how that goes.  “What is this Six on Saturday?” I hear you ask.  “Have you just returned from trekking in the Amazon rainforest where you set up home with an indigenous tribe and lived isolated from western society for the past five years until you ran out of teabags and had to pop home to get some more?” I enquire.  No matter, I will explain.  It is quite simple: six, on Saturday.  For more details check out our very own tribal chief, The Propamaster, and he will get you up to speed on the fine print.

First we have a primula, primrose, first rose.  You might have noticed that it is blue, which is not totally traditional, but let us not get bogged down with the minutae.   I have a penchant for blue flowers so I was very happy to find this little lovely in the front garden.  I pointed it out to OH earlier and we agreed that neither of us had planted it there.  Or perhaps more accurately, “remembered” that we had planted it.

narcissus

Next the quintessential spring flower, all hail the daff!  No one can complain about any poetic licence with this choice, a classic yellow narcissus.  I was in Welsh Wales last weekend and was rather surprised to see they had seemingly shot up and budded in my absence.  Perhaps I was away longer than I imagined.

crocus

Now a crocus, bang on!  I imagine this little beauty was shifted out-of-place whilst I was rooting around removing summer bedding and planting out the violas.   A small joy, hugging the edge of the butler’s sink.

hellebore

Come on folks, I am surpassing myself here, now we have a hellebore!  This possibly has a name but I can’t be bothered to go out and look at the label.  Let us call it Purple Blotch.

slug

Not so welcome, but definitely a feature of the season, are the emerging slugs and snails.  This blatant destroyer was feasting on a pot of purple alstromeria that I am planning to pass on to Max.  Again, it definitely has a name.  Please see above for excuses.

Salvia corrugata

And here is the exception to prove my rule.  This Salvia corrugata has been flowering since time begun, and possibly a little before.  Unprotected, except by my love, it has weathered storms and a few degrees of frost.  Not classic winter/spring fare, but definitely worth a mention.

Now just a moment, we wouldn’t want a repeat of last week’s rather embarrassing faux pas …………… yep, we are definitely up to six, I checked twice.  That is it, another SoS completed.   Until the next time.  I will keep practicing my counting.

 

 

Holes

Osteospermum

Today at Button Moon was a day of digging holes.  Big holes, little holes, medium sized holes.   Some awkward roots and slates, some easy passages.  Luckily I was armed with a golden spade, it made life much easier.  Everyone should have a golden spade, even if you haven’t got golden boots.  Into these holes I planted a pot bound camellia, three Heuchera ‘Marmalade’, a Viburnum tinus and Rhododendron ‘Horizon Monarch’.  Grow, grow, grow!

This osteospermum needs no encouragement.  Some might say it needs to calm down a little.  Not me.  I say “grow, grow, grow!”

The Future

Poppy Seed Head

Last week, on my first day back on Button Moon, we prepared the annual wildflower beds for the coming year.  It seemed a fitting way to mark the occasion of my return to the fold.   The border was weeded, the bones of last year’s blooms were pulling up and any remaining seed broadcast.   Looking forward to the future.  It is the only way to go.

This is the carcass of a particularly frou frou, bruise purple poppy that infiltrated the native mix.   It might not be true to the standard meadow form, but it was welcomed with open arms.  The contents of the pepper pot seed head will be scattered with the rest.  We do love a bit of frou frou.

Six on Saturday – Brrrrrr!

Galanthus 'S. Arnott'

Happy Six on Saturday to you all!  It has been a week of weather; from the unimaginable cold in the North of America to the searing heat in parts of Australia.  We had some of the white stuff in the UK too, which has been followed by the inevitable chaos on the roads and the panic buying of Mother’s Pride and Chardonnay.  In Ilfracombe we had a pathetic smattering, but you didn’t have to venture far to see the real McCoy.  But I didn’t bother venturing anywhere.  I decided to just imagine it instead.  This morning I asked OH if it was too late to indulge in a little panic buying.  We bought a multi-bag of snacktastic crisps and a pack of blood oranges just in case.   If you are tempted to join the not-so-secret society of SoSers or would like to be shown how it is supposed to work by more sensible folk, pop over to King Prop’s blog and all will be revealed.  Let’s get on with it, too cold to hang about.

First we have a snowdrop.  A distinct feeling of déjà vu?  This is in fact my other snowdrop Galanthus ‘S. Arnott’, also bought at Helen’s Little Ash Garden open day.  Don’t worry, this is the extent of my snowdrop collection.  I’ve got a long way to go before I can be classed as a true galanthophile.

Although we had but a mere smidgen of snow, it has been both very cold and exceptionally windy.  So windy that in the early hours of Sunday morning, after lying awake listening to the roaring and scaffolding boards dancing, we got up and listened to the World Service until light.  We then called the builder who came to tie down the boards again.  He was grumpy to have been roused from his weekend slumber, I hadn’t slept a wink all night, he didn’t stand a chance.  This Lycianthes rantonnetii is paying for its vigour, the leaves are withered and lifeless after the desiccating gales.  I am hoping that beneath all is well.

papaver

On to my oriental poppy.  It is in the middle of the superhighway that the builders macheted through the Bed of Anarchy.  By some quirk of fate it escaped a size ten steel toecap.  They were back yesterday, the Velux in the office roof has sprung a rather impressive leak.  Before they started I pointed it out to them  “That is a poppy” I said “It is called Simon and I would like you to do your utmost to avoid standing on it.”  They did their best.  Quite sensibly they were concerned about the potential for retribution by someone who names their herbaceous perennials.

hedychium It appears that one of my hedychiums has set seed.  This is good.  I have grown a ginger lily from seed before and it only took a few years to get to flowering size.  These will stay on the plant for as long as possible.  Perhaps Mr P would like some?  What do you mean “creep”?

Rose

Lastly we have an example of the importance of being in the right place at the right time.  The crimson tinged foliage of this rose, which could be ‘Peace’, has not suffered in the slightest in the recent inclement weather.   It is as fresh and pristine as the moment it unfurled from the bud.   I hope I haven’t summoned the demons of fate tempting.

gazania

And second lastly is a gazania that was in hiding, possibly due to the fact it doesn’t want to be spotted by the evil north wind.  Did I get away with it?  Maybe not.

Another SoS completed, always a triumph.  Until next time!

 

 

Myrtle Mania

Myrtus communis

Today I worked beneath the myrtle tree in Max’s garden.  Here, left unfettered, weeds had made a stronghold, finding firm footing amongst the roots.  This is a large tree, and has looked rather sorry for itself since last year’s twin beasts.  Still it is a great favourite, the fragrant pompom flowers and the limbs of peeling bark, looking a little too human on occasion, along with the glossy evergreen leaves make it almost perfect.  Not quite though.  It seeds itself around with abandon, the tough little myrtlings send roots deep and quick.  I must have pulled up at least 3 million this morning.  Then my foot began to hurt just a little too much, the snow clouds were gathering as I retired, promising to return on another day to continue my quest.

Back to Work

Pulmonaria offinalis

Apart from a rather dodgy, frankly terrifying in parts, but then I am a scaredycat, journey to work, today was everything I could wish for a first day back to work.

Lord Mantle picked me and my tools up from the car park at the top of the road where we marvelled at the views across the channel to the snow topped Brecons.  We spent a sun blessed morning pruning apple trees and roses, distributing the garden compost I had sorted on my last visit (many moons ago) and reaquainting ourselves.

On the way home I popped by to hatch plans with co-conspirators on a yet-to-be-confessed event being held in a couple of weeks time.  After wandering around a star filled garden, in fine company, escorted by a handsome tabby, I returned home.  The slush and ice had mainly thawed and the demon low sun has risen enough to enhance not to blind.

All was well.