Six on Saturday – The Chilly One

Narcissus 'Tête-à-Tête' 

It is no co-incidence that the acronym of Six on Saturday, is SOS, dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot, if anyone is listening please send help, preferably Tom Hardy.

In reality, I enjoy participating in this meme, both the challenge of submitting my post and joy of reading others’ offerings.  This weekly event is presided over by Prop the Collie who keep us sheep in order, and don’t we need it?  We are a disparate group.  There are contributions from across the globe and perhaps even further afield, I have my suspicions about The Haribo Kid.

Let us begin with Narcissus ‘Tête-à-Tête’, my go-to daffodil, which are bulking up well in a planter in the front garden.  Simple and delicate, bright and reliable, just like yours truly.   I am also very fond of Jetfire, in my racier moments.

strawberries

Secondly we have three little strawberry plants, transplanted into a great big pot earlier this week.  Over the last few months, weather and illness permitting, I have been ferrying a generous donation of terracotta from Bill and Benjamina.   Due to the last ditch attempt of this season to actually be a bit wintry, unfortunately ever since planting they have been frozen in stasis.  Their roots are now petrified in granite-like compost.  I do hope they forgive me.

Secondly we have a pot.  This is one of several purchased at Fish Pye Pottery in St Ives and for that very reason it is a great favourite.  At the moment a pelargonium, unprotected in this freezing weather, is doing its best to stay alive.

Cerastium tomentosum

Now we have Cerastium tomentosumotherwise known as Snow in Summer.   It grows on top of the wall between us and our neighbour and is often the soft blanket that is leaned upon whilst gossiping or on which milk or cake or other contraband is rested.   I believe that next week we may well be getting Snow in Winter again.  Perhaps.

Melaleuca alternifolia

As luck would have it, our next subject also has the common name Snow in Summer.  This wispy wonder is Melaleuca alternifolia, perhaps better known as the narrow leaved tea tree.  It has many medicinal properties, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, antimacassar (ha!).  Don’t eat it though, it is poisonous.  I suppose you can’t have everything.

I’ve always wanted a pair of sculptures to guard the front door, perhaps lions or greyhounds, standing proud and dignified.  Of course if you want to display that class of statue it is best to have an adequate standard of entrance.  Lacking in the palatial department, required compromise.  Instead I have pot foots, and to make up for lack of grandeur I have not two but three.  One elephant, one lion and one bit player in Star Wars.

That’s it, another one completed, how is the chart looking Mr P?

 

Odd

hellebore

I did something very odd in my garden today.  No, not gardening, although that is a little unusual, I sat on the bench, in the sunshine and I drank a cup of coffee.  I have never been one to sit in the garden.  It makes me twitchy, remembering things that need to be checked or jobs I should be doing.   Whilst I sat I looked through my seed box, making decisions, decisions, decisions.  It was rather nice, I might well try it again.

This full-face is the hellebore that was in bud last week.  Please note the intentional hazy tone to this photograph.  Hours of picture manipulation have produced the resultant air of romance and one too many gins.

Velour

Lomatia ferruginea

We moved Lomatia ferruginea last year, Max’s Dad and me, dragging it unceremoniously across and up the garden in a plastic garden waste bag.  Past azaleas and rhododendrons, we pushed and shoved, until it reached its new home, next to a sheltering privet hedge.  Previously it had been stifled under the canopy of a Cornus kousa ‘Porlock’, with little sun and no room to grow.  It is always a little scary to move a large, established plant, especially one that is on the tender side.  In this case, it has been successful.  The fresh veloured foliage is a sure sign that this South American member of the Proteaceae family has settled down nicely in the new neighbourhood.

Plan B

Today I made cheese scones.

It was set to be a beautifully sunny day, and as my Tuesday is now my Thursday I didn’t have to go out to work.  Why on earth, you may well ask, was I messing about in the kitchen and not out in the garden doing the myriad of jobs that have stacked up in the foul weather?  The answer is quite simple.  Before I had a chance to voice my plans, the OH grandly announced that he was going to do gardening today.  Now myself and himself have been together for eons, our relationship has worked, in part, due to the fact that we do not work together.  Once, in younger, more innocent days, we tried.  The result was rather messy.  Whether making lasagne or putting together a flat pack or decorating or cleaning or gardening, it is much safer to go solo.

Over to Plan B.  I did some writing and I made soup for later and lunch for us both.  Still he was faffing.  “Don’t overdo it” I feigned concern “you can always finish off later in the week”.  But he persisted.  So I made scones.  I was very pleased with the result.  Unlike my previous attempts these actually look like they are supposed to rather than the beer mats my previous ones resembled.

See the funny little one in the middle?  That one has a name.  It is called Cook’s Perrogative.  Or should I say, “was” called.

At 3.15 I was allowed out, to grasp at the shirt tails of the day.  Still, beggars can’t be choosers.  The question is, will there be enough time to rearrange everything that he had done?

Pulmonaria

pulmonaria

Pulmonaria offinalis, not the most glamorous of early flowering perennials.  They lurk in the background, often unnoticed, out-shone by showy daffs and moon-faced hellebores.  But take a moment to study the first red turning violet flowers, hirsute sepals glistening in the soft sunlight.  As the blooms mature they achieve this colour change by adjusting the pH of the petals.  Just a dull old lungwort.  I don’t think so.

Six on Saturday – Optimism

aquilegia

It is that time of the week again, the time for excuses and diversions.  But wait a moment!  This week, all is legitimate and legal, photos and text both created today.  Unlike some I could mention, however I do not like to tell tales, do I Mr K ?

Six on Saturday time again hip hip horray!  For those of you still unsure of what this entails, pop over to The Propagator’s site and find not only how it works but contributions from others in his control.  Once you have signed your name on the dotted line in blood, you will never escape his evil grip.  But don’t let that put you off, come on, join in, the more the merrier!

To begin we have a self seeded aquilegia.  Last year they got a bit above their station and I promised to cull them before they trampled everything else.  They are tricky to get out, with their fleshy taproots and indomitable will, but I will persist.

Iris reticulata

Next we have a lone Iris reticulata, leaning at a rather jaunty angle.   I am especially fond of these irises, although I don’t often manage to keep them going for more than one year.  This is, I believe, due to the fact that they should be in full sun and sandy soil, neither of which they are afforded here.  This chap might be the only survivor, jostled by Narcissus ‘Tête á Tête’, crocus and violas.  I am very proud of him.  However, there is plenty of time for the others to wriggle through.

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

Now onto the obligatory “emerging shoots” photo of the day.  This is Paeonia mlokosewitschii  which, unless you are Polish is best called Molly the Witch.  It was a gift from my extremely talented, virtual friend Sue and has yet to flower yet.  As always, I am hopeful for this year.

Hellebore

This hellebore is the tricky dicky that I tried to photograph a couple of weeks ago.  It is in completely the wrong place and slightly irritates me every time I see it.  Which is a shame because it is good one.  I will move it after it has flowered and hopefully it won’t sulk too much.

eranthis

A small parcel arrived this morning, with no return address.  I opened it and found a pot containing some plant material.  No note.  Very curious.  Then the two pound coin dropped.  The mystery plants were winter aconites, a gift from an extremely generous blogging friend, Chloris, who has an amazing garden in Suffolk.  I had been bemoaning (yes I know hard to believe) that I have never been able to grow Eranthis hyemalis  in our soil (a workman blames his tools) and she generously offered to send me some of hers.  They are now safely potted up and I am positive they will thrive in their new home.

vermiculite

For the finale I have chosen vermiculite.   Not a looker, but very useful.  On Tuesday I received a message from my friend Pat the Field asking if I had found the bag that she had left outside my front door the previous Friday.  “No”, I told her,”perhaps it has blown away”.  “I don’t think so” she said “it is quite big”.  So I asked my neighbour on one side, not a sign.  Then yesterday I saw my other non gardening, non going outside very much at all, neighbour on the other side “have you seen a bag of, um, light brownish stuff?”, “oh I wondered what that was”.  Luckily she had not thrown it away and popped it around later but asked no questions.  An animal feed bag full of vermiculite, what on earth did she think it was?  The mind boggles.

So there we have it, another week crossed off, soon I will be up before the parole board.  Until then, I will be under the control, for at least one day each week, of the magnificent Mr P.

 

Garden Poker

camellia

I will match your brambles, couch grass and let-loose mint with an attentive robin, sweet winter box and a golden bossed camellia.  Then, just in case you imagined there was still a chance of winning, I will raise you one day of wall to wall sunshine.   I would fold if I were you.