Six on Saturday – Imagination

You will need to use a little imagination to fully appreciate my Six on Saturday this week. You will have to channel your seasonal goodwill and indulge me, which to be honest you often do. There is not a lot to shout about in the garden at the moment and what does deserve a hip horray is blurred. Such is life. If you wish, and I highly recommend it, you can check out the rest of the SoS Community in Father Propmas‘ workshop and find out what he and his stocking clad helpers have been up to. Let’s get on, it will soon be Christmas.

We are still transporting plants and accoutrement from Peggy’s. This little chap arrived in his new home this week. The car was full to bursting with boxes and plants and he winked at me as if to say “don’t forget me”. I wrapped him in some kitchen towel and put him in my handbag. He was a gift from a very special friend and for that reason he is doubly loved.

Next we have the new diddy border. It seems that there are two schools of thought when planting: leave ample room between plants for maturing in an elegant and restrained manner or cram the little darlings in for instant impact. No brainer.

Earlier in the week I sorted through my seed box and found three packets that required cold stratification. Today I potted them up and abandoned them to their fate in the far reaches of the estate (easily viewed from the back door). I don’t want a cold winter, but if we do have one then I might well have germination of nomocharis, anemonopsis and roscoea. Win, win. Or perhaps lose, lose.

Salvia conferifolia is still valiantly flowering. I have yet to get a decent photo of this very special salvia. Today reinforced that fact. In fact I believe I am regressing.

Eventually, the Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’ is beginning to turn. About time too. I was beginning to wonder if it was some strange evergreen version. Once the leaves have fallen there will be a diminished sail effect and in turn less rocking and rolling in the wind. All of which will lead to a less stressed out Gilly.

Finally, under the evil influence of Professor Gadget, I have acquired some red hot pokers for the garden. To be more precise, four red hot pokers. They came bare-rooted and, it would seem, had been packaged up for a while. Still, where there is life there is hope, and if they fail His Gadgetship will be on the case. A fabulous collection: Nancy’s Red, Alcazar, Ice Queen and Sunningdale Yellow.

That is your lot. Next Saturday is the big day, so I’m unlikely to be on parade. Hope it’s a good one for you all, my friends, full of fun and laughter and lots of love and green triangles. ‘Til next time.

Six on Saturday – Pretty Maids All in a Row

It has been a fortnight since I last reported and I am worried that you are expecting great things of me. I am sure you do not wish to hear excuses, if necessary I can come up with a baker’s dozen, so I will just say “these things can not be rushed, I am an artist and I must wait for my muse to inspire me”. Which of course is bunkum, but worth a try. What I present you with here is a particularly dull Six on Saturday. Apologies, but perhaps you could read it just before bedtime to aid a good night’s sleep. If stimulation is what you are looking for, pop over to Mr Dynamo himself, The Prop, and find out what himself and his acolytes have been up to. Right, let us get this over with.

To begin, a new border, the first. It is north facing. I may call it The North Border, although this is unlikely. At present it is pathetic and feeble, pretty maids all in a row, but it is a start and the hydrangeas especially needed to have their feet in the soil once more. Talking of soil, I am pleasantly surprised in that department. A few inches of nice dark stuff, then a more red sandy clay type. Not a fag packet, Gregg’s carrier bag or bit of rusty metal in sight. I must get a pH testing kit. I was asking Jim a couple of weeks ago about a small camellia to suit and I would rather not grow it in a pot.

In the new North Border (working title) I planted a cutting from our wonderful red hydrangea in Ilfracombe (above not looking very red), Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’, Impatiens omeiana and Begonia ‘Claret Jug’. All a bit deciduous so in the middle went Pseudopanax ‘Moas Toes’, which is heading for the stars. I’m thinking about nipping out the top to encourage some horizontal growth, any thoughts? I will wait til spring so you have time to think about it.

Much as I would love a hand crafted artisan compost heap, I am realist enough to accept that a dalek is as good as it is going to get for the foreseeable. This is enough to make me very happy. The evidence of border excavation is nearby. As tidy a pile as an untidy pile can be.

I had bulbs to plant. I had no pot to plant them in. So I made a mini bed and planted out Rodgeria ‘Heavenly Gill’. If ever a plant should not be in a pot, surely it is a rodgersia. Hopefully it will thrive here, it has struggled up to now.

Then in with the bulbs of Lilium ‘Forever Susan’. This must be my five hundredth attempt to find the real thing. Fingers crossed for next year. And yes I did cover the bulbs with soil.

Some traditions must not be ignored. The violas are doing very nicely.

Your trial is over, you have stayed the course. I can’t promise much more excitement next time. I can promise I will try. Stay safe my friends.