Six on Saturday – Happy Landings

The day finally arrived. Who would have thought it? On Wednesday the removal men carted most of our belongings to storage, all but the bare essentials to tied us over. Yesterday we loaded the charabanc to the rafters, every single item apparently crucial, and off we tootled to the land of TJ, MB, SB and JK. Today will be the first, hopefully, of many Welsh Six on Saturday’s. We are currently camping out with Peggy, until we find a house of our own, so all these flowers are from her garden. Like a returning student daughter I brought a bag of dirty washing with me. We are very pleased to be here, but it has been a long week and exhausting both emotionally and physically. Therefore, this will possibly be short, but hopefully will be sweet. Just like me. Pop on over to The Prop to find out what is in with the horti in-crowd. Shall we proceed?

First we have a Choisya x dewitteana ‘Aztec Pearl’. I remember buying this at the local garden centre. It is lovely but outgrown its space. The area where it flourishes at the moment apparently wants to be dug out and replanted with so it is full of colour. Not sure where Peggy is going to find a gardener to sort that out.

There are plenty of weeds, that is true, but this dandelion is looking very pretty. Not so keen about the horsetail that seems to have appeared.

Then a cistus which is long and leggy in the shady front of the house. Not an ideal place but it is valiantly flowering.

Onto the charming (and unplanned) partnership of persicaria and Euonymus fortunii.

Then a rogue euphorbia, surreptitiously spreading at the back of the border. Still, the flowers are bizarrely beautiful.

Finally, this aquilegia was here to welcome us when we arrived. A reminder that wherever you lay your granny’s bonnet that’s your home.

We are done! Take care my friends. Now where did I pack that cement mixer?

Six on Saturday – The Long Goodbye

It has been a week of fare-thee-wells and packing; a few tears, plenty of reminising and a fair amount of box action. And we are not over quite yet, another week and a bit to go ’til M Day. I’m sure I will be lost for words when we are eventually settled into Nouveau Chez Nous (Fred?). Still all this turmoil is little excuse not to participate in the meme of champions, presided over by The Wizard of Prop and ably supported by multinational team of Munchkins. Time waits for no Munchie so let us proceed or we will never reach the Emerald City in time. Wagons Roll!

First we have Phlomis fruticosa, just coming into flower. I can’t praise this shrub highly enough for its resilience in the face of much torment and torture from wind and rain. It rocks and rolls all winter and then calmly produces a myriad of sunshine blooms. Top marks, my friend.

I am pretty certain that there used to be hyacinths where these flowers are blooming.  They seems a little loose to be hyacinths, but a little full flowered to be the evil Mata Hari known as the Spanish Bluebell.  Can these two related plants hybridise?  Are they Bluecyinths or Hybells?  Should I have a lie down?

There are undeniable signs that the Colquhounia coccinea has survived the winter. I gave a cutting to Jim last year which I believe flowered. This one has never flowered. Bitter? Moi?

Rain sodden strawberry flowers, escapees from the orginal pot, which are thriving jammed between wall stones. Read into that what you may.

If anyone is paying attention they might at this moment be sighing and thinking “what another aquilegia?”. However this one is featured as it is raising its head uncharacteristically in a “come on photograph me” kind of way. It was futile to resist. Either that or it was raining and I was in a hurry and looking for an easy option. You choose.

Lastly, you will have to indulge me once again. The above photo is not from my garden, but from Nancy Nightingale’s. This week was my last visit to her and her crazy garden. We dashed around in the rain, doing what we could whilst I gabbled instruction for the future. Things like “be gentle” and “I’ll be watching”. Digging a hole to plant out one of her many dahlias was enhanced/disrupted by puppy giant Snoop Dog, who admirably assisted me with my excavations. From my prone position, I noticed how he had carefully/fortuitously avoided the marigold with his great big delicious paws.

That is your lot, my friends. Have a good one and stay safe and well.

Six on Saturday – Buddy

Time once more to join The Propagator in the jolly jaunt that is Six on Saturday. Before we get going, clutching at the slim chance that you might be interested, too late to protest I’m telling you anyway, I will update you on Life in General. This week has been an assortment of delights. Some might have been a little past their sell by date, but on whole the lead up to La Grande Move is progressing well (Fred will translate for you). The exception is the demon named EE, who are presently resident at the centre of the dart board. Although moving from one room to another entails negotiating chicanes of boxes full and boxes empty, demanding snake hips extraordinaire, we are coping admirably. 20 days to go. Shall we proceed?

Last weekend I accompanied Hero and another friend to a craft fair at Broomhill Art Hotel. It rained almost constantly, tipping from the moment we arrived to the second we left. When we arrived home it was apparent that not a drop had sullied the washing line. But all was not gloom. A delicious (although luke warm) truffle mac and cheese was scoffed in the drizzle and some very talented people admired. I had a nice chat with one stall holder who was selling tempting flower printed light shades and fabrics. The hot topic was the virtue of the bud. Yes, I am that exciting. Here is Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ not quite in flower, but nonetheless beautiful.

Aquilegia time is imminent and this is our garden forerunner. They are ever welcome and I hope will be loved as much as I have loved them. Then cursed for their wicked and wanton ways. It is the way of the world and cannot be defied.

I try not to mention Erigeron karvinskianus often, I much prefer to talk about fleabane. Just coming into flower, it is a great favourite. In fact, we have a much-loved water colour painting of this contrary plant. It is one I will be looking out for to grace the fabled and far off and perhaps ficticious (no!) “New Garden”.

Now a rather bizarrely cropped rose bud. More buds, more potential. This is Rosa ‘Peace’, I am led to believe, also a much loved plant. I attempted to take cuttings, but I was a) too late b) too impatient c) lacking motivation and they failed. It is not only a beautiful rose but a wonderful sentiment to pass on.

Osteospermum ‘JK’ has begun flowering. There is no need to take a cutting, I will be close enough to the real thing soon enough. Wish me luck.

This last one is not in my garden, but please bear with me. A few weeks ago a friend of mine died; too young, too cruel. Above the house where he lived is a nature reserve, which this time of year is blessed with an exuberance of orchids. A couple of years ago he was eager to share them in their full and bounteous beauty. When we reached the glorious zenith, he was just as thrilled as I was to see them, although he had walked there every day and this was my first visit. It is a moment that is held safe, for when a special memory is needed. Yesterday I went for a walk with his sorrowed partner, also a good friend. I had been thinking about the Cairn but had hesitated to suggest a visit, thinking it was insensitive. Instead, we travelled in the opposite direction taking the coast path, heading east not west. After a while we left the main path, investigating some old ways, pushing between trail-encroaching self-seeded sycamores, past cliff top rusting railings and fallen gateways. And then I saw it; a lone orchid, standing proud and defiant and, of course, most beautiful. It stopped me in my tracks. We only saw the one.

Until next time my friends. Take care.

Moaning Minnie

I have been wittering on for years about the annoying aquilegia in our garden.  How they elbow-out and bully their way around the garden.  How they are sneaky, underhand and not to be trusted.

Today I sat on the bottom step, my delicate behind cushioned on my inflatable kneeler, potting on and pricking out.   Either side of the step, and indeed in much of the rest of the garden, swayed the aforementioned reprobates, resplendent in all their deceptive finery.  As I worked, the air hummed, as these wicked and selfish self-seeders fed a myriad pollinators, of all dimensions and persuasions.

I feel rather guilty now.  A bit of a Moaning Minnie.