Six on Saturday – Hope

Welcome to this week’s Six on Saturday.  My theme, and I do like a theme even if I do tend to go off piste, is “hope”.   I googled “what is hope?” and I was presented with two options.  Firstly; a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.  It was however the second, archaic, definition that I believe is most relevant; a feeling of trust.  When Pandora inadvertently released a truckload of woes into the world by opening her famous box, hope was left behind, jammed in a corner at the bottom no doubt.  Hope is not always easy to hold onto, but we must try, and we must trust in the future.

This morning I was up early wandering around the garden in my PJ’s taking photographs, the neighbours are used to it now, and I found lots to shout about.  Horticulturally speaking this is a time of great hope, seeds are beginning to germinate, plants sprouting, plans are huge and expectations immense.  If you would like to know more about SoS, all the information you could possible want, and much, much more, is over at our leader The Proptastic Mr Prop’s site.  Shall we begin?

First we have the valiant Rhodotypos scandens with its corrugated lime green leaves just beginning to emerge.  The photo is a bit blurry, but it was blowing a Klondike gale out there this morning.  All winter it rocked and rolled on its roots in the frozen hinterland of the front garden, but it has come through undaunted.  Soon the flowers, perfect in their simplicity, will give me joy each time I walk up the garden path.

Next the flowers of a pot grown blueberry.  Yesterday I suggested to OH that we get rid of it, or donate it to someone else who would look after it better, as it isn’t very productive.  I think it is flowering just to make me feel guilty, which of course I do.  Plans for its demise are on hold.

This Impatiens stenantha should really be snoozing, or perhaps just emerging, but it has had insomnia all winter long.  The leaves are beautiful with their toothed red edges.  An early flowering perhaps?

The Lavandula pinnata has also not slept.  It is like having a garden of hyperactive teenagers at a sleepover.  Unlike teens, I am confident unremitting flowering will not make them grumpy or late for school.

Soon there will be tulips.  These look sturdy and full of potential.  I can’t remember what varieties they are, we are all in for a surprise, hopefully a good one.

Lastly, a kindness.  At this moment in this world’s turbulent history some people are having toilet rolls and pasta left on their doorsteps by caring neighbours.  I had a Woodwardia radicans and a packet of tigridia seed.  Thanks Hero, you know how to make me happy!

That is your lot.  Stay safe and stay happy my friends.  ‘Til next time.

Six on Saturday – Watches

Snake's head fritillery

This may be rushed.  Again.  I’ll tell you why.

The strap on one of my watches came apart so I asked OH, AKA Glue Monitor, to fix it for me.  I don’t have many watches, just three.  You may think that is a lot.  I suppose you only really need one.  My three perform different roles in my life, apart from telling the time, that is.  One is a work watch, it has a large dial so I know when it is coffee time without putting my specs on and I can press my nose to my client’s window and dribble as way of a hint.  It was also embarrassingly cheap so it doesn’t matter too much if I compost it by mistake.  My second watch is my goth watch, a black-faced, black strapped Swatch, for my moody moments which are few but intense.  My third is a Fossil watch, bought in an outlet store for a fraction of the retail price and is my favourite.  It is my favourite because it has embroidered flowers on the strap.  It was this very strap that needed mending.  Anyone still awake?  The fact is this watch was still resident at the in-house menders meaning that it didn’t spring forward last weekend with the rest of the timepieces in the house.  And today I have been wearing that very same, now fixed, watch.  Which means that all day I have been running on Greenwich Mean Time instead of British Summer Time.  This in turn means I have one less hour than I thought to cram all the things I had earmarked to do this afternoon before cocktail hour.   I know another excuse.  At least I have turned up.  And our very own Time Lord, The Propmaster,  won’t need a lie down as he does on the rare occasions that I’m early.

Less wittering more plants!  Firstly we have a not quite open snake’s head fritillary, Fritillaria meleagris.  These play “will they, won’t they” each year and then seemingly over night, and usually a little nibbled, they appear.  When I say “they” I mean three.  They never seem to multiple like you hear in fairytales.

Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’

Next is a great joy to me, the strong and healthy roots of the most wonderful and doomy Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’ or the black willow .  These cuttings were sent to me by my friend Chloris after I admired the puma paws of one in her garden.  They have been sitting in a cup of water for a couple of weeks and voilà.   Read more about it here: The Blooming Garden – Six on Saturday 2nd March.   When admiring this willow I shall be wearing my black Swatch.

Now it is time for a fat and hairy potato sprout.  You may well remember, as I am prone to over-sharing about my personal life, that every year I buy OH some chitting potatoes for either his birthday or Valentine’s Day.   I usually buy Rocket, but for a change I thought this time he could try Charlotte.  I’m wild like that.  Each year he plants them and tends to them in a completely different way as to how I would do it.  But they are his.  I will not interfere.  I will not even give my opinion, I have tried before and it has fallen on stony ground.  But it is wrong.   Unfortunately it works.


What next?  Oh yes, the fresh young leaves of one of our acers.   A little burnt by the wind, but all the same a beautiful sight.   All our Japanese maples are named Woolworth, as it is here that we bought them, many moon ago, and very well they have served us too.  I still miss Woolworths.


On to blueberry flowers, blushing bells all primed to provide a handful of fruit for a summer treat.

Dahlia 'Peggy's Pearler'

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that Peggy is back!  Has she arrived in South Wales yet Mr K? For any of you who don’t know who Peggy is and why I should be so excited at her return, then you can find out all about it here: It Is All In The Name.

All done, double checked my numbers, and I’m all linked out.  I cannot linger, that Moscow Mule won’t drink itself!





Six on Saturday – An Easter Parade

Salvia gesneriflora

It is cold and miserable.  Yet again I did not want to go outside to take photographs for Six on Saturday.  Yes, I know I am a gardener and should be hardened to these things, but there is only so much dreariness a gal can take.   Then I had a little word in my own ear “Whoa now Neddy!  Less of that negative nonsense, slip off your marabou kitten heels, pop on your sparkling wellies and get your petite little rear out into the gloom.  Most importantly stop your incessant wingeing about the weather”.  And it worked!  I might try that again.  So just for you and our own Easter Bunny, The Propagator, (who will be handing out chocolate eggs to his favourite SoSers this holiday time) here is my Six on Saturday.  Yet again sharp focus has been forsaken in pursuit of the perfect art form (it was bloomin’ cold and I was therefore in a hurry).

Shall we proceed?  Some might have heard on the bloggy grapevine that last week I was hobbing with the nobs at the Hardy Plant Society AGM (unfortunately no oaty biscuits were involved).  Here I was honoured to meet the real life, not a robot after all, and champion blogger JK.  As reported by said supergrass, I may have purchased a couple of plants, but in my defence all but two were for my Esteemeds.  The best two of course.  I am a sucker for a salvia.  When I spotted this tall and handsome Mexican, Salvia gesneriiflora, our eyes met across the crowded room, my elbows went out and he was mine all mine.

Pteris umbrosaMy next purchase was a fern.  Now I generally have a problem with ferns.  I love them but find it tricky to distinguish one from the other.  Mostly.  There are some exceptions.  But not enough.  This little lovely is labelled Pteris umbrosa, the Jungle Brake Fern, from Eastern Australia.  However, it doesn’t look like any of the corresponding pictures on-line and isn’t mentioned in my new HPS Ferns book.  Perhaps it is because it is a youngster.  Any ideas anybody?  Nice to see it has made a new friend.  And that friend seems to have left a little gift.  How kind.

Hylotelephium spectabile Now we have a rescued Hylotelephium spectabile, found in the front garden being stifled under a carpet of ivy.  At the “do” last weekend Julian Sutton spoke at great length about plant names and how they have changed over the years and whys and wherefores and ifs and buts.  From both a scientific and a horticultural viewpoint.  This is a case in point, up until very recently it was known as Sedum spectabile. I am unable to comment on this change as after JS’s talk I was left feeling a little sorry for the botanists.  They need love too apparently.  And I have a blogging friend, the wonderful Diversifolius, who is one.  She also sells seeds!!!

BlueberryThe blueberry seems intent on flowering.  This is a good thing of course, flowers mean fruit, but only if they are pollinated.  There are not many pollinators about at the moment, and can you blame them?  I’d be snuggled up somewhere warm and dry too.  So I may have to help things along.  You never know the sun might come out and the insects with it.  I sincerely hope so.  It will be a squeeze getting into that bee costume after all my Easter eggs.

Last Sunday I potted up all my new bulbs, received earlier that week.   I’ve stored them underneath the bench, which might offer a smidgen of protection.  I know, going soft in my old age.  Nerine, leucocoryne, zephranthes and bessera, all putting down roots.  I am going to plant the chasmanthe direct into the garden, once the soil warms a little.  That will be August then.

ostrich eggsAnd finally, a couple of goose eggs, a gift from the Head Gardener at Marwood.  Apparently each one is the equivalent of four hens eggs.  That is some egg.  And I’ve got two!

Don’t forget to pop over to The Prop’s to check out all the other Six on Saturdays, and perhaps even be tempted to join in yourself!

Happy Easter to you all.  Anyone fancy an omelette ?!