Six on Saturday – Murk

I feel a little bit confused. Not unusual, it’s true, but the severity of the confusion seems all the more at the moment. I mean to say, what day is it?! Saturday of course, it is Six on Saturday time. I am barely into my January sabbatical (big word for a month off) and I’m drifting about like a anchorless dingy. I am chomping at the bit to get out and do stuff in the garden, but it has been so wet that even in the tempting rain-free interludes the ground is sodden and I know better than to stomp (rather than chomp) about on easily compacted soil. Frustrating. I suppose that is the name of the January game. However, all is not lost. There are plenty of people out there enjoying sun and warmth and all things floriferous, and there are others, like me, who are dreaming of sunshine, and some that might well be under a blanket of snow. If you check out The Prop you will be able to catch up on what is what and what is not in the world of SoS. Come on now, let us shake a New Year leg.

First, we have a snail. Not a real snail, but a monster to scare the others off snail. It hasn’t worked in the past, I live in hope.

Next, a hitchhiker. A plant that I have previously dug up at great physical cost, cursed on its defiant return and later its prolific self-seeding. Now I am activity tending this thug in its host pot of watsonia. It is bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’, and I don’t know what I am thinking. If I moan at a later date please feel free to say “told you so”,”when will you ever learn?” and the like.

This Christmas our household was the proud recipient of two bird feeders. The bog standard one from me to him, the fancy pants acorn from my astute nephew and his partner. As our garden is not on the birdie super highway, I was jumpy uppy downy thrilled this week to see a sparrow on BS and a robin taking full advantage of FP. Very happy me. They will come.

Onto the anaemic leaves of emerging ranunculus. Early, I know, but at least it has turned up to the party.

Someone who has never left the party is Osteospermum ‘Purple Sun’, pictured next to our rainwater reservoir, AKA a plastic box. Ever ready to pop the odd flower out, so far any attempt at cold hasn’t thwarted its enthusiasm. Long may this last.

Finally, I bought some seed. Yes, I know, I have a biscuit tin full of seed. OK, fair cop, I have two biscuit tins full of seed. But I do need, yes need is the correct word, some reliable fresh seed for a talk/practical presentation I will be doing in March. I have a certain responsibility. And I love Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ and I just had to have Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ and ………

That is your lot. Have fun, stay safe, ’til next time, my friends.

Six on Saturday – The Cupboard Isn’t Bare

Earlier this week, my old man said follow the van and don’t dilly dally on the way. Never one to miss the opportunity for a little van following, off we scooted to South Wales, hot-tailing a Luton full of plants from our garden. These cherished ones are now residing in my brother’s garden, where I am sure they are being tended and cherished as if they were his own. Or perhaps his lovely wife is in charge of the T & C. I am confident they will be quite safe for the scant four weeks we have before we leave here. I mean what could go wrong in 4 weeks? Perhaps it is best not to dwell on the subject. Do not fear, my friends, there is plenty left in the garden to share in this week’s Six on Saturday and lots more to come. More spring/autumn madness, hemisphere dependent, can be found with The Prop and the gang, pop over and take a look. Shall we proceed?

First, we have my mini-greenhouse, emptied of its precious cargo, now holding a pair of my wellies and a pair of ousted trainers. Oh, and a couple of pots of late/early cuttings: big purple penstemon and a double purple osteo. These need a keener eye than the transported ones.

Next is the bronze fennel, yes, the one that I spent many happy hours removing every single piece of from The Bed of Anarchy. The moral of this story is that when you name a border you have to accept the consequences. And this glorious thug will follow us. Many of the pots that have been stored below are already blooming a purple skirt of seedlings.

Onto Lavandula pinnata which has strolled through winter, flowering intermittently whilst cocking a snook to the season. I forgot to take any cuttings, and it is too late now I suppose, still it might come my way again.

Now an osteospermum which had been in a pot, but has now been transferred into the garden. The flower is looking a little cold nipped; still a beauty though. I have had to make painful decisions as to which to abandon and which to take with me. It is happy here, so best left to its Devon destiny.

Next, a wild strawberry, which I am quite sure will continue to delightfully pop up around the garden. I have potted up some cultivated strawberries for the new owner, hopefully they will give her fruit this year.

Finally, Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine’, nestled between the phlomis and hydrangea in The Frozen North. A little beauty and happy as Larry.

That is your lot. Same time, same place? Possibly different time, but same place. Take care my friends.

Six on Saturday – Not Going Out

We made it to another Six on Saturday, hurrah!   If you are curious, pop on over to The Prop’s and find out what the rest of the gang are up to.  For some it will be spring, for some it will be autumn, but we are all united by one thing.   Things have slowed down, there is no need to rush as tomorrow will be soon enough, there is time to consider and immerse ourselves in the moment.  I find that very comforting in these strange times.  Let us meander to over to my chosen ones.

Firstly, we have a sublime double purple tulip.  I’ve looked for the label, but nothing.  I’ve looked for the packaging, but nothing.  Someone needs a firm talking to.  It is not the first time this has happened.  The worse thing is that it is a dreadful example to my esteemed clients, whom I mercilessly nag about keeping everything labelled.  It is a bit like telling everyone to stay home and then travelling to your holiday home 150 miles away.

Next we have the knicker elastic radishes, looking rather dandy.  I have been watering and cooing words of encouragement.  Their neighbours in the pot, some spring onions, have also begun to emerge.  Always a miracle.

Onto the red Woolies acer looking resplendent against the white-washed wall.  I think I might have used a similar photograph before, but I reckoned that nobody would remember or if they did, they wouldn’t care.

Now we have a jolly osteospermum.  The foliage is quite frankly rather ropey, as would befit any decent osteo at this time of year.  The flower is wonderful.  My head says “trim it back”, my heart says “not on your Nellie”.  Another battle to be waged.

Then one of my favourites in the garden, Anemone nemorosa ‘Robinsoniana’.  Every year I chop back the fuchsia in the front garden to allow this ethereal beauty to shine.  By the time the fuchsia has grown back, her moment in the spotlight is over and she is happy to play second fiddle.

Lastly the bronze fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’, that I dug up and disposed of a couple of years ago.  I may have left an iddy biddy bit behind.  Talking of behind.  Fat Ol’s sister Daisy thought my photo would be greatly enhanced by the addition of a sunbathing pussycat.  I agree.

That’s yer lot for another week, my friends.  Stay safe and well and home!