Six on Saturday – Left Overs

Bar the shouting, most of the Christmas craziness should be over by now, and we are probably all a little relieved. To my mind, Boxing Day is the most relaxing day of the festive season; there is minimal cooking, plenty of time to play with your new toys, have a little walk perhaps and room to reflect on the meaning of life. And lots of left overs. I am sure it will be no surprise that I am not writing this on Saturday, that would be over and above the call of duty and might cause some non-marital tension. But we are not far off, it is Christmas Eve. The ham is cooking, the red cabbage prepared and I am just about to search for our only table cloth for its once yearly performance. My name is Christine Control; all is calm, all is bright. How long do you give it? Whilst we are on the subject, our master The Prop is always the epitome of control and calm, except of course when it comes to tulips. Shall we proceed?

First, we have the carcass of a crocosmia seed head. I remove a lot of these unremarkable montbretia from the back of the garden, and still they spread with unconcealed glee. Today, this rusty reminder was most welcome. My icy heart may have thawed just a little.

Next another rogue, the three-cornered leek. Again, I have dug many of these out of the garden, to little avail. Still, if I didn’t know their reputation for invasion, I would think them quite lovely.

Onto the aeonium that is heading towards the stars, like an old fashioned camera lens. Looks like some untimely flowers are on the way. Who am I to argue with Madame Nature?

The other evening, whilst sitting in the front room learning my lines for the SoS panto, I heard a suspicious noise. Bravely/foolishly I went to investigate, armed only with my curiosity. I found nothing. A couple of days later the culprit was discovered. The Hoya lanceolata ssp. bella had leapt off the top of the filing cabinet in the office onto the floor below. It was put outside in disgust, into the naughty corner, where it has stayed.

Now onto my faithful friends, the fuchsias. You have got to hand it to them, they are stalwarts.

Lastly, the statuesque teasels; ever reliable, ever welcome. I have saved all the seed that I need to spread their joy to foreign climes, leaving plenty for our golden visitors.

I hope you are all relatively unscathed and had much fun and laughter over the last few days.
This time next week we will have a new year to cheer us!

Six on Saturday – Top Secret Kittens

It was touch and go as to whether I would make this week’s Six on Saturday.  Luckily, I got back in time from my top-secret kitten-rescuing mission to complete my task.  Rest assured that all kittens are safe and well.  I hope you are too.  Any more information needed then pop on over to P’s and you can find up what is going on around the planet.  There may be more kittens and they might even be real.  Shall we proceed ……

First, we have Tulipa ‘Burgundy’ a lily-flowered beauty.  When it first started to bloom, I wasn’t sure about the colour.  It seemed a bit dull and lifeless.  Then it bucked up its ideas and now I love it and its fellows.  This pot is in a more protected position so hopefully will avoid the fate of last week’s purple tulip.

Next, we have an attention seeking Hoya bella.  This wonderfully fragrant exotic was given to me as a cutting by my ex-client, the lovely Lavinia.  It lives in my office, perched high on top of my box files, where I can appreciate the waxy flowers and their accompanying aroma.  Over the last few weeks, I have been mainly working downstairs and as such I may have neglected it somewhat.  In defiance, it threw itself off the top leaving a trail of compost in its wake.  It was nothing to do with the fact that it was bone dry.  Nothing at all.  It is now outside getting rehydrated in the rain.

My Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ has begun to flower.  It reminds of Mrs Bun.  Just why it reminds me of her is documented in Six on Saturday – After the Rain.  She was forgiven a long time ago, possibly 30 seconds after the rejection.  I miss her muchly.

This is Bellevalia pycnantha, syn. Muscari paradoxum, which is new to me this year.  Not only haven’t I grown it, I hadn’t heard of it before.  But I liked the picture and thought I would give it a go.  Then, as these things often happen, I was reading my friend Chloris’ Six on Saturday and there it was, in all its glory!  As she has a wonderful garden and great taste, I was quite chuffed.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

It’s that time of the year again, the time I say “look at the aquilegia and look how they are taking over every corner of the garden”.  Then I say “I will dead head them before they seed themselves and dig most of them up, reserving a select few”.  Then I don’t.  Groundhog year.

Earlier in the week, when myself and OH went out for our daily stroll, I spotted an interesting box outside the house of our neighbour across the road.  Of course we crossed to examine it.  Any little excitement is welcome.  In the box were pots of aeonium and a sign saying “£1 each, all proceeds to the Citizens Advice Bureau”.  On the way home I said to OH “have you got a pound?”, as like all royalty I rarely carry cash.  Here, potted up into one of my old terracottas, is our new aeonium.

Stay safe and well, my friends.  ‘Til next time.