Six on Saturday – Crisis? What Crisis?*

Second week in and 2021 is already looking rather tarnished. I’ve got an idea. Let’s buff it up, reintroduce a shine, give it a serious Six on Saturday make-over. If you visit the SoS Housekeeper’s site you will find a battalion of us from across the globe, armed with dusters, doing a bit of polishing, making their own corners sparkle. Without further analogy, which to be honest was getting a little out of hand, let us get on.

We start with Osteospermum ‘Double Berry Purple’, an oldie but goodie. This flower has been stuck in the self same position for the past few weeks, like a horticultural game of musical statues. Perhaps it opens and closes when I’m not looking. It may even do the oki-coki.

Next, we have Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’, dark, shiny and mysterious, like my soul. Not really, my soul is made of candyfloss.

On to a moth eaten viola, still, to my mind, quite beautiful. But then again I always did like the waif and stray, the underdog forever has my backing. Nice pop of orange too.

Now Erysimum linifolium ‘Variegatum’ which is a wallflower made of stern stuff. It grows in the gravel edge to a paved area, it is continually trampled to avoid bashing your head on the rotary clothes line, and swamped by its neighbours. No complaining, it just gets on with the job. Good chap.

Next a Miscanthus napalensis seed head, its golden locks now turned to grey. I think it very distinguished.

Finally, Vinca difformis ‘Jenny Pym’; always a joy, never a nuisance (not yet anyway), and so welcome in these chilly hours.

That is your lot, hope you feel the world is shining a little bit brighter now. Until next time, stay safe and well.

*with thanks to Supertramp

Six on Saturday – Resilience

It has been an eventful couple of weeks for the world; fire and flood, plague, false prophets, the whole shebang!  In my own small and insignificant world we have soldiered on, protected from all but a smidgeon of the evil portents, although not always with our smiley faces on.  There have casualties and but many more survivors.  This weekend is set to bring more challenges, which we have no option but to endure.  But there is nothing like nature to demonstrate resilience, the urge to survive is paramount.  To see how the rest of the Six on Saturday world is faring, check out what is going on over at The Prop’s where I am sure positivity will abound.  Let us get on.

First we have a hellebore which, with a little help from its lovely assistant, is showing its hidden beauty.  With its head hung low it has escaped the worst of winds.  Each year I promise to move it to a more accessible position.  Each year I forget/lose my bottle.

The bully boy in yellow pants, Narcissus ‘Tête-à-Tête’, was ravaged by our recent weather.  These flowering spikes were ripped from their planter several feet away and dumped unceremoniously on the ground.  I have no doubt they will return next year, despite their rough treatment.  I am very pleased to see the Aquilegia canadensis showing a leg in the background.

Next the glossy bronzed leaves of Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ which is snuggled between a hydrangea and buddleia.  No sign of trauma here.  God bless hardy evergreens.

One of the branches of a large and very woody rosemary toppled during the reign of Ms Ciara.  I have decided to leave it be until the weather moderates.  A snail is very pleased that I have chosen a non-interventionist approach.

The Solanum rantonnetii is looking a little worse for wear.  Fried to a crisp and, bearing in mind the toxicity of the plant, not as tasty.  The plant is vigorous and I have every faith it will come back fighting in the spring.

Lastly an osteospermum providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for a small green caterpillar.  I wondered if it was an inch worm of some sort.  Perhaps.  It has had a good munch, which even the most hard hearted could not deny.

Stay safe, keep your chins up and dream of happy days.


Six on Saturday – Letters

red hydrangea

Here we are again, happy as can be, all good friends and jolly good company.  That’s right, it is Six on Saturday time again.  For anyone who has spent the last year lost in The Empty Quarter, or perhaps has been undertaking a silent vigil in a monastery somewhere deep in the Himalayas, and have missed this phenomenon, then I will explain what it is all about.  A certain gentleman called The Propagator has cast a spell over an increasing number of us innocent mortals.  It is not confined to the UK, his power extends across the globe and I have an inkling, even further.  This enchantment compels us to share six things that we find in our gardens every Saturday.  The only way to escape is if you have a note from your mum, a consultant surgeon or Gandalf.  As I haven’t managed to get any of these folk to co-operate this week, here are my SoS.  By the way, pop over to Mr P’s blog where you can not only read his contribution, but also those from his other captives.

First we have a hydrangea.  In the summer this shrub is a cheerful cherry red, small in stature but perfectly formed.  In early autumn it darkens to a deep maroon and now, as the gales have battered and desiccated, it has begun to turn the colour and texture of cornflakes (pre-milk).


Last week I planted some garlic in this trug.  It was a little later than I had planned to, but that is the way it goes in my world.  To some this container, with its invitingly soft compost, might look like a litter tray.  Yes, Fat Ol I’m looking at you!  Hence the sticks.

Pittosporum 'Tom Thumb'

A genera that has (not literally) grown on me is the pittosporums.  We have one in the front garden, it was in place when we arrived.  Luckily it is the diminutive Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ and has barely grown in the ten years we have been here.  Its glossy burgundy leaves, frill edged, are especially welcome in the winter months.

Variegated Oleander

This variegated oleander rarely flowers.  It produces buds which just sit there waiting for some appropriate Mediterranean weather to open.  Which is extremely optimistic.  However it does over-winter outside with no extra protection.  Perhaps I should I say “so far”, I am a demon for tempting fate.

Bee House

Last Christmas I gave this little bug hotel to my OH, in reality is it more bijou B&B than Hilton.  Every so often I have a peer into it to see if anyone is in residence.  Other than a few spiders, I haven’t seen anyone yet.  Perhaps the leering human is putting them off.

Vinca 'Jenny Pym'

Last of all is the wonderful Vinca ‘Jenny Pym’.  The moment I set my eyes on this periwinkle, on a garden visit a couple of years ago, I was smitten.  Once I found a specimen and planted it out, I duly forgot all about her.  This is my fickle nature.  That is until this morning.  I see that she has done very nicely without my continuing doting.

Thanks again Mr P, for keeping us in order.  Now how about a letter from The Pope?  Does that count?