Six on Saturday – Sunshine and Shouting

Japanese acer

First of all I must thank our glorious Six on Saturday leader, The Propagator of Lurve, for arranging this beautiful sunny day.  Take a look at his blog and all will be made clear about the SoS sect.  You may well come away more puzzled than before.  One or the other.   Anyway, this clement weather, subsection 3b “on a Saturday”, has been a long time coming.  I suppose our guru needed a little practice before he got it right.  There is no need for me to whine on about the depressing rain or snow or gales or drizzle or anything actually. People might begin to believe I am a happy, carefree kind of gal.  Here I was, proud recipient of the double whammy, inclination and opportunity, what could possibly go wrong?  But I had forgotten about external influences.  More specifically, a neighbour firing a nail gun intermittently all day, irregularly enough to make you jump a meter in the air at each shot.  In between times he was hammering, or shouting at his son, or they were both hammering or shouting, all on top of an enormous shed/store for artillery at the bottom of his garden.  Cheers mate.  Happy sunny day to you too.  Due to said suspect weapon stash I decided not to complain.  Not to him anyway.  Thanks for being a shoulder.

Let us get on with the job in hand, or it will be Sunday before we know it and I will be on the naughty step again and that Mr K will be pointing and giggling.  First of all we have a Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, one of several we have in the garden.  All in pots.  Mainly brought from the greatly missed Woolworth’s for three shillings and thrupence.  The new foliage is a joy.

Secondly is a little alpine sink, which I replanted his last week with Sisyrinchium ‘E K Balls’, Scabiosa ‘Blue Jeans’ and Polygala chamaebuxus.  It had become overgrown and rebellious.  Now it is tamed and under my control.  I almost believed that when I typed it.  We all know different.

Virburnum x burkwoodiiNext is Viburnum x burkwoodii, an inherited shrub which battles on in the front garden, abused by weather and ignored by gardeners.  Until today.  Earlier in the week I visited some friends at The Round House in Ilfracombe.  One friend told me that, along with Daphne ‘Jaqueline Postil’, this hybrid was their favourite winter into spring scent.   Today, working in the front garden, the fragrance was incredible, both near and far.  How did I miss this?

On to the obligatory tulip, this time Tulipa ‘Blue Diamond’.  Not blue, no diamonds.  Pretty though.

Fritillaria meleagris 'Alba'

Now for a trio of white fritillaries, Fritillaria meleagris ‘Alba’.  This is a strange time of year, my gaze is intent on summer and I sometimes forget to appreciate the spring flowers that have struggled through such horrendous weather.  Although not as dramatic as its checkerboard brother, this albino sibling, with just a little blush on the shoulders, is a lovely light in the border.

And finally we have Fat Ol posing by a primrose.  Such a handsome lad and a great “help” to me in the garden.  Cat Help, that is.   This entails throwing himself in front of my feet causing me to do a cha cha cha in order to avoid standing on him, scratching posts in a virile manner, meowing at a pitch just above high C, insisting on attention when he wants it but ignoring me when I want it.  The usual.

Thanks to El Prop for another week of Six on Saturday and of course the good weather.  Same time, same place?





If the gloves fit


A few months ago I made an official complaint about the availability of small sized gardening gloves.  I feel a little bit silly typing that.  Really?  Is that all you have to worry about?  Boo diddums!  The fact that I can’t easily find working gloves that fit is not an earth shattering problem, quite the contrary.  Shame on me.

All the same, I am a professional gardener, of sorts, so why shouldn’t I have kit that fits?  I am not alone, there are plenty of us Horti Heroines out there.  When you look at available working clothing you would think not.  One day, not so long ago, a plumber working at the same house as I was said to me “I didn’t realise that there was such a thing as lady gardeners”.  Yes, quite true, although a perfectly affable chap he was amazed at my profession.  If I had just beamed down from the Starship Enterprise he would have been less shocked.  Let us just reflect on that a moment.  Indeed.  Quite.

After trying, yet again, to buy some new gloves at a certain well known chain of garden centres, I decided on direct, non violent action.  I emailed the Managing Director of the aforementioned store, said my piece and sat back and waited.

It didn’t take long.  The next  day I had a call from one of the MD’s PR team.  After an extended placating chat they promised to send me some “without prejudice” freebies and address the problem.  Today I called into the same garden centre.  True to their word they are now stocking small gloves, and proper hard wearing ones too.  Not the ones that look pretty but are as useful as a chocolate teapot.  So I would like to say thank you to them.  Thanks for listening and thanks for doing something to redress the imbalance.  It is much appreciated.

I didn’t set out to buy plants.  Who does?  OK, I do, but it isn’t always planned.  True, the very fact that we visited not one but two places that sold them meant there was an outside (inside) chance that I would succumb.  Really, it was inevitable.  Today I have welcomed to the fold Scilla peruviana Carribean Jewels ‘Samphire Blue’ and Polygala chamaebuxus.  I am sure they will fit in very well.

As I thought a photo of a pair of gloves or a, yet to be exciting, plant in pot would be a little dull, I decided to share a very undull hellebore with you.  A picture that has nothing at all to do with this post.  Any complaints, please email the MD.