Six on Saturday – Birthday Girl


Saturday 14th July.  Now that date rings a bell.  Something or other is going on.  Don’t tell me, it is on the tip of my tongue.  Oh yes, Six on Saturday.   That wonderful meme hosted by the indomitable Mr Prop.   But there is a niggle that I might have forgotten another important event.  Silly me, it is the 229th anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille.  Always good for a knees up.  However I’m not sure, there is a nagging at the back of my mind, an inkling that there may be something else I should be celebrating.

How could have I forgotten?!  It is Peggy’s, AKA My Best Mum, 90th birthday.   Don’t worry, it won’t get mushy.  Or only a little.  I can’t help myself.  And don’t think this going to be a “my mother used to grow these in the garden of my childhood, whilst I frolicked amongst the sweet peas”, she barely knows the difference between a daff and a dandelion.  Truly, sometimes I wonder if she is my real mother.  Then I look at my fat calves, remember my propensity to blush at the drop of a hat and my compulsion to talk to absolute strangers on public transport, and I know that there is no avoiding it, we are truly related.

As the reason that I do this blog is the fault of the self said woman, it would be remiss not to celebrate, however tenuously, through SoS.  A meld made in heaven.  Or should that be Heavens.  Once Peggy told me “I have been very lucky, I have never wanted diamonds, pearls or fur coats”.  That is true.  And this is another thing that I have inherited.  Just as well really, because they were never coming our way.  For this special birthday she has been very strict, she doesn’t want anymore “stuff”.   What could be better then, than a Six on Saturday dedicated to you?!  My first gift is a sunflower, could you get any richer and more radiant than this Ruby Queen?  A jewel of the finest kind.


My second gift is an agapanthus, just considering blooming, strung with gossamer.  Or spider’s webs for the unromantic amongst you.  A classic seaside plant, my Mum loves the coast with a passion.  When she stays at our house, my first job of the day is to take her a cup of tea in bed.   I draw back the curtains and we sit and watch the boats and chat and all is well in the world.

Salvia viscosa

The third plant is a Salvia viscosa, an adorable little sage, grown from HPS seed.  Not the most extravagant of flowers, but it has a delicate charm that is as worthy as any other.  My Mum will chat with a Hells Angel or a Duchess, a tramp or a Queen, and she treats them all equally and with respect.  All are enchanted.

Fuchsia 'Thalia'

The next present is Fuchsia ‘Thalia’, which has toughed it out through freeze and swelter.  My Mum is from Yorkshire.  Let me translate for you – she tells it how it is, although years away from home she has alway remained a straight talking northerner.  This sometimes smarts, but is invariably for my good.


My next offering is a hydrangea, strangely blue this year, which I am guessing has something to do with nutrients being available in the drought.  But I might be wrong.   My Mum loves singing and is always quick to break into song.  At any time.  Which can be a little embarrassing.  But remember, she is from Yorkshire, and quite frankly doesn’t care!  This flower has nothing to do with singing, or any song I can think of, but it is still a pretty gift.

Lastly we have Daisy the cat, warming her belly on the baking bricks.  My Mum loves animals and they love her, as do I.  Nearly got slushy then.  She is my mentor, my best friend.  She keeps my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  Happy birthday Peggy from Your Bestest Daughter!!!




Six on Saturday – Necessity

It’s raining it’s pouring, I’m not going outside again after getting soaked walking miles to pick up my camera that I stupidly left in Max’s Dads’ car yesterday after a wonderful day out and had no transport because OH had taken the car to do the shopping and anyway I had jobs to do in the High Street.  Not quite as catchy as the original, but I’m working on it.   So, fearing the wrath of The Propagator, who owns Six on Saturday, I have had to be inventive.  Necessity and all that.  Warning:  Some connections to my garden may be a little tenuous.

First, snowdrops in the sunshine.  It would be impossible to pass this sunny shot off as today’s photo.  In fact this picture was taken yesterday at Little Ash Garden where myself, OH and Max’s Dads met up with Rusty Duck and Torrington Tina to marvel at Helen’s masterpiece of a garden.  Although billed as a Snowdrop Day there were many other delights; hellebores, winter flowering honeysuckle, clematis, flowering quince, cake and coffee, and three varieties of homemade soup!  Two pots of snowdrops came home with me, ‘Magnet’ and ‘S. Arnot’.  They looked lonely.  They are now taking their chances in the deluge.   Where I refuse to go to take a photo.  So there.

Next we have my pride and joy, a brand new shiny labeller.  Don’t stand still for too long, or you will have a piece of tape across your forehead.

Fritillaria persica

Now a picture that was taken last week, but I imagine it is looking pretty much the same.  Perhaps a little damper.  These slightly nibbled shoots belong to an emerging Fritillaria persica, the Darth Vader of the fritillery family.  I bought this gargantuan bulb couple of years ago at Malven and it has yet to flower.   Fingers crossed for this year.  As the more observant of you might notice, yes you Mr K, there are some “kind to everything except slugs and snails” pellets scattered around.  It might be “closing the door after the mollusc has bolted”, but I thought it was a little early to worry about that kind of thing.  However, it has been an extremely wet and mild winter, up until this last week that is.  Perfect conditions, if you happen to be slimy.

Salvia viscosa

Some positive news, germination of more seed.  These triumphs include Alonsoa warscewiczii, Malope trifida and Salvia viscosa.  All of these I have grown before, although not for a while, and I am looking forward to getting to know them again.

A note in a Christmas card read “We have a couple of first edition garden books, would you like them?”.  This enquiry was from an ex-boyfriend’s parents, a wonderful couple whose company I always enjoyed and have remained friends with for the last 30 years.  It was at their soon to be permanent home in the South of France that I first read a gardening book.  Long before I gardened.  When the very thought would have provoked howls of laughter.  The book was Christopher Lloyd, The Well Tempered Garden.  A fine introduction to garden writing.


Lastly we have houmous.  As I couldn’t go outside I made some.  An essay I wrote in college came back with the comment “interesting, but perhaps a good humus content in the soil would be more beneficial than one rich in a chick pea dip”.

Thanks again Mr P. Pop over to his blog to read other contributions, most likely written by braver and less sensitive souls.  Here’s hoping that next week will be just a tad drier …..