Six on Saturday – Greatest Hits

This week, in the pretence of treating you to some joy at this festive time but in reality is because it is tipping with rain and I am in a grump, I will be presenting to you lovely folk six happy recollections of the year past. Whether or not this is permitted, perhaps an addendum in the tome that is the Six on Saturday rule book, quite frankly my dear etc etc. Please feel free to pop over to see what the generally law abiding SoS elves have been up to and if our very own Santa Prop has got his gardening mojo back. Let’s get this party started.

In the eye of the storm I managed two visits to RHS Rosemoor in the space of week. They were both joyful events. This photo is not staged. At the time I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I am still undecided.

In February, when we were all still innocents, we had an amazing few days in London. Always on the lookout for the green, on the banks of the Thames I spied some valiant lichen and evidence of a passing angel.

This picture always makes me happy. It is the seedling of, what I believe is, a lesser spotted orchid which has made its home in the furry arms of a large fern at Westwell Hall. And why wouldn’t you?

Onto a green variegated zantedeschia, donated by Mrs Bun to Max. It is always good to share, especially a plant which sounds so unlikely to be beautiful, and never fails to prove you wrong.

My cosmos were rubbish this year. Nancy Nightingale’s were wonderful. More than wonderful.

In August, as a birthday treat, Hero whisked me off in her campervan. After visiting Atlantic Botanic and a delicious picnic, we went for a walk on Braunton Burrows. I spent much of the time with my head down, marvelling at the wildflowers, including this little echium, growing in almost pure sand. A memorable day.

And to finish (and yes, I can count but refuse to cull any of the above photos, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it) three doves. They are the symbol of peace and hope and of course love. Which is exactly what I wish for you all.

Butterflies

There were a lot of butterflies at Westwell Hall today. This one was easier to photograph than the other ephemeral beauties. But only barely better. The brisk breeze made it challenging to produce a blurless image, but at least this gladioli couldn’t flit off to the next garden.

Back To It

After a month long sabbatical, today I returned to work.  I call it a sabbatical because it sounds grown up and important and as if I am doing something worthy with my time.  Researching the lesser spotted snoddlegrass perhaps or volunteering in the Home for Grumpy Old Men or maybe knitting hats for bald eagles.  None of these are the case.  It mainly involved good intent and excessive inertia.  Oh, and chocolate.

After a dreary December I was ready for a break and the thought of sog and mud free days was enticing.  For the last couple of weeks I have been restless to return.  Batteries recharged.  My clothes a little tighter.  Ready for action.

It rained, of course, but not until just before lunch.  And it was lovely to be part of the Westwell Hall pack again.  My cleaned and sharpened tools are dirty, my coat mud-encrusted, twigs are in my hair, order has been restored and all is well in the world.

 

 

YMCA

It was a struggle to get an even vaguely in-focus photo today.  This was partly to do with the gale force winds that were assaulting plants and gardener alike, and partly to do with the fact I had so many clothes on it was hard to extricate my camera and take a shot.

In order to keep warm, this vinca was doing the dance moves to YMCA.  For sake of the photo, we are lucky that Y is quite a long note.

Bargain Bin

A couple of months ago, on Button Moon, I was handed a couple of boxes.  These boxes contained bulbs and corms and were accompanied by a wide smile of pride.  They were several weeks out of date and had been liberated from the bargain bin.  But this was no ordinary bin.  It was a Waitrose bargain bin.  In return I offered my narrow smile of fear.

The planting times were past and they more shrivelled than ideal, but ever the obedient servant, I planted them and hoped for the best.

Purple anemones, palest lemon gladioli and crocosmia have all chortled at my concerns.  None though have been more divine than Gladiolus murielae, the Abyssinian gladiolus.  A glorious white and purple butterfly.  I never doubted you for a moment.

 

Un-Blue

Today there was plenty of blue sky to raise our spirits, a good working day with just a tease of a shower this morning.   The return to summer was short-lived as the skies have already filled with grey cloud and gloom.

It will be much harder to un-blue this salvia.

Common

In the last few weeks I have had cause to warm to the common montbretia.

Today at Westwell Hall, in glorious combination with the dark leaved elder, it looked spectacular.

There is a lot to be said for being a little bit common.