Six on Saturday

January.  The second month of winter and often the coldest.  A walk round the garden to collect this week’s six was pretty grim.  But these are the cycles of the year and just when you think it’s all weeds and brown stuff something comes along to cheer the soul.  Let’s deal with the weeds and brown stuff first.

One

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Here’s the celandine that insinuates it way into so many nooks and crannies.  It’s looking very comfortable at the bottom of the hydrangeas.  Much as I despair of it, I know that it is a sign of better things to come.  The cheerful yellow flower just about passes muster and in no time at all it will be hiding away until next year.  This is one I have learnt to live with.

Two

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More weeds.  This is ground elder corner.  I spent a great deal of time last year digging out ground elder by the bag full.  I then planted up the space with annuals because I know I will be digging it out again this year.  The annuals have been pulled up and of course the weeds have jumped at the chance to put on a display.  But any day now… Please note: the broken flower pot is my frog shelter and not my careless gardening!

Three

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Brown stuff:  My kerria is in a bad way.  Last year the RHS reported on kerria blight and  my kerria have it.  The RHS advice is that it is caused by the fungus Blumeriella kerriae and that it is best managed by removing all infected plant material and either burning it or disposing of it at a local council composting facility.  That’s a job to add to my lengthening list.

Four

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Good grief! The tulips planted in pots are just appearing.   I planted two layers per pot and it may be that the top layer is a little shallow.  I hope they manage to put on a good show when the time comes to flower.  Time for some finger crossing.

Five

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Can you date a garden by the plants that grow there?  When was the height of planting for Bergenia cordifolia?   It’s not one of my favourites but it is listed as a perfect pollinator; it’s hardy; good for ground cover and it flowers early.  The leaves have lasted all winter and spotting this emerging flower was a happy moment.

Six

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Another uplifting moment was achieved with some contortion.  Hellebores are so modest, their flower heads studiously nodding downwards, but getting down to their level is well worth the effort.  This one is Pretty Ellen, featured in an earlier six but now getting into its stride.  I have just about won the battle with the fox who was using hellebore corner as a route through the garden.  Repairing the fence panel saved the hellebores from further trampling and the fox simply found another rotting panel to wriggle through.  I’m happy to allow the fox that route as it is in the corner behind the shed.

Wishing you all good things in your garden, winter is half way through and spring is fast approaching.  For more gardening news and views visit  The Propagator my plant obsession for a great selection of links to gardens from around the world.

17 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. You’d have fun trying to date my garden then! I never care about what’s in fashion and never grow any new introduction until a couple of years later; if it’s still around that is! There must be a secret to growing ground elder. A few years ago, I deliberately planted some here. It died. Celandine, on the other hand, is rampant and I’ve definitely learned not to live with it.

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  2. Nice overview this week too! I really admired your hellebore. Very nice picture and I understand your contortions to take photos! … otherwise I had Celandine a few years ago because of the usefulness of eliminating foot warts. I removed it because it has spread a lot ( and I had not warts…). If you control it, no problem!

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  3. Looked up N20 postcode, saw how close, feverishly ran out to check my kerria. You must be devastated. Will you pull them all out & if so, what happens next in that spot? As to dating gardens, I once lived in a 17th century house & it had a border that first came up in aconite, then into ground elder, which, when it bloomed, was very pretty. (Or maybe I knew I wouldn’t win the dig-out battle, so convinced myself of that.)

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    • Resigned. Not too heartbroken because it came with the garden when we moved in about 18 months ago, so I hadn’t nurtured it over the years. They are in a north facing border that is taxing my horticultural skills. I need a big plan!

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      • Elderberry is the Sambucus. We have our own native specie known as the blue elderberry. The elder tree is Acer negundo, which is native here too. Both happen to grow in the same areas. I suppose I should have clarified. common names can be confusing. Regardless, I do not need any more weeds in my garden! As it is, I am careful with exotic elderberries because I do not want them to naturalize; and they are not even weeds. . . yet. Your problematic elder is not related to either of the ones I am familiar with. I should have looked it up first.

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      • I’m a pottering amateur but I’m learning so much through tweeting and blogging. Sometimes it good to have the conversation and not always be looking things up. But now I will look up elderberries!!

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