Six On Saturday: a few ups and downs

The view of the garden from the kitchen window gives a grandstand view of the antics of the squirrels.  This week they have been tracking down the last few tiny edible figs and often knock off some of the others in the process.  As does the wind and the rain, which is all very helpful as there are still a great many figs to be taken off.   In all the gloom of this week there have been a few spots of colour:

One

G

I still have berries on the cotoneaster leading to me to conclude that there is still plenty of food around for the birds.  The combination of the red berries and leaves and the ivy strikes a perfect Christmas note.

Two

I tweeted this photo earlier in the week and unashamedly share it here.  For one of my twelve days of Christmas I have six paraqueets-a-nibbling.   This tree is a real bright spot in the winter gloom and looks all the crazier with the addition of some neon green.

Three

This sad looking skimmia is not providing the much hoped for winter colour.  It was planted out last year underneath the magnolia and I had lovely visions of masses of red berries which have come to nought.  The skimmia was dug up and potted again, pending allocation to a better spot. Some place with more light and not so dry I think.

Four

The aforementioned magnolia is beginning to do its stuff again –  these new buds were  cheering to see.

Five

I ventured into unknown territory awhile ago and planted up some hyacinth bulbs for forcing for Christmas.  At the appointed time they were brought into the warmth of the house.  But this week they were  banished into a cold exile outside.  Their crime?  Well the bulbs are innocent but the cloud of tiny black flies that came with them were not greatly appreciated.

Six

I’ve got a few things going on in the potting shed.  The scented leaf pelagoniums have been cut back, the last of foxgloves are going to overwinter there now along with a few cuttings of penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ and pellies.  I am also trying to keep alive a few seedlings from euphorbia oblongata but I feel these are already slipping from my grasp.  I foresee causalities along the way.

Even though I may lose some seedlings over the winter the eternal optimism of the gardener continues.  New seed orders have been placed and the wish list continues to grow.  Enjoy your winter garden – plants and wildlife,  and if you are seeking inspiration look no further than The Propagator’s blog which will start you off on a world wide tour of gardens.

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18 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: a few ups and downs

  1. Your picture of persimon is really nice. I saw it a few days ago and I think I’m not the only one to have liked it. Are parakeets free around London? We don’t have any in France.
    Your 1st photo is a stunner!( 50% red 50% green, a beauty )

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  2. I love your photo of the persimmon and parakeets. I’ve been thinking about buying a persimmon, but wonder if it would find my garden just too hot. The fruit hanging from the bare branches is a glorious sight, and the birds with it…wow! Also gorgeous is the photo of cotoneaster and ivy. Wonderful combination.

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  3. A squirrel has discovered our garden and bird feeders this winter. It’s very entertaining to watch. I really like the cotoneaster and ivy photo.

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  4. You’ve made me decide to get a persimmon tree – an easy way to feed the birds. We’ve got parrots here as well, hanging out in our park, but I’ve never seen so many together. That’s the greatest photo. What’s in the pot under the magnolia buds – is it thyme? I’ve numerous pots of creeping thyme meant to surround the stepping stones, then we had a disagreement w/the landlord & you know how it goes. So pots go leor! Just wondered if you’ve got a pot of it yourself. I also keep looking at skimmia & rejecting it, but your point about colour at this time of year. And of course, I have a special smile for your cotoneaster & ivy. Wonder what the other side of your fence looks like?

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    • oh and this week the parakeets have been joined by squirrels, They happily guzzle together while the magpies lurk around in the back waiting for a gap. Interested that the magpies go all timid in the presence of parakeets!

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  5. Lovely thoughts on your blog today. would the foxgloves not manage outside? and is the oblongata tender or would it survive here in London? I think I’ve bought it from Sarah Raven in the past and it’s here and there in the garden but doesn’t amount to much.

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    • I’ve planted some of the foxgloves outside but I have kept a few back to plant amongst some roses that I’ve just ordered. Depending on the weather I may plant the last of the fgs out when the next two roses arrive. The oblongata is from Sarah Raven seeds and she talks about it being a bit tender. I did have hopes that I could edge a border with it but I only got three or four to germinate and they came in a second wave after I had given up hope! This will be an experiment!

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