Six On Saturday: The shed has landed

Pride of place this week has to go to the new shed. So let’s go straight to it.

One

The old one went a week or two ago, leaving a large open space for me to contemplate. I was wondering why I had ordered a same size replacement when surely I could manage with a smaller one, but too late, the shed was on its way. It is very new and shiny. How lovely it is not to have to lift the door up off the ground before trying to open it and how lovely not to have a soggy floor every time it rains.

Two

I have some new borders to plant up. This one is at the very back of the garden in the area used for produce. This is a very inhospitable plot for veggies, dry and shady and nothing has fared well here. Now the plan is try some plants. First in were three asplenium scolopendrium or hart’s tongue ferns. In the spring I will add thalictrum, hostas, tiarella and aquilegias. The logs in the corner come from a fig tree, read on for their sad story.

Three

Earlier in the year tragedy struck the smaller of the fig trees. I can’t believe it didn’t make a six at the time. Whilst trying to remove the alkanet from around the base of the tree I realised it was moving around quite a bit. Further examination revealed it to be rotting from soil level so it was quickly taken down, sawn into chunks and stored at the end of the garden. The space I was left with was planted up with annuals and an old dahlia that was lurking in a pot. The dahlia did well but it won’t be a permanent fixture. The first real frost arrived this week so I will lift the dahlia and then settle down to thinking up some plans for this border, a sunny spot thank goodness.

Four

More new plans to put in place for this patch of ground. I took out both white currant bushes and a good number of gooseberry bushes earlier in the year and sowed a green manure mix. That has now been dug in and mulched over. Now the ground is ready to receive a new redcurrant bush and a new white currant bush. All the bushes will now have more room to breathe and hopefully I will be able to net them more successfully against the birds.

Five

It is the that time of year again, when the cotoneaster horizontalis gets to be a star of the show. This was not one of my favourite inherited plants and I thought it would be on the list to dig up asap. But those red berries are very attractive at this time of the year and the blackbirds need something to nibble on. It stays.

Six

There’s a little spark of lime green in the border coming from the euphorbia oblongata. This will be its first winter out in the garden after having been grown from seed. It is described as fully hardy but short lived. I hope I get another season out of it.

There are a few jobs still to done, not least the last of the tulips to be seen to. The mojo just wasn’t there last week to get on and do that but the cold weather has arrived and they must be planted soon. Temperatures in the greenhouse went down to -0.9 degrees for one night this week, winter is coming.

Mr P continues to host this merry band of sixers for which many thanks are given. Stop by and take a look. Enjoy your winter gardening, here the wildlife is taking over. Parakeets and squirrels have come for the persimmons and the birds are regular visitors to the feeder. All very entertaining.

Six On Saturday: Last jobs to be done

It’s still quite mild but the days are shortening and colder weather is forecast. I have risked leaving the lemon tree out but this is the weekend it will go into the greenhouse. The scented leaf pelargoniums went inside during the week and the evergreen agapanthuses in pots have been wrapped up in fleece. There are too many of these to move into the greenhouse so they brave the winter outside. The garden is mulched, the old shed has gone and the new shed is on schedule to arrive next week. That leaves the leaves! And the last tidying up in the borders. Oh, and a few dozen tulips still to be planted. So nearly there, but not quite. The garden looks as though it is going quiet but underneath the soggy earth the spring bulbs are waking up. Hurrah! Here’s six from the garden this week.

One

Testament to the mild weather perhaps, is this flower on one of the anemones I grew from root cuttings. I took the cuttings last autumn and managed to get them through the winter. I moved them to 9 cm pots in the summer and perhaps around the end of August planted them out in the garden. It’s a small flower on a small plant but it’s all my own work so much treasured.

Two

The figs have been falling from the tree. Some were ripe enough to make jam with but most are not. This was the result of one morning’s work and the windy weather of this morning has brought down a few more.

Three

Lockdown life is pretty dull which is my excuse for buying these purple cyclamen. Madness, I usually only entertain the white ones. But here they are, looking more pink than purple but they are purple!

Four

As mentioned the pellies are in the greenhouse, even as they continue to flower. They will need to be cut back for their overwintering, a job for next week.

Five

The leaf cage is getting full and the neighbours on both sides are contributing. It’s quite a social event!

Six

Roses are still giving little pops of colour, a cheery sight through the gloom of a drizzly afternoon.

This season is turning, there will be less gardening and more eating of hot buttered crumpets. But SOS carries on. Mr P will inspire us all with his ingenious finds to make it into each week’s six. I urge you to take a look.

Six On Saturday: November shines its way in

November is my favourite winter month and so far it is looking good. The first light frosts arrived this week followed by blue skies. The perfect weather for shovelling the large amounts of mulch I have sitting in dumpy bags. Progress is slow but it’s a wonderful outdoor work out. I am not a tidy gardener but I am always very happy with the sharpness of the border after a mulch has gone down. So all is well in the garden at least. Here’s six things that caught my eye this week.

One

Last week’s halloween fungus was identified as Coral fungus, probably ramaria stricta. This week I have another mystery to be solved. The front garden once again supplies the object requiring an id. Sorry, no prizes!

Two

I have been busy cutting back soggy leaves, in this border it was the siberian irises getting the chop and nearly losing a leg was this little fellah. I usually have a robin as company in the garden but this year the amphibians have been muscling in. I am hopeless at telling the difference between frogs and toads but previous creatures have been identified as toads so I’m going toad for this one.

Three

November is the season for bare root roses and there are always some discounts available which is very tempting. I still have one or two roses putting out small flowers. This one is ‘Jaqueline du Pre’.

Four

And this one is ‘Natasha Richardson’. This one is very floriferous through the year. If I am tempted to try to fit in one more rose it might be ‘Munster Wood’. But at the moment I’m just looking….

Five

A few weeks back I showed the leaves on the persimmon tree as they turned colour. The leaves have all fallen now, leaving the fruit to take centre stage. It’s a good crop this year, destined for the birds as I am not a great fan of the fruit.

Six

I have one fuchsia in the garden, an inherited one so I have no idea of the variety and I am sad to say that it looks like it has fuchsia gall mite. The ends of the shoots are distorted. Here’s the flower rather than the damage. Cutting back the affected growth seems to be the main option. A job for the weekend.

The week ahead promises mild weather here, I’ll be mulching and collecting leaves. The old shed will be taken down and I hope the new one is still on schedule for delivery end of the month. Meanwhile I’ll keep in touch with other SOS gardeners through the links on Mr Ps site. This is the time of year when sunny photos from Australia cheer us up.

Six On Saturday: Something for Halloween

I’m a little shocked to find myself at the end of October with so much still to do in the garden. The rain is spoiling all my plans, but thankfully so far it has been quite mild and the lemon tree and the scented leaf pelagoniums that are still outside haven’t suffered. A trip to the garden centre saw me suckered into buying reduced Tete a Tete bulbs, these are my priority for the weekend. I’m planting them in pots so that I can move them into the front garden in spring when the gaps in the borders are evident. Here’s six from this week’s very squelchy garden.

One

Strange things are afoot in the front garden. This is my contribution to Halloween this year. It looks like it should be in use in the bathroom. I have no idea what it is, other than some sort of fungus. Suggestions most welcome.

Two

I stumbled across these salvias in the week. Evidence of previous garden centre temptations. I planted them under the roses and promptly forgot about them but they have settled in very well. They are ‘Nachtvlinder’. I am glad I spotted them again as there is the chance I will lose them if the winter is a harsh one. Maybe it’s not too late to try taking a cutting or two.

Three

My next contribution to Halloween. The seed pods of Iris foetidissima are just beginning to open. The berries stay on the plant well in to winter, giving a good splash of orange to some dark corners of the garden.

Four

Zinnias are just surviving the regular downpours of rain. It hasn’t been the best weather for them but the occasional flower braves the showers.

Five

Lovely, lovely autumn leaves. These are from a nearby parkland walk. The garden here has a few trees in it and is surrounded by some very well established oaks, sycamores and ash trees in neighbouring gardens. The leaves are beginning to fall and it’s a good workout to gather them up and store them in the leaf cage to rot down over the year. Last year’s leaves have been bagged up to rot a little more and then they’ll be used as a mulch for the raspberries.

Six

Last splash of orange for Halloween. The blue sky is a distant memory from last Sunday and the beautiful pyracantha berries are a reminder that there are still one or two plants on the wish list for the garden. These were growing outwards from a garden neighbouring the local park.

The rain has arrived so my bulb planting will be taking place in the potting shed, which leaks. I’ll be in the dry corner. The Prop could be anywhere but all the links to the SOS meme will be on his website. Enjoy them.

Six On Saturday: last hurrahs from the garden

Where does the time go, or is it that my energy levels are declining with the decreasing hours of sunshine? Wednesday was a complete wash out, a deluge of rain that lasted all day. But I was determined to get some bulbs in the ground this week and Thursday saw the camassias go in. I may be pushing the boundaries for their growing conditions, liking moist conditions is one thing but I think my chosen spot for this batch may be erring on the wetter side. Time will tell. Here’s six from the garden this week.

One

I struggle to get nasturtium seeds to germinate – can you believe that? But one year I did get a couple going, they languished in their growing spot so much so that I uprooted them and put them at the back of the garden along the edge of my failing asparagus bed. Here, left completely to their own devices, they have begun to take hold and are flowers have been forthcoming. A rather nice treat for this time of year and for the mainly shady conditions that now represent home.

Two

There are still flowers in the garden, dahlias, cosmos and zinnias clinging on but this week I was very aware of the foliage beginning to change. The persimmon tree is going from green to reds and will eventually become golden yellow as the leaves fall, leaving the fruit behind to ripen.

Three

The fig tree leaves are already heading to yellow and the numerous fruits will not ripen. What a job that is, taking them all off. It is a large tree and those much above head height never get removed.

Four

There are one or two flowers on the bergenias but this striking red leaf against the green was the attention grabber.

Five

The pulmonaria are enjoying the wet conditions, looking fresh and zingy this week. Such a contrast to their withered summer look. I didn’t think they would survive but they really are tough plants.

Six

Saving some flowers for last, helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ is still giving. What a trooper.

I have the borders to selectively clear, mulching to be organised, tulips and alliums to plant. A few more dry days would be helpful. And a little sunshine would be a bonus. Just hoping. The Prop will be a source of inspiration – so join me in taking a look at this week’s SOS from his garden. There will be much to enjoy from other gardens too.

Six On Saturday: Seedlings

This is the sort of SOS that will separate the forward thinkers from the skin of the teeth types and I nailed my colours to the latter mast some time ago. The weather is atrocious here but there was a brief moment of less than torrential rain so I nipped out to the greenhouse and snapped this six.

One

Ignore the label – these are not Lutea!

Foxglove seedlings. Somehow, and much to my delight, I had one white foxglove among the forest of purple ones this year. I collected seed and will patiently wait to see if a) I can get them through the winter and b) if they come through as white foxgloves. Oh, the jeopardy!

Two

Fighting the damp conditions and the slugs

More collected seeds. This time from purple delphiniums. I think I am already in danger of losing some of these as the greenhouse has been rather damp of late and I fear the worst.

Three

Aquilegia seedlings, sown some time ago and I am already down two of them.

Four

Thalictrum delavayi seedlings, in need of potting on. Such delicate little things that will, if all goes well, grow on to make plants of over a metre tall. Possibly in danger of being overtaken by moss and algae. Oh dear.

Five

The astrantia major in the garden is really making itself at home and needs to be taken in hand from time to time. Some are pulled out but I have potted some on for next year to fill gaps in a shady border.

Six

A second sowing of basil has come good

I have a forest of basil plants that I hope will keep going for a couple of months longer. These have been one of the most enjoyable crops this year!

Well, I seem to have ended in in the new block editor this week. I have always failed to edit the link. Let’s see what happens. https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/03/six-on-saturday-03-10-2020/ No I can’t give it a short and snappy name – any ideas folks? As they say, a rose by any other name … so just follow the link to Mr P’s page of delights and take a stroll through the comments section to find your way to the SOS collection of gardens. Keep dry!

Six On Saturday: The veggie report

The harvest is in and it’s time to plan for next year. My SOS usually features the garden but there has been some action on the veg patch this year. Onions: fail. Dwarf green beans: not bad. Carrots: a handful. Tomatoes: slow to ripen but the outdoor ones have done well and no blight! Strawberries: better than last year. New potatoes: not many. Courgettes: just enough. Each year the list of what to grow gets smaller. No more leeks for me, no more swede and no broccoli, psb or otherwise. I had a go at red cabbage again this year and the slugs have stripped every last leaf from all six of my seedlings. That could be a last outing for cabbage. Enough words, time for some photos.

One

The tomatoes have been cropping steadily for a few weeks now.  Oh so slow to get going and nearly at their end now.  These are for the weekend.  It feels like the green ones will have to come in next week.  Temperatures in the greenhouse were down to six degrees last night. 

Two

Parsnips were always so easy to grow on  my allotment but the seeds struggle to germinate in this garden.  This year I managed to get three into leaf.   I will persevere with parsnips next year because there is nothing like a home grown roasted parsnip.   

Three

These are Pink Fir Apple potatoes, another great favourite and the crop wasn’t too bad.  Last night they were cooked jacket potato style and Sunday night they will be roasted as wedges.  

Four

I have two patches sown with Green Manure this year.  Both sown in September.  They will stay in the ground until November.  My plan is to dig them in just as the manure for feeding the veg plot arrives.  

Five

Carrots.  WilI I, won’t I grow again.  These are Nantes, they have a fantastic carrot smell and taste very good too, so on balance I will grow again.  Perhaps I will sow later in the season so that they are ready for eating now.  The danger is that the slugs start nibbling away at them underground.  

Six

This is as far as the melon got.  I tried hand pollinating this year to get some to grow before the bees arrived to their job.  It was not successful.  I am going to accept that my greenhouse, which is in shade until the afternoon, is not the best place for melons to grow.  

I have been released from furniture moving duties for the day, so there is a chance for some gardening to take place.  The winds of yesterday once again blew my neighbours fence down, the third time this year!  My very tall asters have a distinct lean and I feel a strong urge to dig them up and have done with them.  They are just too tall.  Other SOSers will be making plans for their garden this weekend so drop by the  Prop’s place to discover more.  Time for us all to enjoy Autumn. 

Six On Saturday: Summer’s lease is running down

This week has been a treat. Particularly so here as decorating has been the top priority and having the doors open to the sunny garden has lifted the spirits. Having neglected the garden over the last few weeks there were a few lovely surprises. Here’s this week’s six.

One

The autumn crocuses have pushed through the geranium phaeum foliage and for a few brief days were untouched by the slugs.  A neighbour has reported seeing a hedgehog in the garden and wondered what to do.  I immediately offered outdoor dining for the dear creature at my place.  I live in hope.

Two

It is the turn of the blue delphiniums to re-flower.  Slightly paler in colour, I think, than the first flowering but very welcome.

Three

The gaura is past its best but it has to be featured this week because it looked so lovely against the pennisetum villosum this morning.  

Four

This scabious was a new plant purchase last year but has only made it into the garden proper this year,  It is scabiosa caucasica ‘Miss Willmott’, bought on a visit to Beth Chatto garden in Essex.  This should flower on through October.

Five

Dhalia ‘Blanc y Verde’ from a Sarah Raven combination.  I grow them in pots and they used be accompanied by dahlia  ‘Furka’ but these have a been a no show this year.  I have to give this dahlia a pat on the back.  They have tolerated my erratic watering with amazing good grace.  As I notice their wilted leaves I drench them with a can full of water and a dose of Tomorite or Maxicrop and thankfully they re-hydrate.  

Six

Sorry to go about the cosmos again but really they have been stunning this year.  This crowd is ‘Dazzler’.  There are about three plants here that are pumping out the flowers week after week.  I am well and truly dazzled. 

I am sure The Propagator will have much to dazzle us with and of course there are the links to the other SOS posts to enjoy.  A beautiful weekend lies ahead here so let’s enjoy it while it lasts.  

Six On Saturday: Apples, plums, flowers and bees

It’s been harvest time this week. So without further ado I give you this week’s six.

One

All the apples from all the trees are picked in one go and are taken to an juicing farm.  This year’s crop seemed to be less than last year and when the juice was collected it was proved to be so.  Thirty five bottles against fifty one last year.  There has been some significant pruning undertaken for one of the trees to get it back into shape and this was where we noticed less apples.  Perhaps next year it will be back to bearing a higher crop.  

Two

As we had the apple picker out we decided to go for the plum tree too.  All the plums were gathered in and the fruit was halved and stoned before freezing.  I have never had much success with plum jam so the plan is make endless plum and frangipane tarts. 

Three

Cutting back the perennials promptly does pay dividends, the delphiniums have rewarded me with a second flowering.  

Four

Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ is a good height for the front of the border and flowers well.  I have dead heading to catch up with which will keep it going. 

Five

The rain and occasional sun seem to be powering the garden on.  Last week’s flattened cosmos were hauled upright and staked to within an inch of their lives.  This revealed them to be nearly five feet high.  Impressive going when I think back to those tiny seedlings that appeared in spring. 

Six

Finally the bee, on a separate planting of cosmos.  The bees seem to be on a resurgence in the garden.  They float from these cosmos plants across the path to the agastache in great numbers.  Always fascinating to watch.

But I have much to do.  The hollyhocks are ready to be cut down and the roses need another round of deadheading.  I also have plans to move plants and the bulbs have started to arrive.  The ideas for next year are gently bubbling away.  

Mr P sets a good example as always, managing to file a SOS post whilst on holiday.  He has spotted nerines which sadly reminds me of the bagful of bulbs that I bought last year which I fear will come to nothing.  I have a few leaves poking up from some I put in a container but those in the ground seem to have failed. Hey ho! 

Six On Saturday: Storms

Ellen, Francis and next to arrive Gerda: I write this blog for you. Ellen and Francis have deluged the garden with rain, blown down my neighbour’s fence panel – again, flattened the ageing sweet pea wigwam and pushed everything else this way and that. It feels more like November rather than the last days of summer. When will Gerda arrive? Let’s hope there’s a break for a while as this week’s brief respites have not coincided with my gardening time. I need to do some end of summer sorting out.  Here’s six from a battered garden.

One

Low growing enough to be safe from the winds, these black and white dianthus grew from seed sent by Fred in France.   They are only now beginning to flower in some profusion so I hope there are a few more warm days to come to keep them going. Thanks Fred.

Two

I am not a great grower of dahlias but I do have one or two.  This one was a rogue in a batch of other dahlias that have since been passed on to a better home. I kept this one because it is simpler and smaller.  The dinner plate dahlias are not for me.  

Three

I cannot quite remember which variety of cosmos this is, it could be ‘Sensation Mixed’. It’s just come into flower and has been trampled by the fallen sweet pea wigwam. There is some sorting out to be done but I think the cosmos can be salvaged.

Four 

The coneflowers have twirled themselves around in the wind, just about remaining standing. They deserve a sunnier spot and I hope to oblige in this autumn’s re-think.

Five

Now as you know gardeners are not known for complaining: the weather is always reliable, everything grows well, pest damage is limited  and all is generally well in the world but occasionally things don’t deliver and the odd sigh can be heard among the shrubberies.  So it is with the autumn raspberries,  Lovely to see them fruiting but the volume looks to be well down on last year.  Mustn’t grumble though, it’s good to have them.  

Six

My main lavender plant finished flowering some weeks ago, but in a different corner this one keeps on going.  A little bit of summer remains.  

There’s a rather beautiful dahlia in the Prop’s six for the week.  Am I tempted?  Somewhat! I hope you find time to take a look.  All the links to other sixes are posted there throughout the day.   I’m hoping for calmer weather and then a few jobs can be done.  The alchemilla mollis is going over and I have some green manure seeds to be sown.