Six on Saturday: Proper January cold

Blue skies and cold temperatures, the real January has arrived. On a walk round the suburban streets here I gently peeked into front gardens and spotted the first camellias opening up, beautiful sprays of red nandia berries and the delicate yellows of winter flowering honeysuckle. Blue Monday has passed and all is well. Inspired by what I had seen I looked more carefully at my garden and here’s what I found.

One

The first crocus is in bud, beautifully veined and full of the promise of butter cream flowers.

Two

The cyclamen bought on the cheap a year ago have decided to flower, the white is delicately flushed with pink, just perfect.

Three

The magnolia tree is in furry bud and some had even dared to open, perhaps a little too soon.  Temperatures for tonight are forecast to be lower and I’m hoping there won’t be too much damage done.

Four

In expectation of cold weather the evergreen agapanthus have been fleeced since November but the fleece, in its second year of use, is crumbling away.  If anyone can recommend some more reliable fleece I’d be pleased to hear from you.  I’ve gathered this together and tied the top up with string.

Five

In the greenhouse the temperature overnight on Friday just managed to stay above freezing.  I was thrilled to see the new growth on these rose cuttings that came all the way from  fellow SOSer, Fred in France.  I am very excited to think that I might have some beautiful white miniature roses soon.  Thanks Fred.

Six 

There are new buds on the cotoneaster villosus which, again, I have to hope won’t be crushed by frost.  So much excitement and so much jeopardy.  Is this why gardening is so thrilling?

Could this be the weekend the vine is pruned and the hellebores planted out.   Dry weather is forecast but will my fingers stay warm for long enough?   I’ll also have a look at the plans of other SOSers by visiting The Propagator, host of this meme and leader of the pack.  Happy gardening to all.

 

Six On Saturday: Exciting times

Cold, wet and gloomy is the summary for this week but undeterred nature pushes on.  On a particular dull morning my eyes fell up on a treat.  A small twinkle at the end of the garden:

One

The first blossom has appeared on one of the plum trees. It caught my eye and also that of a passing ant!

Two

The magnolia tree also sprang into life this week.  It’s full of beautiful blossom and I love it but I think it needs to have someone who knows what they are doing come and prune it.  It is full of water shoots growing away from previous pruning cuts.  Something for me to research.

Three

The last time I had someone who knows prune a tree we talked about moving an apple tree that had been planted hard up against a fence in a dark corner of the garden.  The wet spring delayed the job but finally a moment was grabbed and the tree was moved to its new spot.  It’s in amongst the redcurrants which might be moved next year.  And for a bonus item, the patch behind is where the potatoes finally got planted.  First earlies Ratte and Arran Pilot went in this week.

Four

The first of the tulips came into flower this week.  Yippee! It’s Tulipa ‘Nicholas Heyek’, a
triumph tulip.  It’s not one of the many that were planted last November – I’m still waiting on those.  These were planted out in the first year in the new garden and left in the ground over the summer.  This is their second year of flowering.

Five

Not so exciting is the damage that comes with all the exciting new growth.  The slugs and snails are active and the Thalia that looked so lovely a week ago have been shredded.

Six

I too was stirred into life and began sowing some seeds.  This tube contained 30 seeds of Antirrhinum White Giant.  They were tiny.  Here’s hoping they love the warmth that’s heading our way next week.  I also sowed Calendula ‘Indian Prince’, Zinnia pale mix, Nasturtium Alaska, and Tithonia Torch.  Still more sowing to be done.  Yes, exciting times.

There will plenty more gardening life on show at The Propagator who hosts the internationally famed #SixOnSaturday meme.  Enjoy your garden.

 

Six on Saturday

It’s a busy time of the year but Six on Saturday’s siren call has been heard.  This week I’ve gone to the front garden.  Here are my six.

One

I went to to buy 12 brick pavers to finish off the edging on the new border and came back with no pavers but 12 half price cyclamens.  Here’s a little group of three I put together in the front garden.  The front garden is mainly north facing and is planted with evergreen shubs so these cyclamen are adding a little spot of brightness

Two

As I planted out the cyclamen I  noticed the magnolia tree was in bud.  It is a lovely sight when it flowers and seeing the buds is a great reminder of things to come.

Three 

A very large clump of carex pendula has been dug out recently.  I confess this plant was so well established that I couldn’t move the thing and had to call in some muscle.  I hope all traces of it have gone but it is thuggish so I shall be watching carefully for any signs of regrowth.  I will plant up this skimmia japonica  subsp. reevesiana in its place.  It is  hermaphrodite and will produce berries without a pollinating partner.

Four

The hydrangea has completed turned to its winter colour, the lovely teracotta shades perfectly matching  the brickwork.  I cut a few of these flower heads to bring inside for tying up with ivy and anything else I can find to decorate the house at Christmas.

Five

Flowers on the pittosporum.  I don’t know why, surely it is out of season?  This shrub is at least 4 metre high.  I don’t the variety, I will be delighted to hear from you if you have any suggestions.  This is  another inherited plant that earns its keep.

Six

Lastly, this is the sum total of my borlotti bean  crop this year.  The beans have been drying out for at least a month and I’ve just put them in the jar.  One jar.  I grew about 5 plants but they were against the back fence of the garden which only gets late afternoon sun.  Next year I am going back to wig-wamming them in the middle of a raised bed.

Thanks to The Propagator for hosting the wonderful Six on Saturday.  Every week I think I’ll never come up with six but there is always something to suprise me.  Read the Propagator blog posts and all the other Six on Saturday posts from around the world at The Propagator my plant obsession