After a productive morning in the garden I now present my #SixOnSaturday. And it is not quite as I anticipated. My plan was to sow a few seeds and get the pruning of those blackcurrant bushes finished off. It was a frosty start so I thought a light brushing down of a few cobwebs in the potting shed would be a good warm up.
We all have our favourite tools and for me brushing down the cobwebs is done with the old brown brush. First I had to find it. So the rickety old shed was emptied out. The brush was found about half way through the emptying but I’d started so I had to finish. First job of the day turned out to be a spring clean of the shed. The second job – look away now if you are faint-hearted – was also shed related. If you are ready, read on.
The dangers of plastic bags to wildlife are much in the news and I can only think that this rat fell foul of one my garden refuse bags. I’m not a great fan of sheds at the best of times and my survival instincts were on the alert for large spiders. I was not expecting to find this. But it was dead, recently so I think, and so I coped rather well. Disposed of it, had a cup of tea and with nerves steadied, moved on to brush down those cobwebs.
Whilst I had my feet up in January, those more resilient than I were washing down greenhouses, washing up pots and scrubbing plant labels clean. Well today I made a start on a few of those jobs in preparation for a little bit of seed sowing. Once some of those jobs were done, sweet pea Black Knight, Gwendoline and Anniversary were planted in root trainers and the first rocket seeds were planted in modules. I decided against planting the half hardy antirrhinums as the greenhouse is on the cold side and I think they can wait until early March. As a bonus I’ve included the latest photos of the autumn sown love-in-a-mist and end of summer penstemon cuttings.
I sowed the love-in-mist in seed trays and when I potted them on I took the chance of planting a few directly into the soil. They have survived the winter so far. In the background is one of the foxgloves sown from seed last year and planted out at the same time. The foxglove should be in flower this year.
A little dot of colour to end on. The first of the anemones has pushed through and opened out. I had thought the autumn mulch had buried them, but one or two are beginning to appear.
The half price tray of white cyclamen bought a while ago are evolving. They have begun to take a gentle pink blush. I wasn’t expecting this either but I find it far preferable to the dead rat.
For more garden excitement from around the world go to The Propagator for this week’s links to a lovely selection of six on saturday, generally horticulturally related but with the occasional meander off the garden path.
The fair weather gardener in me has been dominant this week. The temperatures are low and the lawn and borders are still squelchy and sticky. I did refill the bird feeders, pull a few weeds and tie in a stem here and there but very little else was done. Here’s my six:
The new borders are going into their third summer. The first was spent weeding, digging, suppressing weeds and feeding. The second saw some perennial planting with annuals. This year it is the turn of bulbs. A mass planting of tulips and alliums took place in autumn and, with no apologies, I was very excited to see the first emerging shoots of allium Mount Everest pushing through.
The last of the cutting back was done recently. The sodden brown remains of iris siberica were removed and there was more delight to be found in seeing the first signs of the new growth.
Over on the veg plot the onion and shallot sets are progressing. I’ve kept the covers on to protect them from the birds but it is good to see there is strong growth.
Every March I settle down to watch the new series of Gardener’s World and every year Monty brings out trays of seedlings he has sown in the depths of winter. They are all ready to drop into the beautifully prepared soil for early harvests. This year I have got wise and I check in with Monty’s website each month. Eureka! Now is the time to plant your rockets seeds. I’m going to put mine into modules so that I too will have a tray of plump rocket seedlings ready to drop into my beautifully prepared soil!
My tray of violas from last week’s six was planted up and they are smiling away at the bottom end of the garden. A good enticement for me to get out and about.
Gardeners are generally sharing souls and this little pot of persicaria red dragon was given to me by a friend. I’ve just got to find the right place in the new borders for it.
That’s my six. For the links to a great many other sixes go to The Propagator. You will find a treasure trove of good gardening from around the world.
Thanks so much to everyone who gave me advice on the Euphorbia. The RHS thought it might be poorly because of root rot due to wetness and also suggested, as others mentioned, cutting back the sad stems when the new growth comes through in spring which might persuade it to regenerate. I think it might have picked up a little in the past week so I am going to remain optimistic. Here’s my six for this week.
Geranium sanguineum var. striatum. These were making such a good show on a visit to Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire in June that I bought some for myself. They have established well and this pink flower shone out on a gloomy day this week. Don’t know why it’s also known as Bloody Cranesbill, seems quite inoffensive to me.
Some small scale seed sowing and propagation has taken place. I finally potted on some of the Nigella damascena seeds which were collected from plants growing at the allotment. I also collected some sweet pea seeds from the summer flowering. They have just germinated. It was a spur of the moment thing as I unentwined them from their supports. I put them in a pot and hoped. So far so good. Next in the row are the penstemon cuttings taken in August. I took four, four rooted and so far four are growing on. One was a little thin on the root growth but it seems to be making progress. I should have taken more cuttings as an insurance policy.
This aster is eye popping in the border where the colour is actually a little more subtle than this photo shows. It’s another purchase from the Finchley Horticultural Society plant sale. Who needs Chelsea? The cosmos is still flowering but in preparation for storm Ophelia I did cut back some of the larger stems for flowers for the house.
Some autumnal mushrooms have arrived in the garden. Plants for free, yes. But I’m not sure about food for free. I don’t know anything about mushrooms so I will leave them where they are. Something seems to be enjoying them, I suspect squirrels but could it be the birds?
Some golden leaves from the fig tree. The colours are turning and the leaves falling but these figs aren’t going to ripen in this garden.
My last one for the week is this climbing rose, Blush Noisette. Beautiful soft pink flowers and hopefully many more to come. It is growing up a south facing wall and it will be interesting to see how long this micro climate will help keep it flowering.
I hope your garden to continues to flower and be fruitful. Thanks to The Propagator for hosting the wonderful Six on Saturday. Read his blog posts and all the other Six on Saturday posts from around the world at The Propagator my plant obsession