Saturday, 3 February 2018

Six Reasons to Six on Saturday

Let there be bulbs & buds.

There've been a few Sixers lamenting that they've nothing but buds, bulbs & more buds to post in their SoS blogs.

Personally, I can't get enough bud & bulb photos.  But then, I also enjoy folks' holiday snaps, so my opinion is suspect.

Last week, CFS had me on house arrest with orders there'd be no writing.  Not a bad sentence, since it was lashing outside.  Plenty of time to contemplate the boon that is our SoS community.

We all have different skill levels, obsessions, time & energy, so SoS works differently for each of us.  The fact we keep coming back - & in some cases, only to read, not to blog - means it does work.

And that's my offering for this week.  A half dozen reasons why I SoS.

1.  It's global.

Globe trotting in slippers & pjs.

Regardless the weather or my health, I visit gardens from 4 continents - FOUR - every week.  That means seeing in their natural environment, trees & plants that could never grow in my climate.  Learning far away methods for growing things that will survive in my garden.  Being reminded of places I used to live.  Seeing that the joys & woes of gardening are fairly universal.

2.  Getting out of the rut.

We once lived in a village where most of my neighbours grew the same flowers - valerians, roses, dahlias, the occasional maverick pansy.

Poor little rejects.

I'm a little slow off the mark, so for my first village fair there, I donated a couple of trays of gazanias to the plant table.  At the end of the day, not a single gazania had been sold.

Conversely, after 3 months of SoS-ing, I've 11 pages of plants I'd like to grow.

While there's no way all those ideas will make it into my garden, that many options stoke the creativity - which in itself, is benefit enough.

3.  Coaxed off the turnip truck.

Long way from home.

I emigrated about 2 decades ago, but've not completely switched gears to this climate, its diseases, pests, plants & wildlife.

Growing carrots, spuds & maters in containers just seems wrong.

But SoS as a virtual garden club has my back.  I want fresh cherry tomatoes?  Revel in my containers.

4.  Seasonal reminders.

Tools of the trade.

Following along from that, my seasonal rhythms are still in Appalachia - all my February gardening chores there started & ended with snow.

While SoS gently nudges me into GMT, even natives of hardiness zones 7 - 9 can appreciate the call to prune, plant, or harvest in the appropriate season.

5.  Erudition.

My gardening ethos is decidedly up-the-holler => plants are beautiful, useful, spiritual.  In my previous life, I could rattle off the medicinal qualities of a plant, its various common names, plus any & all folklore attached to them.  Just try mentioning a recipe in your Six, & I'm all over it.

Not sure how you pronounce that one.

Having said that, I've resisted calling out plants in the dead language, even though I'm old enough to remember Mass being said in Latin.

Not so, our other intrepid SoS-ers.

As a result (& without study on my part), I now recognise the Latin names for grasses, poppies, honeysuckle & witch hazel.

So if anyone knows of something more efficient than the Google method of learning Latin names (i.e. an actual book), please do let me know.

6.  Respite for my poor, non-gardening family members.

I swear I'm listening.

Me: (looking at my Twitter feed) Wow, that's some hellebore.

Son:  I take it that's a flower.

Me:  (turns laptop for him to see)

Son:  Oh.  That's . . . pretty.

Rinse.  Repeat.

Respite from hearing garden talk.

Except when I'm talking about Six on Saturday.

So that's my no-bud, no-bulb contribution for this week.  I'd love to know why you Six on Saturday.

Do take yourself over to The Propagator who has his own Six, plus hosts scads of other SoSers in his comment section.  Go on, don't you forget now.

Thanks for stopping by!

Pickled shallot recipe.


  1. Wonderful. You take the crown for originality. Latin is a very old language (it must be cos I've got an O Level in it). Everyone thinks the Romans spoke it but they, being sensible, spoke Greek. They only wrote in Latin. Botanical Latin's different. Trouble is that somewhere, as I write, someone is beavering away at changing the Botanical Latin name for some plant or other. Sedum rolls off the tongue nicely. Hylotelephium anyone? Aster is nice. It's a genus, don't you know. The family is known as Asteraceae which is more of a mouthful. But a lot of Asters are now re-genused (my word) as Almutaster, Canadanthus, Doellingeria, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oligoneuron, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus or Symphiotricums. Don't worry about botanical Latin. Don't buy a book. It was probably out of date by the time the printer started printing it. We SoSers don't bother with Botanical Latin. We use Gardeners' Latin, which is much easier. And fun.

  2. I suggest you write a book on gardener's Latin, then. I'd buy it!

  3. Love it Lora, brilliant! I also love buds, so full of potential. If I wasn't one already, I would become an SoSer too. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Now must finish mine ......

    1. One of my cherry trees has little pink-red dots all over it. Can't stop looking at how beautiful that is. Love this time of year.

  4. Aw I'm feeling all emotional! That's lovely. How nice. See! All emosh.

  5. Sorry you've been laid low this week, but it has fuelled your creativity, so that's something positive. It is a devilish catching thing this SoS, isn't it? There is an RHS book on gardener's Latin, but it is one to dip into, not a page turner! I suppose I picked up the habit on my RHS course, where it was drummed into you.

    1. I may have to take a course, then. Think I need a hard task master to do a bit of drumming on my skull.

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  7. Gorgeous slippers! I could't agree more with your observation about the joys of reading blogs from around the world. Different (or similar weather), different (or the same) plants. Fascinating.

    1. I love the slippers but they're bargain basement - £12.60 from Surf 4 shoes.

  8. I love this post! So much fun! Your son reminds me of my husband, who calls every flower "daffodil." I guess that simplifies things.

  9. I see we have tolerant family on our minds! Sorry you have been low..hope spring changes things. It's astonishing how much I look forward to saturdays now! Feel quite invested in the garden progress of the other sixers

  10. Alas, no one's built me a pool yet. Am waiting . . .