Saturday, 17 March 2018


A single cyclamen.

Here it is, our weekly #SixonSaturday happening, that day when bloggers around the world share six things from their garden - a job, a new bud, a pest, a plan.

A few weeks ago, we moved house.  Last time you saw me, I'd just climbed out of a snow bank & was busy clearing an area in the new garden for a potting shed.

The simple task of levelling ground has developed into a shed saga.  We're also under another snow attack.

Best of all, I've begun a proper explore of my new territory.

1.  Another base, new skill set.

Last week, it was nose to the grindstone getting the base ready before the potting shed was delivered.  My dedication to duty, all that delay of garden gratification, & then the shed's arrival was postponed.

However, the 2nd shed (our storage shed) came early.  While I'd rather've been peering intently into the nooks & crannies of the garden, all of my shed contents were still inside the house, annoying the non-gardeners.

Ground Levelling, Episode 2.

A certain SoSer convinced me to get a metal shed.  That necessitated a cement or paver base, instead of the so-easy-to-assemble-even-I-could-do-it plastic grid base.

We have a hoard of pavers (which you'll read more about in #4 below) so pavers it is.  I watched a YouTube video, rounded up the resident muscle brigade & boldly went where we highly educated, unceasingly impractical folk have never gone before.

Devil's work.

We laid pavers, laughing & swearing, me shouting down cries to hire a builder, all of us trying to outrun an unpredicted rain storm, hampered by not only total ignorance, but my CFS . . . I'm a bit of an optimistic eejit, if you've not picked that up over these many long months.

After 2 hours, we only got a third of the area covered before the rain.  And because we're who we are, we're proud of our one-third paver base.

2.  Stepping stones.

The rain came, so we go up the smooshed-grass trail from paver base to house, & I mutter that I'm going to have to dig out a path here.

My son, El Punko stops & taps the ground with the shovel he's carrying, making a metal-against-stone sound.  Then he looks at me with his, I-see-things-you-don't-see grin.  It's a game he's played his whole life, using his incredible visual acuity against me.

After I scraped the grass off.

One of the things that makes his vision so acute is that he sees extra shades of green that most people don't - the grass over the stones was a different shade to him, hinting at something underneath. 

With eyes like that, seems a waste he's not interested in gardening.

The stones look a bit far apart.  Can't wait to uncover them all, see what the plan there was.

3.  No plants.

So we go inside, spread an old blanket on the living room floor, set out our tools, & gleefully unbox the metal shed.  Five shed parts are missing.

The universe has spoken.  Feck delayed gratification.

On with the rain gear & outside to explore.  Besides the hither & yon of a few bluebells, there's little that didn't get here on the wind or by thwarting the fence between us & the neighbour's garden - the fennel from last week, a couple of valerian, some vinca, ivy & creeping Rose of Sharon.

So far, I've found 2 inherited plants - the lone cyclamen pictured above & this mystery plant below:

Little red-capped strangers.

It looks rather peony-y, doesn't it?  Last year's dead stems don't look peony-y at all, & it does seem a bit posh for this garden, but I'm still betting it's a peony.

4.  The terrace.

It surprised me that the horizontal section of the terrace had pavers over it.  You can see they're simply laid in place without mortar.

The terrace lid.

I'd expected builder's rubble underneath, but no, just compacted dirt.  So, original design or someone in the history of the place not wanting more garden to look after?

Inside the box.

Whatever the story, that stuff's going to need some food.  Have been reading about bio-char, which various sources claim to be plant manna.  Has anyone had first, second or third hand experience with it?

5.  Not-crooked cherry tree.

While the garden had little to offer of plant interest, in my potted forest, the Not-Crooked Cherry tree is in bloom.

Think I'll name her Hillary.

I bought this at the Angry Village Plant Sale (3 gardens ago).  They said it was a wild cherry someone'd found in the woods & dug up.  Whatever its pedigree, it blooms a lot earlier than my Crooked Cherry &'s a lovely sight on a snowy day like today.

6.  Like Santa, your kids know everything about you.

El Punko gave me a book this week.

.Some book larning

He said it was so I could keep up with the other SoSers.  And he called the other bloggers that - SoSers.  All this time, I thought he wasn't listening.

My education begins.  And I don't mean Latin names.

Here be new plants.
This week, events conspired to remind me that gardening isn't working til you drop in the hammock with a glass of wine & a book you're too tired to read.

A gardener is as much a part of the garden as the plants, the bugs, the rapacious frogs, the fox & birds & marauding cats.  It takes a dialogue  amongst the lot of us to know what's needed next.

Sometimes what's needed is a little less levelling of the ground, a little more joy in discovering my garden.

Or other folks' gardens.  For a lot more of that, run over to our meme host, The Propagator to see what he's been up to this week.  There'll be lots more links to SoS garden bloggers in his comment section.


  1. I've got that book! Rarely read, I can tell you. Keep on exploring, Lora. Sheds and pavers can wait.

    1. You are absolutely right on that one, Tim.

  2. That looks like a peony to me! Me too with the book! All nerds together, here!
    I am fascinated by your son's eyesight! Wish I had this skill!

    1. When he's not using it to prank me, he allows me to exploit it for my garden design. Those 12 hours of labour have to be recompensed, you know.

  3. I enjoyed this post so much, mostly because I am a habitual half-doer (or third, or quarter!) I know that you will finish the job in due course.

  4. Ah, thanks for the encouragement! If you consider that many folk w/CFS spend most of their time resting, even bedridden, yet I can still do limited gardening, it might not surprise you to hear I've always been a Do-It-Now-Do-It-Well sorta person. I think the qtr-doer is much healthier in all sorts of ways.

  5. I agree with you, it looks like a peony. Good luck with cleaning and storing the garden (and a paver base instead of cement one is quicker to install : I did it in a shed 5 years ago)

    1. Hope you're right about the peony. I've had entries for rhubarb & dicentra re the mystery plant. Dicentra would be nice. Rhubarb . . . well, not overly keen.

  6. I just got the Latin for gardeners. It's on sale currently for kindle with a good range of other gardening books. While I like a hard copy at 99p couldn't resist. Botany for gardeners has proven to be good so far.

    1. oooo, that's a great recommendation, altho I don't kindle. have to search out a hard copy of that book.

  7. Ever since I learnt that my Great Grandad would just make up names of the plants he was growing (usually he'd find one in the garden that was "named after" the person he was speaking to), I've taken to calling most plants by nicknames rather than the Latin ones.... but it does come in handy to be able to understand the names, especially when you're faced with the Latin name in a garden centre and can't remember what the common name is.
    I can't claim to be able to spot stones under grass like your son can (that does seem an incredibly useful skill), but I seem to have the knack of digging up stones constantly on my plot.... I think someone must have been growing stones & rocks there at one point(!)

    1. They probably were great lovers of stone soup.

  8. I’m enjoying your adventures in the new garden, Lora and your tales of the shed saga are so funny. A book of Latin names is just what I need....all you Northern hemisphere gardeners are so impressive flinging botanical names about and I’m not so good on those and have to keep visiting Mr Google!

  9. Don't count me in w/the erudite gardeners. W/o Google, I wouldn't know any of the names, altho participating in Six on Saturday has helped me learn a few basic ones.

  10. I was just looking up the derivation of the word Myrobolan, because I have a suspicion your cherry could be Prunus cerasifera, the Myrobolan Plum, what with it flowering so early and having purple leaves by the look of it. I hit on a Wikipedia article about Ben oil... then I think I nodded off...

    1. You mean that it's not only not crooked, but it's not even a cherry? I think I must take to my bed. On the other hand, I really like plums.