Saturday, 28 April 2018

A #SixonSaturday of Few Words

Garden twine washed, dried, not folded.

If there's no rest for the wicked, what's the state of the average gardener's soul?

This week's seen Freecycling of surplus plants, repotting tenders whose roots slithered into view, training roses & peas to cherish their supports, not checking my pockets before doing the laundry, & yes, I admit it, planting out my French beans.

That French bean impatience alone reveals the state of my soul.

There are readers who'll be glad to know I've little energy left for words this week.  So without further yammering, I give you El Punko's photos.

1.  New growth on the fatsia.

Spider web fatsia survived the beast.

2.  Woody strutting his stuff.

New fronds on the Woodwardia have a nice red tint . . .

. . . that fades in close-up.

3.  Blue daddy beginning to open.

Slightly nibbled hosta.

4.  Long awaited akebia action.

Blooms I thought would be blue . . .

. . . and bigger . . .

5.  Old friend returns.

 . . . but the Carolina allspice just as I remembered.

6.  Another 'free gift' daffodil.

Day 1 . . .

. . . & dust inside the camera.

Next day . . . 

. . . with the phone camera.

Crooked cherry now has self-seeded valerian in bloom.

So there's my #SixonSaturday.

The Propagator hosts this gardening meme. 

Follow the link to his Six with a comment section overrun by other SoS bloggers. 

And if you have a garden, why not post your own Six so we all can have a peek?

Thanks for stopping by.

P.S.  Have I ever said that this crooked cherry is my absolutely favourite tree? 


You'd think I'd post its photo more often.

See you next week!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Superfluous Gardener

How we spent our week.

What a week of heat & sun.  As I slowly melted, muttering about it being hotter'n the American south, some kind family member translated the temperature into Fahrenheit.

67 degrees.  I'd have a light sweater on at home.

In addition to being roasted like a weiner, CFS came over for a visit, reduced my gardening fun to turning trays on the window sill.

I had a coupla surprises from that bunch.

1.  The Goldilocks Method.

Neither my leeks nor onions moved past germination.  Haven't a clue what I did wrong.  I'd used all my leeks seeds, but did another tray of onions which admirably poked their thread-like stems through the soil.

I left the first trays in situ, ever hopeful since the seeds had germinated.  So this popped up in the original onion tray (that little green fleck in the middle of the photo).

Too small in the onion patch.

It doesn't look like the 2nd batch of onions, so perhaps I mixed the onion tray w/the leeks.  Whatever it is, it'll get itself potted up.

My beans are on the other end of the spectrum.  In their short fortnight of life, they've outgrown 2 homes & are determined to outgrow their 3rd.  The warm weather makes it so tempting to plant them out, but I'm holding off until the 1st of May. 

Too big in the bean forest.

Fortunately, the rest of the window sill trays - maters, peppers, peas & flowers - were all just right.

2.  Why, o why, dear Woodwardia?

Okay, so I might be hot & I might be sick, but I'm not staying inside.  Just ain't happening.  Right outside the back door, pride of place, my new Woodwardia fern.  Looking less than happy.

Brown spots.

My web searches only tell me the woodwardia is disease resistant, not why it's going brown.  I don't know if it's transplant shock or if I should actually lift it.

If anyone has any ideas, please give me a nudge (boot) in the right direction.

3.  Brenda's legacy.

Other than my favourite fern, the garden got on with things this week, telling me I'm non-essential personnel.  But then, the garden's been on its own for a lot of years, so it knows what it's doing.

According to the OAP Fairy Person next door, the house once belonged to a woman named Brenda who died over 10 years ago.  Brenda added a conservatory (now our kitchen) & terraced the back garden.

She loved grape hyacinth.  They are everywhere still.  Here's some mixed in with what's turning into a giant peony.  The blue & reddish purple look so good together.

Peony, grape hyacinth & bucket.

The bucket has 2 buddies with it to keep certain dogs from wandering through the peonies.  For some reason, both the dogs love chewing on grape hyacinth.  That can't be healthy for anyone involved.

4.  Daff cherry.

So you know that my favourite tree of all times is my Crooked Cherry whom I saved from the clutches of a ruthless bush 2 gardens ago.

Last autumn, I got some free daff bulbs & knowing we were moving, tossed them into the tree pots.  A few weeks ago, some revealed themselves to be quite fancy, including the ones in the Crooked Cherry's pot.

Can we please move on?

This week, Crooked Cherry started to bloom.  The combo of burgundy leaves, pink flowers & those not-orange-not-coral daffs . . . I was smitten.

So I took 37,000 photos, none of which captured what I saw in real life.

Later that avoe, my phone dinged.  Attached to a message from my son El Punko, were 3 photos of the Daff Cherry.

So you have him to thank for this photo. 

Daff Cherry by El Punko

In future, you may have Fred the French Gardener & his Macro Gang to thank as well.  Their photos have influenced El Punko to get a macro lens for his new phone, as soon as it arrives.

He'll be pressed into willing service for future Sixes.

Yes, willing.  I swear.

5.  Unrequited love.

Last week, you saw my pear tree in bud.  This week, it's spiralled into bloom.

Pear & fig.

But its pollination partner - the Asian pear in the foreground - still has no buds.  I'm wondering if it's because the Louise Bonn is too cozy with the fig tree.

Unrelenting celibacy.

6.  What is it?

So, I've been watching this group of 3 small trees in the corner of our patio area, wondering what horrors to expect from them.  When they came into bud at the same time as my neighbour's tree on the other side of the fence, I was less skeptical. 

The largest of the 3 unknown trees.

Especially since the neighbour's tree had last summer's dried fruit on it - type unknown.  In an English garden, my first port of fruit tree call would be apple.  The thing that confused me was that I didn't think apple trees self seeded all that well, & whatever this tree was, it'd done it at least 3 times. 

Perhaps Brenda liked her neighbour's tree & got one for herself.  Except that the 2 smaller trees look too young to be from Brenda's time.

Last year's fruit.

For a brief moment, I thought, maybe it's a pear!  But the leaves aren't the same.

Here's a closer photo of the leaves & blossoms.  The leaves have a slight serration around the edges & although the veins are visible, they aren't pronounced.  Does anyone recognise this tree?

Mystery tree in bloom.

Whatever it is, I do like it, even though it doesn't seem to have much of a smell.  If it self-seeds so easily, one of its chillen may travel with us when we go.

Bathing beauty.
To end, here's a gratuitous photo of the Big Nose in a puddle, cuz he's my buddy & the other 2 buddies've been featured.

For other Six on Saturday blogs by gardeners who actually garden, run over to The Propagator who hosts this meme.

In his comment section, there'll be links to lots of other Sixers.

See you next week!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Signs of Life - Six on Saturday

Tree of Life applique.

Last week, the rain left long enough for us to play catch-up in the garden.

This week it's a day of rain, a day of fog, another of rain, nary a blue sky.

While there's no sun, there are signs of life.

Sometimes signs where it seemed no life could be.

1.  Verbena bonareinsis

The animal trails take precedence in my garden designs - it reduces the risk of having a favourite plant beaten into submission.  After learning Mlle DoodleFace's paths in our last house, I dug out a new flowerbed.

What I didn't take into consideration was, chasing garden intruders veers a DoodleFace off the beaten path & into the fast lane.  Which is how two of my sleeping verbena bonareinsis got flipped head over heels out of their autumnal bed.

I stuck them into pots & hoped for the best.

We survived a Doodle rampage.

And the best happened.

2.  Chocolate vine.

After this plant arrived last year, it essentially did nothing but grow one thin spindly stem.  A pretty stem, but no buds.  Allowances have to be made for the young, so when we moved, it got invited to come along.

To be honest, after seeing photos of other SoS chocolate vines this year, all with tons of buds, I thought the worst about this fella's potential.  But I did tack its chicken wire to the shady side of the new potting shed.

Today, its waving new tendrils won it a place in this week's six.


It wasn't until I looked at the photo on my computer that I saw the buds.  Out I ran to check it in real life & yes, my vine is loaded with buds.  If you look near the bottom of the roof board, we got 'em.  Buds that start there & run all the way down.

3.  Pear tree.

Last year (its first year with us), this pear tree bloomed a little, but nothing to write home about.  Its pollination buddy, an Asian pear, failed to thrive, so there were no pears at our house.

Louise Bonne of Jersey being hugged by a fig tree.

As you can see, we now have tons of buds on this fella.  The nursery replaced the Asian pear, which has plenty of leaf buds but no flowers.  Will it be another pear-less year?  Only the Shadow knows.

4.  Gillenia trifoliata.

This is one of my new shade-loving plants.  I'd never had a gillenia before, but it's supposed to be a nice sized shrub that'd fill a corner with delicate foliage & pink flowers.

When it arrived as a little shrivelled brown stalk in a pot, let's just say it inspired doubts.

Pink profusion.

But the little brown stalk grew itself some lovely russet leaves.  It lives.

5. Laburnum

Two gardens ago, we had a laburnum at the end of the front lawn.  It self-seeded like blue blazes, spotting the boundary hedge with yellow blossomed chillen.

Hedge laburnum in bud 2 gardens ago.

I rescued one of the smaller hedge volunteers & potted it up, but it appeared to've died before the end of last summer.

As you know, no one gets left behind, so the pot came with us.

Laburnum dead stick.

And now it has leaves!  Did ever a scraggly stick growing in dirt, inspire so much joy?  (All the time, says you.)

6.  Afterlife.

I don't know about your dearly departed, but ours don't always rest in peace.  When a box fell out of the closet in the middle of the night, my response was - Duly noted - then back to sleep with plans to check it in the morning.

Box w/Mlle DoodleFace for gauge.

The Big Z is my late mother, a master quilter who continued to teach quilting into her early 90s, even though she'd moved into a nursing home.  The same move that brought this box to me all those years ago.

Here's the pattern with swatches pinned to it.

Jacobean Tree of Life.

Isn't that something?  Even in black & white, it's amazingly beautiful.  It has a comforting balance to it.

Besides the pattern, the box is filled with little bags of hand cut templates labelled in her writing, thread & needles & markers . . . yet the kit's not whole.

She'd appliqued the brown stems, pinned on the green leaves.  But there's no fabric for the blossoms or fruits.  As if she were interrupted in her work at the beginning of spring.

The kit unfinished.

Which wasn't my mother's way of working.  Before the pattern was traced, the templates cut, before a single tiny stitch got sewn, she would've picked out her fabric.  All of it.

But it is the way nature works, sending us spindly stems, dried sticks in the dirt, slumbering verbena with their roots in the air.  We wait for signs of life, nurture them, & subsequently nurture ourselves.

And that's me done talking until next week.

The way she left it.

But there's more to be shared over at The Propagator who hosts this meme.

Be sure to check out his comment section where SoS bloggers have left links to their own Six on Saturday gardens.

See you next week!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

. . . we have lift off

Time for another Six on Saturday.  For me, that means six things in the garden that grabbed my attention sometime during the week, not necessarily on Saturday.

For the proper way to do Six, run over to The Propagator who not only has guidelines, but links in his comment section to all sorts of other Six on Saturday bloggers.

At last.

So, on with my week.

At long last, the rains have ended.  Or taken a break.

Yes, it's true.  We have sun.

<= <= <= Unlike Mr BigNose, we couldn't spend the week basking in its glory.

Work awaited us.  And OAP Fairies.

1.  Keeping up appearances.

You may remember that an OAP Fairy Person lives next door.  Once the sun came out, she mentioned some of our neighbours use a lawn mowing service.

Now me, I like a bit of a length to my lawn, enough to let the dead nettle & escapee grape hyacinth & teeny lawn daisies flower.

The Butcher of Lanfranc.

But it never pays to cross the Good People.  Mow my lawn?  Indeed I did.

2.  Feed the trees.

The potted forest began to wake up after the Beast, & its rumbling belly could be heard inside the house.  Fairy Person appeased, it was on to feeding & repotting.

New big pots.

Like someone with a dozen chillen, I use the hand-me-down method - buy a few new pots & hand down the old ones to the smaller denizens.

Oak planted by a squirrel 4 gardens ago.

The oak tree's pot'll go to the rhododendron.

3.  More daffs.

Last year, I got free daffodil bulbs for buying something else that I didn't need.  I was tickled pink when my first daffodils opened last week.

But this week . . . well, just look at this fascinating thing.  White petals on the outside, then a layer of yellow petals, & finally a tight ball of white on the inside.

Surprise beauty in the crooked cherry tree's pot.

The next day, it unfurled all of itself.

Look at that face. Not Mlle Doodle. The daff!

Can't really count the layers in there, but I'm quite liking it.

4.  I forgot about these.

While gadding about the garden, I noticed some speckled leaves in a pot shoved onto the terrace.

Well, hello there!

Fortunately when I planted them last year, I also tucked the label inside the pot.

White dog tooth violets, o my!

How many weeks you reckon before they open up?

5.  Spider's web Fatsia.

After all these lovely finds, I got enough courage to cut back the Beast damage on the fatsia.

Looking a bit bare.

As Fred the French Gardener predicted, there's new growth on the stem, including something quite charming.

Little white leaf.

This is my first spider's web fatsia, so I don't know why this happened.  Think I'll take it as a good omen for the growing season.

6.  Germination.

With our move, I decided not to do seeds this year, but couldn't find everything I wanted as plugs.  Even in years we don't move, I've learned not to plant seeds before April.  This was the week the germination factory got up & running.

Germination factory.

And Houston, we got lift off.

Peek-a-boo pea.

Which rounds up my Six for this week.

Time to put my feet up.

So isn't it time for you to join this blathery of gardening bloggers?

Yes, you can still do it this week.  Out you go, take your six snaps & post a link.  We'll be very glad you did.

See you next week!