Saturday, 30 May 2020


Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's comments & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

Our witchy calendar says May is the month to dress your well.  As dry as this month has been, I'm very glad we aren't dependent on a well, dressed or otherwise.

While there's no rain forecast for the next fortnight, the garden this week has reminded me of hope.  Things which I'd given up on, have redeemed themselves.

So perhaps, too, we shall see rain.

Now let's do this thang.

1.  Dog Rose.

This self seeded in a flower bed around 7 years ago but'd never flowered.  I'd decided if it didn't produce this year, it was going to be guerilla gardened out of my life.

Apparently threats work with roses.

I'd expected white but am delighted that it's pink.

2.  Bramble buds.

Last year, the bramble from next door was left to cover the fence & provide support for the new hops until said hops matured.  This the bramble did, but it didn't produce a single flower.

With last year's bramble growth still in place, that was all the hops support necessary, so I determined if there were no berries on the bramble this year, I cut it at the base, leaving the dead wands in place as a hops trellis.

We've at least got flower buds - lots of them - so hopefully berries to follow.  Another plant that responds to threats.

3.  Bass guitar.

When El Punko's guitar died, it couldn't be fixed & no one wanted it for parts.  This week, he decided he was tired of it taking up room in his office.  I offhandedly said that it'd make an interesting trellis.

Later that same day, he-who-never-gardens surprised me.

There are rhodochiton, thunbergia, & Japanese anemone planted at the base of this wall, which he assures me won't clash with the brilliant red of that guitar.  We shall see.

4.  Deutzia purchased as raspberry sundae, but an image search says, no.

Not that many weeks ago, I shared the unthinkable on Twitter - that I'd fallen out of love with my deutzia.  The flowers were pale & lacklustre at the time.  Most unfortunate, as it wasn't the deutzia's inner self I loved.

But the flowers darkened, so now my zest is back.

I don't remember it doing that last year.  Let's hope I remember it next year.

5.  Ricinus.

I've lost count, the number of castor seeds I've planted this year with no results.  Even as we speak, there's a warm tray of them in the dark, thinking about whether to make an appearance.

Imagine my delight when I found this self-seeder growing next to one of last year's ricinus stumps.

The late ricinus had been shorter than others planted across the garden, so I decided to move this seedling to a better spot.  However, I couldn't extricate it, so lifted the ricinus corpse for better access.

The seedling came with it & seemed attached to its dead ancestor.  Even though these leaves don't look like new growth on an old plant, I decided to relocate them together rather than risk damaging the seedling's roots.

There shall be weird ricinus flowers in our garden this year.

6.  Honey garlic.

I'll close with the honey garlic, that speaks for itself.  (The videos loads faster if you full screen it.)

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you next time.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Heat, Wind, Dead of Night

Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's comments & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

It's been a week of high temperatures & rough winds, neither of which've done away with the need for nightly S&S patrols.

While I water & shade & rid the world of slimy things, the garden gets on with it.

1.  Wild chamomile.

Nigella self seeds around the place, so when a delicate foliage started up in the appletini pot, I didn't give it much notice at first.  Then its structure began to say, this ain't nigella.

Well my, my, my.

2.  Plants in cages.

I inherited these 2 cages, so haven't a clue what they originally oppressed.  They're just the right size for orange juice containers.  As the cages have no bottoms, the boxes are held in place with plastic chopsticks (the red bits underneath).

They're planted with thunbergia which hopefully will cover the juice boxes, although actually, I don't mind the coloured panels that much.

One grows up its little stick while the other's trying to get through the bars.

3.  Germination woes

It's been a rough year for getting some seeds to grow, I think because I'm still learning how to manage the intense heat in the garden.  Some plants stop after throwing out a root, or they send up a sliver of green leaf that dies if I turn my back for an instant.  Some do nothing at all. 

I've done 2nd, 3rd, 4th plantings & usually got something in the end, but the mimosa refused to play ball. 

This week, the third mimosa planting produced 2 little guys.  If they get to 2nd leaves, then they'll probably make it.

4.  Edible peas.

My sweet peas went bust this year.  The edible peas have a huge gap in their row & are only about 15" tall.

But my word, they're covered in flowers.

5.  Scabiosa cousin.

When I inherited cephalaria gigantea in a garden several years ago, I hadn't a clue what it was called.  It became known as the scabiosa cousin, even after we were properly introduced. 

My current one is in bud.

6.  Cirsium seeds.

The cirsium's been blooming for nearly 2 months now, so well worth its spot in the garden.

But the seed head is especially beautiful.  I quite like this plant.

With the temps falling out of the 20s today, it's time to pick up the dog clippers & take on the 2 woolly mammoths who've moved in during lock down.  There shall be many treats & great escapes in my day's work.

Thank for dropping by.  Hope to see you again soon.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Hey, Good Looking!

Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's comment section & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

Plenty of handsome stuff in my garden this week.  Come on over here & check it out.

1.  Verbena hastata.

I fell hard when I saw my first v. hastata in other SoS gardens last year, so of course, got one.  I didn't know if it'd survive winter outside, so collected seeds, not all that sure they'd germinate.

The parent plant did die over winter but the seeds germinated too well, & not only by my efforts.  They self seeded the flowerbed as well.

So I've now got a kazillion baby hastata plants.  Handsome little dudes, aren't they?

2.  Mirabalis jalapa (4 o'clocks).

Fred sent me these seeds a coupla summers ago.  They didn't germinate last year but've done well this time around.

The round first leaves really impressed me with their vigour, but the pointed second leaves knocked my socks off.  Pretty striking seedlings, to be sure.

3.  Iris.

For a more conventional beauty, here's this gorgeous thang.  I haven't a clue what it is, but every year, it takes my breath away.

Although there's 4-5 plants in the bed now, I've only ever had 1 flower stalk a year.  Some irises bloom once, then produce a new plant that'll bloom the next year, so perhaps this is one of those type irises.  I hope that at some stage, there'll be enough babies having babies that we get more than one flower stalk. 

Here's a close up of the flower.  Just love those colours together.

And then the bud . . .

. . .  which in itself is a work of art.

4.  Appletinis.

The appletini trees are still producing their beautiful russet new growth, while the mature leaves've turned green.

From a distance, the little appletinis themselves look black, creating a wonderful contrast with the leaves.  Here, they look like unripened blueberries, but they're actually a very dark brown.  Handsome indeed.

And Mr BigNoseDog ain't that bad looking, either.

5.  Clematis carnaby.

At the other end of the life cycle, the dying c. Carnaby blossom.

Miss Havisham's got nothing on this fading beauty.

6.  The Empress.

An established Empress tree can grow 2.5 metres in a year.  When I planted this one on 27 April, she was 12" tall.

That makes her growth rate an inch a week at the moment.  If she keeps that up, she'll not add 2.5 metres to her height, but'll possibly be as tall as myself in her first year out of the pot.

So there's some of my good looking stuff.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope to see you next time.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Blooms, Buds, & a Buddy

Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoSers, check out Mr P's blog & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

It's Saturday, it's sunny, the outside beckons.

So without more fuss, let's do this thang.

1.  Pellie blooms.

Pot mates Lord Bute & Aztec are both blooming.

One of Aztec's blooms looks like the veins of colour have seeped into the white.

And a close up of Bute who is equally stunning.

Both pellies have a lot of buds on them, so this show could go on for a while.

2.  Gill's pot.

Two years ago, Gill Heaven, our Off The Edge gardener, sent me some miscanthus seeds.  That year, I couldn't get them to germinate.

This year, no miscanthus seedlings either, but an ivy-leaf toadflax did appear in one of the cells.  When it bloomed, it earned a pot of its own, now called Gill's pot.

3.  Rhododendron Scarlet Wonder.

Way back in January while suffering an incapacitating case of rhodo envy, I discovered the first ever bud on my young Scarlet Wonder.  It has 10 now, one of which started its grand opening this week.

That scarlet is a wonder, indeed.

4.  Fuchsia redux.

Last week, I mentioned some dead sticks that'd once been a lovely fuchsia.  I lifted it for a gardening friend who got ill, so I replanted it, after which all the leaves dropped off.

This week, it returned to us.

5.  Tamarix.

In March, I paid £1.79 for some other dead sticks that were magically going to become a Tamarix.

Proof of life here as well.

6.  Garden buddy.

With no hose attachment during April's dry spell, the water level fell in the Doodle pool, exposing more of the bamboo life raft.  Birds began to prefer the pool to the bee water bowls set around the garden, perhaps feeling safer off the ground & having more plant cover.  The segmented bamboo also provided a nice little bath tub.

If you look closely, you can see a blackbird perched on the pool rim above the bamboo.  Just before this photos was taken, he'd been bathing in the section of bamboo below the bright yellow Creeping Jenny.  Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to snap him in the act, but he was having a wailing good time.

The proper hose connector finally arrived & we've filled the pool high enough to cover the plant baskets, but low enough that the birds'll continue to bathe there.

That's me done for this week.  Thanks for dropping by!  Hope to see you again real soon.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Giving In, Getting Curried, Blessed Rain

Six on Saturday is a weekly diary hosted by The Propagator & contributed to by gardeners all over the world.  For links to other SoS blogs, check out Mr P's comments & the Twitter hashtag, #SixOnSaturday.

The tap connector broke off inside the hose during our recent dry spell.

Obviously, I can't walk into a store with the broken bit & get it replaced.

We measured in imperial & metric, emailed photos & got back false assurances that THIS connector would fit.  Repeatedly.

It rained during the wait for Connector #5 to arrive.  I was a little bit happy.

1.  Good morning!

Ah, that familiar morning greeting at this time of year . . .

. . . followed by the twice daily shuffle to facilitate hardening off.

2.  Best Britches.

I love, love, love bear's breeches, but as our shady borders are so dark, chose a variegated one destined to have pink flowers - White Water, perhaps?

It didn't bloom last year & Mr P warned that his never did.  Love the foliage anyway, as it does brighten up that dark little corner.  Hopefully it gets taller, even if it doesn't bloom.

3.  Giving in.

Last summer, our first here, the back garden got so hot, the house doors wouldn't close.  Plants sizzled that should never sizzle in the UK.  We planted climbers over every possible surface, but a nice tree was needed.

I resisted that idea because we rent, but already the back garden feels like the US south.  The best place for a tree is where the beehive composter sat, giving some shade while leaving the majority of the garden to sunbathe.

I planted an Empress Tree, one of 4 grown from seed collected in a local park.  They're the fastest growing hardwood tree there is, which tipped me in its favour.  At the moment, it's 12" tall, & shall be measured frequently to see if it grows as fast as they say.

You may've noticed the curry plants next to the beehive's original spot.  I've spent days smelling of curry, thanks to the cardigan I wore during the move.  It's been fabulous.

4.  New home.

The beehive is used for storing trugs & plastic bottles of stuff, thus easily relocated.  The dead sticks in front are a fuchsia dug up for a gardening friend who got the virus (she recovered).  The fuchsia's yet to let me know if it survived being replanted.

Behind, grows the 'Fox Meadow' - essentially 3 very tall plants in a very small area.

5.  Datura or Rude Becky?

Back in March, I knew I'd remember which seed got planted in the little square pot & which in the little round pot.  Being the cognitive giant that I am, I did not.

Only one germinated.  So if you please, is it Datura or Rude Becky?  Here's the top of the leaves . . .

. . . and here's undeneath.

I'm leaning toward Datura.  What say ye?

6.  Sparaxis.

This little fella really surprised me by blooming.  Not a one of his friends looks close to opening yet.

These plants give more than they expect back.  Stick 'em in the ground & they just get on with it, in colours to knock your socks off.  My kinda plant.  If only they lasted longer!


That's it for this week.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Hope to see you again soon.

Here's looking at you.