Six on Saturday 16-02-2019

It’s been dangerous weather this week. Positively spring like during the day with temperatures reaching 12°C (54°F) and then plummeting to below zero at night. I went up to the allotment at 08:30 Friday morning to await a delivery of manure, and the beds I had uncovered and dug over during the week had a dusting of frost, looking like icing sugar.

Whilst we are experiencing this wide range of temperature, if you are like me you are desperately resisting the desire to plant out! However, I have started to sow seeds (indoors) – peppers, leeks and garlic in cells. My next job, although I know a tad early, is to pot up my Dahlia tubers and keep them in a cold frame until the weather is warm enough to plant out in May.

Ok, after that little update, now for my Six on Saturday. I performed my gardening duties in my daughter and SiL’s garden on Friday and my Six this week is from there.

1. Crocus, crocus and more crocus (what is the plural for lots of crocus?)

I expect there will be lots of crocus on show this Saturday but they are a harbinger of spring and I think we all get a little (if not a lot!) excited when we see them. What is the plural of crocus, croci, crocuses? Both sound a bit ungainly and not quite right.

2. Wallflowers – (Erysimum)

The motley, smelly, half priced bare root wallflowers planted mid-October last year are looking very healthy and a few are even beginning to flower. The daffodils, planted at the same time in the gaps between the wallflowers are also coming up and I’m looking forward to a colourful display.

3. Euphorbia (Ascot Rainbow)

I planted this Euphorbia last summer, it flowered and then went very raggedy, probably because I didn’t prune it. Although a tough plant, I was dubious as to how it was going to get through the winter. It is looking beautiful with the prettiest pink tips that appear in the winter.

4. Hellebores

As with crocus photos, there is a wonderful selection of hellebore pics on gardening blogs at this time of year. I bought a selection of hellebores before the winter and although still small, they are flowering and the ‘Oriental’ is a fabulous dark mauve. They will seed and spread and look better every year.

5. Sweet Williams (Dianthus)

Described as a herbaceous biennial or short lived perennial, I certainly didn’t expect it to be still flowering despite freezing nights. Like the Euphorbia, I should have given it a good haircut last summer but left it to its own devices and it obviously is happy!

6. Spring pots

The collection of pots by the shed at the bottom of the garden are packed with bulbs and looking full of promise. This is where the white crocus (Photo 1 above) live with the pink hyacinths which are flowering. The brown pot of crocus at the back are a bit late, only showing leaves at the moment. More photos to come in a few weeks!

You can find more Six on Saturday’s on The Propagator Blog, please pay him a visit and see what everyone else has to show at the end of the second week of February.

Six on Saturday 09/02/2019 – Signs of Life

Undeterred by the recent snow and sub-zero temperatures, spring is starting to make a show on my patio. It’s such a good feeling to see your treasured plants make it through and bulbs planted at the end of last year making an appearance.

My Six on Saturday hosted by The Propagator Blog are:

1. Crocus and daffodils

The crocus have been around for a few weeks now and whilst I’ve seen others already in flower, I am beginning to wonder when mine will flower. Gardening sometimes pushes the bounds of patience! However, the daffodils which I don’t remember planting in this pot (!) are coming along well, I hope they don’t choke out the crocus.

2.Hyacinth – ‘Woodstock’

I have a constant battle with squirrels and magpies who seem intent in digging holes in my pots. I have, in general, mostly won the war by covering the pots with pea netting, occasionally the critters have found a way in. The bright green net makes them look a little unsightly but when needs must etc. Hyacinth ‘Woodstock’ has a plum/purple fragrant flower on a dark stem, so should look very striking when fully out.

3. More daffodils

I’m not sure if you noticed the little yellow bee in photo no. 1. I bought it, along with the little red ladybird above from Tesco in the summer. They have little windmills behind their heads and I thought they were fun, just a little folly – ‘little things please little minds’, as the saying goes. There are more daffodils coming through in this large deep terracotta pot at the back of the patio. If I remember rightly I planted ‘Dutch Master’ a solid no nonsense, tall, bright yellow daffodil.

4. Tulips (already)

I’m not sure why I don’t have a label in this pot, but poking through the pretty apricot pansies tulips are appearing. There is a probability they will be of the orange variety because I do try and colour match my container planting. Wait and see!

5. Rescue plants

I am an advocate of rescuing sick plants from the clearance section at garden centres. More often than not, with care and attention, they pick up and you find you’ve got good established plants at a bargain price. Next time you visit a garden centre don’t dismiss the Clearance Bench. I bought two Hemerocallis ‘Pink Damask’ for £2 each and a Sedum ‘Red Cauli’ for £4, which I have nurtured on my patio at home. They are substantial plants ideal for my cottage garden bed on the allotment. When they look a bit stronger, probably mid to the end of March, I will take them to their new home – if I am able to wait that long!

6. Sweet Peas

I can’t end my Six on Saturday without showing my baby sweet peas. I am growing ‘Mammouth’, ‘Painted Lady’, Beaujolais’ and ‘Skylark Mix’. The first three I sowed on 29th January and Skylark went in last week, so only tiny little green nobbles of the Skylark are beginning to poke through. I did include my sweet peas in my last Six on Saturday Six on Saturday – 02/02/2019 ‘Purchases’ and the photo showed just a tiny shoot of ‘Beaujolais’ appearing. Just look how they’ve progressed in a week! I have them in a cold frame on the patio and during frosty or really cold nights I bring them inside overnight.

Thank you @cavershamjj at The Propagator Blog for hosting this weekly meme. Please peek over the fence and take a look at what is happening in other peoples gardens, not only in the UK but all over the world. Also join in if you would like to.