Six on Saturday – 05/01/2019

Happy New Year everyone, welcome to my first Six on Saturday of 2019. My resolution is to post a SoS each week and not like 2018 when they were intermittent.

Living in a sheltered harbour village on the south coast, we are lucky to have very few frosty days. There was a light frost on my car yesterday morning, but it didn’t affect my plants. Today the temperature is 3°C (37°F) with an icy chill factor, a bit too cold for a visit to the allotment. My Six on Saturday is from my daughter’s garden, about a mile up the road from me and also hasn’t had any frost, yet.

1. Wallflowers and daffodils

All 30 bare rooted wallflowers I planted late last year have bulked out and look promising. They were thin, scraggy and going brown which is typical of bare rooted plants wrapped in newspaper and desperate for water. I always buy my wallflowers this way as they are such good value. After planting, I then put in a whole load of narcissi/daffodil varieties of different heights and flowering times.

2. Rhododendron

My son in law wanted a bed of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias so made an ericaceous bed at the bottom of the garden. Not all the plants survived the summer due to lack of watering but the rhododendron has made it through and with some fabulous fat buds. I hope that we don’t have another Beast from the East in 2019 which will damage early flowers.

3. The promise of Spring

In October I planted up several pots with bulbs, covered them with net to deter squirrels, and it’s so heartening to find the crocus and hyacinth are poking through the soil. I get such a sense of excitement and pleasure to see little tiny shoots. Life continues and life is good.

4. Gaillardia, Osteospermum, Erysimum

Because we haven’t had a heavy frost (yet) to see the end of summer plants, a few are still flowering. I love this photo of the Gaillardia with three stages from just open, fully open and seed head all on one plant. I’m going to leave these plants as they are until the spring, then cut them down to encourage new growth.

5. Hellebore, orientalis

I wanted to plant hellebores in the shady part of the garden and was disappointed that I could only find large, established plants at about £8-£10 each. Buying them this way is hard on the pocket. I am sure when I bought them for my last garden, admittedly a good few years ago, they came in trays of six tiny plants. Eventually after scouring garden centres far and wide I found small plants at £2.99 each so bought a variety of hellebore from white and pink through to the beautiful dark orientalis above. I probably could have bought them cheaper on-line but I do like to see what I’m buying before I’ve paid for it.

6. I see no Bluebells

The shady far corner of the garden seemed an ideal place for Bluebells and I had a vision of a carpet of blue. I planted quite a lot of bluebell bulbs (English of course) and whilst I’m aware they will take time to naturalise to make the carpet, I had hoped to see some sign of growth, but maybe it is still too early. I didn’t cover the bed and wouldn’t be surprised if squirrels have got to them. A culprit was caught chewing on the bulbs in the drive and they were covered – he/she burrowed under the net!!

It is an important part of winter to have some cold, icy days but fingers crossed it will come soon and not when spring gets going. I will be reading other blogs with interest to see what they find for their Six on Saturday posts. Please call in on The Propagator Blog to see his SoS along with lots of other contributors.


    • They do look surprising healthy 😄. They were reduced to half price and really stinky and yellow at the bottom leaves and I was only expecting half to make it. I soaked them overnight in a tub of water and it was raining when I planted them so maybe that’s the trick.


  1. You have an interesting selection for this weeks 6. I particularly like the idea of netting the pots. We don’t have squirrels only a couple of families of blackbirds that cause havoc with the pots when I first planted the bulbs.

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    • I have trouble with blackbirds too. Some of my patio containers have a deep layer of gravel which also deters birds and squirrels. It was suggested to me that chicken wire was a better option, it can be bent tight around the pots and it’s less likely for birds etc to get tangled up in, although I’ve not seen that happen,

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  2. I need more Christmas Roses too. They have grown so good on one side of my Woodland Garden and I now want to fill out the other side. Love the shade of yours, mine are all a limy green and pink. I planted a lot of bulbs this year… I need to have the net over them? I will have to keep an eye on my squirrel family!

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    • Well the patch I netted made no difference the squirrel just went under the net! I do net my pots though and that stops them. You can’t beat hellebores (Christmas Roses) as winter/early spring plants.


  3. The photo with the 3 stages of the Gaillardia is gorgeous!
    How lucky you still have Gaillardia, Osteospermum and also Erysimum. Disappeared for several months now because of the cold … I see also that your hellebore is the same as mine, which I spoke in my Six.


  4. My Osteospermum is still flowering too! Last year I lost both my purple and orange ones so this is a new plant, I have fleece ready this year to wrap it up in if a frost is forecast. I would like some coloured Hellebores – I like the yellow and the pink ones but they can be very expensive. I don’t mind big plants as they seem to survive S&S attacks better than smaller ones. Time to check the garden centre I think.


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