Six on Saturday – 09 March 2019

Hello everyone, welcome to my Six on Saturday. I’m not going to mention weather this week, save to say it’s been cold and very windy. Swiftly moving on, first we have:-

1. Seedlings

Last week I showed the tiny pepper seedlings. They are now growing well and in another few days will be ready to be potted up. It’s at this stage waves of guilt hit me. Do I pot up all the seedlings? Do I really need 24 pepper plants? Of course I can give away what I don’t want but everyone I know is growing peppers! I hate pulling out and discarding the weaker seedlings, it’s as though I am culling them because they are not as strong as the others.

Living in a flat, I don’t have a greenhouse but large white plastic boxes make for excellent substitutes on my patio. This deep one is especially good, because the sweet peas are romping along and getting tall, despite being pinched out. I also have some tomato plants, they are tiny but look healthy enough and should be quite hardy because they are not being cosseted on a warm windowsill.

2. Hyacinth ‘Woodstock’

I’m not sure why, but I usually grow white or pink hyacinths, always promising myself the fabulous purple of ‘Woodstock’. This year I actually did buy the bulbs and the flower and colour is everything it promises to be.

3. Dahlias

It may still be a little early but I couldn’t hold back any more and I’ve started off my dahlias. They are under cover on the allotment and I will check them regularly. The raised bed cloche consists of a mesh cover and topped with a pvc cover to protect and keep warm. As I mentioned earlier I don’t have the luxury of a greenhouse on the allotment, however this set up should be fine.

4. Rhubarb

I have not grown rhubarb before; this plant is inherited. It looks pretty healthy but I’ve noticed this week something is eating the leaves. Googling health of plants can be almost as dangerous as googling your own health. I’ve read the plant could have a disease called curculio and to remove damaged leaves but I’ve also read that it’s just slugs and as we don’t eat the leaves it’s ok. HELP!!

5. Emsworth Floral Boats

Emsworth has a large sailing fraternity and boasts two sailing clubs. It is no surprise therefore that throughout the village there are rowing boats planted up with seasonal plants. This one on the Mill Pond is looking very pretty, packed with wallflowers, pansies, bulbs and heuchera.

6. Finally – Crocuses

I showed this container in last week’s Six on Saturday. The crocuses had just come out and because I had forgotten I’d planted them, I also mistakenly called them Snow Bunting. Now they are fully open they are Joan of Arc. I think they are also called Jeanne d’Arc, there can’t be two identical crocuses with such similar names but I’m sure someone will put me right. These are planted with deep red wine coloured cyclamens and a skimmia, I love the contrast of colours.

Thank you The Propagator Blog for hosting this great weekly meme. Please peep over the fence and take a look at his Six on Saturday and the very many contributors to Six on Saturday. If you haven’t taken part, give it a go, here is the Participant’s Guide.

Six on Saturday – 02/03/2019

Did you know there are two dates that herald spring? Meteorologically, because the year is split into 4 seasons, every year spring starts on 1st March. Astronomically, spring depends on the spring equinox which can vary from year to year. This year it is 20th March. This is confusing, to me anyway, because the ‘planting season’ for early spring is March, the 1st or 20th, I suppose depends on the weather. What’s your take on this?

Last week we had an unusual heatwave and everything came on by leaps and bounds. Today it is much cooler, wet and windy with the prospect of Storm Freya about to arrive. Fleece is still at the ready.

Now on to my Six on Saturday.

1. The warm weather has woken up my seeds.

Leeks – I was beginning to give up on my leeks and delighted when the shoots appeared.

Peppers – Also a little slower than expected, all of a sudden tiny pepper seedlings have popped up.

Geum – These are my Geum ‘Lady Strathenden’. I’m going to under plant them with the Alliums, the gold of the Geums should look great with the Allium purples.

2. Making a strawberry bed.

The previous owner of my allotment plot allowed strawberries to do their own thing and they have made their way across several beds and paths. I decided I would put a stop to their rampant behaviour and make one bed. I’m beginning to select tiny plants that have rooted from runners and put them in a new bed with manure.

At the moment they are randomly planted and when I have enough I’ll put them into orderly rows. Then I will make a cage with a lid I’ve seen on another blog using chicken wire.

3. Wildlife pond in the making.

Made using a washing up bowl, my wildlife pond is almost finished. I tried so hard to make the hole level, but after filling the bowl with gravel and rainwater from the water butt to my annoyance it is not level, so I’m tempted to lift it out and realign it.

I bought a selection of 5 wildflower plants, Red Campion, Ragged Robin, Selfheal, Valerian and a Foxglove to plant surround the pond. My next job is to buy some slate to put around the edge (and hide the blue rim!). Aquatic plants are not on sale at the moment but when they are I will buy a few oxygenating plants.

4. Spring Container plants

I am very chuffed with my patio containers which are beginning to look very springlike. I always surprise myself when I see stuff coming through that I wasn’t expecting. I thought had a small trough with pansies, but clearly it is also planted with anemones.

Being a person who is very remiss at labelling, I had also completely forgotten that I had planted Snow Bunting crocus and they are looking striking against the Skimmia and dark red cyclamen.

5. Wedding flowers

Last Saturday was my nephew’s wedding and I have to share the beautifully decorated barn with you. Jess (his new wife) is very talented and has a marvellous eye for detail. The barn was breathtaking, and the air was filled with the perfume of Narcissi Paperwhite adorning the tables. UPDATE: those sharp eyed readers will realise they are not Paperwhite but the aptly named Bridal Crown.

Roses and hops, (not to mention the chandeliers), were used to adorn the beams and pillars. It looked truly magical.

6. And finally…

If you have not already seen this, just a little funny to make you smile. It is very apt at the moment with our odd weather is at the moment. Non-sensible people have been rushing to the garden centres to buy plants for their gardens not realising it’s far too early.

A big thank you to The Propagator for hosting Six on Saturday where you will find lots of other contributions, not just from the U.K.