Six on Saturday – 12/01/2019

I told myself, no matter what, in 2019 every week I would find six things for the weekly meme hosted on The Propagator’s Blog. Despite it feeling quite raw outside today and suffering from a cold (again!) I ventured out as far as my patio. There is a lot of sign of life in the containers which is exciting.

1. Pelargonium

Despite looking very dead around the edges, this pretty pelargonium, without a label so remains unnamed, is still flowering. I’m going to brave the cold this afternoon and tidy the dead leaves and take a cutting, just in case. It is right up against the wall so fairly sheltered and I am hoping if I put a fleece bag over it then it’ll get through any really cold winter snap.

2. Crocus

The crocus in all the pots on the patio are slowly popping through but this pot, filled to the brim with crocus bulbs in November is full of the promise of spring.

3. Tree Peony

My precious tree peony dug up from my last garden and brought here in April in a pot, struggled a little during the summer. I wrapped it up in a fleece bag recently opening the top up during the daytime and remembering to close it at night. It is looking extremely healthy and full of buds. I know they don’t like being moved which is why it was not happy this summer but I had hoped to plant it in the flower garden on my allotment, but it does mean moving it again.


4. Patio Rose

This pretty apricot coloured patio rose is tucked away behind larger pots for winter protection. It is full of shoots, so maybe in its own little micro-climate it thinks spring is around the corner. I’ll keep a watch on the weather forecasts and rush out with some bubble wrap if it looks like snow is on the way, which I hope won’t be.

5. Hellebore

There are a couple of hellebores in one of my containers as I don’t believe you can have winter plant displays without them. When I bought them, late November, they were in flower and a very pretty white. They have now all turned green so the contrast with the Osmanthus which, although variegated, is also mainly green with just a few yellow tips.

6. Salvia – Love and Kisses

I planted a Salvia ‘Love and Kisses’ in my daughter’s garden which really took off and looked fabulous. Although some advice says it is hardy, I didn’t want to chance it so took a few cuttings. Without a greenhouse at the moment, I made a little bubble wrap house for it and left it on my patio. Unfortunately a tiny little slug also decided to take up residence and has been nibbling at the leaves, I’ve brought it inside now with the hope the central heating doesn’t upset it too much (it’s by the patio doors). As soon as I have my mini-greenhouse on the allotment I’ll move it. Maybe it might be wiser to leave it outside during the day and bring it in at night. Gardening is full of having to make decisions.

Made it – managed six! As winter continues I think I’ll have to be a bit more abstract with my Six on Saturday. Peep over the garden fence on The Propagator’s Blog to see what other gardeners have chosen for their Six on Saturday.

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.