Six on Saturday – 20 April 2019

Goodness! I know I missed one Six on Saturday but didn’t realise my last SoS was on 23 March. Lots has moved on since then, everything is growing, including weeds and the warm weather we are having this Easter weekend will provide a big shot in the arm, not only to the plants but me too.

This week I’m going to show off my patio plants. The daffodils are over and have been replaced with some fabulous tulips.

1. Left hand side of the patio doors

When I moved here a year ago today, I brought most of my pots with me and positioned them with the light, cool, colours on one side and hot colours on the other. This I continued through the summer and winter. Seems like it will stay like that for the time being. I might mix it up when it comes to summer planting.

2. Tulip ‘Purissima

The ‘Purissima’ have stood tall and proud, even on windy days, it’s almost as though they have steel rods in their stems. Even when almost over, the middle of tulips is always worth a photograph.

3. Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’

As the ‘Purissima’ are starting to die down, the ‘Queen of the Night’ tulips are coming through. It was my intention to have them both flowering at the same time, thinking the contrast of dark purple and white would look really striking but I didn’t get timing quite right.

4. Right hand side of the patio doors

This side of the patio has the hot colours and gets more of a battering from the wind, also it is more frost prone. However, the plants have survived and although, looking at the photo now, the pansies should be with the white and purple display, they still look ok. This display consists of 3 containers of different height.

5. Tulip ‘Sun Lover’ and Tulip ‘Slawa’

‘Sun Lover’ and ‘Slawa’ are new tulips for me. I suppose if you are a tulip purist you might not like ‘Sun Lover’ but this variety is a blaze of colour and looks even better when it’s on its way out. I underplanted them with orange pansies giving a really hot display. The second tulip is ‘Slawa’ which I had to hunt for, is a deep burgundy with an orange tip. I love this tulip and will certainly grow lots more next year.

6. Tulip ‘Rococo’

When I moved here I bought ‘Rococo’ along with me, they flowered prolifically. Although not deliberate I left them in the planter. I wasn’t sure if they would appear again, but this beautiful dark red parrot tulip is struggling masterfully to flower again. Only 5 have appeared and they do look a little fragile but they will flower and I look forward to showing them off on a Six on Saturday in a few weeks.

Please call on The Propagator Blog where you will see lots of Six on Saturday contributions. Details of how to join in are also on his blog.

Six on Saturday – 16 March 2019

I am getting stir crazy with this March weather! Apart from visiting the allotment regularly to check everything is intact and not blown away, I’ve not been able to make any progress, but then I am sure I am not alone.

My Six on Saturday is home based. Let me give you a bit of my background. Following retirement, I moved in April 2018 leaving a lovely garden into a small flat with only a patio to its name. All is not lost though, I am very lucky to also have a small allotment plot and a large garden owned by my daughter and son-in-law but this post is about gardening from a flat.

1. Planning and reading

This is my coffee table from where I read garden magazines and allotment books making copious notes in my floral covered notebook from Paperchase. Thanks to Storm Gareth I have spent a lot of time this week planning my cottage garden and veg beds on the allotment, searching planting ideas for my patio summer containers, and not forgetting plants for my daughter’s garden. Whilst writing this post the white hyacinth is filling the room with its fragrance.

2. Window decoration

There are no windowsills in my lounge so I have had to improvise. The little table was full of seedlings, some have been moved outside, more about them later. At the moment the table has peppers and Geums both due to be potted up, and a small tray of leeks. I have my potatoes chitting in front of the patio door making entry and exiting slightly hazardous.

There appear to be a couple of dates in the gardening calendar for planting potatoes. One school of thought is Good Friday, but Easter is a moveable feast which is confusing. The other date is St Patrick’s Day 17th March – tomorrow. We are promised better weather from Monday so I may plant my First and Second Earlies next week.

The dead looking plant below the table is a small orange tree I retrieved from my daughter. It had been left outside believing it to be dead and I am going to try and revive it.

3. My Gardening Corner

I have a shed on my allotment but that is about a 5 minute drive away. When starting off seeds, repotting and nurturing, all that is needed has to be nearby. I do have a brown storage box outside with bags soil, pots and small tools to enable me to tend to my containers but I think the Managing Agents might have something to say if I was to install even a small PVC greenhouse on my patio. This is my overflow garden corner tucked down the side of the sofa.

4. Improvised Greenhouse

Not having the luxury of a greenhouse outside I have copied an idea from Higgledy Garden. Due to his lack of space he uses deep plastic storage boxes, I have used these in past years, and find they are invaluable. The lid goes back on overnight. My sweet peas are thriving outside and have been joined with some small hardy perennials ordered from a company called The Secret Gardening Club which arrived a few days ago. In the back of my car I have a boxed cloche and boxed plastic greenhouse waiting for the winds to die down and they will be erected on the allotment.

5. Seedling update

Now the seed potatoes have been moved to the lounge, my bedroom windowsill is packed with seed trays. The growing of seeds, the daily watch and wait for signs of germination is addictive. I always have a sense of excitement and relief to see tiny signs of life. From left to right my seedlings are:

– Euphorbia ‘Summer Icicle’;

– Echinacea ‘ Pallida’;

– Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’.

6. Seed tin

I belong to a flower gardeners’ FaceBook page and it was interesting last week to see what people store their seed packets in. I use an old Quality Street tin, but it is now full to overflowing so I am going to have to buy more sweets to eat!! I’m not sure why I have so many packets, many are freebies from magazines but a lot are ones I’ve seen and thought “I’d like to grow that” but never got around to it.

That is my Six on Saturday, hosted every Saturday on the Propagator Blog. Please take time to pop over and take a look at the very many contributors showing what is happening in their gardening lives this Saturday.