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.

Tulip Bulbs Galore

I cannot resist the temptation of buying bulbs and I am sure you will all identify with that.   I thought I had already bought my full quota for next spring but emails with offers keep dropping into my inbox.   Last week I had an email from the RHS which included a beautiful tulip called “Golden Artist” a Veridiflora tulip with golden orange petals and a green stripe.

Photo courtesy of Crocus
Photo courtesy of Crocus – Golden Artist

Being a savvy shopper I took a look at other websites and found the same bulbs a lot cheaper on Crocus.  Of course whilst there I had to look at the other bulbs, who wouldn’t!

Before I go any further let me stress that I am in no way a bulb expert.  The information about these bulbs is taken from the Crocus website.  I just thought if you were still looking to buy tulips bulbs for the spring you might find it interesting, and I wanted to share my purchases with you.

What I always find useful is suggestion planting, and ‘Golden Artist’ apparently goes well with red tulips.  I quite fancied a tub of bright red tulips so bought ‘Red Impression’, a Darwin Hybrid, which is lipstick coloured with a near black blotch at the base – sounds lovely doesn’t it.  My intention is to plant them in a separate pot next to the pot with ‘Golden Artist’ rather than put them in the same container.

Photograph courtesy of Crocus
Photograph courtesy of Crocus – Red Impression

There are a vast variety of tulips and some I don’t like, such as the Lily type tulip with their spiky petals, but then it’s all a matter of taste and a good thing we don’t always like the same things.

Whilst spring bulbs look good in flowerbeds, I am going to plant all of my tulips in pots.  I already have three pots planted up which include the frilled Parrot tulip in various dark burgundies through to a pale purple/blue.  These are sitting outside my kitchen so when the spring arrives I have lots of lovely colourful flowers to greet me when I step outside.

While browsing through the varieties I came across Fostariana, an early flowering tulip and added ‘Sweetheart’ to my shopping basket.  This is a lemon/yellow with a creamy band around the top, I thought they looked really pretty and would be a good contrast to the other coloured tulips.

Photograph courtesy of Crocus
Photograph courtesy of Crocus – Sweetheart

At this point, as difficult as it was,  I called a halt to my shopping spree and paid for my purchases, which arrived yesterday just a couple of days after placing my order.


This post reads as though I am plugging Crocus, which I am not, they just happen to be the website I bought my bulbs from. As they say on television, there are other websites available.

My next job is to clear out the pots containing summer plants way beyond the best, clean the pots and get planting.  Although it sometimes seem interminable, Winter doesn’t really last that long and I have something to look forward to in the spring.