First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This is my first attempt at a Six on Saturday (also first attempt at a blog!). It’s all plants this week

My first plant is Schizostylis coccinea ‘Ice Maiden’ (I think we’re supposed to call it Hesperantha coccinea now). I have a three varieties of Schizostylis in my garden, all in various shades of pink. I found this one at a local garden centre a couple of weeks ago and have eagerly awaited the first flowers. It’s very nearly white! Just a touch of pink.

IMG_2016Number two is Begonia sutherlandii. I bought some as small plugs back in April and they have flowered non-stop ever since.

IMG_2020My third choice is Salvia patens. I haven’t grown this for many years and had forgotten what a beautiful colour it is. It’s taken a while to start flowering but is well worth the wait. IMG_2022Number four is another blue flower – Ipomoea tricolour ‘Heavenly Blue’. I sowed the seeds quite late as the plants don’t like the cold and have planted them to grow through many of my climbers. It’s a shame the leaves don’t last. The photo doesn’t do justice to the colour!

IMG_2035A couple of weeks ago I went to Picton Garden and nursery where they hold the National Collection of Michaelmas Daisies. It’s a beautiful garden and, needless to say, I came away with a couple (maybe slightly more) of plants. This is a photo of an unnamed variety of Michaelmas Daisy that I have had for a few years  it doesn’t seem to succumb to the slugs either


Plant six has to be Cyclamen hederifolium. It’s taken me years to get a decent show of these and now the seedlings are popping up all over the place. This particular one is a seedling from a large corm I bought in Amsterdam several years ago

IMG_2044That’s my six for this week. Happy gardening.

Six on Saturday 18/01/20

It’s been a very mixed week weather-wise but it involved a lot of rain! It seems wrong to complain about it though. However, wall to wall sunshine is forecast for today. Sadly, I’m spending it indoors all day working. Roll on Sunday, I say. The bulbs continue to push upwards in the garden and the mild weather is causing so many things to start shooting. It also means that there are greenfly on the cuttings in the glasshouse. It’s January! Greenfly! To take my mind off of the pesky things here are six things from my garden this week.

1. I managed to spend quite a lot of time in the garden last weekend, mainly clearing leaves and starting to cut things back. A small garden means trying to get the most out of the space so beneath this Hakonechloa are Snowdrops. As the white of the flowers was showing I thought I’d better cut the Hakonechloa down.


2. Fuchsia ‘Lottie Hobbie’ featured a few weeks ago. By now it is usually past it’s best and I cut it down so that the Snowdrops beneath can have their moment of glory. Lottie still looks so good though. Dilemma.

3. The Primulas are flowering well but are being consumed by slugs


4. Chionodoxa are showing their heads above ground but they are providing the second course for the slugs

5. I grew Eccremocarpus scaber from some very old saved seed last year and they did really well. This plant is on a metal support in quite an exposed bit of the garden. I’ve always thought of Eccremocarpus as quite a tender plant.

6. Lonicera fragrantissima ‘Winter Beauty’ grows along the drive as part of a mixed hedge. I’m debating whether to remove and replace this hedge but that’s a subject for another Six. In the meantime these tiny flowers smell absolutely amazing. It had got rather windy (again) when I took these pictures.

I’ve told myself that I must sort ordering seeds on Sunday as time is marching on, I normally do it before Christmas.

Have a great weekend, thank you for looking at this snapshot of of my garden. I’ll be back after work to see what’s looking good in the other Sixers gardens courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 11/01/20

It’s been a very mild week with not too much rain (apart from a deluge on Thursday night). There’s signs of new growth all over the garden but it’s so wet I haven’t ventured into the borders for weeks. It has to start drying out soon, surely! In the meantime here are this weeks Six.

1. Several years ago I, madly, grew some Teasels and have been pulling seedlings out ever since. I limit the garden to one Teasel plant per year for the birds plus one growing on for the following year. Having a small and quite enclosed garden some varieties of birds don’t like coming down into the garden but the Goldfinches can’t resist the Teasel seeds. They must be waiting until I’m not looking this year as I’ve hardly seen any but the other morning did spot this one.  I don’t know where his friends were.


2. Last week the Snowdrops were only just up. The mild weather has certainly given them a growth spurt.

3. New shoots are appearing all over the place. The green ones are Allium seedlings, probably christophii but the larger shoots are, as yet, unidentified. I don’t recall planting bulbs here but autumn was a long time ago!

4. Hellebore flower stems are also ascending. A job for this weekend is to cut off the old leaves. And get rid of the Arum, another prolific seeder I let in to the garden many years ago.

5. While looking around for inspiration for this weeks Six I saw these. This young Chaenomeles plant has had to do battle with a very enthusiastic Clematis orientalis ‘Bill McKenzie’ and I hadn’t noticed the quinces.

6. I had this Sarcococca confusa in a pot on the patio last winter. It’s put on a bit of growth in the border and is looking great with flowers and glossy berries. The perfume is amazing for such little flowers.

Christmas followed by family visiting and staying means that this is the first clear weekend for a while. The Non-Gardener is otherwise occupied so I’m hoping for the best part of two days in the garden. Heaven!

I hope you get some gardening time as well, be it choosing seeds, planning where to plant things or physically working in it. Then it’ll be time to check out the other beautiful gardens courtesy of our host at https://thepropogator.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 04/01/20

There’s been a houseful of people for a few days and I completely lost track of days. It’s Saturday and I need to do a Six – can’t miss the first one of the new year. I quietly sneaked away from the preparations for a sixth birthday party later today to have a quick trip around the estate with my camera.

1. It’s been fairly dry recently and I managed an hour or two outside earlier in the week. I picked up a lot of the fallen leaves (mine plus Oak leaves from two huge trees over the road) and unearthed some emerging Snowdrops.


2. Heuchera ‘Dark Storm’ and Hakonechloa macra’Albo Striata’ look good together all year round.


3. I bought a small plant of Billarderia longiflora in summer 2018. It’s slowly climbing the fence and produced a few flowers this year plus these fruits.

4. Seed heads can look quite dramatic at this time of year. The seemingly endless rain we’ve experienced has, sadly, made a lot of them collapse but Eryngium bourgatii ‘Pico’s Blue’ is still standing.


5. At the other end of the life cycle the lack of any hard frost means that some plants are poking their noses above ground quite early. This is Lobelia tupa.


6. I moved most of the succulents into the glasshouse in November in an effort to protect them from the descending wet stuff. This Eryngium ‘Black Prince’ was just starting to show signs of a flower and it is continuing to develop.


So Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for reading about my garden. It doesn’t get many visitors (my choice, it’s my sanctuary) so I enjoy sharing it with you and I love seeing what is going on in other gardens around the country and further afield. Long may SonS continue, I just hope I can find enough in my little patch to keep participating without too many repeats.

Get all the inspiration that you’ll need at

https://the propogatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 28/12/19

We’ve had a whole day with not a drop of rain today and I’ve not long come in from the garden, hence a rather late Six on Saturday. There’s such a lot to do and catch up with out there but at least I’ve finally planted the last of the Tulip bulbs. The forecast for tomorrow is looking good as well so, hopefully, I can get out there again. The N-G may have other plans for the day though. Everything is still very, very wet in the garden which will limit what can be done a little. It’s certainly been a year of contrasts with a long period of drought followed by a very long period of extreme wetness. In the meantime, here it is – my final Six for 2019. Where did that year go?

1. I included Helleborus niger last week  but it’s here again as the flower has now opened. It’s fairly up-facing as well.

2. I plant several large pots with layers of Tulips, Narcissi, Crocus and Iris reticulata every autumn and then top them off with winter bedding. The Pansies haven’t enjoyed the never ending rain and the flowers have been badly marked by it. Not to mention having been eaten by the huge number of tiny slugs and snails that are absolutely everywhere.

3. As well as the above pots I plant up a lot of pans of small bulbs. Life is emerging.

4. I store plant pots and trays under the staging in the glasshouse and was looking for a particular pot this morning. On moving these tray inserts I came across this fresh pile of earth. The pots live on an old butyl covered worktop that stands on paving stones. I cleared everything off and then chickened out and got the N-G to lift the worktop (I admit to being a wimp and wasn’t sure what would be lurking beneath).


We found some major tunnelling but no nest, droppings or evidence of occupation. Neither could we find the entrance or exit from the glasshouse. Very mysterious.


My guess is mice but I’ve not found evidence of their presence in the glasshouse. Any ideas?

5. Back to more pleasant things. This unknown (male) Holly contrasts beautifully with the Beech hedge.B0509D63-4D4F-44AF-B2BF-04555ED2F487

6. Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’ leaves take on a lovely pink tinge in the winter.

So that’s it, the final Six of the decade. Wishing you all a Happy New Year filled with lots of gardening, thriving plants and ideal weather. Well, we can but dream 😂😂

In the meantime, keep up with the other Sixers at https://thepropogatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 21/12/19

The penultimate Six of the year. Due to the ongoing awful weather it’s getting harder to find six things to feature so here is this weeks not very exciting six from my garden.

1. Coprosma ‘Lemon and Lime’. This only went in earlier this year. It’s supposed to be slow growing and, given this years growing conditions I’m very pleased with its progress. I must get out and clear the fallen Viburnum leaves to try and stop so many slugs hiding in them and munching on the Primulas. It’s been so wet that I can hardly remember the last time I spent any amount of time out there.F59567F5-678E-4E57-A456-AF95849CEDBE

2. The evergreen ferns are revelling in all of this dampness and add a very welcome bright green splash.A6105B42-6A05-4252-84EE-C53AA8AEB6CD



Some ferns just add lovely rusty orange tones now.

3. I’ve accumulated several Hellebores over the years, mostly grown from my own seed but this is the first time I’ve grown H. niger. It flowers much earlier and is brightening up a patio pot. I’ll plant it in the ground next year.

4. Another pot of small plants that will be planted out next spring – Polystichum polyblepharum, Heuchera ‘Paris’ and H. ‘Caramel’

5. Bellis perennis flowers are opening.

6. A lot of established bulbs seem to have their heads way above ground rather early. Dutch Iris, Narcissi and Alliums.



Just one more Six remaining for 2019. I’ve loved the challenge of finding different things for each one, not always easy in a small garden (albeit a rather over planted one).

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and sending best wishes for a new year filled with ideal weather, 100% germination rates and luscious plant growth – but where’s the challenge in that!

Find all the other beautiful gardens courtesy of our host who started this wonderful idea


Six on Saturday 14/12/19

A very mixed week again – a bit of frost, a bit of sunshine on Monday, rain, gusty wind, more rain, very gusty wind and pouring rain. With my heavy clay soil some of the borders are all but under water. The forecast is for a lot of rain again today and it’s blowing a gale but tomorrow looks a little better so I might get out to finally plant the last of the tulips. Being so windy it was tricky taking photos so they are a bit blurry. I nearly had to resort to house plants this week!
1. The Japanese Anemone seed heads normally stand up well to the weather and add interest for the winter months. The taller ones are looking a little the worse for wear but this shorter variety isn’t  too bad.
396C8B78-9A70-48AC-A01D-6597E3BB2A972. A solitary Hesperantha is adding a touch of colour.

BCAF5BAE-F7DE-4F89-8E8F-05DF260BDAE03. Last week Jim included a Teasel seed head with the seeds germinating in-situ. I had the same with an Echinacea seed head (SonS 18/10)


I detached a few seedlings and potted them up in the glasshouse. Some have died but the survivors look promising. I left another pot outside but they have drowned.

4. The leaves of Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ add a touch of silver at this time of year. Shame about the holes.


5. Erysimum ‘Bowles’ Mauve (I’ve also seen it called Bowles’s Mauve) flowers for about 364 days of the year. This was a cutting from last year. It could do with a tidy up.


6. I’ve moved most of the succulents into the glasshouse to get them out of the wet. This is a cutting from an unknown variety of Echiveria. The flower has looked like this for a week or so. I was hoping it might open a little more.


We have to look a little harder to see the beauty at this time of year and taking part in SonS keeps me looking. Have a great weekend. Catch up with the other Sixers at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 07/12/19

The week started very cold with overnight frosts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday but at least it was dry and the sun shone a bit as well. Thursday and Friday saw a return to wet and windy weather but heady overnight temperatures (in the glasshouse) of 8 and 9 degrees. Madness! I’ve managed to plant a few more bulbs, not many left now and only Tulips. I’m in Belfast this weekend so technically this is Six from Friday.

1. The larger variety of Begonia semperflorens have flowered all summer and autumn long. I appreciate that they are a Marmite plant but they are ideal for tucking into gaps. Most have succumbed to the frost but these have been sheltered by the house wall I think.


That photo was taken on Tuesday  after the frost had thawed. Wednesday nights frost was one too many though. A job to do on my return.

2. The Fuchsias that were in last weeks Six have all succumbed as well and are now tucked up in the glasshouse having been cut back and repotted. One that just keeps going though is F. ‘Lottie Hobby’. It’s sometimes described as half hardy but this plant is many years old and flowers till Christmas and beyond most years. I often end up cutting it down so that the Snowdrops behind it can be seen. The first photo was taken last week but didn’t make it into the Six. The second one is from yesterday morning, so still looking good Lottie.


3. After removing some of the Fuchsias and Salvias from the small border alongside part of the garage I found some soil to plant bulbs in! It’s the tidiest bit of the garden. I’m going to leave S. ‘Amistad and S. ‘Black and Blue in the ground and cross my fingers.

4. A lot of the seed heads have fallen victim to all of the rain and I’ll probably end up cutting things down earlier than usual but this Agapanthus still looks good. Only one flower head this year, sadly.


5. I’ve not sown as many seeds as I’d hoped to (still time) but Cyclamen graceum have germinated well. These were RHS seeds.


6. Ficinia truncata ‘Ice Crystal’ caught my eye earlier in the year and this one has been in a planter with some other plants for the summer and autumn. It now has some white Primulas for company but I don’t know how long it will last as it isn’t overly hardy, apparently. Rather ironic given its name and appearance.

Have a great weekend. At this time of year it’s good to escape all things Christmas and go out into the garden (or am I just a miserable person?).
When you come back indoors don’t forget to catch up with the other Sixers courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/