First blog post

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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 21/04/18

What a week! Glorious sunshine and rising temperatures show the garden in a whole new light and the plants outdoors have lapped it up. Unfortunately, when I got home from work the other day I found that one of the automatic vents in my glasshouse decided it wasn’t going to work any more . Do other people take them off for the winter? I bought two new ones so now have vents on three of the four windows. Having cleaned the glass the other week to improve light levels I’ve spent this week draping shading fabric around to protect the little seedlings. All looking good so far though.

There’s quite a few things to choose from this week but this is my shortlist.

1. The sunshine has brought the tulips out en masse. I plant mostly the earlier flowering, shorter varieties. Sorry, a couple of the photos aren’t great.



C74AAA3D-DB2D-429C-B956-A9742D533D7E780CEA18-0280-4816-ADD7-813A44569A052. An unknown variety of Euphorbia. I was given a small clump of this by a friend many years ago. It’s a real stalwart and looks so bright in the sunshine.

E5A402F6-A98B-4713-AED7-BF779A52C4E63. Clematis alpina ‘Francis Rivis’ featured in a previous Six when it started back into life after the winter. It grows by my north facing front door on a windy corner. It’s a bit woody at the base and a few years ago I took the plunge and cut it back hard. The base is becoming woody again already.

83F49C44-C0C4-4830-8FB8-35566BCF08449CB93C29-C08A-4553-A797-D8581A7A307B4. There’s not a lot of room for trees in a small garden but I have squeezed in three. Amelanchier lamarckii ‘Ballerina’ flowers for a fleeting moment (and a gale usually arrives at the same time as the blossom) but is so beautiful.

B7E41E98-9538-458F-A608-D8385CCC9B575. I grew a variegated variety of Honesty (Lunaria annua) years back  and a few seedlings pop up each year. It’s weaker growing than the plain green variety but very pretty.

7B0897AA-00D1-4D77-AA37-26E3181FCD05EC028D74-9696-4F9A-B983-667AE7BA91E36. And finally –

These little mounds appeared overnight in several different locations in the garden. Each one has one or two holes in it so I guess that something has emerged out of the soil and flown(?) away. Does any one know what? Would it be solitary bees?

0C0311AE-9FE4-4178-A084-297F8AE1762CHave a good weekend in the garden, Sunday’s my day for catching up with the weeds and potting on things in the glasshouse.

Dont forget to keep an eye on the latest posts on our host’s site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/k

Six on Saturday 14/04/18

I feel like I need to confess – it’s been two weeks since my last Six. Things in the garden have moved on quite a bit in that time despite the cold wet weather. The beds are a bit wet to work on but the glasshouse has provided plenty of work. There’s so much colour appearing it’s so uplifting to walk around with a cup of tea before work. A great start to the day.

1. In the last couple of weeks I’ve sown seeds of Cosmos (two varieties), Zinnia, Eccremocarpus, Sunflower (two varieties), Rudbeckia, Tagetes, Ammi, Ricinus and a few other half hardy annuals. I sowed the smaller seeds in a mixture of pots and cells to see which did best. They were all put in an unheated propagator in the house then moved to the glasshouse once they’d germinated (two days for the first Cosmos to show!). Germination has been good overall though one variety of Sunflower hasn’t shown at all yet. Growing the smaller seeds in cells makes the pricking out much easier and involves virtually no root disturbance. I’ll definitely be using this method more. I’m waiting for the weather to warm up before sowing Ipomea ‘Heavenly Blue’.  The permanent staging is full with over wintered fuchsias etc and the temporary staging (Six 17/03/18) has been filled up already. Glasshouses are never big enough at this time of year. The plants on the left are the bargain hardy plugs that I bought (Six 17/03/18). Roots are starting to show of out the bottom of the cells so I’ll pot them on on Sunday and start to harden them off.

3B268A28-7FB2-43CD-B07A-CD4579139BE92. In the photo above, visible through the glass, there is an Acer Palmatum that I grew from seed many years ago. It’s in a large pot as my soil is quite alkaline. The emerging foliage and flowers are beautiful, lime green and shrimp pink. It fills an awkward corner beautifully.

91671835-4FE5-4276-9404-390BED2A7397B8AAC87A-8FAC-4DB0-8831-D9441B3AE87109264737-C46D-4864-8B9C-F91DC33CF3463. I grow wallflowers most years and the first one has started to flower. I can’t remember the variety. How do you keep them upright? Mine always seem to sprawl somewhat.

932BBF7C-7C89-4EA7-AD0C-975E4701C6974. I have a couple of clumps of Fritillaria meleagris that came from my Dad’s garden about eight years ago. They’ve clumped up a little bit but I don’t think I’ll ever have a really impressive display of them. The conditions aren’t really right but they bring back lovely memories.

E8A86018-CBA1-4726-B26B-ED53ADB8C73819C7A93F-87C3-44E6-A891-CD1AD1ABC4495. Muscari! Not one of my favourite bulbs as they’re a bit thuggish but I do have a soft spot for this bi-coloured variety, latifolium I think. I pull up a lot of seedlings every year though. They’re planted with Narcissus cyclamineous ‘Jumblie’.


6. I grow early to mid season short varieties of tulips and a lot of them are flowering now but due to the lack of sun they’re not opening up very often. The forget-me-not is starting it’s take-over as well.

15F3D9A2-B852-4A2B-A5DC-93F6864D4FDA87E24C16-3621-45B2-BC1B-03D11BF7837EThat’s my six for this week. Thanks for reading about them. Don’t forget to check out all of the other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/


Six on Saturday 24/03/18

The week started with more snow, just as the garden was beginning to recover from the last lot. I’m fairly sure things will be alright in the long term but a lot of new shoots and growth have been badly hit, sadly. We’re very out of practice for snow here. Between weather and work I haven’t managed any time in the garden this week, just down to the glasshouse to take the fleece off in the morning and put it back on in the evening. Day off tomorrow though!! SEED SOWING time. I took six quick photos this morning on my way out, including one tragedy!

1. I bought this Polyanthus last year, it’s bright but not too garish. The label just said Oak-Leaf Polyanthus.


2. Another of my autumn planted pots. The bulbs obviously didn’t read the packets as the narcissi should have flowered before the tulips.

98A89B70-9A95-4E7D-BE4C-CBEAAFB1EEE03. I must have had these Hyacinths indoors several years ago and then planted them outside. My non-gardener doesn’t like the smell of them.  I don’t remember seeing them at all in the border last year.902C4344-6357-433F-B5A8-B2A30B1F7EDA4. I’ve built up a collection of large Alliums in the main border and I usually cut a couple of seed heads to dry and have indoors leaving the rest in situ until they start to break up in the winter. However, I seem to have an outbreak of seedlings coming up everywhere. It seems wrong to remove them but between them and forget-me- nots the ground is disappearing

8456BD10-A2B4-4F66-9187-B3C63AB6AD2C5. I can’t finish my Six with a disaster so it’s at number five. I planted the early flowering Clematis koreana ‘Brunette’ early last spring to cover a new piece of trellis and it grew really well flowering on and off all through the summer. Around it is a clump of the beautiful white Anemone japonica ‘Honorine Jobert’. A couple of weeks ago I thought I’d better cut the Anemones down as they were spreading further than their allotted space and needed sorting. You’ve no doubt guessed what happened. A whole year lost!

104EE240-62C6-48E9-B374-3551D08A678A6. After admiring Fred the French Gardener’s photos I bought myself a macro lens for my iphone. Thanks for the link Fred. It was a bit windy this morning for close ups but I managed this one.

5F4CF358-F3E0-4B39-98E7-9AAB62F89AADIt’s a Hellebore. Reminds me of an (underwater) anemone.

Thats my Six for this week. Looking forward to my extra hour of gardening time tomorrow.

Don’t forget to check out the other Sixes at our host’s site https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 17/03/18

I should have taken this week’s pictures yesterday in the glorious sunshine instead I took them this morning as it was trying to snow. Hopefully, this is just a very temporary glitch in the weather. Saturday is rapidly disappearing so I’d better get on with this.

1. The four large pots that I planted up in the autumn are coming on well. There’s layers of bulbs to give a long season of colour – either Crocus or Iris reticulata, dwarf Narcissi, dwarf Tulips and then spring bedding on top. I’ve done this for several years now and then plant the bulbs into the garden (with varying degrees of success in successive years).

2. Primroses are starting to flower now. They don’t do brilliantly in my garden, I think the clay soil is often too dry in the summer for them. I prefer the traditional yellow but the red one was a present and has grown on me.

3. Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’. This is growing in a large pot by the side of the house. It’s a very windy spot but, although only planted last year,  this Elder seems to be surviving and the leaves have started to open this week. Hopefully,  it will disguise the hose guide. Note to self, check what’s in the background. The blue pot was on its way elsewhere!


4. The original plant of this Euphorbia came from Hannay’s nursery in Bath many years ago. I can’t remember it’s name, other than it’s Hannay’s something! Seedlings appear from time to time, as this one did last year. It’s a lovely red colour but is a bit prone to mildew.

FE0868EF-A9D5-49A7-BF97-401EC6A8CB5C5. There was an offer of 72 perennial plug plants in the paper the other week, postage only. I’m more of a seed and cutting person really but was intrigued to see what they’d be like. They were really well packed and in very good health. I think a fair few will end up in daughter’s new garden.

FC6084C2-3604-4C3D-979F-4369E05BFF706. I have staging down one side and across the end of my (unheated) glasshouse and then grow tomatoes and peppers along the other side. At this time of year though I start to run out of room. The staging is pretty well full with overwintering fuchsias, geraniums, begonias etc. so nowhere for pots and trays of seedlings to go. I was going to start sowing this weekend but the cold snap has put paid to that. I’ve used a pasting table in the past but it’s not very stable and tends to sag in the middle! The non-gardener built this for me! It holds 13 seed trays and dismantles very quickly. The pots of Dahlias and Cannas should be alright below. Can’t wait to start using it.9A4E36D1-0D3E-4546-BE8D-482128B0B14DThat’s my six for this week. Thanks for looking in. Don’t forget to check out the other Six’s at our host’s site


Six on Saturday 10/03/18

After all the snow comes the rain! A rather soggy few days so outdoor gardening is a bit restricted this weekend. Plenty to do in the glasshouse though, mainly repotting overwintering plants. Most seem to have survived the very cold spell but some are looking a bit ropey. I managed to take some photos between the rain showers this morning so here are my six –

1. It’s the time of year when parcels containing little plants start to arrive. I try to resist every year! These Phlox paniculata were a ‘freebie’. Good roots so they should grow away well, hopefully. I’ve put them in pots in the coldframe for now.

BB59AB17-4E0D-42DD-BACB-78AD445ACD902. This clump of dwarf tulips come up every year. They’re sheltered behind a low wall but seem to be very early this year. The effect is slightly spoiled by the self-sown Heleborus foetidus seedling growing in the middle of them!

A144F98C-AC93-45D5-A961-44197ADA2F843. Clematis alpina ‘Francis Rivis’ grows by the front door. It only has a narrow strip of wall/trellis to grow up and faces north. It’s planted in a tiny bit of soil next to a gravelled part of the drive, maybe not ideal conditions. I don’t prune it and after about 15 years it was full of dead stems so……. three years ago I cut it to about six inches above the ground and gave it the talk. It sulked the first year and I thought I’d killed it then last year it started its ascent of the wall again and had a few flowers. It’s looking quite promising this year. Despite the snow the flowers have started to unfurl this week.

EF56AE05-EFDA-42EF-893D-4DD668ECFAF8 4. Pulmonaria seeds itself around the garden quite freely. It’s such a good value plant, looking good for most of the year. I’ve a couple of named varieties but they aren’t quite so advanced as this one which opened it’s first flowers this morning, despite the rain.

08619FF9-FD49-4ABA-AEF4-4932F6D993B35. The sun came out very briefly and these beautiful Crocus nearly opened.

E9184826-CD97-48CD-9210-D6A22644E05B6. Every day new shoots start appearing. These are Dicentra spectabilis growing beneath a Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’.

9AA8B9A6-C4D5-41AB-A030-E455FFA4B072That’s my six for this week, thanks for looking. Thanks also to our host for this great idea. Check out his and other Sixes at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/



Six on Saturday 03/03/18

Snow on Saturday this week. We don’t see much of the stuff usually and have got off lightly compared to a lot of the country. There’s not many plants visible and there must be at least six things that need doing that are buried beneath the snow.

1. I was walking up from the glasshouse on Wednesday morning before work and it just looked so spring-like (apart from the woodpile)


Looking back the other way today –


2. I know a lot of things will be absolutely fine beneath their snow covering but as it starts to thaw out there some things that are looking rather sad

EED42953-AD99-4F69-A561-B0BA0CF6E3AB3. I cut back the later flowering Clematis a few weeks ago and some of them have put on a lot of growth. I know they’ll come back but all that growth lost! As a contrast, Clematis orientalis seems unscathed, a much more sensible growth habit for the time of year


64F890D2-5C52-4608-87CC-3EA5209A537C4. Lonicera fragrantissima has been beautiful this winter but has come to an abrupt end. Brown isn’t a good look for flowers

0A46BBD2-D6BB-46CF-B518-FCB3E258DE5E5. Next job is to get the thawing snow off the roof of the glasshouse before it descends in one go onto the plants below burying them even deeper.

1DBD5D34-E3C8-4D57-A438-5E670AC0545D6. I don’t heat my glasshouse at the moment, the non- gardener is slowly thinking about it for me, and so rely on layers of fleece to protect cuttings and over wintering plants. It works most years but this is the first time that I’ve left the covers on for days on end. I’ve looked underneath a few times and the compost in the smaller pots is frozen solid. Plants are resilient things but I may well be in the market for a lot of Fuchsias, Salvias and Geraniums in the spring! Lots of new planting opportunities 😊

84566DFD-9550-43C6-A56C-5D6C1FAB37B0That’s my six for this week. Did I mention that I hate snow? I think I’ve been quite cheerful considering. I’m going to sort out seeds this afternoon in preparation for slightly warmer weather and then I’ll be the gardening quilter (as opposed to the quilting gardener).

Dont forget to pop back to our host’s site at https://the propagatorblog.wordpress.com/ throughout the weekend to see what others are up to in their gardens

Six on Saturday 17/02/18

It’s been a wet and windy week here in North Somerset with a frost most nights. However,  the sun came out on Friday and the weekend looks quite good. No gardening though as we’re off to North Devon for a couple of days. (I’ve cheated slightly and written this on Friday evening!) At least nothing changes too quickly at this time of year and I’ll be able to catch up over the coming weeks. I don’t sow seeds until the second half of March so no worries there. I find they catch with earlier sown ones. Anyway, here is this week’s six.

1. The wind has battered the poor crocus and many have been flattened before they’ve had a chance to open. The red shoots behind belong to Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’.

46FFC91C-D892-4A66-8C88-0C21413A16FB2. Fence panels! Where I can I have planted shrubs on the boundaries  but I have a corner garden so share boundaries with two other properties, both owned by non gardeners. One has a mown lawn, an apple tree and absolutely nothing else but the other one has loads of plants such as brambles (sorry! blackberries), bindweed, dandeunmown grass etc. Most of the fence panels have shrubs in front of them or, where there isn’t room for something to grow outwards are covered with climbers. However, I have three four foot high panels that I’m struggling to cover up. They face north and the prevailing wind blows along them. There is a small border in front of them that is a temporary home to some of the Michaelmas Daisies that I bought last autumn. They’re not tall enough for Clematis etc. and I don’t want to lose much depth from the border. Any suggestions gratefully received.

AC9BD6E9-4EB2-49CA-8695-A492BCC5F9503. Clematis puzzle me at this time of year. Ones that are due to flower early in the season such as alpina ‘Francis Rivis’ and ‘Guernsey Cream’ have virtually no new growth visible and yet other, much later flowering varieties, have loads of new growth, most of which I cut off. I’ve missed C. ‘Black Tea’!

E53B7406-A5E0-4B90-A515-B3683A7C40504. I planted this Sorbaria sorbifolia two years ago. The emerging foliage is such a bright colour and it looks good right through to late autumn. However, there would seem to be new shoots emerging a distance away from the main plant so I’m going to have to keep an eye on it, I hope it doesn’t run too far/vigorously.

025A9F39-8EEE-46F3-B0A1-F0108720AA095. Over the years I’ve made a few obelisks for, mainly, Clematis to grow up in the ‘large’ border following Geoff Hamilton’s instructions of many years ago. However, the legs gradually rot off in the soil. This one kept blowing over in the wind and was threatening to flatten some of my Hellebores. The non-gardener found these ground anchors on line. The obelisk is going nowhere now! They’re a bit shiny but will soon be buried in the undergrowth.

023AEF7D-94E6-44B9-B26C-7649A0526DEC6. Euphorbia x martini ‘Ascot Rainbow’ was new to me last year. It has looked good ever since, even when frosted.


That’s my six for this week. I’ll check in later today to see the other Sixes and to add to my plants to buy list!