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 04/04/20

The weather has been kind this week, dry, fairly bright but rather cool. This means that I have been able to spend a lot of time in my garden which stops me thinking too much about the current state of the world. Without the pressure of “I’ve got to get this done as I won’t get back out here for several days” I’m able to slow down and take my time. Last late summer/early autumn I wandered around the estate (😂) and made notes about what to move, replace, repeat etc. With the new circumstances it can’t all get done this year but I’ve moved quite a few of the plants this week and divided and replanted others. I’ve also sown quite a lot of HHA seeds. I wasn’t going to sow so many seeds this year – time and space – but in these new circumstances I have the time. Sadly, the space hasn’t increased but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Here are six things that caught my eye this week.

1. I included these tulips a couple of weeks ago. They’ve been in the border for several years but I couldn’t remember their name at the time. It’s T. fosteriana ‘Zombie’, I think.


They’re beginning to go over now but look so different this week.I can’t remember that they’ve done this before.


2. The pots of tulips are all approaching flowering. Mostly I treat them as annuals but sometimes I’ll plant them out in the borders after flowering. The following year I’m usually disappointed but these ‘Angelique’ have lasted a few years.


3. One of my favourite Narcissi is ‘Thalia’ but they don’t last many years in my garden. Is this usual?


4. Allium christophii and A. ‘Purple Sensation’ flower heads are just starting to emerge from their rosettes of leaves. I’ve grown them for quite a while and always envisaged them bulking up through self seeding. I leave the seed heads in situ (especially christophii) as they look good in the borders until well into the autumn. They’ve duly bulked up with self seeded plants over the years but the last couple of years they’ve gone into overdrive. There’s hundreds of seedlings in my main border. I ignored them last year but it’s got to be quite a problem this year so I’m digging them out as I work through the border. Thank goodness Crocus leaves have the stripe!

5. I grew some Acer palmatums from seed many years ago but now only have one left. It’s in a pot in a funny corner by the glasshouse. The emerging leaves look so good.


6. This is a narrow north facing border at the back of the house and a couple of years ago I removed a sickly Griselinia littoralis ‘Variegata’. There used to be an Epimedium at the foot of the shrub but it had long disappeared and I didn’t see any trace of the roots. Last spring it miraculously reappeared with a couple of flowering stems followed by leaves. It’s grown a lot in the last year. The flowers are so complicated for such a little plant.



Thank you for reading my Six and thank you to our host for providing us with lots of horticultural therapy to help preserve our sanity. Catch up with everyone at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/



Six on Saturday 28/03/20

After endless months of seemingly endless rain we have had a week of glorious weather here in the West Country. There’s been a frost every night but so much sunshine in the day. This means that I have spent a large part of every day in the garden: good therapy for difficult times. There is so much going on in the garden and so much work to do as well. It’s the time of year when I feel I never catch up with the plants. It’s good fun trying though.

1. All week I’ve been saying to myself that I must take a photo of the white Birch tree branches against the glorious blue sky. I finally got around to it yesterday but, of course, the sky was slightly hazy!


As I was taking this picture I noticed that the first leaves have appeared. The adverse conditions of the last couple of years took their toll on this tree last summer the leaves were very small and crisped and dropped quite early. So I’m very pleased to see growth at the tops of the branches as I was worried there would be a lot of die-back.

2. I also have an Amelanchier and the flower buds have visibly swelled during the week but they’re not quite open yet. Next weeks Six, hopefully. My usual experience with this beautiful tree is that the flowers open and then it gets very windy and they’ve come and gone in a few days.


I noticed a pink bud in the photo so the Honeysuckle on the nearby arch seems to have a flower already !

3. Many of the Tulips are opening. These have been in this little bed for many years. They’re very reliable repeaters (unlike most Tulips in my garden) but don’t multiply. Can’t have it all…..


4.Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ is going to look good this year, hopefully.


This plant is quite old now, grows on a north facing fence just behind the Birch tree. Not ideal I know, as the lower half of the plant shows. I cut it back quite hard a few years ago and it sulked badly then ended up looking the same again.

5. I went down to the glasshouse yesterday morning to uncover the plants and open the vents and door then I spur of the moment decided to empty everything out and pressure wash the outside and wash down the inside. It’s amazing how much a glasshouse can hold, virtually all of it needed throughout the year. The Non-Gardener is home as well (both self employed) and he carried out repairs to the path, cleaned corners that a short person can’t reach and patched a broken pane. Here’s a dirty, nearly empty glasshouse CD6EE810-7EC8-4082-98C4-FA07FC88D0B3

And here’s a very clean one with nearly everything back in.


The glass is so clean I could take this view of the Amelanchier through it!


6. The ferns are all beginning to unfurl. I’m sure you could sit and watch the Cyrtomium rise upwards before your eyes


Todays gardening agenda includes pruning the Dogwood, Pyracantha, Jasmine and Purple Hazel. And after lunch………….😂😂😂

We can’t get out to visit gardens but we’re lucky because we can visit from the comfort and safety of our own homes thanks to our leader at


I hope that you’re all able to stay safe and well.


Six on Saturday 21/03/20

I’m going to be spending a lot of time in my garden from now on as my work came to a sudden halt on Monday. This should mean that with all this attention the garden will be a picture of luxurious perfection this year. However, I very much doubt that it will be. Well, let’s be honest, it won’t be but I will have time to sort some things out and to get a lot of those ‘one day’ jobs done. What I do know is that my garden will play a huge part in maintaining my sanity in the coming months.  The weather improved yesterday after two days of rain and I got some overdue pruning done.

1. I emptied one compost bin into an area of the garden last Sunday then turned the other two over and along. All three bins were full of Rose Capsid Bug larvae, right through the full depth of the bins. I found quite a lot of them in the compost last year but this year it’s a real infestation. I started collecting them in this large pot but, eventually, had to use a florists bucket. I stopped counting at 200! There were several dead adults in there as well. Has anyone else had this problem?


2. On a much happier note Lamprocapnos spectabile has suddenly pushed through the ground.


3. In this narrow border in front of Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ there are several good sized clumps of Snowdrops. These were planted beneath a Hackonechloa that is just emerging. 


4. Muscari latifolium obviously enjoyed the heat last summer and have spread further than I would like. I’ll enjoy the flowers for now then perform a cull. Sorry, it was windy yesterday afternoon, hence out of focus picture.


5. Unlike the Muscari, the Pieris didn’t enjoy last summers heat and drought and I was worried I would lose it. It’s not looking too bad but there aren’t a lot of flowers. Bees love them.


6. My little patch of Fritillaria meleagris.


It’s SPRING! The forecast for the next few days is for frosty nights and sunny days. Last autumn I went round the garden making a list of things to move/plant/get rid of/replace. I think I’ll make a start on it. Lots of time out in the sunshine.
Keep safe everyone, and do some virtual garden visiting to meet other Sixers courtesy of our leader at


Six on Saturday 14/03/20

Six on Saturday by the skin of my teeth! It’s been a week of rain, rain, more rain, hail, sleet, wind and some sunshine. I’ve been in the garden this afternoon turning over the compost bins, a very satisfying job. At least we gardeners will have plenty to do during self-isolation.

1. A couple of clumps of these bulbs come up in the border alongside the drive every year. The name has escaped me for the moment


2. The last Hellebore. No more, I promise. I nearly forgot to include this one and it’s nearly past it’s best.


3. Persicaria microcephala ’Red Dragon’ has burst through the ground. I grow this against a trellis and ‘train’ it up it.


4. Many years ago I grew some Hyacinths in a pot then planted them out in the border. They come back every year but never multiply. I don’t grow Hyacinths any more as the Non-Gardener reckons they smell like cat wee. Hmmmmm.


5. The patio pots are looking good despite what the weather has thrown at them. I have layer planted the bigger pots for years but for some reason everything is flowering at the same time this year.

6. Primroses are coming out all over the garden but are also being badly eaten by slugs. Some seem to have a pink tinge this year.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for reading this far. Sadly no gardening for me tomorrow as I’m working. I’ve a couple of days off this week though and the weather doesn’t look too bad. 🤞

Catch up with the other Sixers courtesy of our host

https://the propagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 07/03/20

It’s been all go here. Last weekend was spent in Belfast visiting family. Back to work for a couple of days then up the M5 and M6 for a Christmas present short break to Keswick in the Lake District. It was the first time of visiting this stunning place and we’ll definitely be returning. We were very lucky with the weather, dry and fairly sunny,  although there was snow higher up and a lot of evidence of the very recent flooding. We got back rather late last night and I’m off to work today so I haven’t had time to venture out into my garden. Therefore, this weeks Six is a quick one from Keswick.

1. The hotel has grounds of about four acres, mostly trees and large shrubs. This is a bed near to the dining room.


2. There are several lovely parks in the town with great bulb displays  I forgot to charge my phone so the Non-Gardener took some of the pictures.



4. Other beds through the town are looking good



6. Tree trunks, ground, walls, everywhere is covered in the most beautiful varieties of moss.

And close up

9422FA80-5A0B-4D18-AAA5-13A4EE2B0FCDI can’t wait to get out into my garden (Sunday, hopefully) and see what’s new for next weeks Six.

A last picture, Derwentwater


Keep up with the other Sixers courtesy of our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/

Six on Saturday 29/02/20

This last week been a really mixed one weather-wise with lots more rain, high winds, sleet, hail and even a bit of sunshine – such a welcome sight. There’s another storm forecast for this weekend as well but, compared to the conditions that some people are living with, it’s nothing. 

We’re visiting family this weekend so the pictures for this weeks Six were taken earlier in the week in sunshine!

1. The lack of any prolonged cold weather means that the overwintering plants in the glasshouse are doing really well. In the week it’s mostly a case of dash down to put the fleece on in the evening and another dash to take it off in the morning. I had Wednesday off though and the sun was shining! Time for a sort through and closer inspection. Fuchsia horror! Is this Capsid bug damage already? Only these two seem affected, so far, so I’ve cut them down below the damage. I’ve had quite a problem with C Bug the last couple of years, but never showing his early.


2. Checking through pots I discovered these Hostas are shooting. They were one of those irresistible offers from a well known company that I fell for despite past vows to never grow Hostas again as they always look like lace curtains. The SnS are obviously busy munching elsewhere in the garden at the moment.

3. Having quite a lot of birds and a regular visiting hedgehog (last summer) I stopped using slug pellets a few years ago but the exceptionally wet weather has meant that the villainous pest population has exploded. I found these this week and am going to give them a try for things like the Hostas. Has anyone used them? Do they work?

4. Clumps of Daffodils brighten the garden up so much. I grow the shorter varieties as the prevailing wind blows straight through the garden and regularly flattened the taller varieties when I used to grow them. Also, the foliage of the shorter varieties is less noticeable after flowering in a small garden.


5. First Tulips! These are returners from last year, an unusual occurrence in my garden.

However, the rest of the clump are looking very tatty thanks to the SnS.

6. A slightly later flowering (in my garden anyway) Hellebore – H. x hybridus ‘Dorothy’s Dawn. I didn’t cut all of last years leaves off of this one as the veining is so beautiful

Hopefully, it’ll be a storm-free weekend for next weeks Six. In the meantime, see how the other Sixers are coping with whatever the weather is throwing at them via our host at https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/ 


Six on Saturday 22/02/20

Another wet week, not a lot more to say. Apart from it’s rather windy as well. However, today’s forecast was for rain first thing then a dry day so I decided to get outside and post this Six afterwards. The borders are much too wet to work on (the joy of a clay soil) but there was general clearing up, some pruning, pots to move, some repotting and other such jobs to do. There’s so much going on out there, despite the bad weather. Bulbs are coming up all over the place, the herbaceous plants are throwing up new shoots, Clematis are doing really well (something likes the rain) and weeds seedlings are appearing. It was all going so well until the unforecast rain arrived. Still, I got quite a lot done and it was just so wonderful to get out into the garden. Here’s my six things to share this week.
1. I keep most of the pots of bulbs near to the back door so that I can see them from inside. I plant four of these bigs pots up each year plus lots of single species pots. The tulips are just pushing their noses up into the daylight to follow on from the daffodils.


2. The sun even came out for a while this morning making the daffodils shine out.


3. I bought this Hellebore last year but it didn’t do much flower-wise. It’s getting into its stride this year though. It’s my only yellow one.


4. Clematis ‘Guernsey Cream’ grows on a north facing fence panel behind Betula utilis jacquimontii ‘Snow Queen’, probably not an ideal place but I can see it from the kitchen window. For me, it’s not a strong grower and the growth is mainly towards the top of the panel. I cut it back a few years ago in the hope of regrowth from further down but over time it looks the same as before.



5. A trellis panel is fixed in front of the compost/working area to hide it. I replanted it about four years ago with Chaenomeles x superba’ Knap Hill Scarlett’ and Clematis tangutica ‘Bill Mackenzie’. I should probably have let the Chaenomeles get larger before planting the Clematis as it gets rather overgrown later in the year. I’ve now cut the Clematis right back and the Chaenomeles has started flowering.

6. On the other side of the path through to the compost bins is this obelisk with a couple of Clematis on it. To the right of the picture is an Epimedium that I cut down this morning as the flower seems are just showing above ground. The star at the moment (other than Hellebores and Daffodils) is Pulmonaria. This is supposed to be P. Longifolia but it has been rather taken over with the more common variety. The lovely leaves of longifolia are just visible in the bottom right corner. I meant to separate them last year. Story of my gardening life!

It’s such an exciting time of year in the garden and glasshouse. Let’s hope the weather improves and we can spend more time out there, although it’s more rain and high wind tomorrow. At least we can see what’s happening in other Sixers gardens courtesy of our host at

https://the propagatorblog.wordpress.com/