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



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 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!


Six on Saturday 10/02/18

Yet another wet and windy day. Definitely the time to sit indoors thinking about and planning for the season/s ahead. Here’s this week’s six from my garden.

1. A while back I wrote that I had a backlog of composting to deal with. My two main bins were full, one ready to use and one still working, and I also had several large bags full of shredding etc and nowhere to put them. As I still had half a border to cut down and deal with something needed to be done. I was a bit worried about mulching on top of cold ground but after several frost free days took the plunge and got on with it. Then I turned the right-hand bin into the empty left-hand one and emptied all of the bags into the right one. Very satisfying! Very tidy!

2. Resolving the compost area issue meant I could then work through the second half of my large (for a small garden) mainly herbaceous border. I had photos in last week’s Six, the section shown below looks a lot better than last week. The birds seem to have emptied most of the seed heads and I’ve left some grassy/twiggy bits on the ground for nest building.

It looks a bit bare at the moment but there are bulbs poking their noses up all through the border and the majority of the plants have lots of lovely new basal shoots.

82609946-CE23-4C6A-9146-6F25CBC73D313. Whilst clearing I uncovered a clump of emerging bulbs. These have been in the border for at least fifteen years, very slowly increasing. I think they are Chionodoxa. I love the fact that the flowers seem to emerge already open. They are having to do battle with Forget-Me-Nots. The seedlings around them are, I think, from my Alliums.

4. I know Hellebores have featured quite a lot but I was given this one (Harvington double yellow) by a friend. I don’t have a yellow flowered one and it seems to hold it’s flowers up well. It’s staying in the pot until the weather improves. Photo taken in the glasshouse to avoid the rain!

2D53445A-3F78-495F-8D77-DFA9AC2BB7B25. I’m overwintering a lot of the plants that I had in pots and containers last summer in the glasshouse. They are starting to shoot really well already. I don’t have any heat in there (have spoken very nicely to the non-gardening but very handy other half but it doesn’t seem to be very high on the list of to-dos) so everything is covered with layers of horticultural fleece every night.

84F86E65-8103-420B-B815-D82E0F7E98836. In my post on December the 2nd I wrote about my poor Aeonium succumbing to the dreaded vine weevil. The little plantlets that I cut off and potted up are holding their own and the top section of the plant still seems to be alive and well although no roots are visible out of the bottom of the pot. (I’m resisting the temptation to knock it out and look). The base of the stem had no roots left at all. I cut off about an inch and a half, put it into a pot and gave it the live or die talk. Two weeks ago tiny green bumps appeared and look at it now! Roots are visible at the bottom of the pot as well. The other stem in the pot is the mid section. I kept a close eye on which was the bottom/top and figured there was nothing to lose in potting it up as well. No signs of life as yet though.

711E338D-0290-4ED4-922B-CF56D37E2FA1That’s my mixed Six for this week. Thank you for visiting and do head over to our host’s site at to see all of the other contributions. Happy gardening.

Six on Saturday 03/02/18

Back into the garden at last! So much time lost to flu that can’t be regained. At least I could do some virtual gardening by reading all of the sixes. Thank you.

It’s a very uplifting time of the year in the garden I think, all of those shoots peeping up above the ground, bulbs starting to flower and climbers bravely starting their ascent. Just what the doctor ordered.

1. It’s taken several years but my snowdrops have finally started to clump up well. I split some of the clumps last year to spread them around the garden a bit more but I can see these from the house. I don’t know the variety.


F306A659-CA20-4611-A454-1064DC989FE72. The hellebores have come on really well. I love the really dark coloured ones but don’t have anywhere to grow them where the light will come from behind them. My two original plants were a very pale spotted one and a mid pink one. I’ve moved seedlings around the garden putting them, mostly, towards the back of the borders. That way they can have their moment of glory at this time of year and then their leaves act as a foil for other more showy things in the summer.

Thengroup below are in a narrow north-facing border under the Amelanchier and in front of the glasshouse where not a lot else grows. Geranium Rozanne scrambles over them in the summer

4AE0BF44-2971-4995-A5CF-96219224D8343. This one was a bargain buy labelled as ‘possibly double’ and looked very sorry for itself. It only has two flowering stems but will definitely be staying.


4.There are wooden fence panels virtually all around our garden that I try very hard to cover. Across a run of four six foot panels at the back of the house there is a Griselinia littoralis ‘Variegata’, a Pyracantha ‘Orange Glow’, Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ and Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’. It takes a bit of pruning to keep them under some sort of control. The Garrya looks amazing at the moment. In the summer a Clematis scrambles through them all.

691CED25-E25A-4BB1-A79B-EFC83710B7CA5. The shallow pans of bulbs that I planted in the autumn are starting to come into flower. I grow mostly cream and purple crocus as the sparrows shred the yellow ones as soon as the flowers open!

F0759DEB-CC1A-4494-AAED-7B9321091C526. We have a corner plot so most of the garden is at the front and only visible from the landing window! It does mean that I’ve been able to make a wide and fairly deep border for, mainly, herbaceous plants. The border, strangely, seems to get a bit deeper each year. A boundary  Leylandii hedge was removed two years ago and I re-planted with Beech. It’s grown well but I can’t wait for it to shut the world out again and make a beautiful backdrop for the border. I had started to clear through so that the bulbs (there are snowdrops and purple crocus out at the moment) will show, but thanks to the flu it’s definitely a tale of two halves.

8F5265C2-5627-430B-ABC7-FE52E94E6BF9E819F490-5971-43FD-8CA5-66D5CC1A92A7That’s my six for this week, thanks for visiting my garden and thanks to our host,

Six on Saturday 13/01/18

A day in the garden today! Heaven. There’s still so much to clear up, where does it all come from? The ground is quite wet but at least the frost has gone for a few days. I’ve not been in the garden for a while and it’s amazing how many shoots are appearing, especially as it’s been quite cold and frosty. Here are my six for this week –

1. I have two fairly large compost bins. The left hand one is cooking and the right hand one is full of this autumns clippings and prunings. I bought a new shredder this spring and put most waste through this to help it to compost quicker and also to be able to fit more in the bin. However –


I’ve run out of room! I now have five large bags of garden waste lurking in the compost area and there’s still a lot of cutting down to do. I obviously need another bin but can’t work out how to fit one in. I had a look in the left hand bin and the compost is looking about ready to use but it’s not the right time to spread it. Dilemma.

2. Fuchsia ‘Lottie Hobby’ has been flowering non-stop since June and still looks good. It’s been under the Birch tree for many years. The dilemma here is that there are a lot of snowdrops coming up behind the fuchsia that won’t be seen. I can’t bear to cut it down and I’m sure that the cold had caught Lottie by this time in previous years and so I’d cut her down. I think she’s getting hardier as the years go by. It also shows that I should put more thought into where I plant bulbs!


D04600C3-4ACA-4505-86D2-228D9E73FD3E3. No dilemma with this one. I featured Lonicera fragrantissima a while back. It’s now lost virtually all of its leaves (in a mild winter it can retain a lot of them) but is covered in tiny, highly fragrant flowers. I walk past it every day as it borders the drive and always have to pause tonhave a sniff.

BEC4F525-87D3-48B3-A2C5-3F0859FEF7624. Years ago I grew Helleborus foetidus, the stinking hellebore. I don’t find it’s smell particularly offensive but did find, after a few years, that it was very promiscuous with seedlings forming mats in the border. I spent quite a bit of time over a couple of years ruthlessly weeding them out and have been without this particular hellebore for quite a while now. Out of the blue a seedling appeared last year and it’s now starting to flower. I love the lime green colour, it stands out so well against the dark leaves. The flowers on the original plant had a red edge to them so it will be interesting to see if these do when they open up. I must remember to cut the flowers off before the seed ripens. It’s growing in the middle of a Clematis!


5. A disappointment next. Narcissi seem to be up very early this year in some parts of the garden and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the flowers on this clump that are at the base of Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’. Sadly, there aren’t any – they’re all blind. It’s not a problem I’ve had before. They’ve been there for many years and I don’t think I’ll be able to dig them up as I’d damage the Physocarpus roots too much. What do I do?

F6ABFFA5-9C4F-4C4D-91B7-BF6DBC4BBE6C6. I don’t have any snowdrops that are actually open but these are nearly there! I divide clumps after flowering most years to spread the joy. I have singles and doubles but don’t know any names.

4CCD6A40-42A4-47BF-8283-530B773F196EThat’s my mixed six for this week. Thanks for looking and don’t forget to visit our hosts site at

Six on Saturday 30/12/17

New Year’s Eve eve! Where did that year go? Looking back, I’ve managed to keep on top of most of the garden most of the time so I’m happy. Joining the six group has been great fun and I look forward to the ‘visits’ to other gardens each week. I don’t think my small garden will provide enough material for weekly blogs in the new year but I’ll see how it goes. Here’s this weeks offering.

1. It’s been really windy here, yesterday and today, and the taller seedheads have been badly hit. After I took the photos this morning I cut most of them down.

2. Another casualty of the high wind. I don’t grow many roses but have five David Austin ones plus some Clematis growing up ropes and posts in the front garden. Sadly, the first post has rotted off and blown over. I’ve propped it up for now but will have to speak kindly to the non gardener about replacing it. I’m a bit worried about the rose roots though. This particular one is ‘Graham Thomas’. As it’s growing up a post it reaches six to seven foot high and flowers all summer and well in to the autumn.


3. I deadhead the roses very regularly through the season to keep them flowering and so they don’t develop many hips. These belong to ‘Graham Thomas’ and a small cluster flowering variety called, I think, ‘White Swan’.


4. Hakonechloa macro ‘Variegata’ grows at the front of a small border. I bought one plant many years ago and have slowly divided it. The border is contained by sleepers and the grass looks lovely as it grows up and falls over the edge. In between the clumps of Hakonechloa I’ve planted snowdrops. As they come up I cut the grass down, then, as the snowdrop leaves start to go over, the grass covers them up. The snowdrops don’t show up very well in my photo but they are there!


5. This evergreen fern grows at the base of the Birch tree. It looks so glossy and goes through to March/April when I cut the old fronds off. I don’t know the variety, another sale table plant, so if anyone has any suggestions…..


6. A plant not in my garden. We spent Christmas in Cornwall and while out for a Boxing Day walk came across these Snowflakes, Leucojum, growing in the hedgerow. Beautiful.

BD0D5D1D-3418-47AC-97ED-1796A20D3353I’ve enjoyed sharing my garden with you, thank you for dropping in. Wishing you all a very Happy New Year with perfect gardening weather.

Thanks to our host –

Six on Saturday 23/12/17

It’s been such a mild week with lots of misty, murky weather and a distinct lack of sunshine. We gardeners are never really satisfied with the weather we’ve got!

I think I’m finally on top of the Christmas preparations and so thought I’d steal some time to get my fix of Six on Saturday.

1. I’ve several large pots planted up with layers of bulbs and topped with either Violas, dwarf wallflowers or Bellis. These Violas looked very sad in last weeks frosty weather but have rallied this week.

FFA56546-5391-4C71-AA83-0E2905106F012. I also fill several shallow pans with single species of Crocus and Iris reticulata. As they come into flower I put them by the patio door to look out on. Little rays of sunshine, whatever the weather. They’re coming up really well.

C3B5E050-B1BF-4762-8A2B-03C24821A5943. Whilst on the theme of bulbs the snowdrops seem to have appeared overnight. I’ve waited patiently for several years but now have several good sized clumps – some singles and some doubles. I don’t know the names, sadly.

BBAEAB2A-3799-4414-B062-EFBEBDE032F6Narcissi are also through well in some places


4. Last weekend I cut all of the old leaves away from the hellebores. I’ve bought a few plants but most of mine are seedlings that I’ve grown on and selected. I used to diligently collect the seed and sow it in pans, prick out etc. Now I realise that they are really a posh weed and pull handfuls of seedlings out each year. As it’s been so mild this week the flower stems are beginning to rise up, especially on H. foetidus.



28412277-4D9F-4E38-9456-5A36791A09F1The last photo shows a sale table purchase. The label said it was an unnamed double flowering one. We’ll see!

5. Griselinia littoralis ‘Variegata’ grows in quite a dark corner. The variegated leaves really brighten up this bit of the garden. In a hard winter the leaves can go a bit black but it always recovers come the spring. It’s a good seaside plant, apparently.

1DCF5115-B1EF-4D98-ACDD-724D4BF73B2F6. Many years ago I planted two hollies – ‘Golden Queen’ (a male) and ‘Silver Milkmaid’ (a female). It took years for them to reach a good size but they got there eventually. Sadly ‘Golden Queen’ eventually got too big despite, or probably due to, regular clipping and had to make way for drive widening. Luckily, although I can’t see it in a neighbouring garden, there must be another male variety nearby as I still get good crops of beautiful red berries on my remaining plant. I meant to take a picture of it’s bountiful crop earlier this week but it’s been too dark in the mornings to do so. Since then the birds have been regular visitors and it’s been stripped! I managed to find these few berries on a low branch.


A seasonal plant to end on. Merry Christmas and thank you for reading my six. I hope to find another six next week but it’s getting harder!

Thanks to our host. See his latest six at

Six on Saturday 16/12/17

I managed to squeeze in an hour in the garden this afternoon but had to come in as I could no longer see anything! A head torch for the Christmas list?

It’s been a cold week here in North Somerset with several hard frosts and the last few bedding begonias and similar have finally succumbed. I went outside after this mornings frost had cleared to find todays six and have a mixed bag to share

1. Frosted leaves always look good. This is a foxglove. I gather up seedlings growing in the ‘wrong’ place, grow them on in a small area for the summer and then replant in the autumn. I have a lot of giddy plants in my garden.


2. I was given a rather sorry specimen of Mahonia a few years ago. It was labelled as ‘Pamela’ but I haven’t been able to find any reference to this variety. I suspect it’s pallida but if anyone has any other suggestions…….. It’s never flowered, was bare most of the way up and was growing so lopsidedly that I took the plunge at the beginning of last summer and cut it down to about six inches. This drastic action was followed by the usual pep talk, feed and mulch. It worked!  It just needs to flower now to secure it’s future but I can’t see any buds yet.


3. Talking of Mahonias – a recent acquisition is Mahonia eurybracteata subsp. ganpinensis ‘Soft Caress’. I’m all for proper names but really?

Anyway, the foliage is very different for a Mahonia, soft and almost fern like. I’m looking forward to seeing it grow and flower (it’s had the warning).


4. Any flowers at this time of year are a welcome sight and if they have a perfume then they’re definitely winners. Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is one such shrub. It gets a bit big for my garden and so has regular thinning. To earn it’s place it supports a Clematis viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ in the summer. I cut this back in November so that the Viburnum can have it’s moment. It’s near the back door and the scent carries really well.

5. Another wonderfully scented flower is the very understated Lonicera fragrantissima. The flowers are tiny and appear on and off throughout the winter and early spring. It’s not a hugely attractive shrub for the rest of the year but more than makes up for it at this time of year.

0EDD0403-FC1A-4B05-AF6F-6153C0F6E1ED6. Having a small garden means that I like plants that grow upwards and am always on the lookout for supports. I found these at a local forestry timber yard. They were an end of season reduction and so three came home with me. They’re tucked into a sheltered corner for the winter and will go into a border in the spring

8F25E64C-BA6E-4091-A38D-FE973F7EC594That’s my six for this week. I don’t know if I’ll have enough to keep posting weekly but we’ll see how it goes.

Don’t forget to check out our host’s site at where you can check out all the other sixes.