6 – on – Saturday 16.02.20

Some sun, lots of rain, very windy, just about sums up this week.  Also we’ve had people in for another stage of garden renovation.  In between the rain and the machinery, I’ve managed to nip out and get a few pictures for this week’s 6.

First up is a not very good picture of some species crocus.  I’m not sure which of the species crocus it is but they are very delicate, a pale mauve with orange stamens. The flowers open wide in the sun to form a shallow, star-shaped cup, the leaves are very fine and some seem to have a pale stripe.  If any of you can definitely identify them, I’d be grateful. IMG_1282

This is a shrub that’s just come into flower at the front of the house.  I’m pretty sure it’s a Daphne odora aureomarginata.  It’s not in very healthy condition which is why I’ve cropped the picture up close.  I need to look up how to try to get it to bush up a bit, as it’s very straggly.IMG_1270 2

It wouldn’t be February without snowdrops.  Here are a few. IMG_1276

Another surprise bulb. There is just one of these little irises at the moment, but there look to be more coming.  They are quite tall, but I’m assuming they are the little dwarf iris reticulata.  They are tucked away under some taller shrubs and in quite a shady spot.  Again, if anyone recognises them – please let me know.  Lots of things in this new garden are a mystery!IMG_1283

One of the jobs done this week was pressure washing the slabs.  They are old and uneven, but we don’t have the funds right now to get them all replaced or re-laid. They were dirty and very mossy and mouldy – and very slippery!  They look good now and have really lightened up the garden. Only problem is that the pressure washing has zapped out most of the old mortar, so we have to do a bit of repair work!  This pic was taken through the front window. IMG_1294

And finally,  this beauty is an amaryllis that was going cheap at the Garden Centre.  It’s not actually in the garden, but is in the conservatory which is the next best thing! IMG_1295

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this week’s 6.  As I said above, the new garden is a mystery but is beginning to show us its secrets.  Providing Ciara and Dennis (storms) leave us something to look at!

Readers who are new to 6 – on – Saturday can join in easily – If you want to get a glimpse of lovely gardens from across the world, and chat to lots of lovely gardeners, then go here https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/  and join in!!

The O.G.

 

Early days… the January update.

Tags

We’ve been in the new house and garden for almost 6 months and have begun work on the garden at last.  When I blogged previously about the neglected garden we had taken on, we were only just beginning to realise the scale of the work required.  Having spent a few months thinking, and seeing the bones of the garden more clearly as the foliage died down for the winter, we have taken the first steps in a renovation process.  The garden is home to a lot of birds.  Over the winter we have seen Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Blackbirds, Chaffinch and Goldfinch, Robins, Dunnocks and Wood Pigeons on a regular basis.  Less frequent visitors are a Green Woodpecker, tiny Goldcrest, and a female Blackcap.  I’m hoping to get the big camera out and try to take some half-decent photos later on.

IMG_1113This is the part of the garden we’re working on first.  Full of overgrown shrubs and old stumps, a massive Hebe, and behind that a dilapidated old shed.  Just to the left of this picture is more huge Hebe, a couple of big, self-set Hypericum, a completely woody Senecio, a dead tree of unidentified type and a mass of tangled perennials.  I can identify Acanthus, Solidago, Crocosmia and that devil spreader Japanese Anemone.  So, quite a job. Time to call in some help.

 

And this is how it looks after the help has been and gone. The work was done by Sid Valley Tree Surgery who were sterling workers through two days of torrential rain and gale force winds.

A nice big area exposed and some laid out beds that we didn’t know were there. We will place a new shed in the old position but turned through 90 degrees and at the moment we are thinking that some of the old beds would make good veg plots. They’re in a good position, open and pretty much south-facing and no overhanging trees.  Digging them over has started and we are finding an awful lot of old root fibres and some substantial roots.  Whether they will be ready for planting for this season remains to be seen.  At the moment Storm Ciara has us hunkered down inside.

This is the work for January, a bit late to the blog, so next time (end of Feb), there will be some progress to show you!

 

 

 

6 – on – Saturday 24.01.20

I haven’t managed a 6 – on -Saturday for over a month, but this week I have been very disciplined, going out and taking pics on several days.  There’s a bit of garden upheaval at the moment as we have started the renovation project, but there is still plenty to see amongst the mayhem.

IMG_1271

Always good to see signs of Spring – here are the first daffodils starting to bud.  There are quite a few clumps around the garden and they will be very bright and cheerful when they flower.  When you take on a new garden it’s always worth waiting to see what comes up before you do too much work.  This clump has some exploratory tendrils of jasmine clambering over it.  How come I didn’t notice that when I was taking the pic?

IMG_1261

I know that you think this is Bergenia, or Elephant’s Ears, but thanks to Tony Tomeo last week I am now calling it Pigsqueak.  We have quite a large bed of Pigsqueak which has flowered on and off throughout the winter, and is just waiting for things to warm up a little before it really flowers away.

IMG_1262

This is Amelanchia, I think lamarkii.  Heaven only knows why it’s been coppiced like this in the past, but it has had a fairly drastic pruning this week and if it does okay then next year we will thin some of those poles out.

IMG_1267

I do like a Euphorbia.  I don’t know what variety this is, but it has seeded all over the garden.  Lots of it will come out, but I like the freshness of this early growth so this clump will be staying.

The first camellia buds are breaking. These photos were taken during two glorious days of warm sunshine on Monday and Tuesday.  The flowers are not quite out but the buds are fat and pink and won’t be long now.  The open bloom on the right is a picture of a camellia I snapped in our local town gardens.  I am hoping ours might be like this rather than a plain pink.  Again, I have no idea of the variety – neither mine nor the one in the gardens.

IMG_1266

And finally, we have lots of primroses up (well, we are in Devon and it is the county flower) but most of them are nibbled by slugs and snails, as this one is.  Always a delight to see them so early in the year though, nibbled or not!

That’s my 6, hope you enjoyed seeing them. Readers who are new to 6 – on – Saturday can join in easily – If you want to get a glimpse of lovely gardens from across the world, and chat to lots of lovely gardeners, then go here https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/  and join in!!

The O.G.

6-on-Saturday 9.11.19

Just about enough time to grab 6-on-Saturday before it’s back to the painting and cleaning and organising work.  Why are there always things that crop up out of nowhere when you move into a new home?  It seems to have been a constant stream of workmen for the past couple of months, but now and again, the garden takes centre stage and distracts for a moment.  Still no significant work done outside yet, but soon….soon!  Readers who are new to 6 – on – Saturday can join in easily – If you want to get a glimpse of lovely gardens from across the world, and chat to lots of lovely gardeners, then go here https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/  and join in!!

Here are six things that you might like:

These nerines were a complete surprise.  Along this wall and along the front of the house were some rather dead looking bulbs, all crowded and pushed out of the ground. Papery white and looking very dead.  I earmarked them for removing in the new year.  And then, a few weeks ago, up snaked these long shoots with buds, and they became these fabulous nerines.  They’ve been flowing for about a month now, and are just going over.  And to think I nearly dug them up.

IMG_1167

Remember the two concrete planters from last blog? They’re full now of these little violas. Looking very pretty and withstanding the recent deluge very well. Wish I’d planted more.

 

IMG_0247

This rather glorious fungus is growing behind the shed.  I’ve no idea what it is but it’s about the size of a dinner plate and is growing in this curious spiral . Interesting.

IMG_1169

More little surprises. These gorgeous cyclamen have appeared all over the overgrown shrubbery. They are dainty and shivery in the breeze but quite beautiful.  Lovely marking on the leaves too.  Definitely keepers.

IMG_1168

Another amazing plant.  This was flowering when we moved in and still has a few blooms on it now.  I think it’s Phygelia.  It’s very leggy and neglected but such good value that I shall try to prune it hard in the spring and see if I can reinvigorate it.  If anyone thinks this is a bad idea and I should do something different, then all advice gratefully received.  The pea-like leaves around it belong to another plant that I’ve not yet identified.  It has small, bright yellow pea-like flowers – some kind of a vetch, I think.

IMG_1111

Number 6 is this viburnum tinus.  Covered in flowers and smelling sweetly.  It’s too big for its position but it’s another keeper.  I’ll trim it when it’s finished flowering and then think about how much to cut off it in the new year.

So that’s it, 6 quite interesting things that are in the garden at the moment.  With any luck it will stop raining for long enough for me to nip outside and look for some more for next week!

 

The O.G.

6 – on – Saturday 14.9.19 The New Garden

I thought I’d post 6 pictures of the new garden this week for your interest.  We have been here a month now, and are starting to get a feel for the garden and where the good and not so good spots are.  We are also beginning to identify the issues that need sorting.  Readers who are new to 6 – on – Saturday can join in easily – If you want to get a glimpse of lovely gardens from across the world, and chat to lots of lovely gardeners, then go here https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/  and join in!!

When we first saw the house we loved these two mid-century planters.  They are outside the front door and we plan to fill them with seasonal bulbs and bedding through the year.  At the moment they have some pretty grim begonias in there and a few cyclamen, but given time we will clear them out, get some drainage and some decent compost in there and away we go!  These count as one thing!IMG_1122

IMG_1123

These Japanese anemone are putting on a show.  They are ‘Honorine Jobert’ and I think will probably stay in that spot.  They have popped up around and about, so I’ll pull up what I don’t want, or where it’s in the ‘wrong’ place, but they are lovely at this time of the year and I can see this view from the bedroom window when I’m putting on my make-up and drying my hair.

IMG_1116

This is a cotoneaster that has had the base pruned out of it so the foliage and berries are on stems about 3 feet high.  It makes a rather pleasing short stretch of ‘hedge’ across the path in front of the sitting room window.  I’m not that keen on cotoneaster but I like this. It’s covered in berries and I hope come next spring it will be covered in lovely tiny flowers that the bees love.

IMG_1124

We have been testing out whether or not to have the sundial or this big pot in this space at the top of the garden.  It faces south, but it’s quite shady and jungly at the moment.  I think I shall open it out a bit so that the agapanthus can be better enjoyed.  That hypericum on the left will probably have to go and the monster hebe behind it needs seriously taming.  I’m not sure what the tree on the right is, but lower down on the right is a camellia.  One of a pair in this part of the garden, I’m not sure what colour they are.  I am hoping for white or pale pink.   One of these seems to have a few things on it that look like galls.  I don’t have a picture, but unless camellia fruit then I am assuming they are some sort of gall.  They are dark red and shiny and about the same size as a small crab apple.  Can anyone offer any insight?

IMG_1115

This is a messy area next to the decking and in front of the shed.  It is really overgrown.  The lollipop shaped tree at the back is, believe it or not, a pittosporum.  It is huge, probably 20 feet tall.  Who knew pittosporum could get so big?  Who knew they could be trees?  When I think of the pathetic specimen we had in the old garden – spindly, sparse leaves, fragile looking, about 2 feet tall – and then look at this, it’s astonishing!  In front of it is another large hebe that needs taking out, and then a cistus (I think) and another really big clump of agapanthus, and right in front is a block of bergenia that has really got too big for the space.  Also I suspect between that thick ground cover and the shed there may be a comfortable spot for unwanted creatures….So all of this is likely to go, including the shed!

IMG_1113

Here is another shady patch where I am trying out some fatsia plants.  So far they seem to be happy there, but I’m not sure they’ll stay happy out of their pots and in the ground.  There are a lot old tree roots in this part of the garden so it will be interesting to see if I can even get them into the ground!  I love the fern on the right, but on the left there is more of the dreaded hypericum.

IMG_1118

And that’s my six for this week, hopefully giving you at bit more of a look at the new garden.  So much to do, but it’s very exciting!

The O.G.

Pastures new…

We are finally in the new house and settling in a little.  I haven’t had time to fiddle about changing the header pic on here, but maybe it will be done for next blog.  It is three week since moving day and things are feeling a bit more organised.  For the first time ever we have a ‘wrap-around’ garden and it feels a little daunting but we are really looking forward to making it ours.  There are some interesting things in it, but it looks as though most plants and shrubs have been in for a very long time and are overgrown or past their best so I foresee a whole lot of work.

Here’s a bit of a walk around:

The ‘road’ side boundary is well hedged with a mix of pittosporum, griselinia and laurel which have merged together and been clipped closely. It’s dense and looks pretty healthy.  it’s been clipped into little castellations which some would think rather naff, but I think is rather cute and retro.  Inside the hedge are some rather desperate rose beds.  The roses are old (and not in a good way) with huge thick stems at the base and spindly little stems supporting the odd flower. I suspect they are hybrid teas from years ago.  In more optimistic moments I plan to take them all out, but I suspect they may defeat me.  The beds are perfectly placed to become veg beds so I aim to persevere over the winter.  I don’t have pics yet, but they will come.IMG_1089

The ‘front’ garden has the path to the front door and has been well laid out with a sloping curved pathway with low stone walls and beds behind.  This the view from the sitting room window and where our view of the sea is which persuaded us to buy the property.  That conifer hedge belongs to our opposite neighbours (their back garden).  The beds have old, but decent shrubs – I can recognise a hydrangea, a couple of hypericum (which I dislike), a couple of interesting low growing conifers that I need to identify, a cotoneaster, some really good hardy fuchsia bushes and the biggest clump of crinum I have ever seen!  There’s some very leggy santolina and something that looks like a variegated wiegela.  There are  underplanted bulbs here too, but they are overcrowded and I’m not sure what they are – skinny, strap like leaves – maybe crocosmia of some sort but no flowers to help identify.IMG_1098

On the other side of the path there has been an attempt to create a sort of woodland shrubbery.  There are two large conifers – real trees.  I don’t know what they are – one is triangular in shape  with pale green foliage, maybe 25 feet tall, and next to it is some sort of dark green fir with needles, maybe 25 feet tall and not in the best of health. Alongside this is a coppery acer maybe 30 feet tall.  They do provide good screening from neighbouring properties down the hill.  Around them are shrubs that were originally an understory but they are very overgrown.  A couple of abelia, a cotinus, I think an olearia, some small azaleas, berberis (green and purple) that have seen better days and a ground cover at the front edge of bergenia.  This is the part of the garden that needs a lot of renovation.  I am slightly daunted by it. IMG_1091

Beyond this is the bottom of the ‘side’ garden which is laid to a small lawn with borders which have, again seen better days.  This is the main ‘pleasure/leisure’ garden and although it faces east, it gets sun for most of the day.  It’s overlooked by a big raised deck which is in pretty good condition – big enough to take a six seater table and chairs, plus a couple of loungers.  I’m looking forward to next spring and summer here!  The deck is sheltered from the easterly breezes by an eleagnus hedge which must be 12 feet tall and about 8 feet long.  We also have our very own palm tree!  The borders were probably once very interesting – there are a number of tree stumps where trees or large shrubs have been cut down and the stumps left in situ.  Some of them might be useful for standing pots on, but it looks like getting someone in to grind some of them out.  The borders have camellia, pittosporum (a huge tree), azalea, maybe an amelanchier, more hypericum (shudder), a good stand of white japanese anemones so possibly Honorine Joubert- actually threatening to take over – lots of crocosmia, agapanthus and euphorbia and those huge hebes ?andersonii with purple flowers. IMG_1096

IMG_1097

At the ‘top’ end of the side garden is a very dilapidated shed, just about functional, and a really overgrown shady area that I think might be worth a closer look.  There are very overgrown and huge hebe andersonii, a rampant patch of solidago, a cornus, more hypericum, very sturdy and massive agapanthus, cistus, crocosmia, a frail looking fatsia, and something else that has grown and monstered the whole patch – possibly another amelanchier. Whatever it is it has been coppiced and has about 15 ‘trunks’. At the front of this bed is a big patch of very healthy bergenia and some weak and spindly hardy geraniums.  Underneath all this foliage I can see a path and what looks like stone bed edges and maybe a  paved drainage channel.  It’s quite intriguing!

And then we turn the corner of the house into a small backyard with paving slab paths surrounding a small square lawn.  The lawn is divided diagonally by paving slabs (handy for hanging out the washing without getting muddy feet) and has narrow borders on two sides. there is a wiegela hedge  about 10 feet tall on one side screening the shed, and the borders have euphorbia, hardy fuchsia, some horrible spindly roses and a worn out old jasmine officianalis which I shall try to save.IMG_1107

So that’s the first tour.  It sounds big – it’s really not that big but it is more garden than we had previously.  Funnily enough, the moving plan was to keep the same house size and downsize the garden, so that’s a fail there!

More soon, as we progress.

The O.G.

6 – on – Saturday 27.07.2019

Good morning everyone.  A little cooler here in south Wales this morning with overcast skies.  It’s bright though, and there will be more warm sunshine by lunchtime.  I seem to be getting into a once a month rhythm with the blog at the moment.  We are moving house (I hope shortly, but I don’t like to talk about it for fear of it all going t*ts up) so I am in that bewildered state of looking for stuff that has possibly already been packed and dreaming about logistics disasters, but handily am able to make up a flat cardboard box at Olympic speeds.  The garden is a saviour under these circumstances even though it is being a little neglected.  I have missed growing my own veg this season and am certainly regretting  not keeping on top of the weeding.  Anyhow, here is my six for this week. Soon we will all have a new garden to talk about!

IMG_1056

  1. Remember the 15 cherry harvest from last time? Well here it is safely captured in good brandy.  I have resisted opening them for two weeks, but it has been a near thing once or twice.  Hoping to keep them until Christmas to plop into glasses of champagne.

IMG_1050

2. This is Rosa Mundi with hardy geranium ‘Red Admiral’ growing through it.  Isn’t it a lovely combination?  I’d like to say I planned it carefully but it was pretty much accidental.  The Rosa Mundi is almost over but this is definitely a pairing for the new garden.

IMG_1060

3.  These lilies have been stupendous.  I don’t know what they are called – I think I ordered them from the back of the Radio Times or something.  They’re supposed to be six feet tall but they’re maybe four.  The flowers have been huge and intoxicatingly scented.  In the evening it drifts all across the garden and into the house.  And only one lily beetle seen and dealt with.

IMG_1076

4.  This is Persicaria.  Not sure of it’s name, we have this red one and a slightly coarser pink one. The bees, wasps and hover flies love it.  It also attracts lots of hens  (hens?? Damn you autocorrect!)  honeybees which is thrilling to see as not much else seems to.  I’ve been counting butterflies for the annual big butterfly count too.  We don’t get so many as we used to, but bothering to count them means I notice them more.  That thick green stem poking through is a rogue fennel.

IMG_1051

5.  This funky little chap is the caterpillar of the Vapourer moth. The moth itself is rather dowdy and boring, but this adolescent makes up for it.  They don’t seem to do much harm so I leave well alone.  It’s good to see insect lifecycles going on in the garden.

IMG_1077

6.  And last is this weed that comes up all over our lawn (well, as you can see, it’s not really a lawn, more a collection of rough grasses and weeds).  It’s not the best of pictures but I think it is ground ivy.  If any one can formally identify it for me, that would be great! It’s a lovely deep purple and the flowers are held about one or two inches above the ground.  Again, the bees adore it so we need to be careful where we step!

Those are mine for this week.  If it’s another month before I blog again, there will be fresh fields and pastures new to photograph!

June. The O. G.

If you want to get a glimpse of lovely gardens from across the world, and chat to lots of lovely gardeners, then go here https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/  and join in!!

6 – on – Saturday 29.6.19

Tags

, ,

I am sitting in the garden eating strawberries and yoghurt for breakfast.  I am toying with the idea of fasting for the rest of the day due to an optimistic step onto the scales this morning which then plunged me into gloom.  Irritatingly, I know the inexorable rise of my body weight will motivate me only for an hour or so, then it will be back to the coffee cake mid-morning.  Heigh ho, on to my six for today:

  1. My totally favourite rose ‘Munstead Wood’.  Named for the Surrey house and garden of Getrude Jekyll, the garden designed by Edwin Lutyens.  The rose is a large, multi-petalled bloom, deep velvety claret colour and a sweet scent which is wafting its way towards me as I sit at the table on the patio (I may start to say ‘terrace’ – so much less suburban).  It has quite a lax growth and really needed a bit of support this year, but I like the way it sprawls across the mound of erigeron and props itself up on a neighbouring verbena bonariensis.IMG_1036
  2. There are ten baby apples on the tree that we bought last year.  There would have been twelve but MrOG snapped a stem while trying to untangle a clematis tendril.  It’s still in a large pot because – sssh… don’t tempt fate – we are planning to move and want to take it with us.  It’s an old variety, ‘Red Windsor’, and last year’s apples were tasty, although I think they will benefit from a little longer on the tree this season.  We were too impatient to taste our first home-grown apples last year!img_1038.jpg
  3. This cloud of violet-blue is hardy geranium ‘Nimbus’.  It was planted from a 9cm pot last spring and is already fulfilling its promise of being ‘fast growing and floriferous’.   It is covering the dicentra that has gone over and is a good foil for the hostas behind it.  The marigolds in this picture are entirely serendipitous – they appeared in a little cluster and are adding their cheerful, uninvited faces to the front of the border.  I stopped for a minute just then to watch a pair of buzzards circling overhead and calling to each other.  Still quite low, they were being harried in a half-hearted way by a single crow. In that bored way that buzzards have, they flipped a nonchalant wing at the crow, made a marginal change of direction and carried on circling in the thermal that would take them higher and higher over the garden.IMG_1040
  4. Some of you may remember the single cherry harvest of last year.  This year we have an abundance of 15! It’s ‘Morello’, recommended for a north facing site but it’s looking decidedly unhappy against the wall.  It has only produced leaves at the ends of the stems and although there was a good amount of blossom it only came to the 15 fruit.  I wish they would all ripen at once so that I can at least pick them and preserve them in brandy.  Frustratingly they are all at different stages but I will wait a little longer and hope the wood pigeons don’t get them.IMG_1039
  5. This is the offending clematis that was finding its way around the little apple tree.  It’s clematis florida sieboldii and really doesn’t offend at all.  It’s a bit spindly at the base because I didn’t prune it back earlier in the season, but it’s still producing lots of flowers.  When the buds first open, the outer petals are a delicate pale green and the inner petals almost black.  As it widens they turn to papery white and purple and last really well.  Behind it is the hydrangea petiolaris which this year has rewarded our nurturing with two flowers.  Double the production of last year. Yay.IMG_1037
  6. And this, dear gardening pals, is the view from where I am sitting.  The stone tortoise on the table was rescued from my Dad’s garden after he died and is an everyday reminder.  I have been here for an hour or so, lazily writing this, drinking tea, watching the birds, looking at the garden and generally feeling pleased with myself. I told you that the weight-gain-gloom wouldn’t last. IMG_1041

If you want to get a glimpse of lovely gardens from across the world, and chat to lots of lovely gardeners, then go here https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/  and join in!!

Happy gardening!

The O.G.

6 – on – Saturday 25.05.19

Six things in my garden today.  If you want to join in and share 6 things from your garden then here is to how to participate https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/25/six-on-saturday-25-05-2019/  It’s fun, you see interesting things in other people’s gardens and lovely 6ers chat and comment on your pics.

Hello everyone,

Here are a few pics from the garden.  There are lots of things coming into their own now and it’s all feeing well established.  I’m pleased with the way it’s looking.  It’s been really warm and sunny here for a week or so now and everything is very dry.  We got the hosepipe out for the first time a couple of days ago and gave everything a good soaking which has perked things up a bit.  We’re also promised a dry Bank Holiday weekend so it will be weeding and more weeding for us, I think.

  1. Mexican Fleabane.  What could be more cheerful?  It’s a dome of  these lovely pretty flowers at the moment and always makes me smile.  They tolerate the most unlikely of spots as long as they are warm and dry.  People tell me that they seed freely but this never has.  I have pulled a clump or two of it though and planted it in other places.  It looks a bit bedraggled for a while but soon establishes.

IMG_0995

2. This is one of three Astrantia in the garden.  I’m not sure what variety it is but it is relatively short-stemmed, and a good deep rosy pink colour.   Always the first to flower, it’s in a north-facing border that gets oblique morning sun only.  It seems happy enough.

img_0989.jpg

3. This is a really established and ageing Hebe.  It’s been in the garden for at least 20 years and has always been reliable.  It has a small glaucous leaf and these masses of sweet white flowers at this time of year that last quite well.  The bees love it, it’s always humming with activity when I walk round the garden.  There is a crocosmia leaf that has found it’s way through it, but that’s OK.  It’s ‘Lucifer’ and it’s bright red flowers will be a nice contrast a little later on.

IMG_0991

4. This, I fear, is the extent of the fig harvest this year.  It’s a big plant, it grows well against a south facing fence but has never produced more than one edible fig.  I don’t have the roots constrained which may be one reason, and also I think I may be pruning off the fruiting stems in the spring to keep it manageable.  Good job I love the huge, fresh leaves it produces and can forgive the lack of fruit.  Even though I am partial to a fresh fig or two.   In fact, even two figs would be good.

IMG_0994

5.  I do enjoy a Hosta.  This clump is doing well in the north border at the damp end.  It is backed by a clump of astilbe with dark red foliage and creamy white flowers later in the season.  Again, I don’t know the variety.  I used to have these Hosta in pots and when they outgrew them I split them and put them in the garden.  There are about six clumps this size, all doing really well.  One of them has been decimated by slugs, but the others are all in pristine condition as you can see.   I am thinking that perhaps one sacrificial Hosta may be a good idea…..

IMG_0996

6.  I’m very proud of this little patch.  These are self-sown Sysirinchium in front of a clump of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, both of them love this front of the south-facing border position.  Behind them is a rambling rose ‘Felicité et Perpetue’ which will be a mass of small pale pink blooms any minute now.  You can see the buds just waiting.  I cut the rose down last year, back to just a stump really because it was getting out of control.  It has done it no harm at all and this year is absolutely covered in buds from top to bottom.

IMG_0990

So, these are my six for today.  Happy gardening!

The Optimistic Gardener

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 – on – Saturday 20.04.19

Six things in my garden today.  If you want to join in and share 6 things from your garden then here is to how to participate https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/six-on-saturday-a-participant-guide/ It’s fun, you see interesting things in other people’s gardens and lovely 6ers chat and comment on your pics.

Hurrah for warm weather!  It makes everything feel so much better.  A busy Easter weekend means this will be short and sweet because I’m actually spending time IN the garden, getting things sorted. So:

  1. These are tulips that were left in the tub over winter.  I didn’t think they would do much but they have been lovely – albeit a bit spindly in the stem. They are ‘Angelique’, my absolute favourite tulip. Here they are a bit blowsy and overblown, but that’s just the way I like them. img_0937.jpg
  2. This is one of the succulents that has  been overwintering in the greenhouse.  It came out onto the patio a few days ago and has put out these lovely flower spikes. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s certainly brightening things up.  Behind it is a Aeonium that had gone all crispy and curly but a bit of fresh air and a drink has sorted it out.   IMG_0935
  3. This is two ladybirds making the most of springtime in the plum tree.  I wanted to photograph the masses of tiny plums that are coming on but they wouldn’t show up as they are too small.  The ladybugs are a bit blurry because I got too close but anyhow, they are cute.   IMG_0946 2
  4. And while we’re on the subject of bugs in the garden; every year we have Tawny Mining Bees in our front garden.  The soil is very dry and poor which is probably why they like it.  We rarely see the bees but these are their nest holes.  Little volcanoes of soil with a hole in the top for them to nip in and out of, I am always delighted to welcome them back in Spring.   Celandines have crept onto the grass from under the hedge, but what the heck, they’re so cheerful.IMG_0863
  5. The teeny-tiny wildlife pond is also settling in well.  I think I posted a pic of it last time.  The Erythronium “Pagoda’ have done really well and filled out beautifully.  They don’t last long but those delicate yellow heads brighten up this corner.  The pulmonaria has also done really well and it looks as though there is a rogue brunnera in there that has probably arrived courtesy of the resident blackbird.  There’s a bit of blanket weed but I’ll get that out one of the days, and if you look carefully you’ll see two of the Gnomes (Rob and Alan) have been released from winter storage.IMG_0938
  6. And finally, this little trough has been giving us a lot of pleasure.  Planted up last year it has come into flower again with perfect timing.  It is placed outside the summer-house and we can see it from the sitting room window.  The blue of the lithodora (right) and the muscari (left) is lovely against those yellow mini tulips.   IMG_0936

That’s it! Hope you have a lovely Easter weekend and are feeling the warmth of spring (in the northern hemisphere) on your faces.

The Optimistic Gardener.