6 – on – Saturday 8.12.2018

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.

Hello everybody.  It’s over a month since I posted on here – mostly because I’m a bit of a fair weather gardener and it’s been anything but fair here. Gloomy, rainy, miserable, windy and sometimes cold.  I have been keeping up with all your contributions though, and feeling increasingly guilty not to be doing more in the garden!  There’s not much to show here, but I found a few interesting things, so here you go: 

This is a zantedeschia (although it might be called something else now).  It died down in the autumn and has just started to leaf up again for next season.  It gave great value last year with a lot of successive blooms and usually five or six on the plant at one time.  It’s easy but looks suitably exotic.

We put the succulents in the greenhouse once the weather got colder and they seem to be
loving it!  The one has so many little ones they are pushing the parent plant out of the
pot, so I guess there will be some repotting to do shortly, and the other is still putting out
flower spikes.  I just hope it’s not their last hurrah before dying….


This old favourite cheered me up today.  It’s right next to the greenhouse, and it is so good to see its cheery yellow blossom starting to appear.  Some people think berberis a bit ‘municipal’ but I love it for its reliability, its attractiveness to birds (the sparrows nest in it), the brightness of the blooms just when everything else is looking forlorn, and the bonus of berries!



And how about this?  These are the flowers on the ficus japonica (Castor Oil plant), no it’s not, I hear you cry – it’s a fatsia japonica (False Castor Oil plant).  Thanks to Tony Tomeo for pointing out my mislabelling! They shoot up on these tall, sturdy stems and are a great source of nectar for late insects (spot the bluebottle).  Later on they have glossy, black berries.  This one grows quite happily in the corner between the north and east wall, although they’ll grow pretty much anywhere.  I love their big green leaves, we try to keep evergreens near the house through the winter, it reminds us of lusher things to come!



This is a bit of a surprise.  Most of this hydrangea has gone over for the winter – you can see the old flowerheads all over it and the leaves are dying off.  This week, it threw out a couple more flowers and they are a lovely creamy, greeny, white and really light up that particular border, which is a summer border and looking well and truly ‘over’ at the moment.


Not many vegetables around now, but here are the last remaining leeks. They are ‘Apollo” and you can see they grow nicely close together and very straight.  We’ve had a lot from this small patch of spare ground.  They don’t seem to mind conditions – it’s in shade against the shed, stony soil and quite dry.  Leeks are my favourite winter vegetable, we eat loads of them and I never plant enough.


So, that’s my six for this week.  Hope you are all enjoying your gardens – especially those of you in the southern hemisphere basking in summer sunshine!

The Optimistic Gardener


4 thoughts on “6 – on – Saturday 8.12.2018”

  1. What? ficus japonica (Castor Oil plant) Those are three different plants. That is a Fatsia japonica, Japanese aralia. I suppose some know it as a false castor oil plant. . . . It sort of looks like a castor oil plant.
    I don’t think those hen and chicks are monocarpic. I would guess that they continue on as if nothing ever happened after bloom. I do not know the exact specie, so I do not know for certain.


  2. You’ve got quite a bit going on in your garden. I’m berberis lover, too. Yours looks very healthy. Fatsia are such a weird plant all round & I love them for that. As you say, they keep a building looking respectable during the winter months & have the weirdest seed pods.


  3. I bought a municipal berberis recently, I was sucked in by its orange finery. It has some bright berries now too. That is indeed a fatsia japonica, I have one just like it – good plant.


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