Six on Saturday: 16.3.19 Anniversary

So it has been a year since I started contributing to six on a Saturday. It’s been great being part of such a lovely gardening community. I’ve learned a lot from reading everyone else’s posts and I’m developing a better seasonal spread from seeing what everyone else is growing. The last few months the garden has seen quite a lot of disruption with building work going on. The building work is coming on though and I am making plans for improving the front garden and making some serious changes to the back garden. This has already started, over the last few weeks, with a number of the shrubs and trees that gave the garden a lot of its framework removed. I’m taking it as a chance to remove plants I don’t like. With limited space I don’t want to waste it on plants I don’t like.

1. Hydrangea paniculata limelight

One plant I have come to love through writing my six on Saturday posts is the hydrangea. I have three pink mopheads in the garden that I didn’t care for much when we moved in. But I’ve come to enjoy them through their long lived seasonal interest. I’ve also admired this particular hydrangae in the in-laws garden and fancied one for the front garden and one of the little limes, a dwarf variety, for the patio. The little limes aren’t available until August and there wasn’t much difference between buying two or three so I now have three. The front garden is North facing and shaded for much of the time and I think it will thrive there. Then the other two I’ll try growing on the patio in large pots. I’m aiming for a few large statement plants on the patio with a few ferns, hostas and pots of bulbs that can be moved on and off the patio as they flower. Previously the patio was cluttered with lots of small pots. I’d like to make it more cohesive. We’ll see how long this lasts.

2. Ilex Crenata Stokes

I’ve bought these two to grow together on the patio to act as a low screen to stop Alice throwing herself off the patio into the roses. Ilex crenata is recommended as an alternative to box for giving domes that can be pruned into evergreen mounds. I’m on the look out for some square planters to put these in.

3. Slug gone

Slug gone are wool pellets to put round plants as a barrier to protect from slugs and snails. I tried it last year in small amounts to protect my lupins. The one surrounded by this survived. As I added more lupins again last week and have lots of hostas to go in I felt they should have some protection. It also adds some nutrients and acts as a mulch to keep water in the soil. So even if it is ineffective as a slug and snail deterrent it at least serves other purposes.

4. Beer traps

In addition to the slug gone, I’ve added a couple more ceramic beer traps. These snails are easy to fill. I use cheap supermarket brand beer and find these work well in keeping the mollusc numbers down. The plastic bottle is protecting and marking one of the hostas positions.

5. Window planters

I’d bought these with a vague idea of doing something for Jack Wallington’s window box competition. I don’t plan to attach them to the house I’ll raise them on a stone outside the front windows. I had an idea of doing a mini zen garden with a bonsai but I don’t think this is practical so I’m back to the drawing board. I would like something low maintenance with some year-round interest. So I’m probably looking at a number of structural evergreen plants with maybe bulbs for seasonal interest. It’s a shaded spot so that will limit choices too. There a bit shorter than I’d like at 50cm but it seems the price rapidly increases for any larger and I don’t want a plastic window box. This is clay fibre and still has a bit of weight to it.

6. Irises

I planted these minature iris back in December in pots hoping the building work would be done by the time they flowered and could go back on the patio. The building work isn’t done so they are currently sat on the edge of the lawn looking a bit untidy but the flowers themselves are lovely. I’ve seen some lovely varities this year and think it’s something I could happily plant more of next year. Though I think next year I’ll look at less pots but putting a bit more care into planning seasonal succession planting.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my six and watching the gardens progress over the last year. As mentioned there are a lot of changes ahead as I try to create a more cohesive garden rather than a series of individual plants. Enjoy your weekends and good gardening!

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29 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 16.3.19 Anniversary”

    1. Like I said I’d have proffered the little lime for the pots but not available till the end of the year. The one going in the front garden is going in the ground. I am half tempted to plant them as a hydrangea hedge but need to work out space.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a few hebes but the wider leaved variegated suffer from the wind. The smaller leaved do alright but the front garden is already edged by two large small leaved hebes so that would probably be Hebe overload. I’ve got some small hostas and ferns on order but considering some bulbs or alternatives for some flowers through the seasons.

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  2. Happy one year anniversary. Lovely irises there. I had more success with the wool pellets than I did with the copper tape stuff. Cheap lager does a great job with the slugs. But the snails can either take their liquor or aren’t so keen as I’ve never found one in a trap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, don’t hear the copper does that much. Once it rusts or gets wet they don’t mind it as much. This at least acts as a mulch giving me healthier plants.
      I do open plates of beer every so often under one of the shrubs and end up with the snails sat in it. But it does seem to do more to the slugs still.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t a fan of the hydrangea when I moved in but the existing pink ones are in the right place as they get all the rain run off from the patio and thrive. I’ve come to live them for their long period of interest. But with the pH they sometimes shift to a dirty mauve. So I fancy the limelight where I know what colour progression they will go through over the season.

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  3. ‘Limelight’ has been one of the best of the newer H. paniculata forms that I’ve seen in gardens but there have been so many new ones in the last ten years, all a big improvement on the older ones and I’ve only seen a few as mature plants. They’re probably easier to keep to a given size than the mopheads, given their pruning requirement.

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  4. Congratulations on your SoS one year anniversary. IT’s tough putting together a post each week
    I love the ceramic beer traps. Do they attract any snails? I’ve tried using plastic cups and they don’t work and look unsightly around my succulents.

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  5. Happy anniversary! 🎉🎂🎈 Your garden looks like it is in for a lot of changes during the coming weeks, it will be nice to see the progress. What I have found from this lovely community is not only the kind advice, the ideas, the humour and the knowledge, but also how we gardeners never stop making changes! One day I think I’ll be done and be able to simply potter, dead heading here and there, no weeds as all the beds will be chockablock with plants to suppress weeds and I shall be able to sit in a chair, read a book and drink G&Ts. Well, I can dream 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Watching gardeners world I’ve learnt it’s never over. Even after many years there is always something that can be better or needs replacing or just the usual seasonal jobs. But the building work is hopefully going to give a room where I can admire the garden from.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Happy Anniversary.
      It’s lovely and informative seeing changes in other Sixer’s gardens. I have also developed a taste for Hydrangeas but, like you, have to mind the colours as have alkaline soil. Looking forward to seeing developments

      Liked by 1 person

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