Six on Saturday: 11.5.19 Final tulip and Alice’s first

With the bank holiday, last weekend Alice and I managed to get out despite the weather. Alice has created her first floral display (Number 2). We also did a mass sowing of many of the seed packs. Lots of cosmos to come and we cared for the dahlia seedlings. She enjoyed mixing the potting compost and has been going back regularly to check her new creation. So on with the six.
1. Sunflowers

My dad had bought Alice a sunflower seed kit and she wanted to plant it last weekend. We got wrapped up in the waterproofs to prevent the upset when she fell on the wet grass. My dad bought it from one of the supermarkets Lidl or Aldi.

The kit came with a bag of soil and the seeds. She filled the bucket and pushed the seeds in. I’ve a suspicion she pushed a bit deep so we’ll have to see how successful they are. Then she wanted to add some more compost on the top.

She then added a topper for good measure.

2. Fairy house

Around my local area, the school has added fairy doors to a lot of the trees. Alice has been enjoying spotting them around town so I thought I’d give her some say in what we planted. We got this cheap planter from The Original Factory shop. It’s a bit naff but nice to keep Alice involved in the garden while she’s still at an age where she wants to help. Even with hailstones, she wanted to stay out such was her involvement.

I let Alice choose some flowers from the florist. She went for a tray of Mimulus as she liked the red flower. She’s decapitated half the tray putting them in but she is very proud of her work.

3. Bluebells

The bluebells in the passage behind the garden are flowering. The ones in the garden are in deeper shade and take an extra week or so. I think have been hybridised with the Spanish bluebells but they still seem popular with the insects. I’m reluctant to try taking them out to grow purely native as I think we’d be back to self-seeded hybridised within a year or two.

4. Heuchera

The first heuchera I planted a few years ago failed miserably as I think they were in a position with too much sun. These were my second attempt to see if I could grow these successfully. They’ve been in a year or more now and they seem very happy in the shaded fern corner. They are putting on lots of growth and starting to flower.

The veined foliage is my favourite. This has been hugging the ground during winter but is shooting up again and looking good.

5. Geranium phaeum

The first of the geraniums are in flower. This phaeum came from divisions through my mums garden. It provides a large mound of ground cover and flowers well through the year.

The small flowers are not massively showy but are popular with many pollinators and return through the year. It’s a reliable plant and suppresses a good area of weeds.

6. Black parrots tulips

This is the final blast of tulips. These have been in a pot for three seasons and have lost much of their vigour now. These are much smaller than in previous years. After they’ve flowered I’m going to deadhead them and let the energy go back into the bulb. I’ll move them into the border but I don’t expect much from these now. They’ve been delightful shooting out of their pot. Then they open up with their frills. Not as gaudy as the Rocco tulips featured a few weeks back. I could be tempted to get some new ones later in the year.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this weeks Alice heavy six. We have a month of community plant sales ahead starting with the Floral Hall plant sale tomorrow. This community project provided me with some excellent bargains last year and I’m hoping for more tomorrow. If you fancy taking part in six on Saturday check the guide. Enjoy your weekends whatever you’re up to.

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28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 11.5.19 Final tulip and Alice’s first”

  1. Now I wouldn’t think of my phaeum as being “ground cover” – it’s the most open of my Geraniums and almost all of the foliage stands well clear of the ground. Though the flowers are small I like the colour and they are pretty plentiful for a long season. Bluebells will hybridise readily so it’s always going to be a losing battle. Plus you have to allow for the seeds that you don’t dig up. I cleared all my bluebells out one year and kept re-clearing for two more before replanting natives. I don’t think Alice’s planter is naff – I quite like it.

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    1. I don’t find I get anything coming up through the phaeum so doing the job for me. It’s a pretty thick clump.
      Yes, bluebells will only be a losing battle. Neighbours and gardens along the street have Spanish so not stopping them. A lot have seeded into deeper shade now too. So they make the foliage but few flowers. But at the moment haven’t got anything else for the space so they can stay.
      Alice is proud of her work and wants to do more so happy with that.

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  2. I pondered digging up the hybrid bluebells in my garden this year but I’ve tried before and it didn’t do much good. I hope Alice has more luck with sunflower growing than I do! I wasn’t sure about parrot tulips but the black one has won me round. Very nice.

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    1. I’ve got sunflowers started the last few years then died while on holiday. No plans for being away for any long period currently so might do better.

      I’m not convinced by the red parrots I featured a few weeks back but the black don’t suffer with the random colour mixes.

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  3. I gardened w/my mother when I was Alice’s age & though my mother’s long passed & I’m older’n dirt, those memories are still w/me, plus I still garden, though not as successfully as she did. You could probably make a fortune selling Alice planted fairy houses. Good luck w/the sunflowers. As ever, the ones I’ve planted have a low germination rate & look ill while the ones out of the bird feeder are taking off like rabbits out of a hole.

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  4. She’s adorable! None of my, no adult, children got the gardening gene. One recently moved, and she would plant peas and sunflowers, that’s it! My youngest helps with the heavy lifting work, and I drive him crazy with my plant talk! He’s almost afraid to come outside for fear I’ll take him on a tour!

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  5. Alic looks like she had an amazing time in the garden. She is just like my granddaughter… I so miss my grandkids. I would love to plant seeds and watch their faces as the seeds grow.

    the black parrot tulips are amazing!

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    1. The black parrots have shrunk lots over the last few years. Time to top up and move these to the border.

      Alice has been enjoying checking on the seeds. Left some of the trays out in the rain though and a bit waterlogged now. Hopefully dry out in the sun a bit. A bit too wet for germination and growing.

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  6. Make the most of being with Alice outside with you – I have fond memories of ‘working’ with my dad and having my first flower bed – Cornflowers and Nasturtiums. Always plant seeds that are easy to grow and she’ll be happy. Edibles like radishes and salad leaves are good too, that don’t take long to grow. I don’t think any of my adult children are particularly horticulturally minded, in the same way that I love plants although my daughter had a successful allotment for a while (and grows veg far better than me) and one of my sons has recently taken an interest in his garden (he’s 40 this year!) so there is hope yet 🙂

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  7. Hi there Josh,
    Little Alice is a budding gardener already! Super cute and I bet she loves making her fairy gardenhouse. I planted sunflowers with my class last week and we made a pallet garden hanging on the fence for tomatoes and strawberries. It always amazes me which children are really not interested whilst others tend to those plants with an obsession. Lovely,

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