Six on Saturday: 4.1.20-Six for a New Year

Welcome to a new year of six on Saturday. I made it through the last year and  I think I managed to post each week giving me an amazing record I can look back through. I thoroughly recommend taking part. There is a great community through the blogs and Twitter and I’ve learnt so much. I am still off work currently so I’ve had a productive week tidying the garden and getting a few bits planted. I’ve still got my front garden bin tidy to do, but I’ve made lots of progress in other areas. I’ve also had a tidy of a few of the blog pages and started adding a gardening contents page as I’ve noticed lots of traffic to particular blogs. It needs more work but nice to have quick access to particular blogs I refer back to quite often.

1. Bargain tulips

We popped out a few days ago to the garden centre for a family trip out. The bargain bulb trolley is out now with bulbs reduced to £1 each. So each picked a bag. I thought Amy was going to go for the pheasant’s eye daffodils but she opted for the sealing wax daffodils. I’m not a fan of daffodils as they don’t offer much benefit to wildlife and I’m not a great fan of the colours. Most of the ones we have are wilco’s specials so these will be some of the few I know the names of. Alice went with the Red Riding Hood tulips. I’ve grown these before. They have nice stripy foliage and bright red flowers. The alliums were my choice. Three very tall summer drummers. I had said last week I was done with bulb planting, but what I obviously meant was done until I see a bargain.

Alice helped plant her tulips, then lost interest as the other bulbs aren’t her taste. The crowbar came in use again for making nice targetted holes in the border.

2. Muddy puddle

Then Alice got on with the more important work of making a muddy puddle. She used the rainwater from her mud kitchen to soak a section of the lawn.

The lawn is in a pretty bad condition after builders last year but Alice had fun jumping up and down in her puddle.

3. Homebrew nematodes

This week I had found the book outwitting squirrels was free through Kindle to borrow. The book tackles different ways to tackle different “pests”. On the whole, I let nature take its course and allow the wildlife to find an equilibrium. But I have planted several hostas I would like to protect. In the book, it talks about making your own nematodes. Nematodes are a microscopic worm that preys on slugs and snails. It’s a natural way to keep slug and snails down. It costs about £16 and needs applying about every 6 weeks.  So it is quite a pricey way to combat them. By collecting up slugs and snails in a confined area you can create conditions for nematodes to build. The water at the bottom can then be added to a watering can to add the nematodes into your soil. It is unlikely to be that effective in the cold weather during winter but it’s free for me to try so can’t do any harm. If nothing else I’ve got the kit ready to try again when the seasons change.

A washbasin has been filled with a layer of water, then an island of plant material has been placed on top for the slugs to sit on.

Slug collecting has commenced.

Then the washtub is covered with a tile.

4. Kokedama

Earlier in the week, I’d made a kokedama. It is still sitting looking dumpy but I found a grey saucer which I think suits it better. While I imagine this doesn’t look that amazing to any of you I could see the process of making these being quite addictive. If I had enough materials I could easily encase many more plants in this way. I have one more fern and may dig out some of the ivy seedlings to try wrapping.

5. Fairy house

Yesterday I made Alice another addition to her growing fairy garden. The house has had a chance to dry overnight and I found it a space near the mushrooms put in last week. I think it’s looking quite nice if a bit rustic. Alice wants me to make more so I’m going to need to get the saw back out. Before long we’ll have a whole happy village going on.

6. Burgon & Ball photo competition

And for my final six some exciting news. I won the Burgon & Ball garden photo of the year competition. I will be receiving a lovely bundle of gardening bundles worth a few quid. I had a choice between a garden pack or an allotment pack. The garden pack had some nice secateurs and forks, but as I already own Niwaki secateurs I’ve gone for the allotment options.

Avid Allotmenteer:

So I can add an award-winning photographer to my egotistical over-exaggerated CV along with being a published poet. The photo I entered was one of my favourite dahlia pictures of the year combined with one of my favourite garden insects. I could happily watch the dragonflies for hours. When one landed on the dahlia, my favourite dahlia I grew last year, I went a bit snap happy. But I did get some stunners. So, I’ll be waiting on the postman to deliver me my Burgon & Ball goodies. Then I’ll be itching to get the dahlias started again, but that’s a good few months off despite what Gardener’s World magazine was advising this month.

It’s been a good holiday off and I’ve enjoyed plenty of time with family. Still shaking off my stupid cough, but gradually getting better. I’ve got a little time left to try and get a few more garden jobs done and we’re planning to get out for my dad’s birthday today and another walk on the beach. Enjoy your weekends. I hope the start of the year has been gentle to those who have returned to work.

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33 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 4.1.20-Six for a New Year”

  1. Well done with the photo, dragonflies are so difficult to capture. As is often the case nowadays though that competition was not open to people who don’t use social media sites. The days of being able to enter using email seem to be gone. I’m sure your equipment will be put to good use and hopefully form one of the SOS at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve spent too long trying to capture dragonflies in flight, but my camera just isn’t quick enough for good shots.
      I’ve done well out of social media competitions. Won seed mix, 2 nest boxes, tools, craft kits and now this. I seem to have good luck with these sorts of competitions. I’m sure the winnings will end up filling a six in future weeks. Looks like tools I will actually use.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure the prizes will feature in a future six. Looking back on photos of Alice from a year ago she’s grown up a lot as she still had very short hair last January. It makes a big difference. I enjoyed writing this six. Not many showy flowers which seem to be what draw people into read but interested me.

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  2. Congratulations on the award.

    After your post on growing dahlias from seed, I bought some seed today. So, seeing your comments above about not following the advice of Gardener’s World, I was wondering when you might sow the seeds?

    Looks like you went to a similar place to me, where likewise I ended up taking advantage of the reductions, even though I had not intended to plant any more bulbs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another interesting week for you, & great idea to get the family picking bulbs – every moment of engagement for children & gardening is time well spent. Great job 👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looking forward to getting them. I think they’ll work well on my front garden set up as I get a lot herb robert and surface weeds these can scrape up. Now if I can just win a Niwaki competition I’ll save a fortune from my wish list.

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  4. I’m late to the party this week, but pleased as everyone else about your photo win! And well deserved, too. I cannot believe you captured a dragonfly & against such a great looking dahlia. Look at the detail on that fly’s butt! Alice is indeed growing growing growing. I do so love her love of your garden. Can’t wait to see the prize package! (Bet you can’t wait for it to get there.)

    Liked by 1 person

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