Six on Saturday: 4.4.20 spring is here

Well, it feels like we are truly entering spring. The clocks have changed. The bees and butterflies are emerging in greater numbers. Writing these posts changes from searching for six things to having to decide which six to feature. The garden is rapidly filling with an abundance of flowers. My post earlier in the week discussing the closure of garden centres has had a lot of attention and I appreciate the kind words I’ve received. I’ve been very busy in the garden this week, potting on and sowing more seed. I’m wondering how I managed working a full-time job and tending the garden! Possibly just that I’ve sown more knowing we’d be on lockdown. So let’s get going with this weeks six.

1. Tulip ‘tres chic’

The first tulip of the year is ‘tres chic’. We were bought a pack of these for our wedding and I bought another pack last autumn to give us another reminder. It’s a nice elegant long flower. It’s a bit lonely currently but I’m sure the others will catch up soon.

2. Lathyrus odoratus ‘sweet peas’

I have risked putting a few sweet peas in the soil. Still plenty in the mini-greenhouse as back up. These were mostly ‘air wardens’. So, they should mostly be red, Alice’s choice, but I did sow a few mixed. However, I haven’t kept them apart so we’ll see when they flower what we’ve got. I didn’t grow any last year and felt the loss every time I saw other peoples.

3. Sunflower challenge

I am taking part in a sunflower growing competition on Twitter. My previous sunflower efforts have been poor as we’ve usually gone away and come back to the dried out. However, this year that seems unlikely. With the motivation of competition, these will be reaching the top of the fence in no time. We have a pack of valentines, a flowerhead my parents saved from their own last year and a small pack of short ones purely for fun.

Alice helped sow, though there may be a few modules with many and some with none. My parent’s seed has gone in the tray and the Valentines in individual pots.

Then a few were spare for the birds.

4. Chionodoxa

I forget about these little bulbs each year then they come up as a pleasant little surprise. They are gradually spreading out. Only the white is out so far. The blue only has the one in flower.

5. Hollyhocks

I’ve found a lot of self-seeded hollyhocks the last week. I’ve dug them out and shifted them to the back of the border. I had the two putting on a good show last year late into the year. It’d be nice to have a few more towering along the back of the border. They suffer from rust but so far the two have still flowered well each year.

6. Bees

The bees are now coming out more regularly and in bigger numbers. The primulas and forget-me-nots are currently my most popular plants. Could do with some pulmonaria or some more spring-flowering shrubs to bring them in this time of year. But I was happy to capture this photo. The forget-me-not photos often lack detail and the colour ends up washed out but I think this one was pretty much spot on.

I hope you are all staying safe and finding ways to keep your sanity. I’m quite comfortable in my own company and Alice seems happy with all the quality time with parents. She’s helping with lots of garden jobs and enjoying lots of crafting inside. We are fortunate that she has a good attention time. Some days have been spent sat colouring and drawing for a good few hours. But we’re not struggling for things to do like many others. Hope you’re all keeping safe during these strange times.

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23 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 4.4.20 spring is here”

  1. I also started the sunflower challenge, I sowed 8 different varieties and I have a lot of hope to see these flowering ones !!
    Your hollyhock is the same size as mine. I also sowed a few before winter and I pricked them out them yesterday. I may have flowers this summer with this method.
    Great last photo !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My sunflowers aren’t the tallest varieties but good for wildlife so thought I’d take part.

      I grew the first two hollyhocks from seed. I don’t think I’ll need to again as they self-seeded so freely.
      Very happy with bee photo. Forget-me-nots usually end up washed out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I meant to do the sunflower challenge as I thought I had some in my seedbox, but no, it was all in my imagination. That tulip is beautiful, I do like the lily flowered ones. Sometimes I think it is best to treat hollyhocks as bi-annuals, accept the rust will come and have some nice healthy young ‘uns coming on. Stay well and happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If my white Chionodoxa’s had waited a bit to flower they might have escaped the ravages of the slugs, which have all but disappeared over the last couple of weeks. I have sweet peas at the same stage as yours and needing planting; job for today.

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  4. Love your ‘Tres Chic’ tulips – they live up to their name. My oldest daughter is doing a sunflower growing competition with her friends, although I only have one variety in seed box (Ray of Sunshine) so we will have to see how they do.

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  5. Children love to see things grow. Loved it when I was part of a young gardeners club (5-7 years old) where we sow seeds, watched it grow and took home the produce. Alice would certainly enjoy potting around in the garden. Something to keep her busy and entertained too. Love that flowers always remind us of happy thoughts and people. I might grow sunflowers this year. Never tried it at home. Did it with the children tho. A real competition. My hollyhocks flowered well last year even with dreadful rusts. Looking forward to see if it will do the same. Always hopeful. Enjoy your weekend.

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  6. I dithered about the challenge until the day passed. Our bird feeder gives us some beauts every year, but I also get in some varieties to see what they’re like. I look forward to watching everyone’s grow into dizzying heights! That’s a beautiful tulip & a wonderful thing to remind you of that very special day.

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  7. Tulip ‘tres chic’ is very aptly named and one of my favourite types – lily or fluted. A veery nice soft ivory colour too. I have some white ones in the raised bed, first time I have grown white tulips and I hope they are as nice as this one. Enjoy your time with Alice. it is going to be strange for all these youngsters when they finally have to go back to school / nursery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably wouldn’t have chosen them, but they are nice.
      It’s not too bad with Alice as she’s only in nursery and as that’s what I taught before leaving teaching I can keep her occupied. But if she doesn’t go back until September she’ll be starting full time. I reckon they’ll look at transitioning. Get the teacher back into it too.

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  8. When we were in the garden wiping the groceries* that had just been delivered yesterday, all I could hear was the buzzing of numerous bees on the pulmonaria flowers. There must have been at least a dozen on a fairly small patch. My second sowing of sweet peas is much more successful – 9 out of 10 have germinated.
    *A new activity. Grannysgardenhimindoors is rather a worrier but it’s better to be careful. Just how far do we need to go?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ‘Tres chic’ is gorgeous. I know what you mean about the sweet peas – whenever I decide not to do it I am suddenly surrounded by people with top class plants and I regret the decision. Good luck with the sunflowers – Twitter can be great sometimes, but I didn’t see that one.

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