Six on Saturday: 2.5.20

So, today is world naked gardening day but with the weather, I think we can give that a miss. Besides, I’d probably need to ask Alice to take the photo and I think that might traumatise her for life. We’ll see whether it makes it onto anyone else’s sixes. If you fancy taking part in Six on Saturday check the participant guide. The garden is filling with colour with the hot weather followed by the rain. I make no apologies for the mass photos.
1. Saxifrage

I have a few patches of saxifrage in pots. The white is ‘Pixie white’ and the red I think is ‘Peter Pan’. It has faded from the red it opens to a mixture of pink. They are getting a bit straggly. I could probably do with trying to save some seed and start them off again. Some of the pots would do with some more grit but I’m not about to pay delivery at the moment.


2. Lamprocapnos spectabilis-Bleeding heart

The plant formerly known as Dicentra. The pink bleeding heart is well established now. I divided a large section last year and I’ve now got bursts coming up along the border. It prefers shade but can tolerate sun if watered regularly. The bees have been visiting more often this year.

This patch of the ‘Alba’ variant’ is in the back garden in the shaded fern corner. I’ve got two establishing in the front garden amongst the ferns and hostas. They should carry on putting on growth each year until I can divide again.

I particularly like the bleeding heart alongside tulips. The combination of the dark queen of the night with the pink hearts is always striking.


3. Tulip Zurel

I’ve just got the one pot of these tulips. The white and purple stripes are very striking. The shape is nice and they’ve been long-lasting. They’ve been open for a couple of weeks and still looking good.


4. Tulip-Black Parrot

These were in a pot display a few years ago with Ophiogogon, ‘blackgrass’. I must have emptied these out at some point as I have this single parrot in the border. They are very striking tulips with the feathery petal edges. The rich dark colour means it is standing out on its own in a sea of ox-eye daisy foliage.


5. Rain

On Wednesday we got the first burst of rain which started lightly but carried on through part of the night. Then we’ve had dribs and drabs since. It’s amazing how quickly it refreshes the garden. I’ve been watering the garden but it’s not a substitute for a good downpour. The water butts have had a chance to be replenished. I’ll just need to step the slug and snail defences again. I might try brewing my own nematodes again now the weather has warmed up a bit.


6. Seagull defence network

I had previously mentioned that the seagulls have been causing me issues. Normally we happily coexist but this year they have been very destructive. I don’t know if it’s the lack of chips available or nesting material but they keep trying to steal the cyclamen and the Ophiopogon from the front garden. I’d rammed in a collection of bamboo stakes initially. The basic idea was to make it harder to land and take off. This would hopefully put them off spending time in the garden. But they just saw the bamboo stakes as big nesting material and tried to steal them as well. So I’ve been collecting worn bricks from the beach. Then a steel fencing pin through the middle makes a brick spire. I need a lot more bricks to complete it but I think it will make a network of solid obstacles to put them off. If not they are still slightly better looking than a network of bamboo canes.

I’ve then got some rope to add when they are all in place as a sort of handrail around the stepping stones and as another blockade for the gulls. In my mind, this will be a better-looking solution to a problem. In reality, it looks like a strange pile of bricks people going past are going to question. It’s a work in progress it might improve. The bamboo canes will go when I get the rope done.

Then I’ve got two different types of wind spinners to try to put the seagulls off as they apparently don’t like these either. I’m not sure these will achieve much but Alice likes them so that’s fine. I like the hummingbird one more than the oak leaf. The fake bronzing on the oak leaf isn’t the best quality. The hummingbird one I imagine will rust up but should still spin even once it does.

I hope you are all staying safe and coping with the strain of lockdown. I’ve got plenty to still keep me busy. If you are looking for things to do with the kids check out my review of ‘how to get kids gardening‘. Plenty of seeds still to sow, plants to pot on and veg to tend. Alice is still enjoying the quality time with us. We’ll be carrying on with our beach walks to see if I can collect enough bricks to finish the spires.

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24 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 2.5.20”

  1. The parrot tulips are still very pretty, but I have noticed that they are more messy when the days go by ( especially when it’s raining…); in black it’s wonderful though!
    Sorry for seagulls, it’s true that it must be an inconvenience. Maybe now that spring is here, they will find fish in the sea and less feed on land. Your arrangements to scare them and prevent them from accessing your garden are made with great taste.

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  2. Love the saxifrages, AND the tulips!! I’ve seen bees around my Dicentras (old school) and found this about them: “Bees love the nectar hidden within the flowers and will hang upside down to send their proboscis (the equivalent of a tongue in mammals) past the white part of the flower to gather the nectar. In so doing, they have to push their way past the pollen-containing anthers, thus ensuring the pollen reaches the female flower parts held near the nectaries.” Hummingbirds do the same…

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    1. Just going to take a while colelcting enough bricks from the beach to finish them. The bleeding hearts are having a good year. Hopefully the white ones will reach the heights of the pink ones eventually. I’ve got seeds on order for Dicentra scantans, a yellow climbing variety. Should be interesting if I can get it to grow.

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  3. I think Dicentra will always be known as that, at least for a generation or two. Those you have photographed are lovely, I especially like the pink. The Black Parrot tulip is so dramatic, and probably deserves a place in everyone’s gardens, and I love the saxifrages!

    I have a problem with seagulls too. They’re not destructive or causing damage, but they mess up my windows, particularly during spring, and we get so fed-up having to go out and clean it off. You’re very inventive with your defence network! I hope it works for you.

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  4. What a shame about the seagulls. You are VERY creative. We live close to the sea and so far they stay wild and live off the sea, although when i did spot a holiday maker throwing their picnic sandwiches at them and I went ballistic. We call them sky rats 🙂

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    1. I don’t normally have these issues with them, just this year I think as we don’t have the tourists dropping chips and rubbish. The brick spires idea was stolen from open gardens. Lots of people make them locally. It’s amazing that there are any bricks left on the beach.

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  5. Bricks on the beach? They are wonderfully rounded though. As I said last week, we have far more seagulls than usual, so far staying out of the garden, but making a mess of the windows and car!

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    1. Always a ton of bricks on the beach. We suffer with coastal errosion so cliffs get washed away along with buildings. Though it’s finding the bricks with the holes in. Gradually get worn to wonderful rounded shapes.

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  6. Fabulous pics. Just gorgeous. My bleeding heart died from drought a few years ago. It was completely in the shade but I thought it was safe in hibernation. 😦 I miss my parrot tulips ‘Greenland.’ Rabbits and I war over tulips. I lose. Every year.

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  7. Loving the Tulips especially the Zurell which I have had my eye on for a while. You have inspired me to get a bleeding heart for my shady area. The local garden centre is going to give us 50% off the first plant we buy on person after it opens. You should get a job with Trumps space force with this defences you have built. Pesky seagulls ours are getting brash now.

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    1. Bleeding heart seems to perfectly suit my conditions. My clay soil seems to do the job. It is a beauty. They prefer the shade but can manage in sun so long as watered well. I think I’m going to branch out and see about getting a few other varieties of bleeding heart. A few rich red ones about there.

      Got enough bricks today for another two of the poles so gradually filling up. Poles for the attacks from above and working on the slug defences for attacks from below.

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  8. Love your gull defences. I think they look really nice, regardless what the neighbours might wonder. Keep us updated on how well they work. Those tulips & bleeding hearts are gorgeous.

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