Six on Saturday: 5.12.20

So this week I got my results from my first RHS level 2 exam. I passed with flying colours receiving a commendation. It will be hard to carry that through on all the exams as I had plenty of time to revise for this first one with the first lockdown but I am quite determined to try.

This week has been a pretty miserable week weather-wise with lots of rain. I don’t really want to step on the lawn currently if I can avoid it. Yorkshire Water has been down the street pumping out drains so hopefully, we won’t get any flooding as a few areas nearby were starting to pool. We are on higher ground so things usually drain away from us but still not much fun walking to work through rivers so hopefully, they’ll keep on top of clearing the drains. It does mean many of this week’s photos are very overcast.

1. Sophie Conran topiary shears

Following on from the success of my first RHS exam I felt I deserved to treat myself. I’ve had my eye on these Burgon & Ball shears for a while. I don’t have masses of topiary to prune but I do have plenty of shrubs where they will prove useful. They feel beautiful, with a nice smooth cutting motion. The fact that they can be used one-handed will be useful on a number of shrubs I own where I want to be precise.

2. Bargain heuchera

Tesco was clearing out many perennials and small shrubs. I was tempted with a few but I don’t think I could fit that many. I imagine they are making room for poinsettias that will be killed off on the journeys home as soon as they encounter cold. I did buy a few heucheras. A couple of dark red and a veined green. I lost a few potted ones to vine weevil. I’m not sure whether these will go in pots or the ground but at just over a pound for them it seemed rude not to rescue them.

3. Dahlia lifting

The dahlias have largely been frosted. I finished lifting the dahlias in pots. These will go up in the loft for storage and then come back down after Easter when I put the Easter decorations back up. There are a few in the ground I want to dig up as they are too close together but it has been too wet the last few days.

4. Log delivery

Last weekend we had a delivery of wood for the log burner. The 2 patio log stores are now full for winter. The wheelbarrow was put to good use carting it around.

5. Helleborus niger

The Christmas rose hellebores are starting to flower. I find the first ones are usually damaged. I think it is slug damage but then the usually improve. The damage doesn’t really show from the house. You can see little patches of white flowers in the shaded corner under the black cherry.

6. Helleborous orientalis

This hasn’t suffered from slugs but suffers from the usual problem with hellebores. They have stunning flowers but they facedown so you don’t see the beautiful speckling.

This weekend, I have the plant profiles to complete for my next RHS assignment. Then I need to begin the process of revision for the next two exams. I have to cover a variety of plants over the course. So many trees, so many shrubs, so many perennials and so on. I haven’t covered many trees yet as I don’t really have that many within my small garden so I am trying to readdress the balance and write more profiles of trees with this assignment. The most recent assignment covered pests and diseases. This has been quite interesting and made me look at how I can ensure the best health of my plants. Hope you all have good weekends and are keeping well.

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22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 5.12.20”

    1. It is nice on these cold grey days. We get it from a local farmer and pretty reasonably priced and we don’t end up putting the heating on when we use it. This delivery could do with drying out a bit longer as not burning as well. But I think we’d got used to logs that had been seasoning from last year.

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  1. I have so many textbooks from horticultural college days I can’t bear to get rid of, some hopelessly out of date, but soil doesn’t change much. Soil Conditions and Plant Growth 10th Edition, E.W.Russell, 849pp vgc.; The Nature and Properties of Soils 8th Edition, Nyle C. Brady, 639pp vgc. I haven’t looked at them in years. I just read Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life, so the interest is still there. Great book by the way, but that one’s on Kindle.

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    1. By coincedence I was bought the Merlin Sheldrake book last week when it was on sale. Though the course hasn’t realy covered that side of things. Mycorrhizae not really coming up. But looks to be an interesting read. In a smiliar vein I’m quite interested to read gathering moss, a natural history of moss. I’ve bought the two main handbooks recomended. The official RHS one I don’t like that much. I’ve used the Peter Dawson more. Just ordered the RHS pests and disease book to try and swat up before the exam. Though had plenty of hands on experience this year in vine weevils.


  2. Congratulations on your exam success. I was surprised to see the hellebores are out already. I’ll have to check and see if mine are underway. The double white one is great. I expect you know about the trick of cutting a few heads and floating them in a bowl of water to enjoy them more. I’ve seen it done a couple of times and they do look lovely.

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  3. The RHS exams sound like they cover quite extensive ground. It must be good to cover things you’re less familiar with and the tree assignment sounds interesting. Well done and those beautiful sheers are well deserved.

    My hellebores aren’t showing any flowers yet but I know what you mean about the flowers. They are a bit bashful aren’t they? Have a good week.

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  4. Oh, well done on the exams. You must feel very chuffed about that. I like the heucheras as I have been collecting a few myself and have really fallen for the variety of colours. Bit dodgy in this climate, but worth a try.

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  5. Congratulations on your excellent results! That is a wonderful achievement.
    I’m a little envious of the Heucheria bargain! They are a lovely colour combination. The Hellebore flowers are so dainty. I bought a plant to see if it would grow in this climate. It made it through winter, and in fact did not show signs of stress during our recent two days of 37 degree C heat and 95% humidity, so I am hoping it will continue growing and even flower.

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