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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