Six on Saturday: 24.4.21

Hello all. The last week has been a harsh one for the garden with cold nights and dry days so the plants are taking a double whammie of drought and frost. So, the job of watering begins again.

1. Drought

The plants have largely held up alright but the hydrangeas have suffered from the dry weather and cold lights. I have watered them more this week but the Hydrangea libelle has suffered most. This one seems to be a little less hardy than the others suffering more than the others each year.

2. Tulip Tres Chic

We were bought these as a wedding gift and so far they have been coming back, though I haven’t seen many yet this year but I think there is another patch of them somewhere so they may turn up still.

3. Mixed tulips

Alice selected some mixed tulips for pots last autumn. As individual tulips they are nice colours but they haven’t worked well in pots as suggested as the height and timing of each has varied too much. They can be shifted into the border once they’ve finished this year where I think they will work better. The yellow and red has been the nicest of the mix.

4. Sambucus racemosa sutherland gold

The Sambucus leaves unfurling are stunning. The leaves initially display the dark centre before turning to a vibrant golden green. It’s drought-tolerant, wind tolerant and can handle being hard pruned. The flowers are popular with pollinators. It’s a winner for me by the coast.

5. Iris unguicularis Walter Butt

This has decided to put out another flower. While you only get a few at a time it is nice having something that flowers from December through to April. That little flower burst in winter was much appreciated but even now when the spring flowers are in full swing it is still worth pausing for.

6. Lamprocapnos spectabilis

I have lots of the standard pink bleeding heart spread along the border now. It seems to grow well in my ground and flowers for good periods. It was enjoyed by the bees a lot last year when we were on full lockdown and I could sit and watch. This particular patch is getting to a good size again. I’ll probably leave it another year and then divide it again.

They are beautful flowers. With the weird shape it’s always a bit of surprise to see bees enjoying them, but they are popular.

Lots to enjoy this week. The lawn is mown. But looking very dry. We have rain forecast later next week so hopefully get the water butts refilled but for now I’m going to need to give things a bit of help. Hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the slight relaxation of freedoms.

Six on Saturday: 17.4.21

So last weekend we went out to the garden centre for the first time in months. I wanted some manure to mulch the roses with. It was pretty quiet now people have a few more options opening up to them.

Manure

So in at number 1, what we actually went for. One bag of manure has been spread around the base of my couple of roses. The main Charles DeMills has had a good thick mulch. Help with water retention as well as the bit of feed it gives.

Bulb purchases

I let Alice make choices with the bulbs each year and she went for this Dahlia Addison June. I’m not a fan of ball dahlias as they offer less to wildlife but I like to keep Alice involved in the garden so it was her choice. I picked an Astrantia. Primadonna is a pale pink one. So far my astrantias seem to have done well and I like a plant that flowers for a good period.

Outdoor rug

We got an outdoor rug to go with the seating area. The patio is concrete and it’s not the most attractive looking set up so this at least covers it up.

Camellia

The camellia is looking pretty poor. It’s had a few years to settle and I still don’t like it, so it is going to be going. It was a gift but it’s not to my taste. The space can be used better.

Here you can see one flower looks lovely while one looks horrible. Frost damaged and curling. The majority look the worse for wear. It’s not worth keeping and I can place something in with a longer season of interest that can benefit me and the sildlife for a longer period.

Acer ‘going green’

This is another failing plant. One long branch of this is looking dead. I’m not going to abandon this quite yet. However, it is going to be significantly reduced in height cutting this branch off. I know I shouldn’t bother with Acers as they don’t suit my conditions but they are one I like to persist a bit longer with.

Tesco’s tulips

These were cheap Tesco tulips 3 or 4 years ago. They were some of the first I planted and have come back nicely each year. They had an odd name like aelectric and I’ve not seen them since.

Been a busy week at work. I’ve taken on more hours and I’ve covered a few extra hours on top of that so glad of a rest. Though it has been a nice week back. Hope you’re all keeping well and have got to enjoy some of the sun this week.

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Six on Saturday: 10.4.21

It’s been a funny old week. We had a glorious weekend last week followed by a week of cold weather. I have got a few jobs done during my school holiday though not as much as I’d like. But, I have completed my next RHS assignment on design. Not feeling great about this one as I think I may have misinterpreted the questions. We’ll see when I get feedback.

Fun in the sun

So last weekend was Easter Sunday so we had our Easter egg hunt. Normally we would see see family but it’s not a possibility this year. Alice still had a good hunt. The Easter Bunny may have gone overboard on the eggs, so I didn’t put them all out and she still had a very full basket by the end.

Taking stock of her hunt.

Sun lounger

Amy bought herself a new sun lounger which was immediately claimed by Alice. You can see the difference in the weather to now. Dress, no sleeves, no hat, no multiple layers.

Dancing

Alice relocated a ribbon stick she made last year and had a good dance around the garden.

Random seeds

I gave Alice some of the seeds from the draw that can be direct sown to scatter. This fills gaps in the border and gave me some interesting surprises last year. The blackball cornflowers were quite pretty last year so hopefully they’ll do well again.

Ballerina tulips

The tulips are going strong now. I think these are ballerina tulips though the photo makes them look redder than they really are. There are patches of these coming along the border. It seems to have come back strongly.

Snow

And from glorious sun to snow. It came down pretty quickly for a period on Tuesday, though it didn’t settle. The wind was pretty strong and the garden is all looking very dry now. We haven’t had any of the forecast rain this week and the garden could probably do with a good shower. There is some forecast but I think I’m going to need to start watering the front again. I’ve been watering some of the more tender plants as it helps protect them from the frost a bit. When the leaves have a fine layer of water it provides a bit of insulation and slows the thawing a bit. Don’t know how much truth there is in this but can’t see it’ll do much harm.

Hope your week has been good. I return to work next week and I’m taking on a few more hours. So, a little less garden time but a bit more time to make use of the nursery polytunnel.

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Six on Saturday: 3.4.21

The weather has been nice for the first week of the holiday though meant to be chiller next week. I have had to use the new blog editor so I have no idea what will show. You may just have to imagine six beautiful photos as I have no idea if it will work.

  1. Ladybird Loveliness I have been happy to see several ladybird in the garden. We had a lot of aphids last year with the veg patch so an army of ladybirds would be useful.

2. Sealing wax daffodil

This is one of the few daffodils I know the name of as it was Amy’s choice of the bulbs from the discount bin two years back. Almost all the other daffodils are cheap mixed bags.

3.Prunus incisa Kojo-no-mai

I moved the small prunus into the ground in autumn and it is looking grand. It is only about half a metre but every cm is covered in blossom. Should look spectacular as it grows. It grows to about 3m and should fill the space beautifully.

The bees are loving it anyway.

4. Narcissus Elka

I put these little daffs in the hanging pot back in autumn. They came as a cheap add onto another order but they are rather pretty in the pot.

5. Beefly

We have had quite a few of these visiting the garden. It’s a beefly. Not an actual bee, but a fly that disguises itself as a bee. They have the very distinctive long proboscis sticking out in front. A great wonder in the garden.

6. Robin

We’ve seen a good few different birds in the last week but I was happy to manage this photo of the robin mid song. It’s been back and forth from the feeder to the ivy so nice to get a shot.

Hope the photos have showed as I feel I got some good photos this week. Hope you’re all keeping well and enjoyed the slight relaxation of the Covid restrictions.

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