Six on Saturday-14.7.18

A the garden is seeing a lot of the taller plants coming into flower. The lawn is holding on. The shaded parts still looking lush, while the centre is looking dryer and dryer.

1. Fennel

The fennel is growing good and strong currently. I grow it for the umbel flowers that are good for butterflies. I’ve got a few smaller plants to put in the border. The feathery foliage makes a good contrast to the dark leaves of the camellia and hollyhocks around it.

2. Unknown perennial

Bought for me last year. It lacked a label. It has been on the verge of flowering for weeks and is now putting on a good show.

3. Fuchsia

The first of the fuchsias is now flowering well. I took this one out of the border as it was getting swamped and put it into a pot. The contrasting white and pink flowers are quite attractive. Quite a few of the fuchsias didn’t survive the harsh winter, so happy this is a survivor.

4. Teasel

The teasel has featured earlier in the year. It has grown up above the fence and has an abundance of flowers growing tall attracting in the insects. While quite spectacular it has quite a large footprint in the border taking up a good metre square at the base. The leaves and stems have vicious spikes making it an unpleasant job tying up. Not sure if I’ll let it grow again. I’ll have to see if it brings in the birds later in the year.

5. Chives

My mum divided some of her chives. They were ripped apart by seagulls trampling them, but one has hung onto flower.

6. Rose Scarlet Paul’s climber

I planted two of these Tesco £2 plants to replace another climbing rose that was doing all its flowering above the fence and on the neighbours side. I’m going to try to train these so I get better flowering across the fence. The first flower has opened up. While this year I’ll only have a few flowers they are looking to be quite glorious. Proper Scarlett Harlots providing bright blooms on the fence. There are two clematis next to it that are going strong. They should intertwine well.

Initially opening as a dark bloom.

Still keeping a rich colour as it fades.

And that’s my six. Hope you enjoyed. I’ve got lots of dead heading to get on with and some of the ox eye daises and forget me nots are past their best. Time to trim and pull.

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Six on a Saturday 30.6.18

It’s a lovely day out. We’ve got a school Fair to go to. Then hoping to do a bit of weeding and then maybe get in a few of my seedlings.

1. Unknown rose

This rose came with the garden. After the first year I cut it back quite severely and have fed it better since and it is now giving an abundance of pink flowers. It repeats flower and last year was still flowering well into Autumn.

2. Charles de Mills

Charles de Mills was bought back in April. In its first year I’m not expecting much, but got a few flowers to get a taste of what will hopefully come in great numbers. The closely packed petals give an interesting slice off appearance. I don’t think there quite as nice when they fully open, but a good addition to the garden.

3. Poppies

I don’t remember planting poppies of this variety. I remember scattering the standard red variety, but not these. So either I’ve remembered wrong or got some self seeders. Either way they are very nice. A rich plum going well with the sweet peas and lynchnis. However in the heat the petals are not lasting long.

4. Obelisk

The obelisk of sweet peas is looking good. The sweet peas were looking a bit pasty, but after adding some slow release feed they are looking lusher. The peas are flowering well now with lots to come.

5. Hebe

The front garden has a line of hebes that have all probably grown past their best. However they ate low maintenance needing no watering most of the year. Ideal for the front garden. Some are flowering less, but one variety is still giving a burst of white flowers that the bees are all over.

6. Salad leaves

I had this plastic window trough spare. I used it last year for salad leaves to pick off. I thought I do the same. I don’t grow much edibles, but do like to have something each year to enjoy. These are a David Domoney mix I planted just a few weeks ago and taking off well. It contains a mix of two tender Italian leaves: lollo rossa and lollo bionda. It grows quickly then can be used as cut and grow again salad leaves. While it won’t provide a mass amount of salad it is nice to have a few home grown pleasures in Summer.

While the garden is still a random mix it is gradually taking shape with plants working in better combinations. The borders are filling out, so next year can start looking at how each plant works with its neighbours.

 

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Six on a Saturday: 22.6.18

After several weeks of seeing everyone else’s roses flowering, the roses have finally flowered up North. The weekend is set to be a scorcher so going to be doing some watering. For the participants guide to six on a Saturday look here. Check the tag on twitter for a peak into lots of lovely gardens and veg plots.

1. Cottage maid

This was an new addition this year. This is a single flowering rose with a raspberry ripple effect on the petals. After a few days the ripple is fading leaving it looking like a pale pink, almost white flower. The smell was commented on the label as strong, but I can’t say I’ve noticed much, but my nose is blocked a bit currently.

It’s an old rose potentially growing to a good height, but I will probably keep it down. It will only do the one burst of flowers, so something to appreciate while it’s there. Looks like it’s going to give a reasonable display for it’s first year.

2. Yellow rose

The first year I took over the garden this was a poor performer. Last year after some feed it was a bit better. It grows out of another shrub, growing nice straight spires out if the foliage. After two Summers of lack lustre performances I was considering removing it. Almost everything else around us red, pink or shades of blue. It is just about the only yellow. But after giving it a good chop last year it’s come back stronger with lots of lovely large blooms.

The buds start as tight little flames.

Then opening to a bright sunshine yellow.

Before moving onto a rich, buttery creamy yellow.

3. Lychnis coronaria-rose campion

Rose campion is one of my favourites. It gives lots of little vibrant pink flowers. The hoverflies love it. It gives a good period of flowering. The hairy silver leaves makes it disagreeable to slugs and snails. They also provide a contrast to many of the surrounding plants. It has started to self seed with several small seedlings coming up from last years seed offerings.

4. Honeysuckle

Along the fence in the shady corner honeysuckle grows up the fence. It has been thriving there. It grows up and through the lilac. It smells beautiful, although I’m probably the only person who smells it when weeding underneath it. When sat on the bench you can get a good whiff of it. The first flowers are now opening.

[Imgur](https://i.imgur.com/DxjSWeW.jpg)

5. Plant supports

These plant supports were selling off at £3. I didn’t have anything particularly in mind, beyond maybe the new roses, but they had a massive reduction on them and I like a bargain.

6. The view from above

The garden is looking good, almost up to the zenith of Summer flowering. Alice’s bedroom has the view of it. The ox eye daisies are looking good on mass from above. Up close there a mass of stems trying to spill in every direction. My staking efforts straining against the mass. But it has given me plenty of cut flowers for the house. The hydrangeas are starting to bloom and the hollyhocks are almost set to flower. Alice gets the best view of it all from above.

Hope you all enjoy your weekends.

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Six on a Saturday 16.6.18

It has been a windy week. Despite the strong sea winds my garden suffers from the fox gloves are still standing proud. The hollyhocks I’d already staked luckily. But a number of plants have suffered and the leaves are looking the worse the wear for the weather. The garden is currently in a state of anticipation of things to come. The roses, the hydrangeas, the hollyhocks, the teasel is all set to flower. But hasn’t quite happened despite the signs for the last two weeks.

1. Cobra lily

This strange looking plant is a cobra lily. It’s the first year growing one, so have no idea if it’s coming up right. The picture on the packet shows a dark striped flute shape. Then at the base planted black mondo with the idea that it would be a striking combination. Watch this space to see if the lily develops more. While its meant to be hardy I’m not sure the wind this week has done it much good.

2. Campanula

Each year these star shaped flowers have regrown out of this post. I think it’s a type of campanula, but not something I planted. It is lovely though in flower and the bees love it.

3. Aquilegia

After setting up foxglove seeds ready for flowering next year I’ve also set up a tray of aquilegias. I’ve got some that self seed already, but I’d like to introduce a few more to increase their numbers. I’ve gone for a more flamboyant variety with two coloured flowers.

4. Weigela

I’ve picked up a cheap weigela from Morrison’s. My neighbours has been flowering and is looking beautiful. I’m planning to start in a pot on the patio then see how it grows.

Next doors.

5. Pollinators

The garden is awash with insect life now. Bees are out everyday. Damselflies are coming in bigger numbers. Hoverflies are loving the daisies and marigolds. It’s a clear sign that things are warming up. The weekends have still been cloudy, so still not many butterflies. Sat out in the garden there is now the hum of insects to listen to.

6. Mud kitchen

The biggest addition to the garden this week is Alice’s new mud kitchen. Made for her by her grandad and my father in law to be. She has been loving mixing and smashing the soil. I’ve made a mix of play sand and compost for her cooking. Truly something special for her made by family. I have noticed many of the nearby pots now have a top dressing, but never mind getting her outside and involved in the garden.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my six. Got a few garden jobs to get on with quickly as it looks like rain is coming.

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Six on Saturday 9.6.18

While many of the sixes are now featuring roses my buds are staying firmly shut up North. But still plenty of visual delights on offer.

1. Foxgloves

One of my favourites is now in flower with many self seeded along the border. Planted for the pollinators the bees have been all over. I know many people proffer one colour, but I like an eclectic mix.

2. Lupins

Another cottage garden and Chelsea favourite. These were decimated by slugs last year, but defences have worked better this year.  While I only have one growing this year it has multiple heads coming up.

3. Ox eye daisies

Last year I grow these from seed. I now have far more than I need. I’ve divided some for my school garden and still been left with vast swathes. They are supposed to be one of the best flowers of pollinators with a mass supply of nectar.

4. Fruit

The dwarf apple had a large number of fruit forming. I will need to pick some out soon if they don’t drop naturally to encourage less, but bigger apples.

The dwarf cherry is also fruiting. It’s not going to be a feast, but might have enough to add to a single bowl of cereal. That is, if the birds don’t get them first. The starlings have been checking it over.

5. Marigold

A lone marigold left over from last year has flowered under the camellia.

6. Preparing for next year

Already starting preparation for next year. While I’m sure plenty will self seed I’d hate to be without, so foxglove seeds have gone in the propagator. Then got a few other biennials to sort. I’ll get them started in the trays, then pot on, then transfer to the border later in the year.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my six. A bit overcast today, but the garden wildlife is starting to come out in more. Enjoy your weekends!

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Six on a Saturday-2.6.18

Time for this weeks six. A guide to participants by its creator here. This week has been back and forth for weather. We’ve had days of brilliant sunshine and overcast dark days that seem like Winter hasn’t left. The garden is full of a sense of anticipation. Many flowers are on the verge of opening to display their treasures.

1. sedum, spathulifolium blanco

This sedum started as a small tight ball in March. Now it has flowered and spread covering the pot with small bright yellow flowers. The sempervivums are just poking through nicely.

2. Asiatic lilies

These two Asiatic lilies were bought a few weeks back at a community plant sale. They are giving a fantastic glow on the patio. The orange is more neon than I expected. Possibly a bit tasteless, but the patio pots are saved for more exotic choices. Whereas the border seems to be developing largely into cottage garden favourites.

The photos don’t really get across the vibrancy of the orange.

3. Sweet peas

I planted my sweet pea seedlings into the garden. A bunch into a pot to grow up the Aldi obelisk. Then another group up a wig wam in the border. Already a few flowers have opened. So far a pleasing combination of red and purple.

4. Morning glory

Having finally become fed up of the morning glory seedlings on the windowsill I’ve also planted them out. Some into pots to climb the fence near the house. Some into the border to climb the fence.

The weather going chiller again has been a concern, but if they don’t grow they don’t grow. While the flowers are pretty I don’t think I’ll bother again. Space is limited on the windowsill for seedlings and the border can only fit so much, so don’t want to be worrying about tender plants. Hopefully by next year a number of the climbing roses, clematis and honeysuckle will have established over more of the fence.

5. Geraniums

I know the geraniums have featured a number of times over the last few weeks, but more have come into flower. The renardii flowers are lovely with their veins of colour, although the leaves have picked up an unsightly orange appearance.

These thugs were donated by my mum last year and have now taken over a section of the bottom of the garden. Eventually they’ll need dividing or they’ll dominate the whole area. But right now they are filling a good area and suppressing weed growth. When you examine the flowers close up they are rather delightful.

Another unknown variety from my mum that has been flowering for several weeks and just keeps giving. Another tall beast, but looking good under the dwarf apple tree.

Some smaller self seeders filling gaps in the border.

6. Donations

My mums contributions this year are snap dragon seedlings and decorative gourds.

In return she may have verbena and hollyhocks as I have quite a few going strong.

Things are really getting going in the garden now, should have some more colourful sixes ahead.

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Six on Saturday:26.5.18

This week has been a good week for gardeners with the mass coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show. I was happy with Chris Beardshaw as best in show and the Yorkshire Garden as the people’s choice. Both were clearly excellent quality show gardens. While often the show gardens have little relevance to my garden, with little I can take away to my own garden, I’ve like many of this years entries. I’m only halfway through watching the coverage, but it is now half term for me, so I’ve got time to catch up and give my own garden some attention.

1. Lavender

Along the front path I have a patch of lavender planted last year. These were 99p purchases that were bone dry needing some care. I’m glad to say they look like they’ve recovered and hopefully I grow these into a nice mass to give scent entering and leaving the house. I have a number of lavender patches around the front and back garden and several varieties. As a keen wildlife gardener it’s a reliable plant for helping support a wide variety of pollinators, so was a must for me despite the clay soil I work with. All the patches had plenty of grit mixed in when planted to help improve drainage. This patch at the front has been the first to flower this year.

2. Fennel

The fennel was planted last year. It only had a chance to form a small mound of feathery leaves. But as a hardy perennial it has come back stronger this year forming a nice mass of feather foliage. It makes a pleasing contrast to much of the more rounded leaves of the plants around it. Fennel forms umbels of yellow flowers that are good for butterflies to land on.

“It is an indisputable fact that appreciation of foliage comes at a late stage in our development

Christopher Lloyd

3. Tomatoes-gardeners delight

One of the parents at school has donated a tray of tomatoes. I’ve brought them back home to get them started and then will plant out into the school garden at a later date. This week is British Tomato Week for anyone thinking of buying a few plants. Tomatoes require a bit of love and attention, but should they get to picking stage it is a true taste delight eating your own tomatoes. I’ve grown them in a schools a few times, but not for a few years, so we’ll see how I get on.

4. Obelisk

I’ve set up a recent Aldi purchase of an obelisk. I’ve set it in a plastic half barrel planter. Not the prettiest thing, but needed a wide base. Maybe in future years I’ll splash out on a better quality one, but the width I needed it will do the job nicely for now. My sweet peas are coming on well on the windowsill and I’m looking to plant out onto this next week. The obelisk itself looks good and is making a good perch for the birds. Alice’s small hands helped get the soil into the container through the gaps in the obelisk, but has given it a little bit of a leaning tower effect.

5. Cosmea

The cosmea grown from seed is now getting it’s first flowers. The warm weather has brought them on a bit, but now it’s going colder again may halt there progress.

6. Birds

After a period of smaller numbers while the young hatched the number of birds has increased. The number of species is still low, but the quantity of starlings, sparrows and blackbirds is momentous for a small garden. I’m currently looking out on maybe 30/40 starlings, blackbirds scavenging in the border and sparrows along the fences. Today I’ve seen: starlings, sparrows, wrens, jackdaws, wood pigeon, collared dove, herring gull, blue tit, great tits and robins. While a noisy bunch it’s good to hear the cacophony of the young outside the double doors.

Hope you all enjoy your bank holiday weekend and have the chance to get outside into your gardens.

Six on Saturday: 19.5.18

Today the garden will hopefully be in use as we have family coming round for Alice’s second birthday. No Royal Wedding for us. Time has gone quickly with Alice coming on more everyday. The garden has come on a long way over that time as well.

1. Alliums purple sensation

There are still a few queen of the night tulips hanging on in there, but most of the tulips are gone. This loss though is being replaced the alliums. The purple sensations spheres are spreading out to form full spheres. These alliums form one tall stem with one small sphere to each stem.

2. Alliums Turkish onion

These alliums were planted in the first year in the house. They have large leaves before forming a large sphere low to the ground.

3. Aquilegia

Aquilegia, or Granny’s bonnet isn’t something I planted. It has come up each year poking out through other plants. But the leaves are interesting. The colours vary. One is flowering now, while a few more self seeded ones in the shade have more to come.

4. Oxalis

Last week we went to a community plant sale and picked up some cheap purchases. Amy like the oxalis. I believe this can spread badly, but for now it’s going on the new ladder planter on the patio.

5. Lilies

I also bought two lilies for the patio. One orange and one pink. They’ll add a burst of colour to the ladder.

6. Herbs

Amy wants a number of herbs to cook with, so we got a few cheap purchases at the sale. Dry as a bone currently. In need of a good water this evening.

Now to get things ready for birthday celebrations. Guests arriving in an hour. Hope you all have good weekends. The weather is glorious for a garden party. No sitting in watching weddings or football for us. The previously posted birdbath is getting good use now.

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Six on a Saturday 12.5.18

Time for six on Saturday as started by the propagator. The last few weeks of heavy rain followed by bright sunshine has really brought on the garden. Everywhere luscious green foliage is appearing. Blossom is out all over. The tulips are almost spent, but the alliums are following close behind to replace the loss. I like Summer flowering plants that form tall spires and they are all making their push to the sky. The hollyhocks, the foxgloves, lupins and teasel are all pushing up higher and higher. It’s a good time of year for the garden.

1. Clematis

The first of my six isn’t actually from my garden. It’s my neighbour’s clematis that is growing through. My own aren’t doing very much right now. There is one on side of the fence that was in the garden when we moved in. This had become thin and sprawling and only managed one flower last year. I’ve trimmed it back to almost the ground and it seems to be returning stronger. Then I have another on the other fence that was planted fresh last year that seems to be establishing now.

The neighbours clematis is growing through and over the fence. It’s providing a nice burst of colour in a patch that is currently a bit bare. I’ve got a climbing rose coming up here. Combined they should compliment each other well. Not sure of the type of clematis, beyond Spring flowering, but it is going strong.

2. Lilac

The lilac is out in flower now. It’s one of Amy’s favourite and the colour is nice. Not as strong smelling as I remember last year, but still has more flowers to come.

I’ve taken out a few suckers to grow new plants. Lilacs spread by suckers. The roots spread and new shoots grow around the stem. I’ve dug out three and potted up in a gritty soil mix. Then watered well and stones on the top to help retain moisture. These are destined for school if they establish well enough. I’m trying to save school budget by improving my outdoor area with free plants grown by different methods of propagation. I’m also making use of the discarded plastic pots of other purchases that are now planted in the border.

3. bluebells

The bluebells in my garden are just getting going. This years frosts has sent everything a bit off kilter. They were English, but I think they might be hybridized now. I’ll see when they flower.

Behind the garden there is a path with both blue and white varieties flowering. They are one of my favourite Spring flowers. Another like daffodils that mark the season.

4. teasel

Last year I established some small teasel seedlings in the border. Now they are beasts ready to flower. While not a popular garden option as it seeds all over and the leaves fill a lot space I wanted it for its wildlife potential. Bees love it. Goldfinches flock to it. I love seeing the goldfinches in. Last year they were all over my cornflowers. I’ve scattered some cornflowers seeds again. So I’m hoping between the cornflowers and the teasel and putting out niger seed I’ll see them more regularly. As biennials it should flower this year, as there second year. I have a few starting off this year to ensure a patch flowering next year.

The leaves are great, large, thorned things that surprisingly haven’t been eaten apart by slugs and snails.

5. Sempervivum

My patio holds my more exotic plants with alpines and succulents, while the border holds more traditional cottage garden choices. The sempervivum suffered with the frosts, but are recovering well now with rich green leaves and the darker leaved varieties looking fresher.

Six. beer traps

The slugs and snails have been devouring one of the patches of foxgloves and self seeded hollyhocks.

I have tried to avoid weed sprays and pest deterrent sprays that may be harmful to much of the visiting wildlife. I haven’t used pellets for several years now to avoid poisoning other animals up the food chain. My compromise has been beer traps. I periodically fill them up to kill off a few of the slugs and snails and give plants a chance to recover. It doesn’t eliminate, but it gives the plants a chance to establish a bit stronger. In hot weather the beer evaporates quickly, so they need topping up regularly if you want to keep them effective. As I’m just trying to keep numbers down I’m a bit lackadaisical about this.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my six and enjoy your weekends.

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My watcher on the wall keeping an eye on my writing.

Six on Saturday-5.5.18

So this weekend is a longer weekend with the Bank Holiday. Surprisingly, we have sunshine as well. Bread buns are out of stock across the nation as people prepare for barbecues. My garden is seeing Spring coming to fruition. The blossom is on the trees. The Spring bulbs are all coming through I force now. The Summer bulbs are starting to poke through. Already I’ve forgotten what went where and having to check back on the blog to see what I’ve planted.

1. Cherry tree

Last Summer I ended up with a cheap dwarf cherry. It had lost many of its leaves, but come back to life now. The branches aren’t the most amazing shape, but I’m hoping as it grows up I can encourage a more pleasing form. The birds have been pecking away at buds for the last few weeks. Despite this the blossom has still managed to come out.

2. Apple tree

The apple tree is also blossoming. Another dwarf fruit tree. This was given a severe prune last year and dug out and turned around to encourage growth in a better form. It had seen five years of neglect while the house was rented. So last year we only had a small number of apples while it recovered. This year going off the blossom I might get enough for chutney again.

3. Queen of the night tulips

The queen of the night tulips are starting to flower marking the last of my tulips. These have grown much taller than the other tulips despite the pack details saying they’d be roughly the same height. This has give them a bit of a leggy effect, tall and thin over their other family.

4. Geraniums

Carrying on from last week I’ve added two new geraniums to fill patches of border that are a bit empty. Then as these grow I can divide and spread around the border and take some for school when I’ve filled my borders.

I’ve gone for two recommended for pollinators: Ingwersen’s variety and renardii. After this severe Winter I’m more aware of hardiness in the garden. Both of these have good hardiness ratings and RHS plant of merit awards as well as the good for pollinators award. Both are tolerant of a range of soils and conditions so they should thrive. They are also recommended for under planting roses. I haven’t currently done this, but maybe if they get to a point where I can divide I might use them for that purpose.

5. Ajuga, black scallop

I bought one small plant last year as part of an alpine deal. Since then it has spread nicely over its pot. It’s a hardy evergreen with rich dark leaves. The blue flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Unlike most of my other alpines it likes moister soil and shade. It is recommended for under planting shrubs, so long as it is an area that stats moist. It spreads by runners, so I can create more removing the runners to establish in other pots.

6. Seagulls

For the last of my six here are one of my commonest visitors the seagulls. Being a seaside town my garden is swamped by these as much as sparrows and blackbirds. Currently I’m woken by a dawn cacophony of randy seagulls on our roof. They like sitting on the shed and at times will try to sit their massive frames on the bird feeder. I do put bread out for them, which is swarmed over within minutes. It isn’t the best food source for them, but as were a seaside town I can’t imagine it’s any worse than the chips. Yesterday Alice and myself were in the garden when this group descended within metres of us. Alice thought it was hilarious and wanted to go closer to say hello, but I kept her back. Don’t fancy a peck from those beaks.

They can be a pain stomping through borders, but by and large I quite like seeing them settled on the fence.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed my six and have good long weekends enjoying the sun.

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