Six on Saturday: 25.4.20

Despite being on lockdown I’ve not done a massive amount in the garden this week. Amy has been painting the kitchen so I’ve just done a few jobs over the week. The lawn has had its first mow now the lawn crocus are dying down. The bare patches are gradually recovering from building work last year. The dark-leaved cherry has finished flowering so I’ve given it a prune before the flowers underneath make it harder to get around it. The dahlia seeds went in at the start of the week. I have gone with Bishop’s Children again and a cactus mix. The cactus mix is already showing green signs of germination. Hopefully, the Bishop’s Children will catch up soon. The seagulls continue to be pains. They have taken to digging plants out. I’m not sure if they are after nest material or food while they are missing their usual fish and chips but they have become a bit of a menace. So far I’ve managed to replant much of what they’ve dug out but I need a solution to the issue.

1. Geranium phaeum

The first burst of the geranium flowers are out one on the phaeum varieties. These came to me from divisions of my mums, which I think had come to her through my aunty. They are a small purple variety. It gets numerous flowers all over. not particularly showy but popular with the insects. This is acting as ground cover around the Sambucus nigra.

2. Tulip ‘candy prince’

This tulip came as part of a Morrison’s pink set I bought to please Alice. Not the most exciting form and too pale to be that exciting on there own. They came with bright pink hyacinths and if they came through together it would probably make for an exciting combination but right now they are in a section of the border where they aren’t really standing out in any major way.

3. Clematis Montana

This Clematis Montana grows over the fence from my neighbours. It puts on a glorious display but needs a bit of a trim after flowering. The bees have loved it.

4. Farmer Macy order

I put in an order with Farmer Gracy for an iris and a dahlia a few weeks back. The dahlia is Black Jack. I ordered this one as I was meant to get it as part of a Sarah Raven collection of dark dahlias for pots. But, this one had issues with supply so I never got it. The other two were spectacular so I wanted to get my hands on this one. The Iris is a bearded iris ‘Batik’. This looks to be a stunning blue variety with white speckles. Hopefully, these will feature later in the season. I’d like to comment on how well it was all packaged. The bulbs come in a nice breathable box and are packaged within paper bags. No unnessecary plastic waste.

5. Newsagent bargains

I found these at one of the local newsagents while doing the milk run. They were dirt cheap and not options I’d normally go with but these are unusual times. The tray of begonias are something I’ve never bothered with but having grown lots of these in my work at the garden centre I was feeling it was a shame I wouldn’t end up with any of my own now. The Fuschia is ‘Claudia’. This is a pale pink trailer intended to go alongside another trailing white variety I’ve already got. Then the dark-leaved plant I’m assuming is a dahlia as it has the look of the Bishop’s children I grew last year. Lots of brash plants to add colour this year.

6. Tulip ‘Queen of the night’

These must be one of the most featured tulips on six on Saturday posts but with good reason. They are stunners and reliably come up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my six this week. If you fancy taking part check the participant guide. I need to carry on watering as it’s very dry though we now have rain forecast. Lots of the seedlings need potting on and looking to make another plot on a plate. Enjoy your weekends and I hope you’re all keeping your sanity through all of this.

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Six on Saturday: 18.4.20-Spring glory

It’s been a good week in the garden with many wildlife visitors. Alice has been busy making perfume in the mud kitchen and we worked together making bird feeders. I made the gardening press for the second week running. I had feedback from my first RHS assignment which was very positive and my plant profiles were good enough so that’s nice to know.

1. Fern fronds

The fern fronds are spectacular in my garden currently. Many of the ferns are in there second or third year in the garden so they established into nice large clumps. The fresh green fronds unfurling is one of the great pleasures of spring. A sign that warmer weather is coming and it really brings the garden back to life.

2. Hostas

Along with the ferns, the spikes of hostas are emerging. Most are in pots to give some slug and snail protection but I have risked some in the border.

3. Tulip ‘ballerina’

This was a new addition for this year. I bought a bulk bag of this and I’m glad I did with all the time we are spending in the garden. These have been lovely at each stage, so I’m covering the full cycle within this week six and making no apologies for the mass photos. Starting as nice tight curls.

Then opening with a nice warm orange. Orange was a colour lacking in my garden so thought I’d try some. They are a nice size. Not so small as to be lost in the border but still delicate looking. I’m not a fan of the really massive tulips that open and look messy straight away.

Then they have picked up more a red tinge as they’ve opened fully.

4. Implementations-Castor trowel

I was given a bit of birthday money and since we are going to be stuck in the house and garden I went with a few tools. I had upgraded my secateurs previously so thought I’d look at a decent trowel. As one of the most commonly used tools, it’s nice to have a well made one. Implementations in Nuneaton specialise in making copper tools. They are recommended by Charles Dowding for reducing slugs and snails. This is based on the theories of Viktor Schauberger about different metals having an energy effect on the soil. While this is probably new-age nonsense the tool is well made, looks nice and feels good to use.

5. Japeto knife

I wanted a sharp knife as working at the garden centre I’ve realised how useful a decent knife is for many jobs. From opening parcels and flat packing them and compost bags, along with cuttings, it is a useful tool for the back pocket. I ordered this one from Japeto with the personalised letters. There was a mistake in shipping so I’ve ended up with one with my initials and one for free which was decent of them. It is wonderfully sharp and has been used lots dismantling all the boxes from the many deliveries we are currently getting.

6. Bulb lasagne

The Tesco bulb lasagne has done well. The crocus got it off to a good start. The Muscari have kept going well. The tulips got a bit crisp in the morning sun so I relocated the display table to the opposite wall so it doesn’t get the morning sun. The tulips are triumph tulips ‘purple flag’. They go nicely with the Muscari but have been flattened a few times by seagulls dive-bombing. They seem to have suffered with seagull poo more than any plants normally have for some reason.

Hope you are all coping alright. I think having Alice is giving us a routine to our days and making sure we stay busy. I’m looking to pot on a few bits from the mini-greenhouse and start the dahlia seeds off. Then looking to finish reading Alexandra Campbell’s new book on garden privacy. Hope you all enjoy whatever you have planned.

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Six on Saturday: 26.10.19 Tulip fever

It’s the time of the year where I start the serious business of bulb planting. A few have already gone in pots but I have a week ahead of half term. So I’m hoping to break the back of the bulb planting. I left off buying tulips until this week as I haven’t seen many I’ve been that bothered for. I’m not a massive tulip fan but they are an easy option for filling a flowering gap in my garden between April and May. Many of the early Spring bulbs have gone over by then but the summer perennials haven’t picked up by then. So I still get a few each year.

1. Queen of the night tulip

I’ve grown these every year since moving in. They are a popular choice as they contrast well with many plants around them. Good in nice solid clumps. I’ve just got the one bag to top up whatever may have faded away or been dug up by accident.

2. Tulips tres chic

These were bought for us as wedding presents so thought I’d get another batch. I’m split between putting them in the border or in pots. In the border with the queen of the nights, they’d contrast nicely but I don’t think they flower at the same time. Or I may try in pots as the lower layer with iris or Muscari on top. Or maybe growing with a dark heuchera.

3. Ballerina Tulips

I’ve never really bothered with orange in the garden so thought I’d try some for a bit of variety.

4. Zurel tulips

The two colours seemed quite striking. With only a small number I’ll probably grow these ones in pots.

5. Carmen iris

Moving away from the tulips, these iris are destined for the front garden.

6. Miniature iris

I grew some of these little reticulate iris this year. I’ll probably add these in with the hosta pots as I did a few weeks ago.

A lot to get planted up there but with half-term, I’ll hopefully get a good chunk done. Autumn seems to be spent largely preparing for next year but I’ve still got quite a bit going on so plenty still to look at next week.

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Six on Saturday: 27.4.19 Peak tulip

After last week looking at ferns I promised to return to flowers and I have a spectacular collection this week. The tulips are reaching their peak with just a few more tulips to come over the next month or so. I am not a fan of the standard goblet tulips or a lot of the more common colours. I can appreciate them but I’m not that bothered for growing them myself. So over the last few years, I’ve branched off into other forms and come to see them as part of Spring.
1. Dolls Minuet

The dolls minuet tulips are a new introduction this year. I’m very happy with these. They have proved to be good through different phases. Starting as a tightly twisted coil. Then opening into sprawling curled petals. These are lovely short bright tulips. A winner for me.

2. Rococo parrot

I’ve grown black parrots the last two years and really loved them so I thought I’d try a different parrot. Here they are with the previously featured tulip tres chic. The tres chic have gone through a tall elegant phase opening into nice pointed stars. The combination looks a bit messy up close but looks pretty good together from the house.

I’m not show about the rococo tulips if they are a beauty or a beast but they’ve had a lot of comments from visitors and been incredibly popular on Twitter. The colours are certainly striking. I think I like them as a tight bud more than as a sprawling open mess.

3. Queen of the nights

Queen of the nights have featured on a mass number of six on Saturday posts the last few weeks. But they are a beautiful tulip. The lovely dark colour combines well with many plants. Mine is rising out of forget-me-nots and combined with the bleeding heart. A reliable choice.

4. Red Riding Hood

The red riding hood tulips are one of the brightest red I’ve grown. They have wonderful stripey foliage. They’ve been in pots three years and I think are starting to lose their rigour. Only one has come up so far but it is a bright flame in the border.

5. Forgotten tulip-alectric

These were a Tesco bargain bought towards the end of the season a few years ago. I think I bought one box then another when it got late on in Autumn and they were down to clearance prices. They were devastated by slugs the first year but have come back much stronger this year. I had partially forgotten these were in the border but they are another nice pairing with the forget-me-not carpet.

6. Borage

And now for a break from the tulips. The borage has its first flowers and they’ve come out white this year. The borage self-seeds around and I let a handful stay. It is great for the bees and the flowers are edible an can be used for cake decoration. Not that I’ve ever used them for this purpose.

There are still a couple of tulips still to come. I hope you’ve enjoyed the current offerings. If you fancy taking part in six on Saturday check the founding father’s participant guide. Also, check the Twitter hashtag #SixOnSaturday┬áto see more garden offerings. Enjoy your weekends.

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Easter Weekend

Well, we’ve had a lovely Easter weekend and thought I’d share a few pics as we spent a night at my parents and there garden is looking lovely at the moment.

On Saturday Hornsea park had a bouncy castle and a number of rides out for the weekend. This was the first time I’ve tried Alice on a ride. It was just a swing but she loved it.

Sunday we went to my parents for an Easter hunt with a special visitor.

Alice had lots of fun with her family.

Then a good meal with bunny crackers.

Then we walked it off with a walk up to see the church flower displays.

Then back to play at my parent’s house. Here are a few shots over the day of their garden looking stunning.
The stand out tulips.

The bright green of the acer looking great. I quite fancy adding one to my garden to add a medium height tree and more shade for ferns.

My parents have started to add ferns though not enough for my liking.

There are always plenty of birds visiting the feeders. This visit the tits and finches were out in force.

The standout plant in the garden at the moment is the cherry tree with masses of blossom this year. Here featuring a greenfinch.

Then we’ve had a good time with Alice’s cousin celebrating her birthday. Hope you’ve all had lovely Easter weekends.

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Six on Saturday: 13.4.19

I’ve enjoyed the first week of my holiday. We’ve got out few times as a family and just Alice and myself went to Bugtopia. I’m making good progress clearing the front garden. The purchase of a mattock has made clearing the hebes easier. The garden is really coming to life and it’s starting to become harder to select six. But there were a few stand out jobs and flowers this week.
1. Hydrangea Chop Time

The hydrangea mopheads were left on for the Winter. But as lots of growth has started with the warm weather I figured it was time for their yearly haircut. The mops are gone and Alice enjoyed waving them around as she bounced up and down the builder’s plank.

2. Skimmia Japonica

The Skimmia has been slow to get going. I’ve kept it in a pot to give it the soil conditions it likes. They make for good all year interest. The evergreen leaves stay looking nice, the buds, berries and flowers make for a long season of interest. Though looking back at the photo I spotted all the grass I needed to weed from the pot.

3. Water Bird Feeder

I bought a reduced hanging water feeder a few weeks back. Adding the birdbath brought in a lot of the larger birds last year. This one is designed to attract smaller birds. You have to fill it then turn it to hang. This is a little awkward but if the Summer is like last year I think the birds will appreciate another water source.

4. Aquilegia Winky double

We went to the garden centre last Sunday. I let Alice choose a plant for my mum for mothers day as she went on holiday so we hadn’t seen her. Alice chose this and then wanted one for herself. It’s gone into a shady spot near a self-seeded one coming up.

5. Tulip ‘tres chic’

This was a wedding present last year. It’s a rather elegant narrow tulip. I haven’t really grown any like this previously. I’ve avoided the standard Dutch shape so far and mainly gone for parrots but I like these.

6. Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘bleeding heart’

Bleeding heart is always a joy when this returns in Spring. Such as a fascinating flower. I have a couple dotted about the garden and they seem to come back reliably each year

I’ve bought a white variety “Alba” to go in the front garden. The building work may not be complete before this finishes flowering but even if I plant it after it should come back fine. I think it’ll look good rising up through some of the planned shorter ferns.

I’m off out to Hull beer festival held in Trinity church so I won’t be around. I will catch up on everyone else’s sixes later or tomorrow. I’m never sure whether a beer festival in a church is sacrilegious but it probably draws in more to the church than any other day of the year. In the meantime check out the participants guide if you fancy taking part. Be sure to check today’s six from the propagator to find other six on Saturday blogs in the comments. Have fun everyone!

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Six on Saturday-13.10.18 bulb planting

After a wet Saturday last week, I managed to get out to plant some of the bulbs for next year. So this week will mainly be pictures of packages of what may potentially grow next year.

1. Bulb planter

I purchased a bulb planter. Like much of the nation I saw Monty Son planting his bulbs with ease using one and thought it would save time. I reckon bulb planters sales must have rocketed a few weeks ago when Gardeners World viewers watch Monty plant his bulbs with apparent ease. While not as good as his and the plugs of earth didn’t come out as smoothly as his, it did save time.

2. Mini daffodils

I’d mentioned to my mum wanting some smaller varieties of daffodils in the garden. She bought me two packs of these. I’ve spread them around the border. I have plenty of longer varieties in the ground from previous years, but having a few different heights spreads the season of interest. I should have some flowering earlier and some later. Last year depending on their position affected flowering times. The shadier corner taking longer.

Mainly placed the daffodils around the bench

3. Alliums-purple sensation

I already have some purple sensations dotted in the border. Some are now in areas of thick growth where they don’t show, so a few more in new spots will make sure these bee favourites are poking out.

Purple sensation this year

4. Tulips-queen of the night

This year I planted tulips for the first time. I never liked the standard red variety that makes up bedding planting across the country, but I’m starting to find other varieties I think are actually attractive. In the main borders I had queen of the night and Little Red Riding Hood tulips giving a nice display of red and deep purple. The Little Red tulips were pleasant, but not as rich and Scarlett as the photos suggested on the packaging. I’ve topped up the queen of the nights.

Queen of the night this year
A single queen of the night

5. Allium-schubertii

I like alliums and have a few varieties in the ground. A couple were stopped by slugs and snails this year, so need to look at that next Spring. I liked the messy explosive nature of the photo on this one.

6. Goldfinches

While I have more bulbs to go, six posts on photos of bulb packaging doesn’t seem that exciting. The teasel I’ve been growing has finally served its purpose. I grew it hoping to bring in the goldfinches. I have enjoyed the shape of the teasel sticking out a bit awkwardly in the border. The bees have loved it. But it was the goldfinches I wanted to bring in. Over the last week I’ve had little swarms of them delighting me. I haven’t managed a picture perfect shot yet as the sun has inconvinently been in the wrong position, but hopefullly see more of them.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekends. I have more bulbs to try to find space for inbetween school work as well as picking up all the blown over pots.

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