Six on Saturday: 11 January 2020

Good morning from a blustery North Wales. We are currently experiencing alternating sunshine and horizontal drizzle, so I’m staying put.

20200105 (2)

This white cyclamen has now come into its own. I’m hoping to be able to split these plants in the spring, ready for planting out next autumn.

20200105 (3) 20200105 (4)

I’ve tidied up the Shady Border by nipping off the ends of the clematis Montana back to a bud, and removing the dead stems and leaves from the Japanese anemones.

20200105 (5)

A general tidy of the shady patio and I decided to use the olive tree we dug out of the raised bed as a makeshift bird feeder. I’ve placed it opposite the kitchen window, giving me a good (and warm) view ready for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch (25-27 January) – you don’t have to join RSPB to request a free pack. I’ve already had blue- and great-tits at the feeder and have moved the homemade suet block nearer the centre since I took this photo. This is to help ‘my’ robin, who can now reach it to feed.

20200105 (6) 20200105 (7)

I planted up these pots with rescued narcissi from the Very Shady Border (now Compost Corner), so it’s nice to see they’re staging a comeback. I must remember to label the pots this year as I want to plant these out in the Shady Front border along with the cyclamen and 2019’s hellebores.

20200105 (11)

Hopefully these Brussels Sprouts will continue to grow and not get eaten by anything. I am considering moving them into a larger pot with some fresh compost as they must have used up every nutrient in the current pot by now.

20200105 (12)

And finally, a couple of my leeks will soon be read for harvesting. I started these of from seed around eight months ago, so it’s been a long process, but at least we won’t have a glut and can take our time and savour each one.

Take a look at The Propagator’s blog for more magnificent gardens and lots of hints, tips and advice on anything and everything garden related.

2019: Success and Failure

A look back over the year to see what worked – and what didn’t – for me. Was it me? Was it the weather? Or a combination of both?

Climbing Beans

Climbing Beans Mixed

I grew the same variety – from the same packet – as in 2018.  I direct-sowed them in the same space below the arch in Raised Bed A, after replenishing the compost.  The first sowing was indoors on 24 February.  Not a single bean germinated.  The second sowing was made directly into the soil.  I planted 18 beans, 2 came up but didn’t grow beyond a couple of inches.  In the end I pulled them out, dug over that patch (no other beans in sight) and replanted using a different variety, Blauhilde, which is a dark purple bean (cooks as dark green).  These are not generally available in garden centres; mine came free with a magazine. Continue reading “2019: Success and Failure”

Six on Saturday: 28 December 2019

20191228 (711)

Living in a hilly rural area as we do, we are lucky that we have a lot of ancient hedges separating the fields. In the last couple of week, they have had their winter haircut, which means our view has been extended somewhat.

The only downside is the spikes of cut wood that litter the roads and threaten to puncture our car tyres. But we know that, come Spring, nesting birds will not be disturbed. Continue reading “Six on Saturday: 28 December 2019”

The (Final) Potato Diaries of 2019

20190814 (2)



In this post, I mentioned that I’d seen a post about planting potatoes to grow for Christmas.  I planted up three potato bags, with three tubers in each, using the compost remaining in my old green compost bin – 4 inches below and 4 inches above. I gave the bags a good soaking after placing them on the shady patio.

20190825 (3)

I slowly worked my way through the pots of summer potatoes, so once the area by the oil tank was empty, the bags went there until the weather cools, then into the greenhouse. Continue reading “The (Final) Potato Diaries of 2019”

Sarracenia: Pitcher Plant


I’ve never had much interest in carnivorous plants, but this sarracenia was on offer and I thought ‘why not?’ and treated myself for my birthday.

I’ve placed it on the windowsill of my study, which gets a lot of direct sunlight (something these plants require). I’m hoping that the fly which has been buzzing around annoying me for the last few days will be attracted to the plan and fall in. (I don’t want to use fly spray and the ceiling is too high for me to leap about with a fly swatter).

There’s lots of new growth, more ‘pitchers’ to catch flies.


Now I just have to figure out how much water is “much water” according to the back of the label! It says saucer, but information online suggests it might not like sitting in water permanently.

Any suggestions?

DSCF2582  DSCF2583