Six on Saturday: 2 October 2021

I don’t believe it! One (maybe more) of our local garden centres has already put out their Christmas decorations this week. Anyone else spotted similar activities? Me? I take my optical fibre tree off the top of the wardrobe on Christmas Eve and put it back the day after Boxing Day!

A very quick SoS today as the second year of my OU course officially starts today so it’s heads down and no talking in class!

Fuchsia hedge doing its thing and brightening a shady corner. I don’t want to prune it while it is still producing flowers.

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Six on Saturday: 25 September 2021

This week’s featured image is an Elephant Hawk Moth. I first saw one of these ‘live’ on 23 August 2020, and my second last Tuesday (21 September). Remembering someone said they ate fuchsia, I encouraged it onto a plant saucer and placed it under my newly established fuchsia hedge at the back of Raised Bed A. The hedge needs a good trim so I can spare plenty of juicy stems/leaves for such an exotic creature. Without further ado, here are my Six for this grey and murkey Saturday, shared with a wide-ranging group of gardeners around the globe via The Propagator.

Verbena bonariensis – the final curtain? I’ve already take some of the faded flowerheads and sprinkled them along the front border in the hope they will self-seed and grow.

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Six on Saturday: 28 August 2021

Instead of the cool and cloudy mornings of the past week, this morning is a fine one. Greeted by the sun rising above the Potting Shed at 6.20 (the time I rose; the sun had been ‘up’ much earlier), we had an early breakfast and, as I type, my husband is sealing the final section of the lower patio. Thank goodness for the high pressure sitting above the UK and keeping rain away.

I’m keeping away from the smell of the patio sealant by finishing off this Six on Saturday post and reading other posts throughout the day. This month has been full-on maintenance and sprucing-up outside. There aren’t many flowers left in my garden – the obligatory fuchsia or ten, some of the surviving wilfdflower mix hidden beneath grasses. There’s an autumnal nip in the air of an evening and a touch of condensation in the windows in the morning. Let’s move along swiftly.

This summer, I moved the Christmas/Easter/Whatever cactus from the dining room to the sitting room. Both windows face the same direction – west-north-west – and both receive the same amount of late-afternoon sun (though at slightly different times due to overhanging trees), yet this is the best I’ve seen this plant for some time. It is dark green and glossy with plenty of new growth.

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Six on Saturday: 23 January 2021

I did think I wouldn’t have anything to share this week, but I spotted these yesterday morning while chatting to an old friend. This morning we are back to snow first thing, sunshine now, who knows what later. Either way, it’s too cold to be out so I’ll be popping along to The Propagator’s Blog to see what everyone else is up to, and to salivate over the nice weather in photographs from our southern hemispere gardeners.

Hellebore Christmas Carol has been doing it’s thing without any help from me. I think it might benefit from a move to another part of the garden this year. Somewhere I can actually see it. I’m considering a revamp of my Shady Border in the back (removal of peonies and Japanese Anemones is one thought).

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Six on Saturday: 5 September 2020

Despite threats of last Bank Holiday weekend being the coldest on record, here in North East Wales at least, we had four days of clear, dry and sunny weather. Yes, it was cool out of the sun but pleasant enough to enjoy a coffee or two on the patio mid-morning, and hot enough on Tuesday to work up a sweat building vegetable cages down at the allotment bed for four hours.

The front garden is in transition. Peony leaves were on the cusp of changing colour (until I cut them off); sunflower petals are fading fast. The mexican feather grass is at its bushiest (I’m itching to give it a hair cut, but that’s a job for spring); hiding beneath are the fuchsia plants I grew last year from cuttings, and which I hope will form a fuchsia hedge in time. Yet cosmos and calendula continue to flower freely, and there is still the occasional bright-blue flash of a cornflower. I’ve given the lavender a haircut this morning and cleared some space around my two remaining heuchera.

The aptly-named Autumn Joy is beginning to flower. This is one of the root cuttings I took last spring. I put three each in two terracotta urns in the front garden. I might manage to squeeze one more in each pot once the alyssum is finished.

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Japanese anemones in the shady corner of the front border, which started out actually IN the corner but have spread outwards leaving a bare patch. My neighbour still hasn’t noticed that his wall has collapsed – after almost a year! The alpine strawberries like it here, astilbes don’t.

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My first pepper! All that to-ing and fro-ing to the potting shed with a cotton bud and a soap spray has paid off.

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This Lollo Rosso lettuce looks very pretty growing in a strawberry pot and is still providing leaves for salads. I’ll definitely grow salad leaves in these strawberry pots again.

The wood is a large branch we ended up with after we first persuaded our neighbour to cut back one of his trees. I think it is sycamore and where the bark has peeled off, different shades and colours are revealed .

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Much as I would like to leave this sunflower for the birds to peck at, I don’t want an explosion of sunflowers in the front border next Summer. I’ll keep an eye on it and try to catch the seeds.

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This is my very poorly-looking heuchera Lime Marmalade, which was being smothered in the front border so I removed it a few weeks ago and placed in a pot in the shady half of the patio. I’m hoping this is new growth and not its final bow!

And now the sun has come out again, I’m off to pick some French climbing beans. I need a stepladder to reach them.

But first, coffee and a slice of cake while I see what everyone else is up to over at The Propagator’s Six on Saturday post.

Monthly Roundup: March

After a long dark and miserable February, March arrived and it was time to decide which vegetables to plant at home and, for the first time in the allotment bed – and which ones will never darken my raised beds again (Beetroot, your days are numbered). The first job was to sort through my vegetable seeds. Being me, I made a spreadsheet! I’ll update it as and when I buy/receive new seeds. Continue reading “Monthly Roundup: March”