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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Monthly Roundup: September

Compost Corner

Not strictly September but on the last day of August, I emptied Compost Bin 2 into old growbags and compost bags – eleven in total – ready to take to the allotment to help improve the soil in my bed. So while Bin #1 does its thing over winter, I can start a new batch in Bin #2.

I could, however, have done without the eight-and-a-half-hours in A&E with chest pains that followed; and the potential diagnosis of angina following two ECGs, four blood tests, and four hours on a cardiac monitor. I am now on one low dosage aspirin a day, have a GTN spray for when the pain starts. BUT, after a chat with a cardiac nurse on September 10th, it MIGHT NOT be angina after all. Further tests are being arranged.

Gardening, apparently, is the best exercise; though I doubt she meant lugging great pots of compost around and stretching across raised bed. She probably thought I meant a little gentle pruning and a bit of weeding!

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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: 31 July 2021

Last weekend, the forecast was for thunderstorms and rain. On Monday, we were still waiting – but welcome showers arrived on Tuesday, stayed for Wednesday, all but disappeared on Thursday, and came back yesterday with fine drizzle and low cloud cover blanking out the house just 25 metres than our own. Fortunately, we are too far north so escaped Storm Evert’s strong winds. I hope those of you in its path haven’t suffered any damage to homes or garden.

It’s another grey damp morning, so my selections are from earlier in the week. Apologies if I’m flouting the rules set by The Propagator – but he’s on holiday and won’t notice!

Allium Drumstick – the flowers have lost their green bottoms and are beginning to fluff up. I’d have more of these if I had the room. Lovely colour too,

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Six on Saturday: 10 July 2021

A grey day so far, cool too. Everything that needed it had a good watering and feed yesterday, and there seems to be a lull in the vegetable production, though salad leaves of several varieties are still going. In the front border, I’ve deadheaded all the peonies; they only lasted a couple of weeks this year and no sign of further buds – perhaps the clumps need splitting, a job on the list for autumn. I’ve also managed to beat the birds to the alpine strawberries and have a few handfuls in the freezer. When I have enough, we’ll eat them with some ice-cream.

Right, time for my Six on Saturday selection – six things in the garden – suggested by The Propagator and the highlight of the gardening week (along with Gardener’s World on the tellybox).

It’s honeysuckle time in the shady borders at the back of the house (under the trees).

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Six on Saturday: 5th June

A week (nearly) of hot and dry weather, I should really take advantage and sow more vegetable seeds – but I have Jerusalem artichokes to pot on and tomato plants that absolutely must go into growbags this weekend. So, I’m off to the garden centre to hunt some down – six will do for now – enough for 12 tomatoes (I cut them in half and use the bag as a pot). This year, they will all be grown in the Tiny Greenhouse, so I’ll have to clear that too. But I’l be back later to read other Sixes when it’s too hot to work outside,

The first iris came out last Sunday – slightly darker in colour than it shows here – by Thursday, there was quite a show. Gorgeous, and much admired by passers-by. I thinned these out by half last year.

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Six on Saturday: 8 May 2021

Our niece in Gallashiels woke to a couple of inches of snow on Wednesday; we had rain in North Wales. Lots and lots of rain so far today, so it’s a good job I prepared this yesterday otherwise I’d have nothing to share for this week’s Six on Saturday.

Happily all four waterbutts are full to overflowing, yet a national newspaper has reported May heatwave is on the cards soon; but only after more wintry weather in ‘the North’. But though the temperature is set to increase, blustery winds are expected.

Wait for it . . .

(1) I’m still waiting for the first clemetis montana flowers to open fully, this is as good as it’s going to get until the weather warms up. Adam Frost, who presented last night’s Gardener’s World said everything in his garden is about 3 weeks behind; he lives in Lincolnshire – I’d say my garden is further behind again.

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Six on Saturday: 20 February 2021

Rain stops play – again – though it didn’t stop the window cleaner yesterday! I managed to sow some leek and tomato seeds in modules in the Potting Shed on Wednesday; because I think it is still a little early, weatherwise, for us, I’ve only used packets that were already opened – leeks and tomatoes (both will feature in their own posts if and when they germinate).

With warmer weather on Monday, I popped out to see what damage has been done by the recent freezing temperatures. Along with the pale purple crocus that have been flowering for two weeks or more, these pale yellow ones have appeared. I planted them in colour blocks right to left along the front border – pale purple, yellow, deep purple, white – and they come out in succession, never at the same time. You’d think I planned it that way! I didn’t.

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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: 14 November 2020

Here in North Wales, Autumn is living up to its”Season of Mists” once more, if not the “mellow fruitfulness”. I’m more than ready for clear, cold and dry days now. I’m typing this in semi-darkness as the ‘mist’ is blanketing the windows and we’ll have to rope ourselves together just to get to the wood store without incident.

So here are some photographs I took when we still had daylight!

Now you see them, now you don’t. My neighbour’s tree stripped of its leaves in 10 minutes in the winds a couple of weeks ago.

The final hurrah from this year’s Japanese anemones. They started flowering too early and have run out of energy; I’ve had them flowing well into December before now. If we manage a couple of dry days anytime this side of Christmas, I’ll be cutting them down to ground level and removing the iris foliage.

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