Easter Weekend Workout

One job that has been on hold until better weather was replacing the trellis on the wooden arch in the front garden. It has been dodgy for a while as some laths have dropped and our attempts to glue them back into place don’t last.

We bought willow trellis. At £8.99 per panel, they were cheaper than replacement rigid panels.

Mr O painted the arch on Saturday and we fitted the willow trellis on Sunday morning. By stretching it out and making sure it didn’t stick out at the sides, we could fix it onto the support posts rather than in between.

It looks delicate, and wouldn’t take a lot of weight without additional horizontal supports, but it would be fine if fastened to a wall or fence.

The climber is a honeysuckle. We brought it back from France in 2011 as a tiny cutting. It has a lovely scent but few flowers, and those are very small – nothing like our standard honeysuckle. It probably needs a bigger pot and new compost.

The old trellis panels will be cut down and re-used to close off a gap by the water butt at the side of the house.

While Mr O removed the broken trellis and painted the bits he missed on Saturday, I dug up my hellebore – which was bought as ‘Christmas Carol’ (2 bought in 2019) but – now I’ve found the rather grubby label, it turns out that it’s ‘Advent Star’.

In the process of some rather vigorous digging with a hand trowel (I had mulched around it a few weeks ago), some pieces broke off, so I split it and have potted ten pieces and placed them in a shady area in the Tiny Greenhouse until they start growing.

Last year, the nectaroscordum, fell about all over the place and were generally unruly and badly behaved. On Friday’s Gardeners’ World, Monty advised that plants supports should be put in before they are required. Not having any plant supports, and unwilling to buy any, I’ve made use of the ‘ends’ we cut off the metal garden arches from the raised beds.

A recent delivery of flower seeds consisted of hardy annuals, half hardy annuals, and perennials. With most of them sown direct, only two required starting under glass and transplanting – golden rod and achillea.

These and the annuals should extend the flowering period in the front garden into September or later. I’ve found that by the time the alliums, iris and peonies have finished, there’s not a lot of interest apart from the grasses, so a few of these dotted around will brighten things up and get away from the blue/pink/purple palette I’ve ended up with.

Six on Saturday: 16 April 2022

Even though I am no longer in paid employment, I still like to take advantage of a Bank Holiday, but I lose track of the days.

It’s all go here though: I’ve planted my potatoes this morning (separate post on it’s way) and my husband is currently painting the wooden arch in the front garden ready for some restoration work, which I won’t bore you with today.

Moving swiftly on, here are this week’s Six on Saturday from sunny and warm North Wales, where the roads to the coast are no doubt crowded and everyone else is queuing to get to the top of Snowdon, and where all our heritage steam trains are in danger of running out of coal. Just another holiday weekend!

Clematis montana (pink) has been poised to flower for weeks.

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Spring Bulbs

I don’t usually bother planting bulbs each year. Those in the front garden – crocus, grape hyacinths and dwarf narcissi – have been there for several years, with the addition of alliums and nectaroscordum in autumn 2020.

In the back garden, I have daffodils and narcissi rescued from various borders and dumped in pots. Apart from an all too brief few weeks in spring, they live at the back of the garage. The only things I took any trouble with last year were my four ‘Blue’ pots containing Pickwick crocus, anemone Blanda Bleu, and grape hyacinths.

This year, however, I ordered some new bulbs (snowdrops x 50, anemone Blanda Alba x 20, and white fritillery x 15) which arrived on 6 October and had to be dealt with. (I’ve just noticed that the anemone is ‘White Splendour’ but have no idea if they are the same as ordered or a substitution, not that it matters. A white anemone is a white anemone is a white anemone!)

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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: 17 July 2021

It’s rather toasty here in sunny North Wales, so we have windows open and blinds closed and the coolest clothes we can find. My solar water feature is working overtime and the line of washing I hung out at 8.30 is already dry. It’s too hot for gardening, or anything other than sipping something cool from a long glass with a sprig of mint on top, reclining beneath a slowly revolving ceiling fan with a book. But I’ll have to make do with a cappuccino and a virtual stroll through your gardens on here instead – though I do have a ceiling fan in the conservatory which I shall be making use of later. For now, here is my contribution to this week’s Six on Saturday, brought to you courtesy of The Propagator.

I’ve shown the lavender previously but it really is at its best in this hot and sunny weather; it smells glorious and is usually covered in bees. Last week I mentioned that the colours blend with my beighbour’s hebe, so I’ve included a shot of the two together.

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Six on Saturday: 3 July 2021

A wet and misty morning here in North Wales. The only thing happening in my garden today is the plants and vegetables quietly getting on with growing. The problem is so will the slugs and snails! I have plenty of other work to be getting on with (in anticipation of passing the first year of my OU course which will allow me to progress to the second year), but I’ll be popping back – for some light relief – to The Propagator’s blog and the wide-range of Six of Saturday entries. We should hold our own – virtual – Village Show, though judging the produce would be problematic, and who would set out the Rules?

First These two rowans had self-seeded in the front border last year – no doubt aided by a bird or two. I dug them out and put them in pots, and left them to it. The one on the right looks dead (it was outside all winter), but I’ve potted it on and there are loads of roots, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s just being lazy. The one on the left was tiny and kept in the Potting Shed over winter. It doesn’t have as many roots as the other, but at least it looks alive!

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Six on Saturday: 19 June 2021

Today’s featured image is a Small Magpie Moth, found behind a bin while tidying up last Sunday. It’s apparently quite common around Britain and Ireland but it’s the first I’ve seen. I’m a litle late for The Propagator’s Six on Saturday garden party as I’ve been busy in the Potting Shed and on-call for assistance as Hubby carries out a Top-Secret Project which, as usual creates a lot of noise and mess, and he must be supervised at all times. (I turned my back for 2 seconds and he decided to sharpen a pencil and drop the shavings on the patio – on the basis he’d brush it up later).

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Six on Saturday: 12 June 2021

With the weekend forecast set to HOT and VERY HOT, I’m planning on staying inside with the blinds closed. Nextdoor’s trees have been shedding fat catkins for a fortnight and now the patio is awash with laburnum blossom. Of couse, he doesn’t see any of it – or have to clean it up – because the prevailing wind is from his direction.

Sweet pea ‘Cupani – I’ve now planted every pot on either side of the arch in Raised Bed A and they’ve been flowering for two weeks. Not yet the bower of sweet perfume I’d hoped for, but getting there. Mine are approximately two to three feet tall; they should grow to between five and six feet tall. They probably need feeding (and dead-heading).

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Six on Saturday: 1 May 2021

Sunny and warm on Monday; rain showers on Tuesday; cold and wet on Wednesday; cold and hailstones on Thursday; frost on Friday. This morning started sunny so I’ve put my peas, beans, sweetpeas and dwarf raspberry outside. I wonder how long it will be before I have to recue them from hail. sleet or snow?

Last Monday evening, we ate the first home-grown salad of the year, consisting of mizuna leaves, flat parsley, and red-veined sorrel. (We had the same again last night with the addition of red salad bowl leaves) All of these were the only survivors of last year’s failed experiment to grow salad crops all year round; after months with little or no growth, they finally got going in March.

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Six on Saturday: 20 March 2021

After a grey but dry start to the morning the sun has broken through the cloud cover. If it hangs around long enough, I might be tempted out to the front garden to remove some dead foliage.

I’ve been watching sparrows collecting dried Mexican feather grass, one had so many rammed into its beak it could hardly take off. Despite plenty of interest, I don’t think we have any blue tits nesting in the bird box, which is a shame. This time last year, we were building the Tiny Greenhouse and they were in and out of the nest box all day long.

Never mind, there is always plenty of wildlife to see in other Six on Saturday posts, hosted by The Propagator. I’ll be popping in from time to time to have a look between study activities.


This pot of mizuna mix is now supplementing our salads. It’s a shame it couldn’t do the same over the winter months as intended! I have a tray of the same leaves in the Potting Shed, and some new lettuce seedlings are making an effort.

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