Six on Saturday: 4 November

There are two problems with this Six on Saturday thing. The first is finding six things to feature every week without (a) appearing to copy everyone else’s choice and (b) repeatedly featuring the same things. The second is that as the number of Sosers grows, it’s becoming hard to read all the contributions whilst still getting on with things that need to be got on with (notably coming up with ideas for the following week’s six).

Plugging the Solution

Over at my other site (Garden Blogs Online) I’m putting the finishing touches to a new feature – a memes list – of which there will initially be one. This one. And all the regular Sosers eill be listed there as well as on our beloved leader’s blog. Contributors are also either already listed in the main alphabetical index of blogs or are in the queue to get into that. As long as you’re a regular, you’ll be in the meme list even if, in a particular week, you go AWOL. Hopefully this will encourage some of the 4,000 or so people who visit that site each month to have a butchers at your blog. Which will make up for any inability on my part to find time to visit myself. That’s problem the second ameliorated, if not sorted.

Disposing of the Evidence

Well Halloween is behind us. I wonder whether floating a few glass apples in a bucket of concentrated sulphuric acid and inviting callers to go apple bobbing was a bit of overkill. But not to worry. I’ve had no visits from the police and the dug over beds in the middle of the larger front lawn don’t look any more dug over than they were the day before. It pays to plan ahead. Burying a few bags of compost will create mounds and, subsequently, the bags can be replaced with bodies and the bags returned to the shed, leaving the mounds looking the same.

Creativity Rules

And I’ve planned ahead. Our Glorious Leader has specified that our six can be anything in the garden. So this week, I’m going for a theme of Six Things, taking care of problem the first, part (b) at a stroke. My inspiration is partly a (Sunday) post by fellow blogger Gill, who included dragons and other beings in a recent (Sunday) post on Sunday not Saturday. “Six on Saturday” means “Saturday”. OK? So I can’t be accused of copying the ideas of someone who didn’t post on Saturday. Sundays don’t count. That’s my line and I’m sticking to it, thus solving problem the first, part (a).

Having disposed of the opposition, if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin. There may be plants in or around the things but my attention is given to the things. Everything else is incidental. Any appearance of alcohol is accidental. So. in no particular order my six are, in the order in which they appeared in the garden:

1. Lippy

He’s a lion. Well a statue of a lion. He dropped in many years ago when the bed over which he is king, was wholly planted, massed municipal style, with begonias. In the winter months it was, well, barren. Can’t remember who named him but the name stuck and he provides winter interest. And a test for my building skills in giving him something to perch on. No precast plinth for me! Subsequently, as the joy of growing the 1,000 fibrous begonias which the bed swallowed each summer became a bit much, I turned half the bed over to Japanese anemones. These can be invasive, of course, but it was easy to chop along the dividing line in the bed each spring and those that spread outside the bed got chopped off by the lawn mower. Of course, they continued to spread underground and are now popping up behind that large conifer hedge, some 8 feet away in no man’s land.

Lippy has presided over attempts to introduce spring tulips and, more recently, the shrinking of the bed overall and the introduction into it of salvias, dahlias, nepeta and odds and sods.

He remains remarkably nonplussed by these changes. As he is by Resident Cat perching on his head to survey his feline domain.

2. Colin

On the other side of the drive, Colin the eagle holds sway. Named by someone else, and so establishing a tradition, he relocated from a local DIY centre where he needed rescuing from the hordes of customers who couldn’t resist rubbing his head. Which is why his headly features are somewhat worn. But he sits and he fits. Occasionally young neighbours venture onto the front lawn to give his head a rub. I hope he likes that. He seems to scare a few of the neighbourhood cats away. Which is surprising but an added bonus. Resident cat curls up around his base but, so far, has not succeeded in achieving a stable perching position on his head.

3. The Bird Bath (Name Forgotten)

This little cherub stands at one end of the pond and is commandeered by blackbirds every day. Technically he has no name for he is birdbath 2. His sibling stands in the shade behind the pond in the middle of the Iris foetidissima patch (see last week), sans the bath bit. The window cleaner broke the bowl whist carelessly falling off a ladder. It turned out about £5 cheaper to buy a complete replacement than to just buy the bowl. The window cleaner was happy with the arrangement and declined to take the remains of number 1 off my hands. Number 1 does have a name but, for the love of me, I can’t remember it at the moment.

4. Nipples

The final piece of statuary is a lady with an urn. She got her name thanks to a youngster who excitedly pointed at her and shouted “Oh look! Tits”, to the eternal embarrassment of his parents. “Nipples” was a more acceptable name and arose out of the lecture given by aforementioned parents to their errant son. If I recall correctly, she cost a fiver from a now defunct TV shopping channel. And £8.99 p&p.

The careful photo angle means that her left arm is sensitively hiding the offending articles.

5. The Edifice

Someone called it that. I just think of it as a solution to a problem. The header pic shows it in late construction phase. The problem sort of dates back to when I first got this place, some 26 years ago. I decided the back end of the garden was crying out for something more than a border. The builders had created a couple of beds in the front lawns and filled them with leafy things which I relocated to form the bones of a shrubbery. They got way too big. Two “dwarf conifers” turned into 26-feet-tall monsters. Another small bush became a taller tree before falling over one day. Other trees stayed upright but were way out of proportion to the size of the garden. I was simply grateful that I hadn’t left everything in the front garden.

I had to bite the bullet and so the 40-square-metre area shrubbery went.

Everything you can see the other side of that wooden thing had to go.


I’m two thirds through the job of demolishing one of the conifers. That greenery on the right was next for the chop.

Bushes could be dug out but trees were a different matter. Stumpkiller did the necessary and then, instead of digging down, I built up. Two straightforward raised beds transformed the ends of the old jungle and I was left with the middle. Maybe I got ambitious but what is now “The Edifice” appeared. You know, a simple raised bed with built in mains lighting, built-in seating and a fountain. Nothing complicated. Made of WoodblocX, which is as versatile as your mind wants it to be and easy to work with once you get the ground level. The two smaller beds, unlike Rome, were each built in less than a day.

The Edifice took the equivalent of two and a half full days, spread over four or five easy days (plus a day of ground levelling) and was filled with a quantity of rubble for drainage in the larger compartments, a couple of bodies of unruly Halloween callers and three tonnes of topsoil that turned out to be riddled with horsetail. But that’s another story and, if you’re at all interested, I won the war! Edifice 2 will be appearing in the front garden as an over-winter project.

6. A Water Feature

There’s a fountain incorporated into the Edifice. There’s also a barrel-type water feature outside the conservatory. There’s a fountain in the pond. I like the sound of water. There’s a wall-mounted water feature to deliver that moving water sound to the side patio. I’ve chosen this as representative of the four. I’ll keep the other three in reserve, maybe, for a future six. This one , like the Edifice fountain, is rechargeable-battery powered.

So there we go. Six, long-winded things in the garden. Now I’m off to come up with some wonderful idea for next week. Hmmm. Structures? Shed, greenhouse, cold-frame, conservatory? Damn. That’s only four. Hang on, there are three other raised beds, more water features and countless blades of grass. Whoopee. And I can keep the barbecue for yet another week. It can go in a post with the wheelie bin.

Meanwhile, pop over to the boss’s post for today to see his six and, in the comments, the links to everyone else’s contribution. Have a great week in your garden.

13 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 4 November

    1. Well I suppose I relish the challenge. Although I’ve looked at your top tens, I’ve never investigated that meme. Must add to the “to do” list.

  1. Fantastic garden ornaments! I’m a little worried about the acid bath apple bobbing, though. So much bad press on the topic these days.

    1. The apple-bobbing in acid was a one-off. Next year, I’m thinking of using a tank with some piranhas in it. I have checked that they won’t eat the apples.

  2. Well, if that six are anything to go by, the harder it gets to come up with six things to include, the more interesting it becomes. What we grow is starting to be set in a context. Who knows where it will lead.

    1. I suppose we could always adapt what the BBC used to use as featured images on their web site when they ran that “Ten things we didn’t know last week” feature – a single photo with six related things in it like six birds on a feeder, six birds in a bird bath and, if I can find another one, six squirrels playing. Finding non-plant things could turn out to be a lot of fun.

  3. Love it! Only you could have “nipples” as one of your SoS. I might copy and name my garden ornaments. Now what could I call the dragon ….. 😉

    1. I’m sure you’ll think of something to call it Next week, I plan to progress from “nipples” to full-on naked gardening! We’ll see if you can copy that. 😉

  4. Gentle reading required throughout the week I think. You have some pretty large scale gardening to get through.

    1. Gentle reading is relaxing. I just mosey along. This WoodblocX stuff is like building with Lego. Different size blocX fit together according to a supplied plan. Simples and actually quite relaxing.

  5. I bet you will be the only one with nipples as one of your 6 on Saturday.
    I am very impressed with your edifice. A very creative solution to your problem.

    1. Thanks. Glad you added “as one of your 6” there! 😉 I have another raised bed that is a simple oblong about 3 metres long, and about half a metre wide and high which I built out of “ordinary” wood. All the measuring, cutting, drilling, screwing of that took longer than building the Edifice. It looks way more complicated than it actually is/was to build.

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