Six on Saturday: 7 April 2018

Here we are again, happy as can be! Well we would be if the b****y rain would stop. It did stop here on Thursday and most of yesterday but the lawn was still too squelchy to risk walking on and borders were still too wet do do anything decent with. But I can reach a lot from paths so I took advantage of the dry spell to catch up with some of what needed to be caught up with – simple tidying up. And, of course, I gave thought to my Saturday six-pack and so, without further ado, here is my tidy six.

1 Ribes

This is the season of the flowering currants. This one is Ribes Edward VII (it may be Ribes King Edward VII, the king fella being the only Edward VII of sufficient note in history to have a currant named after him). It sits, in all its lusciously deep pink glory behind a Pieris something or other. The two of them clash beautifully. I don’t do subtle colour combinations.

This is another Ribes, variety unknown, which is a paler pink. It sits where it sits, amongst an oasis of greenery in the shrubbery where it doesn’t clash with anything. But that lack of clashing doesn’t matter as I can’t see it unless I walk along the path in my woodland area. I did that this week as I decided to hack back an overgrown Epimedium. I may have destroyed aforementioned Epimedium or, at least, stopped it flowering this year. Not to worry. Until my HPS group had a talk from an Epimedium expert last year, I’d forgotten all about it as I rarely walk that path.

2 Iris Foetedissima

As I walked the walk on the way to my Epimedium hacking session, pausing to admire the beauty of the hidden Ribes, I noticed that the Iris Foetidissima were still carrying a lot of berries which were still nice and orangey-red. So I’ll give them a mention for endurance.

I will be walking that path again soon as the Iris have spread and I think two square metres of stinking stuff is a bit much so more repelling of invaders will be necessary. I also found a bowl-less stone bird bath that I’d forgotten about completely. Which explains why I have a stone bird bath bowl languishing behind the shed.

3 Prunus Nipponica Ruby Dwarf

One of those shrubs which flower before the leaves get going. This is a dwarf variety of the variety. Left to its own devices the variety can hit 5 metres tall which, given where it’s planted, would be a bit of a pain in the whatevers. But this sub-variety can be kept small with pruning. So I shall prune the Prunus at about 2 metres and keep it that way. “Prune the Prunus”? There may be a dance there. Or a song for Gill Heavens to create during her next singing lesson with Nancy Nightingale.

4 Prunus Kojo-no-Mai

Another of those shrubs which flower before the leaves get going. And another potential biggy. But another shrub that can be kept in check. This is getting to the maximum size I want it to get to so I’ll start pruning it this year.

5 Pond Mess

I featured the taddies last week. About half of the spawn has now hatched – the mass of black wriggleness has grown – but there’s still a way to go. The little blighters haven’t yet broken ranks and ventured out into the wider pond though they’re frothing at the mouth with anticipation. But all of a sudden, they have been encapsulated by invading grass. I know the pond is overdue for a tidy-up but I’ve been otherwise engaged. On the one hand I don’t want to be invading the nursery but, on the other, I think this grass is holding them in. So I will wait for the next rainy day (hey, that’s today) and then gently venture into the water for a clear-out. I will do this on a rainy day as I’ll be wet from the rain so if I miss my footing and accidentally end up off the planting shelf, it won’t make any difference to my wetness.

6 A Web Site

It’s a while since I offered a web site as part of my six but, at this time of the year, I think today’s offering may prove helpful. I was surprised that our hyperactive leader hadn’t heard of it before I suggested it to him. Now I suggest it to you all. Maybe, like Lora, you’re in a new garden and wondering what those seedlings popping up are. Nice plants? Weeds? Cannabis? We all have to decide whether that little baby in our border is a seedling of a plant we’d love to propagate or the start of this year’s world takeover bid by Himalayan Balsam.

Nip over to The Seed Site (click the image below):

Now apart from a wealth of information about all things seedy, head for the Seedling Images pages where there are over 700 photographs of tiny little seedlings (don’t panic, they are organised into easy-to-navigate groupings) including a page of weeds. That’s you lot taken care of for a few days I guess.

And …..

I was a bit surprised that no-one picked me op on my Frutex bononiensibus last week. I may post a photo of my harvest next week if I can’t find something more interesting.

Still, we SoSers must lavish praise on our glorious leader, Mr Propagator, whose blog is now branching out into all sorts of interesting areas as the Duracell bunny (as he calls himself) bodges, contrives, creates and probably drives his family crazy. If you pop over to his blog, you will find his Six post of the day, at the end of which, in the many and varied comments, you will find a selection of links to other SoS contributions from across the length and longth of this country and, indeed, the whole wide, and slightly eliptical, world. You will also find a handy index of his other posts about bodging, contriving and creating just about anything known to the gardening world.

Meanwhile I will look forward in great hope to a period of trouble-free computing for a week or so whilst my new keyboard beds in during the rainy spells and whilst I wait for the eagerly anticipated release of Microsoft’s next update to Windoze 10 which will probably shaft my computer again. I may have time to do something in my garden.

And I hope you enjoy yours.

25 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 7 April 2018

  1. Another chocolate for you! Thank you for photo of your Edward VII ribes. I am now certain that is what my neighbour has and I have decided to get one too! But it’s a wish list one as the place I have in mind for it is still full of ground elder. One day my garden will be as full as yours!!

    1. Maybe my garden looks fuller because it’s smaller than yours and so things get crammed in closer together. A couple of years ago I tried to grow variegated ground elder in an area behind everything that was crying out for something but nothing would grow. The variegated form is slightly more controllable than the green one. I killed it! Well it died. It wouldn’t grow. I tried the green form. It also died. So I’m now looking for something that will cover ground but which isn’t ground elder.

      Because it won’t grow for me.

    1. They do provide a decent period of pink or red (even white) in spring and have plenty of scoop for underplanting

  2. At what point do last year’s stinking Iris berries and this year’s new growth collide? I do like your Ribes which reminds me how much I miss the flowering currant in our old garden and need to replace it.

    1. I’m not sure about that collision and it’s now too late as I removed the berries as part of reducing the size of the clump this morning.

  3. I like the ribes, although I know there are plenty that don’t. Not so keen on the foetid iris though, pulled up too many of its offspring I suppose. Cherries, lovely. Shopping, well I think you know the answer to that. 🙂

    1. There’s less of that Iris now than there was yesterday. I was out filling the bird feeders before breakfast and just decided to get some exercise so the berries, and half of the clump, have now gone. Did I mention shopping?

  4. I love the Ribes Edward VII. Wish I could grow Ribes, but climate here isn’t ideal and besides, they’re actually illegal in North Carolina.

    1. At last! Something I can grow that you can’t. My jealousy is reduced a little. But illegal? Presumably it’s invasive where you are. Must do some research on that.

      1. There’s a fungal disease that can infect Ribes and white pines, so the law is designed go protect the logging industry. It’s rather silly, because the range of white pines in NC is closer to states with no law against currants than it is to the part of NC I live in.

  5. Lovely to see all these flowering shrubs. I love the ribes and the prunus.

    1. As a garden writer once said “Spring-flowering shubs are all ‘glory, glory, hallelujah’ whilst the summer-flowering ones do all the long-term marching on.”

  6. Good luck tidying up the pond! I can’t blame you waiting for a wet day though, just in case.

    1. The good news is that I didn’t slip and got all the grass out without harming any taddies. The bad news is that I also found duckweed hiding amongst it. I will need to get a duck.

  7. Funny and provocative, John. The pond on my allotment is an embarrassing mess, but full of spawn. Will I ever get round to wading in? Probably not.

    1. In a garden, the pond has to be a bit ornamental as well as everything else so it needs to be kept tidy(ish). But any part of an allotment which is not in cultivation is supposed to be a mess. So don’t worry about it.

  8. I liked in this Six your pale pink Ribes, less common than the other darker.
    I can also see that everyone has talked about his Prunus Incisa… Mine is about 1.5m and I managed to maintain it at this size thanks to a short pruning every winter (until now …)

    1. I’m aiming to keep the Prunus incisa at about a metre high but to let it widen. Like yours, mine is next to my pond but I don’t mind the blossoms falling into the water – I need to maintain the sludge layer at the bottom for the frogs.

  9. Your prunus look beautiful and have written them down for when I can next afford new plants. The seed site is a great new link and I can see many hours being lost in its hundreds of photographs. Hope your computer troubles are few and that the weather improves.

    1. If you hunt around, you’ll find the “kojo-no-mai” at around a foot high for around £15. A lot of places sell larger plants but the price seems to shoot up. I’ve seen two-footers for £35. Mine has grown from a foot to over four tall in 4 years. Still working on the puter………

  10. What I found interesting about your post, was how much looking up you did to find your six. So much of early spring is bending in half, scouring the ground for the least itty bit of colour. It’s properly spring when you start to look up. I hadn’t really thought about there being different shades of flowering currant, as the ones I’ve lived w/have all been quite brilliant in colour. When I reach my forever home, I’ll make sure to get an Eddie, if there’s not a currant there when we arrive. Great seed website, too, btw. I love it that there’s a section for teachers & another for kids.

    1. Thanks to trying hard to catch up in the two dry days, I had to look up! The back wouldn’t bend to let me get low with the camera 🙂

      There’s even a Ribes sanguineum var, album now. Yeah! A white red currant variety!

  11. Good to see colour returning to the garden.

    1. Well there’s always colour in the garden. But yes, it’s nice to have something other than green! Roll on the summer.

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