Here we are again on Saturday, exposing our six-packs to the world and and oggling others’ six-packs.
It’s been an interesting week, with a Twitter chat on which toilet roll cores make the best plant pots. I have a three grade approach to loo rolls. They are “ooh”, “ow” and “yurggggh”. But I find that the cores of the rolls kindest to my derrierre are useless as root trainers. They fall apart before planting-out time.
I also thumb-nailed my first lily beetle of the season, which was sufficient excuse to open a bottle of wine, as one does.
Our beloved and worshipful (as if) host, Mr Propagator, has been busy pricking out and potting on. He has thrown some bodging into his blog for good measure. It’s well worth following for news of his latest exploits. Today, his attention diverts to us, the SoS community. He’ll no doubt bodge something between commenting, monitoring and otherwise encouraging participants. As is his wont.
If you pop over to his blog you will find his post of the day. Below that you will find, as the day progresses, loads of comments, many of which will include links to other Six on Saturday blog posts. If you are lucky, you may find a link posted by Gill Heavens. Though for that you may need to come back late. And duck as she chucks lumps of dry stone walling around. As is her wont.
The international Six on Saturday gang is growing. Once upon a time I managed to read and comment on every contributing blog. That is now, thanks to sheer numbers, impossible. Though I do try. It may be Wednesday or Thursday before I get to you.
As well as my own blog, I also curate Garden Blogs Online – a web site listing hundreds of gardening blogs. Trouble is I haven’t curated it for a few months. I need to catch up so I’m going to prioritise that for a few weeks. Which may mean I’m absent here. Sorry if I don’t manage to keep up.
And so here’s my freshly-curated six for today.
This is one of those love it or hate it plants; it certainly divides opinions amongst SoSers. I’m in the “qualified love it” brigade. As long as it’s kept tightly pruned it will usually flower prolifically for some time in the spring before going to sleep as another green-coloured thing. But too many people let Forsythia get out of hand and it becomes an overwhelmingly leggy mass of often bare lower branches with seasonal random dollops of yellow on top. Mine is, of course, right outside a window, blocking the view. Which is precisely what it was intended to do.
And looking out ……
To give it its full title Eriostemon Myoporoides ‘Soft Girl’. She is the first introduction into the area of lawn behind Edifice2. Neatly encirled with an Everedge plant ring, she is actually coming to the end of her flowering season at the moment but there are still plenty of deep pink buds waiting to open to reveal white, star-shaped flowers. Evergreen, hardy and flowering from autumn through to spring, she will grow to about 2 metres tall before I start pruning to keep her at that height. But she’s already going through an identity crisis having been renamed from Eriostemon to Philotheca. Just like that!
3 Chamaerops humilis
Next door (eventually next door but one) to the Philotheca formerly known as Eriostemon, this hardy palm will also provide winter interest in the front garden. Not quite as hardy as the Trachycarpus in the back garden, so I may need to pop a fleece jacket over it if a heavy frost is forecast but that won’t be a problem. It also won’t grow as big as the Trachycarpus though it has some vicious thorny spikes on its stems to make up for its diminutive stature.
4 Somehow I Don’t Think So
I will give you one last frustrating photograph of the 100 bluebells and 50 fritillarias which I planted last autumn. I have this strange feeling that this is all the emerging they’re going to do this year. There are a few older bluebells growing amongst the heathers behind the new bit of border which, I hope, will turn out to be the natives I didn’t dig up last spring as I strove to deport the Spaniards from my garden.
5 Not Tulips But Caltha
Just because everyone else is taking photos of tulips I thought I wouldn’t. Not this week anyway. Instead I give you Caltha palustris, growing and flowering its bathers off in my pond. I learnt from a fellow SoSer a couple of weeks ago that there is a white variety of this plant. I will be scouring the aquatic sections of every gardening place I visit until I find one. Not really worth the cost of an online order for a single plant from an aquatic specialist. And I have no room in the pond beyond one more plant, unless I dig an extension! Nah!
It’s hard to think that it’s nearly ten years since Woolworths closed its doors in the UK, just shy of its hundredth birthday. I have fond memories of nipping out on a Saturday with my pocket money to buy a couple of packs of seeds and a bag of their always warm freshly roasted salted peanuts. These days a five-year-old child wouldn’t be let out of the house on their own, let alone being allowed to walk out of sight, down to a busy road and thence to the local Woolies, about half a mile from home. This narrow bed which I made a few years ago out of half-round fencing rails and gravel boards is my tribute to the tighly-packed Pick-n-Mix counter.
It’s rather crammed with hyacinths, lilies, hemerocallis, geraniums, a couple of Trachleospermums, tricyrtis, and nassella which provide a measure of year round colour. The gaps around these permanent plants are stuffed with whatever is left over as I plant other bits of the garden with annuals. This is where Chesney was hospitalised last year as he recovered from an overnight slug onslaught. The only standard annual addition is a row of sweet peas, this year limited to a dozen in the back row at the far end.
Some will say it’s too densely planted but I don’t care. It brightens up the side of the house no end. And draws the eye away from the bags of grit and gravel and the irrigation piping that have yet to reach their final destinations.
Until the Next Time
Round these parts, today’s going to be a nice one. Tomorrow, the Heavens (not the Gill variety) will take care of the watering for me and top up my water butts before a week of dryness, warmth and, possibly, even sun. I have plans. I have stocked up with pain-killers (well, bottles of wine) in anticipation. My creaking bits won’t get in the way.