Six on Saturday: 2 March 2019

This morning, as I pondered on life, the world and the universe whilst pouring orange juice over my shredded wheat, I realised that I have been absent from the Six on Saturday gang for longer than I had previously realised. Blogging, along with a few other activities, has enjoyed a bit of a break as I determined to catch up on a backlog of other things. Having un-backed my log, I am doubling up as the proverbial bad penny and poking my head above the parapet again whilst trying to extract my tail from its adhesion between my legs.

Here, in sunny South Wales where, briefly, the locality achieved the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK in February one morning, it’s generally been a glorious month. But now, it looks like getting back to normal with the usual assortment of March weather in which precipitation will be a little on the high side, along with the resultant procrastination when it comes to venturing forth into the garden. Still I have waterproofs! And I and my neighbours would freely acknowledge the achievement of Kew in beating our morning temperature record at lunchtime that day. Harrumph!

So here’s my six for today which, I hope, will be just a little different to all the other sixes on offer, to which you will find links over at the blog of our illustrious (and industrious) leader, Mr Propagator.

1 Narcissi

Eh, I said I’d be different and daffs will no doubt crop up all over the place so I’m giving you daffs? Ah, daffs with a difference. I have lots of yellow daffodils planted all around the garden. After all, this is Wales! But for some reason I have a dearth. Only one tiny miniature daff from my large “stock” has bothered to appear; the rest haven’t even poked their heads above ground (I hope to add “yet” to that at some point but am not confident). For a bit of variety, though, I planted a quantity of white miniature narcissi in Edifice 1. They’ve all come up. Different!

A yellower shade of pale (after Procul Harum. I’m that old!)

2 Hyacinths

Again, continuing on the theme of different, I present you my near black “Mystic Midnight” ones. Planted as a change from the more normal pink and blue hyacinths I have around the place. Yup, different!

I darkened the photo a bit but couldn’t come close!

3 Camellia

I checked Jim’s blog first and breathed a sigh of relief that he hasn’t put any in his six today. My three young winter-flowerers didn’t really produce anything apart from one tiny flower but then I wasn’t expecting them to yet. They’re growing strongly so I look forward to next Christmas.

Meanwhile old faithful, var unk as Mr Prop would say, has kicked off its season. And there are a lot more buds showing promise than in any previous year. So I’m expecting a brilliant display this year and have made sure that it understands my expectation.

4 Hellebores

I have a variety of varieties of these. Some named varieties and others which are var unk, some grown from scattered seed others acquired from various places. The nigers, which started flowering before Christmas, are still going strong. “Anna’s Red” was featured in my last six, back in January and she’s even better today. Most of the rest normally don’t flower until late March but, perhaps fooled by the February weather, have woken up early. So here’s a selection of those.

5 Edifices

Remember Ed 3? I started building back in October and it’s still not finished. I pondered (sans orange-juiced shredded wheat) whilst chewing through a few packs of Haribo, on how things would look eventually and decided more was needed. I then realised I had a major surplus of Haribo and dealt with that problem with some more pondering as to what that more should be. The “more bits” arrived this week.

This is actually sold as stock fencing but attached to the fence it’ll form a trellis-equivalent strong enough to support some honeysuckle, clematis and maybe a trachleospermum. And will last a lot longer than wooden trellis. A 25 metre roll will give me two 12 metre lengths which I’ll attach one above the other.
I’m not a dab hand at utilising old pallets like Mr Prop but these, attached to the return end of the fence behind Ed3, will do nicely. Each compartment will take a large pot so it’ll be easy to change the planting for all-year-round impact.

I’ll need to flatten that roll of “fencing” first so will lay it out on the back lawn and peg it down for a week or so. Then I can get it up on the fence along with the vertical planters – if Ed3 was fully assembled, this would be difficult as there’d be nowhere to put the necessary ladder – and then finish patient Ed.

Meanwhile, I got on with putting two mini-Eds together.

Mini-Ed1. I’ve got a bulk bag of soil on order to fill it. The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that it seems to slope compared to the brickwork behind it. Well, folks, it’s actually dead level. It’s the brickwork that’s out. Been here nearly 30 years and never before noticed. Tho I can now see how the dumb builders levelled things higher up by using different thicknesses in the mortar courses.
Mini-Ed2. I had enough planting mix to fill this and took advantage of a cheap bedding offer from Van Meuwen to cram it with spring bedding. Should look good in a week or two.

Now I just need to tart up a bit around the minis and do some turfing to improve the lawn. But that comes later…….

6 Iris, or Not

Ed2 isn’t hanging around waiting for his sibling to complete his birth and the alpine areas are forging ahead nicely. At one time, these two alpines were irises. Now one is and one isn’t. But they still look nice. You can hopefully work out which is which from the labels.


There we go. Time to get a bit of outside things done before the rain and wind that’s due to arrive in an hour or two. I hope to be back next week and even have a few mid-week posts coming along to bore everyone with.

Until we meet again, enjoy your gardens.


18 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 2 March 2019

  1. Zooming the photo is a good tip! I loved the top Iris even before I zoomed in and discovered it is George – already on my wish list. The other one has a name too long for me to type! Maybe I should choose all my plants according to the length of name. Very nice to have you back. My second wave of hellebores are only just peaking through. I must be patient. Yours are lovely.

    1. It often makes me laugh that people configure their WordPress blogs so that zooming in on photos isn’t allowed. Those Iris are alpine types – they won’t thrive in the soil. Mine are growing in two inches of pea gravel which is over a foot or so of a mix of un-enriched soil and grit about 50-50. I still have some Hellebores which are a month or so away from flowering. Mix ’em up for quite a long season, eh?

  2. Hello John, welcome back to the fold, it has been a while! Say three hail Mary’s and do good deeds.

    Your stock fence is a good idea. Might pinch that idea.

    1. Can be a bit fiddly for a long length – I tack one end and then try to get to the other before the tack comes away! Then fix more firmly. But much cheaper and longer lasting than wood trellis.

  3. The deep purple Iris looks a bit like one on my SoS post – ‘Scentsational’ is the name of my one. Lovely Camellia there – mine are still in quite tight bud…

    1. I haven’t got round to reading many other posts yet. And they say you have so much time when you retire. The Camellia is so in the wrong place (according to the book!) but it has adapted well. And it behaves, unlike some that can go rampant. I wish I could remember the variety!

  4. Hellebore number three is stunning. The spotted ones get me every time. The coated wire is a good idea, I might use that over some fence panels where I want to plant some Clematis instead of screws and wire

    1. Number 3 has grown from a seedling so I don’t know what it is or what it’s a cross between. But as the flowers age they improve. I may feature it again next Saturday if it stops raining and I can get a photo. I’ve had a few off-blog messages asking me how to attach the fencing to the fence so I’ll blog separately about that soon.

  5. I’m happy to read you back. Last week, I knew you were busy watching the 6 nations rugby and the incredible ( and deserved ) win of Wales. Super game!
    Back to your Six, these hyacinths and the first irises have a very deep and beautiful color. I just love them! Another thing that I liked was the bricks under the window of your house. They give a nice diagonal effect

    1. I was giving up in the first half but we did OK in the second. The hyacinths are actually a lighter pink than they come out in the photo but they should be near black! Oh well. I’m not a fan of the larger Iris (except in the pond) but the colours on the alpine varieties are really good. The herringbone bricks were, I think, used to cover up the fact that the horizontal runs of bricks at the bottom of the wall weren’t horizontal. Though they do look good as long as you can see only one end. If you can see both ends of the wall they look weird! Still, they’ll be covered with plants soon.

  6. I have bought a roll of pvc coated chicken wire and will be getting some lengths of wood to make portable “fruit cages”. I aim to start in a couple of weeks once I have visited our local Wickes store. Anyway, nice, colourful Six-on-Saturday – welcome back!

    1. Thanks. Jon couldn’t have inherited his bodging capabilities from you, I suppose. Home-made fruit cages. Is there no end to your abilities? Don’t forget to get the fleece ready for the broad bean flowers. 😉

  7. I’d love to see the true deep color of that hyacinth. Perhaps google will oblige? Found it, and yes, it’s stunning.

    1. Black (or near black) is what I wanted. But, as the old saying goes, “I want doesn’t get”. I will try again next year.

  8. Hi john, nice to have you back.
    I like the colour of your hyacinth; haven’t seen it before.
    I went to a garden near me last weekend that had hundreds of Hellebores and they were stunning. I may have to get some.
    Take care, xx

    1. It’s actually a rather washy pink colour. The more purple you see in the photo is a trick of the light. But it’s supposed to be black! Oh well. If you mix up your Hellebore varieties a bit, you can have flowers from November (the nigers) through to September (last year being unusual, I had one in flower in mid-October).

  9. I do like the Reticulata ‘alida’ (I zoomed in on the photo ). Love the dark hyacinth, I’m growing ‘Woodstock’ in a container on the patio. Will yours come back that dark next year?

    1. It’s not actually that dark this year – trick of the light. It’s really a pale pink. But it should be black! So it won’t come back like that next year as I’ll have dug them all up (I have plenty of pink ones) and will replant with, I hope, black ones.

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