SixOnSaturday – reasons to be cheerful.

Today is my first blogging anniversary. Thank you to The propagator and his Blog-followers for inspiration and guidance. Follow here:

It is the second night of Passover and Easter Saturday. All reasons to be cheerful.

It is also a full moon. I wish I knew or could retain more of the lore and legend surrounding the Spring holidays. My Six this week just celebrate the magic.


IMG_62251. From the Passover Seder.  Parsley, representing springtime and all it promises. It is in the ground this week and in 2 more weeks will be ready to be sampled!


IMG_62242. Horseradish, the bitter herb, a reminder of hardship. This one is still very small and might be a dock! I’m not sure, but if it is horseradish it will be harvested for Rosh Hashana in the Autumn.


IMG_20190419_1439303. For certain, Easter peas. Sown on St Patrick’s Day (indoors of course) and planted on Good Friday according to (my) tradition. One row each of Lincoln & Topps. To be supplemented by more sowings outdoors. When I get around to it. I love peas.


IMG_20190419_1040254. Bloodroot, which has blood red sap. Seems symbolic of all the needless bloodshed and sacrifice that Spring holidays stand for….


img_6226.jpg5. Simple Daffodils. For me, the best harbingers of Spring. These are probably Ice Follies, or Mount Hood. They look to be ready for dividing. add that to the endless to-do list!



6. The white birds were one of my reasons for starting this blog. They arrive like tourists from a cruise ship in spring and congregate for their departure at the first threat of frost. They are back for the season. The male on the left has his ‘glad-rags’ on and is all ready for date night. She doesn’t look too sure….

I am catching up to the rest of you. I do have tulips already. I wait so long for early spring that I don’t want to move on to the next phase too quickly. Tulips can wait until next time.

Enjoy your week!


SixOnSaturday April 13th. Prune Plant Sow.

Prune,  plant,  sow,  harvest,  mow,  bloom,  feed,  grow…

IMG_20190412_1518481. Prune.  Its what I do mostly. Here’s last week’s pile o’ pruning, mostly brambles and holly. Roses next.


IMG_20190412_1236012. Plant. All unidentified ‘misc’ bulbs I hoarded over the winter and carefully potted up to see what they were, turned out to be – garlic!! Duly planted next to my October planted garlic.


img_20190412_123629.jpg3. Sow. Self sown Pushkinia. In every corner and crevice. Smelling strongly of gumdrops. Buzzing with bees and other assorted pollinators. Reminds me I need to get on with sowing annual flowers for summer and fall.


IMG_20190408_0914174. Bloom. Cornus mas is the 🌟 this week. Along with many Squill, Narcissus, Hellebore and Mr Magnolia. Terrible photo, great tree…


IMG_20190412_1350215. Feed. Homemade holly and bramble ramial chip mulch for my raspberry section.


IMG_20190412_1350486. Oh no!  Here’s a charming little nest I found among the cut branches. I think it belonged to a pair of American robins. They have plenty of time to rebuild. This will be my last major pruning job for the spring so as not to disturb any more nests.

Spring is here at last. It is still cold,  but everything is growing. Each trip around the garden brings something new and wonderful at this time of year.

Go visit the host site and be amazed by garden stories from around the world.




SixOnSaturday April 6th. Here and there, this and that.

Things are starting to move along in the garden. I even have some daffs, plenty of small bulbs and cornus mas in full bloom. I’ve started cleanup, but can’t be out long before my fingers are frozen. I’m finding plenty of things to do indoors;  sowing,  replanting,  watering, but anxious for long days of warmth and sunshine

Beginning last week with a trip to Pittsburgh and the Phipps Conservatory Spring Show. I should mention that it was snowing outside. IMG_20190331_122422

1. The show featured lots of tulips and hyacinths in formal layouts. Not really my thing but it was so nicely done you had to admire it. This Peacock made from magnolia leaves with formal bedding plants for its tail was the centrepiece and subject of many selfies.

IMG_20190331_1233442. This large copper butterfly’s body looked as if it should have been planted with succulents or mosses.

IMG_20190331_1236013. A beautiful Japanese Crabapple Bonsai. I wonder again why my crabapple has never flowered.

1554496063689-6926288844. Back home, Chilli and Sweet Peppers are looking strong and healthy after a long, reviving  drink. Against my better judgement I sowed some free mixed seeds. Good or bad,  I won’t be able to repeat any of them next year! They are big enough to go in the ground but it’s way too chilly!

15544961141232985675495. Sweet Basil, large enough to eat with Spanish toast and eggs. Nothing tastes more like sunshine. Of course the tomato was from last year’s harvest in the freezer.

155449618072519278633306. Finally Mr Magnolia, opening his starry flowers to greet the dreary, cold and dismal days that followed me home.

Those are my Six for the first week of April. I hope you check out the other posts on the propagator’s website.


SixOnSaturday March 30th

I’m exhausted from prune plant sow activities. I need to ‘harden off’ more than my seedlings after 4 months of reading and thinking about it.

Six things from your garden, each week on a Saturday. Take a look at the Propagators blog for gardening inspiration.


Here are a very random 6 for the last week of March. IMG_20190325_104100

1. Parsley seedlings. Perfect & pretty.


IMG_20190325_1039082. Lettuce ‘Winter Density’ and..IMG_20190325_103954 ‘4 Seasons’ lettuce



3.Snow crocus,  small and mighty!



4. Iris Dandiforae.  Fine & dandy.


IMG_20190325_1315154. Pruning a very large Holly shrub, I found this Song Sparrow nest. A barque made from bark.  Carefully lined with plastic and with a mattress of maple twirlies and dryer lint.


IMG_20190328_0756436. Climbing Hydrangea. This mature vine once grew up into a Mulberry tree. The tree was probably 40 feet high and growing at an angle of 60 degrees when I inherited it many years ago. I called it the ‘bird buffet’ as it had an extremely long fruiting season, lasting most of the summer and into Autumn.  At first frost, all the leaves would fall in the space of an hour or so, signalling the close of the buffet for the season.

I had it pruned one Autumn, noting the wood was very heavy and wet. In spring new growth appeared along the cut branches lying on the ground. A few years later, during a summer drought, the mulberry tree laid down, the sinews snapping like fireworks at midnight on a full moon. I asked the cleanup crew to try to save the vine. I thought they’d ignored me. Yesterday, while pruning, I found the cut pieces where they’d ‘saved’ them for me.

Pay a visit to the Propagator’s website to see what’s going on in other peoples’ gardens.


SixOnSaturday March 16th. Green


I have a bit of a garlic problem. As in there’s always too much. Around spring first it gets too sprouty and strong. In years past I have tossed it in the compost pile, resulting in more garlic in more places than anyone could possibly need.  It’s in the rose border,  among the hellebores… I have a particularly healthy colony among my japanese anemones. By the time I notice it, the seed heads  are merrily popping their little pearls into new and inextricable corners. img_20190313_114348.jpg1. Last year’s garlic. Bear in mind that I only ever plant 24 cloves. From left to right:

– sprouted,  to be pulverized and sprayed as pest control,

– sprouted,  large,  to be potted up as a backup to my autumn planted garlic, in a section of the vegetable garden where it is supposed to be,

– unsprouted, very strong, to be roasted, frozen and used as needed.


IMG_20190313_144102.jpg2. Paper pots. An experiment.  Made from cardboard packaging foraged from my place of work . These will be used for peas and sweet peas. I hope they don’t disintegrate before I get them in the ground.


IMG_20190315_1123213. Velcro ties from my store bought romaine lettuce. I knew they would be useful for something!


img_20190315_112800.jpg4. Snowdrops. Left behind by the melting snow.


5. Hints of hellebore.



6. Green. When you’ve spent the winter looking at white on grey and brown there’s nothing more exciting than few blades of green! Time to start raking!

Happy St Pat’s to all!

Six on Saturday. Six things,  random or related,  from your garden. Contributions from gardeners worldwide may be found in the Comments section of the founder’s  twitter post.

SixOnSaturday March 9th. Vixen.

A Foxy little work-around. Still very cold here, my plan B this week was icicles in their many forms….

IMG_61841. Snow and Ice. Again. But wait, who’s that behind Fat Lady number 2?

Now becoming a regular visitor, worthy of her own whole ‘Six’. I’m sure she’s looking for a place to have her pups. At any rate she’s working on the resident water rat and squirrel population. And perhaps the groundhogs later in the season…..

IMG_61862. The Fat Ladies. Started as  2 very adorable little topiary at the entrance to my vegetable garden. Now they are ginormous and scheduled to get the chop. Sometime between ‘shelter for the birds’ time and ‘nesting’ time.

IMG_6192 crop3. Phragmites. 25 years ago there were none here. Now they are overtaking the marsh. I’m in 2 minds – obviously they provide shelter and cover for all kinds of birds and beasts. I tend to think they prevent erosion of the river banks to some degree. However, they also occupy space formerly filled by goldenrod, sea lavender, thistles and milkweed.

img_6194.jpg4. The Bass Rocks. My mostly absent neighbour has attached an un-permitted dock. I’ve never seen a boat. The wildlife enjoys it as a roosting spot. The vixen is on her way to check for leftovers.

img_6201.jpg5. Sumac. Another wild invasive. Pretty all through the winter with red seed heads that can be made into a refreshing ‘tonic’.

6. Vixen herself. Isn’t she beautiful? In a month or so we will start to hear wailing at night. Unimaginably terrifying, loud, sounding like a tortured soul. Hopefully a few weeks later, fox cubs.

Six things from your garden, each week on a Saturday. Take a look at the Propagators blog for gardening inspiration.


SixOnSaturday March 2nd. Still winter.

It’s still winter here. We are expecting 2 snows this weekend, and it is still really cold.  The days are longer though, and the birds  are practicing their springsong

It’s not easy to find 6 this week. I’m stuck at 5 but rules are made to be broken and please excuse the quality of the photos.


1. Lettuce seedlings. Overnight Success!



2. Here are Basil, Fragrant Cloud Nicotiana, Crystal Palace Lobelia , Mignonette, all for cutting.



3. Ailsa Craig onions. As part of my ongoing attempt to grow a decent onion before I leave this mortal coil. Leeks,  garlic,  shallots no problem,  but onions…..


IMG_20190301_1345074. First tiny glimpse of a chilli.



5/6.  Twice Killed Lemon Verbena.  This plant has been with me for over 20 years.  It supplies leaves for my tea. It smells outrageous. I’ve never had a cutting take.  I kill it at least twice a year.

First time this winter a fat green caterpillar ate every scrap of foliage,  leaving only twigs. Said twigs were cut back and rebounded,  only to be frozen solid one frigid night. It’s indoors,  but too close to the window,  obviously. Here we are a few weeks later,  about to go on the compost heap to make room.  Leaf buds.

Take a look at the Propagators blog for gardening inspiration.  Some lucky souls even have flowers!