SixOnSaturday July 31st. Time flies.

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Following the hottest ever June, July has been the coldest & wettest ever recorded in Massachusetts. The plants are getting a little too big for their boots! I haven’t watered at all this year! It’s likely that we’ll also have extreme winter weather so I’m making the most ofthe garden and all it’s glory. To read about other gardeners trials and joys visit the comments section of the host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

First is my new little fuchsia ‘Annabel’ which is just starting to flower. It will have to spend the winter indoors but it’s so pretty I think its worth the small space.

2nd is dwarf sunflower ‘Elf’ which has managed to escape the rampaging rabbits, unlike its full size counterparts which have been efficiently snipped at the base and eaten.

Shasta daisy ‘Becky’ never gets a mention in my six but she’s such a good white and requires not special care or support.

A promise of pumpkins at number 4. The first photo shows a strange conjoined pair of flowers, while the others show the vines on their way into the marsh reeds.

Red Russian kale is planted here and there among the flowers because it is so pretty.

And finally after years of intending to make one I have acquired a compost sieve. What a breakthrough! No more hauling home heavy expensive sacks of potting soil for me. It’s a wonderful thing.

It’s the daily downpour as I write this. My rabbit friend is sitting in the middle of the lawn in the pouring rain eating an apple. I’m pretty sure it is one of mine. He must have an accomplice. Teamwork…have a wonderful week!

SixOnSaturday July 24th -Harvest, Grow, Bloom, Make, Go.

Goodness, the weeks are flying by. High summer is making up for lost weeks of cold rainy weather. Everything is really growing. It’s hard to choose just Six. Rules and more contributions can be found in the comments section of the host’s blog. Have a good read and enjoy your garden! http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Harvest. Stuffed cherry peppers, chocolate zucchini bread and piri piri chicken are on the menu this week. And possibly parmesan chips made from slices of those crookneck squash.

2. Grow. When you take a tiny nepeta plant that’s being swamped by the oregano and give it a better place. 6 feet tall and still going!

3 & 4. Bloom. Or perhaps boom! A moment of very fragrant vibrant pink from phlox and Stargazer oriental lily

5. Make. A pond from a discarded fake stone ‘feature’ and a cheap solar fountain. The birds are so happy with their personal water park. The nepeta explosion may be seen in the background.

6. Go! Just one more day until the tomato glut begins! Space has been made in the freezer. Even though they are a little slow off the mark this year there are always enough to freeze for later.

The weekend to do list is long and involves heavy lifting. More on that next week.

SixOnSaturday July 17th. So sow.

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July has finally hit it’s stride after a couple of cold and soggy weeks. At last it feels like summer, but it’s also time to plan ahead. Here’s what I’ve been doing to while away the wet and foggy week that was. Other Sixes can be viewed on the website of the host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

1. Succession sowing cucumbers as the plants wear out after a few weeks. I only grow one plant at a time, Israeli beit cucumbers that are small and smooth skinned. Good for eating raw and quick pickles. There are only so many cucumbers we can eat.

2. Sowing for now and later. Our first crop has served us through spring. A second and third crop of Basil will see us through tomato season and make pesto for the freezer. We eat a lot of pesto.

3. Sowing to bamboozle the bunnies. The only bush beans we can have are securely hidden under cold frames. Therefore I sow few and often, letting them have the tired plants when I need to move the frame to a different spot for a new batch.

4. Sowing for winter. Our experimental autumn sown onions from last year have been a great success. I have multi sowed them in modules this year hoping for an even better crop. We’ll see if the weather cooperates. Here they come…

5. Sowing for next year. In an attempt to fill the flower gap I have sown echinacea and rudbeckia and primula veris and have some nice sturdy little plants which will most likely be eaten by rabbits as soon as they are planted out. We can but try….

6. Sowing catch crops to fill spaces left by harvesting. Beets, carrots, cabbage and pac choi will be fitted in spaces left by garlic, main crop onions and early potatoes.

It’s a bit hot and humid to sow lettuce, spinach and radishes. Perhaps next month!

SixOnSaturday July10th. Prune, Plant, Sow, Harvest, Grow, Bloom.

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A quick Six late on Saturday. Better late than never!

A full ten days of cold rainy weather in July is pretty much unheard of around these parts! The garden is loving it. The grass is long and soggy, the weeds high.

  1. All the apple trees have been Pruned. Water spouts removed and fruit thinned. Usually doesn’t happen as it’s ‘too hot’. Not this year. I’m hoping for a reasonable crop.

2. I actually went out in the rain and came home with a couple of new Plants! This lovely white Veronica and a little Platycodon, as well as a flat of petunias to refresh my poor rain sodden window boxes.

3. Last year’s overwintered onions were a huge success. We just finished the last of them. Consequently I’ve sown some more this week.

4. The renegade garlic Harvest is in. These are just the ones that are in the way of other crops, left over from last year or self sown. The main crop won’t be ready for a few weeks.

5. The tall plants are really starting to Grow. Nicotiana Sylvestris….

Echinops Ritro and Phlox David strutting their stuff.

6. And finally Blooms with bees. The lacecap hydrangea, oregano and coreopsis are heavy with rain and loaded with bees.

To visit gardens everywhere visit comments section of the host’s site where you can also find the rules of the day. http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

SixOnSaturday July 3rd 2021 Independence.

The rules – 6 things from or about the garden. Join in every week or just sometimes. Leave a link to your post in the comments section of our host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com where you will find lots of like minded gardeny posts.

It’s that time again where I try to whole-heartedly engage with my friends and family in celebration of freedom from the British. Being British to the core, try is the operative word.

So lets jump right in to our Six for the week. First up is a very patriotic house gift from a dear friend whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower and who like most Americans can name every single one of them. I think it’s a kalanchoe or 2.

2. Carmine Jewel cherries. A bumper harvest. In fact almost enough to make a patriotic pie for the 4th! Far more than I usually get to harvest. Instead I’m looking into making a boozy concoction to help with the festivities.

3. Blue hydrangeas seem to be very early this year. Most years I am hard pressed to come up with some for a fourth-y bouquet. These are Nikko Blue and Endless Summer.

4. For white, our newly upcycled kitchen cabinet planter featuring a ‘3 sisters’ planting. (Beans, Corn and Pumpkins) in honour of the First Nations.

5. Of course there should be fireworks…these starry asiatic lilies will do nicely.

6. And to commemorate the battles of the War of Independance here is a tribute to the Battle of the Cercis Canadensis that mounts an annual siege on my shed. Before and After. I win!

For the first time ever I have occasional paid help in the garden, with some of the heavy duty cutting and hauling. It’s very liberating! Have a very happy 4th!

SixOnSaturday Sweet June

Six sweet things from the garden as we approach the longest day.

  • Sweet peas
  • Salvia
  • Dogwood
  • Cherries
  • Roses
  • Dahlia

WordPress is not co-operating at all so please excuse the abrupt end to this. Pop in to the comments section of the host’s blog for more Saturday offerings. http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

SixOnSaturday June 5th

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June is all about flowers. Up first my little dwarf Kalmia which is making up for having no flowers last year.

The peonies are appearing. Here is ‘Moonstone’

The roses are packed with bloom and bud. Here are Abraham Derby, Leander and Zephirine Drouhin.

Clematis ‘Ramona’, which is much more blue in person

Self-sown Chamomile, Cerinthe and Foxglove are flourishing here and there around the borders. I gather chamomile flowers to make tea.

Mystery Flowers. This first one has had buds for ages, showing no signs of actually flowering. I don’t know what it is or where is came from. The plant next to the California Poppy looks a bit like tarragon but has no smell. Another mystery.

And here is a bonus picture of my rabbit proofed salad bed just before I discovered the little varmint inside the unbroken fence about to start on his morning buffet. Yesterday I found potato beetles munching, squash beetles, cabbage whites and a lily beetle. Everything is thriving! Especially the pests….

But you’ll appreciate my hostas – not a slug or snail hole to be found!

For more gardening Sixes, head to the host’s blog http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com and have a wonderful week. I’m off to check on that d***** rabbit!

SixOnSaturday May 29th. The last days of spring.

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It’s the last weekend in May, Memorial Day is Monday here in the US. Officially the day of planting tender crops here in the northeast. Although this year the weather has been so pleasant that mine are already quite established in the ground. SixOnSaturday time is here. Rules and more contributions in the comments section of the host’s blog http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • It has been the most perfect spring. An early gentle transition from a moderate winter. No late killing frosts. Sunny, warm, with enough rain to keep everything healthy and happy. As a result all the fruit trees and shrubs are loaded. This grape vine has never looked better.
white seedless grape
  • Baptisia, complete with buzzy bee. The whole plant is mobbed by bees including honey bees which are rarely seen here.
  • Big Red Rhodie is earning her keep. Once a straggly rescue stick, she is spectacular and due for a trim. I like to keep her around 8 x 8 feet.
  • Poppies are popping! A few of last year’s California poppies have come back, but not too many. They are pretty accents. In the long border the oriental poppy volcano is about to erupt.
  • First rose of this year is Abraham Derby. I love everything about this rose. The foliage is gorgeous and the fragrance is divine. Pest and disease free and flowers all summer long.
  • Saving the best for last, my kitchen is undergoing a tortuous renovation. It will be lovely when it’s finished but for the moment I’m most excited about my other projects. Some of the old oak cabinets have been upcycled into seed trays, cold frames and a very exciting very large planter for the deck. Shall it be flowers or pumpkins? Or both? It’s big enough!
This cold frame will protect bush beans from the rabbits. In summer it has a screen window cover and in winter it will be a glass window. The windows are also up-cycled from another project.

SixOnSaturday May 22nd. Mostly white.

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SixOnSaturday time again. The weeks are flying by with daily new discoveries in the garden. Its hard to choose only six. In keeping with my theory that colour groups flower at the same time this week’s about white. For more contributions pop over to the host’s site http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  1. Star of Bethlehem. This small bulb sends up grass-like foliage which dies off and/or is eaten by rabbits before the flower stalks appear.

2. Blue Camassia is having a very good year, and has sown very pretty white seedlings here and there.

3. Deutzia is playing her usual fanfare to summer. It’s very easy to make new plants by layering stems.

4. Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’, slightly off kilter and needing a bit of a tidy up, flanked by a fluffy white azalea.

5. This yarrow foliage shines silvery white.

6. Not white at all! In contrast with my white shed, my flower baskets this year are petunias, red geraniums and lobelia. Not quite my usual froth of chamomile and cascading ivy but so pleasing!

There you have it! Have a wonderful week.

SixOnSaturday May 15th Firsts and Lasts

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SixOnSaturday is hosted by Jon at http://www.thepropagator.wordpress.com. The rules and sixes from around the globe may be found in the comments section. Join in.

  • It might be the last summer for my little carved buddha ball. He lives under this creeping spruce. Something has eaten his nether regions to a point where he has difficulty sitting upright. To the woodpile soon he will go.
  • This lovely dusky pink tulip is always the last to appear, signaling the close of spring bulb season. It appears as the cornus is leafing out, accentuating the fading-to-green stems.
  • Narcissus Sinopel is in it’s first season here at Riverview. Opening even later than Actea, it is the last narcissus of the season. It is very graceful, with pretty recurved petals and lime green accents. I hope it will go forth and multiply. Just not as much as Actea which is trying to take over.
  • The first dahlia. This one was overwintered in my basement and potted up in March as it was showing signs of growth.
  • Oh Petunia! I’ve been growing petunia from seed for a few years, never realising they were so easy. They are really early and hardier than you’d think. They are merrily flowering outside even though nights are still cool here.
  • Last but not least, one of my favorite shrubs. Honey vanilla scented fluffballs on a tidy 3 season shrub. No pests, diseases or problems with this native fothergilla.

So there it is. Another week has gone by as we hurtle towards the longest day. Enjoy the garden!