SixOnSaturday May 8th. Lilac time.

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Here we are again, mother’s day and lilac time. More about six on Saturday, the rules and comments on the host’s website http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • I find that plants tend to flower in colour groups. At the moment I have more mauve (usually on the forbidden list) than I care to think about. My first dahlia, naturally, is mauve. More about that another day. The true lilac and the redbud flowering next to each other, a symphony of mauve.
  • As I look out on the water, my view is blocked by a showy hedge of lunaria interspersed with mauve tulips.
  • The chive blossom is just about ready to join in.
  • On a happier note, there’s also a lot of white. I love these little white tulips which might be Maureen. That’s what I call them anyway.
  • The Carmine Jewel cherry has outdone itself.
  • Sweet Woodruff, always welcome is beginning to flower. A wonderful ground cover, adapting to all locations but easily pulled out when it gets over enthusiastic.

These are my six. My ‘test chillies’ have been in the ground for a couple of weeks and seem pretty happy. Dare I say my average last frost date is May 8th and winter may finally be over?

SixOnSaturday May 1st. Firsts

SixOnSaturday time again. Visit the host’s comment section for more merry Mayday Sixes from hither & yon. http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • All my tulips have been wonderful this year. This is the first tulip I ever planted in this garden, at least 25 years ago. This year with a record-setting 5 flowers. Evidence that tulips can and do come back year after year. I have no idea what the variety is. As you can see my garden fence is rotting, providing entry points for all kinds of critters.
  • He is the first angry bird of Spring. It must be time for mating…isn’t he gorgeous? Who could resist such a handsome fellow? I’m just relieved it wasn’t my truck he took offence to.
  • The first Robin is on the nest in the magnolia tree. She’s not pleased either. She’s already been raided by crows and squirrels. She is on her 3rd try, poor thing.
  • The first mow off the year is always a crap-shoot. Is the grass long enough or dry enough? Will the blade have been sharpened in time? Will I get it in before the heavy rains? Yes, yes & yes! As you can see, not a perfectly manicured lawn but healthy and full of weedy pollinators. At the moment it is mostly violets and ajuga, renegade snowdrops and other small bulbs.
  • The first Snowy Egret has arrived back from who knows where.
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  • Its the first time ever that all of my apple trees have flower buds. So if I can pollinate them, if we don’t have a late frost, and if the birds don’t eat the baby apples, perhaps for the first time ever we’ll have fruit.

The first baby bunny has been spotted tearing around in a frenzy. So cute and so ravenous. Sighs and wonders whether enough rabbit exclusion measures have been taken.

First is one of those words that when repeated loses it’s meaning and looks like it is spelled wrong! Spell check was engaged… Happy first of May and have a great gardening week.

SixOnSaturday April 24th. Red carpet ready.

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At the end of a week where blustery winds, torrential rain, snow sprinkles and sunshine competed for centre stage, it’s once more time for SixOnSaturday. Rules, regulations and participant disregard for them may be found on the website of the host – http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

  • I think I mentioned Tulip Angelique last week, but here she is again. So pretty, the petals blushing deeper pink as she ages ever so gracefully. A true diva.
  • The ingenue; Narcissus tazetta Minnow. Tiny but perfectly formed in sherbet lemon yellow. For scale, the species tulips in the picture are only a few inches tall, 20cm at most.
  • Also in lemon and lime, making an early debut this year, the erythronium are nodding modestly at the audience.
  • One of the Bishop’s children seedlings is settling in to her spot, an indicator plant for the rest of the siblings reaction to the spotlight.
  • New to the red carpet, replacing a faded old plant of advanced age is Azalea. A trip to the nursery after many months of abstinence resulted in this and one more award winner.
  • Pieris japonica Mountain Flame. A versatile beauty to play a tricky role. 4 season curb appeal without departing too far from the script! I hope she will be well behaved and not get too big for her boots in her front and centre location!

These are my Six. I’m rooting for Viola, not least because most of my garden attire comes complete with a black bottom. Have a great week. Enjoy the show!

SixOnSaturday April 24th. After the storm.

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Friday dawned wild and windy. Over an inch of rain is expected. It’s hovering just above freezing here by the ocean, but snow is falling just a few miles away. I’m anxiously watching the gnarly old Norway maples as they groan and sway, planted too close by a thoughtless neighbour many years before I lived in this house. Oh, and it is SixOnSaturday time again. Rules and wisdom from participants around the globe may be found on the host’s website

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

In other news the formerly lovely mild weather had brought about an early season flush of flowers. Most of which will have been mangled by tomorrow

  • Parrot Tulip Violetta. This funny little parrot tulip is short and stocky with frilly flowers turning from purple to hot pink as they age. Not really tall enough for cutting, they add a shot of bright colour.
  • I’ve had Tulip Angelique on my list for a long time and finally planted a few last autumn. They haven’t flowered yet but here is a decapitated bud left in a redbud tree by squirrels.
  • Tulip Fusilier von Praestans reliably on parade every spring for the last 3 decades. It’s a very particular shade of red. A good thing it flowers so early when there isn’t much to clash with.
  • Thalia was the first Narcissus planted here in 1991. Over the years they have been swamped by other plants and lost in translation…last year I put some more in. I had missed their elegance.
  • Nanking cherry is a wonderful shrub with very early flowers and lots of small tart summer cherries. If I had an available hillside vista I would fill it with Nanking cherries and Thalia narcissus.
  • Last but not least, wearing a tiara of raindrops, is a little native spurge. It’s a weed but pretty enough to stay for a while.

These are my soggy six. The rain was sorely needed. I’ll have to get out with mower and clippers as soon as it dries up. Spring has definitely sprung!

SixOnSaturday April 10th. Getting started.

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SixOnSaturday time again. Long sunny days and nights above freezing have jolted me into action. The forsythia is flowering, a good local sign that prompts the planting of early things.

First to go into the vegetable garden are Alliums. Onions, leeks and bunching onions. I’m trying to be neater and more careful to leave paths for myself this year

The paths are made from damp cardboard with composted woodchips on top.

4 rows of potatoes have been planted. It looks as though that’s where the bodies are buried!

Next to go in will be parsley. At this point rabbit exclusion measures will be necessary.

If the fence proves successful there will be sweet peas.

Lettuce will go into containers on my 2nd storey deck. Thankfully my rabbits haven’t learned to climb or fly. Yet…..

See other contributions in the comments section of our host’s blog. Have a wonderful week.

Www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

SixOnSaturday April 3rd. Satisfying

It’s April and it’s SixOnSaturday time again. Visit the host’s blog at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com to see what gardeners everywhere are up to.

  • Iris Dandiforae is one of the earliest of the little bulbs and packs a powerful punch of yellow against the faded winter earth.
  • In my garden the lenten rose flowers long before the Christmas rose, which is flowering in April!
  • Prolifically promiscuous pushkinia know nothing about social distancing or isolation.
  • The tiniest of narcissus. Relocated from last spring’s window boxes and increasing nicely, they are only about 10cm tall.
  • I’ve managed for the first time to persuade some echinacea seeds to germinate. Now to keep them alive…
  • There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a big pile of steaming compost arriving on your first day of real retirement, along with a muscular helper to move it!

The compost is spread. I’m in a happy place and ready to plant onions! Have a great week.

SixOnSaturday March 20th – Vernal Equinox

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It is Spring! I missed posting the last few weeks of winter due to general apathy and lack of interest in the uneventful happenings in the garden. Seedlings are taking over my universe…I’m already running out of space and have yet to start sowing tomatoes. The rest of the SixOnSaturday contributors are much more reliable and manage to keep up with their weekly quota. You may find them in the comments section of the Host’s blog.

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

Here are my Six:-

  • The Cream Beauty crocus that were planted last fall are clearly Yellow and Orange Beauty
  • The Hellebores are flowering away
  • I’ve almost completed the pruning of the apple trees
  • I’ve put in some asparagus crowns. They’re hiding under the compost.
  • Snowdrops and pussy willow in full flush
  • First harvest of the year. The chives are ready.

So there it is. Spring has Sprung and it’s time to get a rabbit fence in place as the little hoppity bobbity rascals are out and about and hungry as can be. Have a wonderful week!

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SixOnSaturday February 20th White and Waiting

It is that time of the year when finding six things is really difficult. Spring is waiting in the wings but yet it is snowing. It is still well below freezing at night. Texas and the US southern states are suffering from freaky unexplained winter weather. But nature is stirring, showing small signs. Go to the comments section of the Host for more signs of spring, from subtle to spectacular! http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • It is snowing again but the Witch hazel Pallida flowers are opening.
  • The Pussy Willow catkins shine silver in the occasional sunshine. It has been a long and cloudy winter.
  • Snowdrops begin to show white tips.
  • Little white root systems appeared on the Dahlia tubers in storage. They are now potted up and ready to go!
  • The Onion Grass is perking up and may be a useful salad garnish soon
  • Seedlings are sprouting on every available surface. It is almost time to Garden!

Have a wonderful week!

SixOnSaturday February 13th. Pink, Snow and Poppies.

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Time for another SixOnSaturday. Credit to the Propagator for hosting. Comments on his blog http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • Snow has fallen several times over the last week, at times heavily.
  • While many of you are discovering early hellebores and narcissus, I’m enduring winter’s bone, with freezing snowy days and clear frigid nights. Red skies every morning. You know what that means!
  • Icy branches turn blush pink in the rising sun. Its too cold for melting.
  • I’m dreaming of poppies. Cleaning seed, soon to be sown into the snowdrift as it recedes. These are breadseed poppies.
  • New for me this year are Hens and Chickens
  • And ladybird poppies.

The photos of poppies new to me are from the Baker Creek seed catalogue. A favourite due to their beautiful presentation and great selection.

Have a great gardening week!

SixOnSaturday February 6th. New Growth.

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The Cold Moon is on the wane and Imbolc has passed by. It is cold and damp and raw, but there is new life appearing as we hurtle toward Spring! Here are Six new growths on a Saturday. And some Free Plants! See more Sixes in the comments section of the Host http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com.

  • The appropriately named Cornus sericea ‘Midwinter Fire’ twigs that I added to my holiday greens have all rooted. One of them even has a flower bud! I will gradually add potting compost to their water until they are sturdy enough to plant out. I’m undecided whether to pot them individually or as a clump. Less Space vs. More Free Plants!?!
  • Sticking with the Free Plants theme, Crystal Palace lobelia seeded itself into every plant potted up for the winter. I’ve been pricking the seedlings out into modules where they are doing famously. A much more efficient propagation method than starting from scratch – although they may not turn out to be true CPs….
  • Alliums are appearing. The leeks were from older seed so I was anxious. The onions are a new variety to me so again, anxious… however all seems to be well, so far. But Alliums clearly make me anxious.
  • Lettuce seedlings that were saved from rabbits at the end of last year have sulked all winter, but are suddenly in full speed ahead mode. These are Really Red Deer Tongue and are usually quite burgundy. Low light levels perhaps. Or more likely getting ready to make seed. There are some pelargonium cuttings in the same pot.
  • These Cherry Bomb Chillies were sown mid January. I probably will only grow on a few of them. But for now they don’t take up too much space.
  • My dear old Lemon Verbena is back, after a very hard prune and the passing of mid winter. This is a very old plant, probably 25-30 years old. Every year that it comes back to life is a bonus.

It will be another 6 weeks or so before I see any actual outside flowers. I must admit I am a little envious of all your snowdrops and crocus. Didn’t think I could drum up a post this week but there you have it! Six things, new life and re-awakened optimism. Have a happy week and be safe!