SixOnSaturday July 20th – PrunePlantSow

Summer is suddenly here. Hot and humid.  Gardening must be done early to avoid the heat and mosquitoes.  Tasks need to be broken into small, manageable segments or there is overheating and tantrums.

Six things on this ‘dangerously hot’ Saturday that make me smile. IMG_20190715_1008571. Prune. Before the heatwave my big old rose Cuisse de Nymphe had a major renovation prune in order to keep it in check but also to remove a lot of fossilised old wood from the base.

IMG_20190715_100934Here’s the pile of clippings waiting to be chipped up on a cooler day. I hope to promote stronger young growth that won’t flop around so much. The thorns are evil,  especially when they get you in the scalp as you meander by with a cup of coffee at daybreak.

IMG_20190715_1009212. Plant. I have been trying to extend my flowering season into summer. These Shasta daisies and gaura should complement the hydrangeas in the hottest months.

3. Sow. I don’t direct sow many things as we have a very strong critter contingent,  but these Shirley and opium poppies are exceptions I would never be without.

IMG_20190719_1227464. Harvest. Surprisingly Winter Density lettuce continues despite the heat.  The first blueberries of the season. The birds start screaming at me the minute I open the netting to harvest the berries.

IMG_20190715_1006425. Grow.  An experimental Charentais melon in a big pot. Growing at a rapid rate up the bannister of my deck stairs. Lots of flowers but so far no melons.

IMG_20190715_1010196. Bloom. I try to get as much blue as possible in my gardens. I leave you with this lovely Endless Summer/Nigella damascena combination.

Visit the website of the founder for more garden stories of the week. Stay cool!

www. thepropogatorblog.wordpress

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SixOnSaturday June 22nd New for 2019

Here in Massachusetts Spring has been cool, damp and cloudy, much like the English Springs I recall. Plants are lush and floppy. As usual I didn’t get around to staking any of them: result, I have roses, poppies and peonies with muddy faces. Travelling overseas for the first half of June has exacerbated the problem. OK as cut flowers for the house, they are definitely not photo shoot material. On the other hand I tried a few new things this season. With mixed results.

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  1. At last. The very first apples on my Cox’s Orange Pippin. I can’t wait to see whether I got the tree I ordered or an un-identified leftover that lost its tag at the nursery. As an example my so-called Arkansas Black Apple is decidedly lime green and suitable only for making pectin as it is sour and doesn’t store well.

 

IMG_20190619_1450302. Cosmos Xanthos. Those seed catalogs in January should be banned. A pale yellow Cosmos – how wonderful! Not really. Compared to “Purity’ or ‘Psyche white’ that I usually grow to fill odd patches in the sunny borders, Xanthos is underwhelming at best. Flowering early but only a foot or so high  it can’t compare to the 6 foot pure white classic beauties I wish for at this time of year. Although they would probably be face down in the mud like everything else…..

 

 

3. Disappointing double white Clematis flowering for the first time in its second spring. Looking sadly like a wet paper towel. I can’t even be bothered to look up it’s name for this post.

 

IMG_20190619_0934264. Scrumptious Honeoye strawberries. Newly planted, mulched with straw and properly hydrated (thanks to the weather) these are the best ever.

 

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5. Exciting to find a few cherries on 2 year old Carmine Jewel. Bodes well for a hearty harvest next year. The plant is shrub-like in form, for easy netting, with normal sized cherries.

 

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6. And what’s this? A few of these plants have volunteered in odd places around the garden. This one is in my herb garden. Looks a bit like a prostrate Rosemary but has no fragrance.  It’s really pretty but I’m stumped. Anyone out there have any ideas?

Those are my Six for this week. I’m hoping for a break in the clouds so i can get out and start pruning away some of the floppies. I know there are lilies and zinnias somewhere under there……

Thanks once again to the Propagator for hosting. Visit the comments section on his post to see all the other Sixes and have a great week!

http://www.thepropagaterblog.com

 

SixOnSaturday January 5th. Happy New Year

The first week of January has been wonderfully kind, with blue skies, mild temps, no precipitation or winds to speak of. I should probably get out and dig the last of the leeks.

The garden is still waiting for winter, which will come as we all know….but it was easy to find 6 pleasing things this week.

  1. Winter Savory. One of my favourite herbs. A blend of rosemary and thyme flavours, it seems to enhance all kinds of kitchen ‘doings’. I even put it in cranberry sauce! It is a tidy and beautiful little plant (unlike some herbs I could mention….) and can be picked through the winter as long as it is not under a blanket of snow.img_20190104_101919

 

2. Red Osier Dogwood “Arctic Fire” I think. I planted 2 as a windbreak on a bank of desperate soil facing due south. They have flourished, providing me with cutting materials though the winter and many plants to give away as they increase very easily by layering.img_20190104_101810img_20190104_101752.jpg

 

3. Gangs of sparrows. I finally got around to putting up the birdfeeders, at which point my birds arrived. The funniest is the gang of house sparrows, which lies in wait in a hazelnut tree before mobbing the feeders en masse. Lots of hazel catkins this year. Could be a bumper crop.img_20190104_101716img_20190104_101602

 

4. Passing lobster boat, nice to see they can still get out to tend the traps in this nice weather.img_20190104_101640.jpg

 

5. Hamamelis Virginiana, common native witch hazel, always the first to flower. Not a spectacular shrub but highly scented attracting whatever insects are out and about.img_20190104_101428

 

6. Heath “Vivelli”. Pretty dark purple foliage and magenta flowers just starting to open.img_20190104_101306.jpg

 

I’m taking advantage of this ‘January Thaw’ even though we haven’t had any snow yet. We all know winter is coming, but in the mean time I have a good dog that needs a walk!

Pop on over to the Propagator to see what else is going on in the gardens of the world.

http://www.thepropagator.wordpress.com

SixOnSaturday September 29th. Its all about the lighting.

These are the days.  Cool, damp mornings, brilliant sunshine, blue skies and starry nights. Plants to plant, trees to trim,  harvests to haul.IMG_-6tm0pf1. Pumpkins and squash. This big one had to be dragged screaming and kicking back in from the marsh,  where he was hiding among the phragmites . He must weigh at least 30lbs.

IMG_20180929_0927492. Sunlight through Ruby chard. It’s the only reason I grow chard.  We never eat it.

IMG_20180929_0929203. More sunshine,  this time through Cosmos Purity.

IMG_20180929_0924424. Sunshine on cucumbers growing through my deck railing .

IMG_20180929_0921485. Caryopteris busy with bees.

IMG_20180929_0922356. Finally, this year’s mystery weed. It’s popping up all over.  It’s pretty,  a lovely sunny lime green. I’m keeping it for now…ideas?

Pop over to the propogator’s website to see SixOnSaturday posts from around the world. thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com