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 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.

www.thepropogatorblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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.

www. thepropogatorblog.wordpress.com.

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.

www. thepropogatorblog.wordpress.com.

SixOnSaturday October 6th.

I had a few days to myself this week. Ladders were set up, tools sharpened, trees pruned, branches chipped, compost turned, potatoes dug. I’m happily exhausted! After a final tidy-up mow, I’m taking time to honour six pretty random things from the garden that made me smile.

IMG_20181005_1411191.Winterberry, Ilex Verticillata. This deciduous Holly brightens winter window boxes and bouquets. I have a bad feeling the male pollinator plant met the man with the chain saw earlier this summer and may need to be replaced next spring.

IMG_20181005_1412162. Winter vegetable garden,  scallions,  leeks,  kale,  chard,  beets and carrots. Comfort food.

IMG_20181005_1414333. Blueberry Bush with goldenrod. When did that get in there? I’ve weeded that area repeatedly and never noticed it until it flowered.

IMG_20181005_1410454. Viburnum Mariesii colouring up nicely. Always first to turn vibrant burgundy. One of my favourite shrubs.

IMG_20181005_141017.jpg5. Hydrangea fading to Victorian watercolor. Dusky washes of violet,  mauve and puce with shades of grey.

IMG_20181005_1409386. Montauk Daisy. This plant is a real bonus. Spring green succulent foliage with large clear white daisies. Hardy as can be. Easily roots from stem cuttings. Almost the last plant of the year to flower. Only hardy chrysanthemums are to follow before the ‘big cold’ sets in, along with my ‘big grumpy’. Hope to squeeze a few more Sixes in before that though… .

This weekly meme is hosted by the Propagator. Pop on over to his site to read musings from around the globe.

thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

SixOnSaturday July 14th

The August slump has arrived a few weeks early this year. Temps are a bit lower this week and finally the tomatoes and squashes are starting to set some fruit. The lawn is browning up nicely. Nothing a few days of steady rain wouldn’t fix.

Here are my Six.

1. Giant purple dahlia. I’m not sure I like dahlias. Peer pressure made me pick these up in a weak moment . The package photo was such a pretty pink! I planted this one in a pot with soft pink lilies which will probably turn out to be vibrant orange, for maximum clash of colour!!! The photo does not do justice to its purply magenta intensity. What’s nice is that there is no sign of lily beetle.IMG_20180710_075533

2. Eryngium *Blue Hobbit”. A little cutie that was eaten by rabbits last year but has re-emerged this year, happy and healthy.img_20180706_100548-e1531488104565.jpg

3. Veronica ‘Goodness Grows’. This  plant is at least 20 years old and just keeps on giving. This is her first of many flower flushes. Some sort of yellow flowered sedum behind.img_20180713_143529.jpg

4. Hydrangea ‘Blue Billow’, beloved by bees. The whole shrub is usually humming with them. Naturally there are none at all in the photos I took today.IMG_20180713_143508

5. My trusty chipper. Purchased on Craigslist for $100, brought home in the back of my Subaru.IMG_20180713_130607

6. Reclamation of my water view. One day you look out of the window and realise that everything got huge when you weren’t paying attention. So you call the man with the chain saw.

At 9am (Before)… IMG_20180711_105523

At 5pm (After). Still a work in progress, a lot of chipping yet to be done. A forest of sumac, a huge pussy-willow tree, and a crab apple pruned to the ground. Yikes! The viburnums in the centre of the photo still to be reduced by at least half.  Now we can see the river. IMG_20180712_152812

Still lots to do before September planting can begin.

Six on Saturday is a weekly treat courtesy of Mr Propagator. More contributions may be found in the Comments section of his twitter post.  thepropogatorblog.wordpress.com.

Have a great week!