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!

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 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!