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!

SixOnSaturday January 30th – Sundogs and Snow Ribbons

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Time again for SixOnSaturday. Self explanatory really. Six garden related things on a Saturday. Visit the host’s blog for more contributions and comments:

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

  • Winter has arrived here in New England. We no longer need to obsess over the political situation and have moved on to our usual January pastime – obsessing over the weather. Here are a couple of unusual phenomena. First up, a vertical rainbow and it’s reflection. Known around here as a Sundog.

“Sundogs are colored spots of light that develop due to the refraction of light through ice crystals. They are located approximately 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun, depending on where the ice crystals are present. The colors usually go from red closest to the sun, out to blue on the outside of the sundog. Sundogs are also known as mock suns or parhelia, which means “with the sun”

  • Ice crystals are definitely present…we expect snow and ice every day for the next week. I was lucky to see these exquisite Snow Ribbons before they melted and fell to earth.
  • Today’s high temp is expected to be 19 degrees. The low is 7 F. That is around minus 14C. Indoor gardening is definitely on the agenda. This week I sowed chillies, onions and leeks. I’ve had trouble finding the seed varieties I want this year. Some seed companies have had to close their websites due to the increased demand. So I won’t be growing Ailsa Craig onions, but trying a new one ‘Globo’. It looks exactly like Ailsa Craig…..
  • I germinate my seedlings on top of my big old fashioned cast iron radiators. that’s one good reason to appreciate the cold weather – the pipes are always hot!
  • It is a good time to stay at home and cook. Pickled beets are on the menu. These are Chioggia and Touchstone Gold with a few dark Detroit beets. From last year’s garden, they were starting to sprout a bit in their chilly basement. They will be boiled and pickled in Balsamic vinegar.
  • I will also need to address my garlic. The stored bulbs are starting to sprout. Usually I roast them after removing the bitter sprouts but it does stink up the house. I’m thinking of shoving them in the freezer until I can roast them outside – not sure how garlic freezes but nothing ventured…..

Hope everyone has a wonderful week of gardening. Stay safe and warm!

SixOnSaturday March 28th. Promiscuity and Perfection

Six garden related things from my garden this week.

1. Dry trough. This was a gift, planted with the cutest little alpines and dwarf conifers, none of which could ever make it through our winters. It has become a handy receptacle for stones I love, the dog’s toys, things I need to keep that are useless….Now also includes promiscuous pushkinia and very early violas. The edges have covered themselves with the most beautiful mosses and lichens. Perfect!20200327_142637~220200327_142621~2

2. Seedlings are everywhere. The first batch of sweet peas and brassicas has already moved outside to the cold frame.

3. After various failed attempts at growing standard cherry trees, I’m trying Nanking cherries. These bear smaller fruits but the shrubs are absolutely covered with flowerbuds. Hoping for a bumper crop.20200327_142746

4. Muscari, a very early variety with a single leaf and a flower that’s bi colour when fully open.20200327_143427

5. Chionodoxia, also named glory of the snow. Although it’s much more glorious this year when we’ve had none.20200327_142657

6. Narcissus Ice Follies. Needs no explanation, just shows up every year. Fades perfectly to white and doesn’t have much of a perfume. So I can bring it indoors without offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities!

Those are my Six. Stay safe out there and enjoy visiting gardens around the world while keeping your distance! http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

SixOnSaturday March 14th. A little alliteration to brighten the situation.

Finally there is a Spring rain. Colours are accentuated yet softer. Grey and brown snags take on a brushed, washed hue of colour. Faded feathers are exchanged for bright. Goldfinches gleam, bluejays brash, clash with courting cardinals. Here are Six for the week…..

1. Blushing blueberries. Hard to see in the photo but the twigs are covered in tiny magenta buds. 20200313_154117

2. Cornus cloud. A halo formed by lemon yellow pompoms.20200313_154728~220200313_154619~2

3. Going for gold. The pussy willow shown last week is loaded with golden pollen.20200313_154017

4. Hazel haze. Long and loaded and wiggling in the breeze. Fading now from brass to bronze.20200313_15482820200313_154907~2

5. Rain barrel refill.20200313_093049I have 3 of these 55 gallon barrels. I close them in the winter so they don’t freeze solid and crack. Starting to fill them today as it’s raining properly for the first time this year. Each one will fill up in 15 minutes or so.

6. It’s time to sow.20200313_145616 So there they are, Six things in the garden on a Saturday. You will find much more gardening gorgeousness in the comments section of the host’s blog. Do have a read and join the conversation.

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

SixonSaturday. September 21st: Golden Days

The September marsh is ablaze with goldenrod and sumac. There’s a golden theme this week.

1. Caryopteris. Abuzz with pollen-packed bees.IMG_20190916_163441

2. Clematis durandii, perfectly blue with sunshine yellow centres. IMG_20190916_163534

3. Jerusalem artichoke or sunchokes; marsh wildings stealing space from Japanese anemones. IMG_20190915_101644

4. Golden Bantam corn. The rabbit missed a few. IMG_20190918_153919

5. Butternut squash. IMG_20190917_104058

6. Golden fleshed first gleaning of Laratte and Desiree potatoes. IMG_20190917_104025

More Six on Saturday garden snapshots can be found in the comments section of the host,  www. Thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com

 

SixOnSaturday August 10th: Harvest Happens.

I have been harvesting herbs today. Bay leaves, thyme, sage,  marjoram, lemon verbena. IMG_20190802_104714These are tied in bunches using lengths of raffia that in a former life I scrounged from a fish vendor in Hong Kong.IMG_20190809_104937 The bunches hang in my warm, dark basement until dry, before being crumbled for use in cooking, as teas and as gifts for work.IMG_20190809_104816

Soon there will be poppy seeds. These are bread seed poppies. The seedpods don’t open up like salt shakers, so you can either leave them to dry in place or hang them. IMG_20190719_122920

The garlic is in.IMG_20190807_104341A really good haul this year. I planted only 24 cloves to harvest a whole muck-bucket full. IMG_20190808_142600Unusual in that quite a few of the singly planted cloves have sprouted 3 or 4 very large heads of garlic. I couldn’t say what variety, as I haven’t bought seed garlic in years. I just plant the biggest and best cloves around October 15th.

I pulled the little brown onions. IMG_20190809_102914The Alisa Craigs are still putting on weight so I’ll leave them to grow  for now. IMG_20190727_091703

Blueberries have been fantastic this year. I’ve been picking every other day or so, and from only 2 bushes have enough to eat and stock the freezer. This is today’s haul.IMG_20190802_114852 It’s all about netting. I use plain net curtains from Ikea. The birds can’t get tangled in the very fine mesh. There’s nothing worse than trying to rescue a furious grackle!

Chillies, peppers and squash can be picked daily. The weather is perfect.IMG_20190809_133544And it is tomato time at last! They will have their own Six!

Check out all the other Sixes by following the Propagator http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com. Enjoy  the harvest!

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 February 23rd. Sow It Begins…

It is a funny thing, Winter drags on and I’m dying for Spring but I can’t get motivated to start sowing seeds. The basement, where I keep my supplies is cold, with a concrete floor. Cleaning and setup takes forever.

Today the sun is shining, the temp is above freezing, the birds have started singing their songs of love…and as happens every year, I just got on with it!

IMG_20190222_1145461. It begins. Every available surface. This week I started assorted annual flower seeds and peppers. Plus a few herbs and some lettuce….

img_20190222_114604.jpg2 . This little onion propagator was once a catering pack of oatmeal raisin cookies.

IMG_20190222_1146373. As if it knew it was destined to be dumped back in the heap tomorrow,  a bud finally appeared on last year’s red amaryllis .

IMG_20190222_1151014. Speaking of red, geraniums on the porch,  with a backdrop of snow.

IMG_20190222_1150475. Tete a tete daffodils,  also indoors. From a 3 dollar pack of 16 bulbs there are 3 flowers. Not very economical after all.

IMG_20190212_0633086. Sunrise, preceding one of 3 snowfalls this week. Just a few inches each time,  to remind me that it’s still mid winter here. February can be a ‘tretorus’ month, as they say around here. Actually, so can  March!

I’ll very quickly get sick and tired of having seed trays all over the house, but for now I’ll take it as a sign of Spring.

Take a visit to gardens and gardeners all over the world by visiting my inspiration in blog writing and seed sowing, the Propagator and his many Twitter friends.

http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com