SixOnSaturday Sweet June

Six sweet things from the garden as we approach the longest day.

  • Sweet peas
  • Salvia
  • Dogwood
  • Cherries
  • Roses
  • Dahlia

WordPress is not co-operating at all so please excuse the abrupt end to this. Pop in to the comments section of the host’s blog for more Saturday offerings.

SixOnSaturday May 15th Firsts and Lasts


SixOnSaturday is hosted by Jon at 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.


Here we are again, mother’s day and lilac time. More about six on Saturday, the rules and comments on the host’s website

  • 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 April 3rd. Satisfying

It’s April and it’s SixOnSaturday time again. Visit the host’s blog at 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 January 30th – Sundogs and Snow Ribbons


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

  • 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 October 24th. Natives

Six garden-y things on a Saturday. Visit the comments section of the host’s blog – for more sixes worldwide.

For my six this week I am looking at some commonly used ‘natives’.

Have a wonderful gardening week.

In a vase on Monday

Memorial Day dawns, white with fog.

The day is cold and cloudy. I don’t mind. I’m holding on to spring. By next week the white flowers will fade and the summer colours of peony, rose and clematis will predominate.

I’m picking flowers for our first party since lockdown. Just 4 people including us. Eating outside.

The flowers are viburnum opulus, white Deutzia and narcissus Actea. Shades of white.20200525_095834

The vase is a yard sale find, it’s made of something like pyrex and is unbreakable. Probably a good thing. I’m sure there’ll be wine.20200525_095919 Happy long weekend wherever you are!

SixOnSaturday April 6th. Here and there, this and that.

Things are starting to move along in the garden. I even have some daffs, plenty of small bulbs and cornus mas in full bloom. I’ve started cleanup, but can’t be out long before my fingers are frozen. I’m finding plenty of things to do indoors;  sowing,  replanting,  watering, but anxious for long days of warmth and sunshine

Beginning last week with a trip to Pittsburgh and the Phipps Conservatory Spring Show. I should mention that it was snowing outside. IMG_20190331_122422

1. The show featured lots of tulips and hyacinths in formal layouts. Not really my thing but it was so nicely done you had to admire it. This Peacock made from magnolia leaves with formal bedding plants for its tail was the centrepiece and subject of many selfies.

IMG_20190331_1233442. This large copper butterfly’s body looked as if it should have been planted with succulents or mosses.

IMG_20190331_1236013. A beautiful Japanese Crabapple Bonsai. I wonder again why my crabapple has never flowered.

1554496063689-6926288844. Back home, Chilli and Sweet Peppers are looking strong and healthy after a long, reviving  drink. Against my better judgement I sowed some free mixed seeds. Good or bad,  I won’t be able to repeat any of them next year! They are big enough to go in the ground but it’s way too chilly!

15544961141232985675495. Sweet Basil, large enough to eat with Spanish toast and eggs. Nothing tastes more like sunshine. Of course the tomato was from last year’s harvest in the freezer.

155449618072519278633306. Finally Mr Magnolia, opening his starry flowers to greet the dreary, cold and dismal days that followed me home.

Those are my Six for the first week of April. I hope you check out the other posts on the propagator’s website.


SixOnSaturday March 2nd. Still winter.

It’s still winter here. We are expecting 2 snows this weekend, and it is still really cold.  The days are longer though, and the birds  are practicing their springsong

It’s not easy to find 6 this week. I’m stuck at 5 but rules are made to be broken and please excuse the quality of the photos.


1. Lettuce seedlings. Overnight Success!



2. Here are Basil, Fragrant Cloud Nicotiana, Crystal Palace Lobelia , Mignonette, all for cutting.



3. Ailsa Craig onions. As part of my ongoing attempt to grow a decent onion before I leave this mortal coil. Leeks,  garlic,  shallots no problem,  but onions…..


IMG_20190301_1345074. First tiny glimpse of a chilli.



5/6.  Twice Killed Lemon Verbena.  This plant has been with me for over 20 years.  It supplies leaves for my tea. It smells outrageous. I’ve never had a cutting take.  I kill it at least twice a year.

First time this winter a fat green caterpillar ate every scrap of foliage,  leaving only twigs. Said twigs were cut back and rebounded,  only to be frozen solid one frigid night. It’s indoors,  but too close to the window,  obviously. Here we are a few weeks later,  about to go on the compost heap to make room.  Leaf buds.

Take a look at the Propagators blog for gardening inspiration.  Some lucky souls even have flowers!


SixOnSaturday December 15th 2018 Aloha

I wasn’t going to post today, but seeing all the cold and rainy posts from the UK and mainland US, thought I’d better say aloha!

80 degrees every day,  sunny with occasional light clouds,  perfect little ocean breeze. Poinsettia hedges,  bougainvillea hillsides,  houseplants as big as your  house.

Coffee plantations and macadamia orchards,  where else but Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

1. Baby bananas IMG_20181215_092617

2. Bougainvillea IMG_20181215_094129

3. Cook island pines.IMG_20181215_093528

4 traveller’s palm.


5, Some sort of Angel’s Trumpet tree.IMG_20181215_093500

6. Black lava rock,the island’s most abundant resource,  used as both planter and mulchIMG_20181215_094736.jpg

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