Six on Saturday: 16/2/19


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The weather this week has been incredibly mild for February. Garden jobs are so much easier when I can feel my fingers and toes. The sunlight has encouraged buds to emerge or even open and spring bulbs are pushing through thick and fast. My Six on Saturday are those signs from my garden.


Iris reticulata

The blue of these tiny iris are thrilling at this time of the year. I am chuffed to bits that they have come up as I have never managed to get them to flower before.


Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’

This shrub is at its best in winter, Bare twigs covered in bright pink, highly scented flowers. Tough as old boots but pretty.


Signs of life emerging, here in the form of black leaf buds on Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla Black Lace. An attractive shrub with deeply divided leaves of a rich near black. I have just pruned this back to encourage better ie larger foliage.


Primroses, Primula vulgaris. My favourite. I would choose these every time over the brightly coloured varieties.


Less about the fern more about the emerging foliage of the Cow parsley. Anthriscus sylvestris. Such a fresh green and delicate foliage.

6. Last and by no means least, Hellebores. These are unnamed varieties from Barnhaven primroses. They were purchased online as tiny finger sized plug plants from self pollinated stock. A cheaper way to purchase Hellebores with a sense of lucky dip. Patience is required as it has taken three years for them to flower.

Worth the wait.

Have a great weekend and do share your six via our host Six on Saturday . D.

Six on Saturday: Oxford Botanic Garden


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Hello, my Six on Saturday this week are from a garden visit to the Oxford Botanic Garden on January 20th. The gardens are the oldest in the UK ( founded in 1621) with nearly 6,000 types of plants.

What strikes you about this first picture? The enviable dark brown soil or the vivid green grass? Or what about the bright blue sky, it was January after all. Then there is the obelisk, look at its height. All quite remarkable but what really struck me was the incredibly straight edges to the borders, so very crisp and smart.

2. The straight edges are a strong feature of this part of the gardens, dictated perhaps by the garden wall. It may appear as if there is little to see in January and clearly it does looks rather bare, where are those 6,000 plants I hear you thinking, yet I really enjoyed seeing the crisp form of the space.

3. On closer inspection there are things happening in the borders. Witch Hazels, Willow, salix and Rainbow Chard. There are also these willow structures shaped as apples here.

There were masses of snowdrops but I am no Galanthophile hence my next pictures are of the container planting.


The combination of ferns and primula with Skimmia is lovely for Winter container planting. I especially liked the addition of birch which adds height, colour and catkins.

5. In the glasshouses the relief from the cold was very welcome and necessary for this exquisite beauty

Pavonia. Simply stunning.

6. I love cacti’s and succulents and always enjoy seeing the Agave.

This one is a beautiful specimen.

That’s it, my Six on Saturday about my garden visit to the immaculate Oxford Botanic Garden.

The propagator blog is our host for Six on Saturday. If you would like to join in please be sure to include a link to his blog. If you find yourself near Oxford I recommend a visit to the botanical gardens, an historical and beautiful space to walk around.

Have a good weekend. D.

In a vase on Monday: mega tassels


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This afternoon, once the rain had eased off, I was working with my friend in her walled garden in Winslow. Tasks included shaping a cotoneaster, a light prune of the pear to remove the odd wayward branch, onto a brutally hard prune of Fatsia japonica to allow light into the centre and then Gary. Gary: Garrya elliptica. Well over 9ft tall this monster was gobbling up all the light. The cuttings filled the car but I ‘helped’ by bringing home a few branches for my vase.

Common name (not Gary) is the Silk tassel bush. Grown primarily for the silvery tassels, some of these are nearly 20cm in length. Suited to a north facing wall in shelter it has almost perfect conditions in this walled garden.

Anyway this is my Monday vase to share with you and Cathy’s readers. Perks of the job? Perhaps.

Have a great week. D.

In a vase on Monday: in minature


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It is cold and bright here and these precious blooms are out in my garden today.

A double Hellebore, primrose and Viburnum.

So pretty and so tiny. In my tiniest “vase” which is 5cm x 4cm stamped 80 underneath, it was purchased in a junk shop. Perhaps it was for mustard? Anyway it is white and perfect to hold these minuscule offerings.

Sat on my kitchen window cill I hope the warmth of the house will encourage the viburnum and winter honeysuckle Lonicera fragrantissima to open a little for me to enjoy the sweet honeyed scent.

What do you mean you cannot see the honeysuckle, it’s there, behind the Hellebore.

I have a few snowdrops in the garden but they are so new, so precious, I couldn’t bring myself to pick them. I hope you will now take a look at our host Cathy to see what else is flowering in deepest January.

Have a good week. D.

In a vase on Monday: Schubertii


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This is what I have in my vase today, the husk of Allium schubertii

I rather like the name as it makes me think of a conductor waving his arms in all patterns of the music.

I have it sat on a glass shelf with a selection of beach finds.

So not much of an arrangement but from the garden nonetheless. I am of course joining Cathy with her weekly meme. Join in or take a look. It’s a good start to the week. D.