Six on Saturday: a welcome surprise


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The surprise is the weather of course. Sunshine and frost this morning, such a welcome sight after what seems like months of rain and grey skies and general bleh. My garden is holding water in small padding pools. I am trying hard, not allowing myself to stress about what the saturated clay is doing to my plants but horror stories keep popping in to my mind.

Not today. No, today I treated myself to some primulas to brighten a few bare patches. I walked around the garden, keeping off the squelching lawns, off the borders, stretching this way and that to reach closer to the sources of scent.

These are my Six:

Viburnum bodnantense Dawn

A quite vigorous, woody shrub, which sprouts out beautiful pink flowers in midwinter. Tiny multiples of flowers pump out a sweet scent in the sunshine.

This is one shrub I would always want in a garden.

Foxglove foliage dusted with frost.

I am hoping these will flower this year and will give me white spires. Digitalis purpurea f.albiflora

Foxgloves are such accommodating plants, suited to deep shade and to sun. They really will grow on any type of soil. I prefer the white form for its crisp contrast between white and green, finding the pink version a rather dirty pink. Highly poisonous if ingested, otherwise I would recommend them everywhere and anywhere.

Handsome Hornbeam

Hedges of Hornbeam are another of my favourite sights. Midwinter and the hedges are still retaining their foliage. Curled and pleated and a rich brown colour. The hedge provides shelter to garden birds.

Sunlight and Miscanthus

Backlit, I am reminded why I love Miscanthus sinensis so much. This particular one was new this autumn and is currently in a pot. I shall be transferring it into the ground once things dry out a bit.

More winter scent

This is winter Honeysuckle Lonicera Fragrantissima. Another woody shrub which bursts into flower in winter. The scent wafts on the air pulling the passerby in close. It too does not seem to be put off by the wet soil.

White flowers

These Violas are eye catching even in the low light levels of winter. They also are scented but you need to get very close to detect their aroma. Such sweet flowers, great performers and worth a couple of quid of anyone’s money. Winter bedding.

These are my six, joining The Propagator and gardeners from around the globe, sharing my six favourites in my garden right now. Do join in, we would love to see what’s in your garden too.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are and thanks for reading. D.

In a vase on Monday: the final vase of the decade


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As we are about to enter the 2020s, I have to ask, is it just me or does the start of the new millennium seem not that long ago?

It is a beautiful morning here with a clear sky and a touch of frost showing on the grass but my vase to share with you and our lovely host Cathy are Christmas leftovers rather than something gathered from outside today.

Cut amaryllis stems.

These were purchased from the market on 20/12. I kept them in water in a cool room until Christmas Eve when I brought them through to the warmth of the kitchen. Here they opened overnight and are looking fresh and lovely some ten days later. I prefer these creamy green trumpets to the traditional red.

My other vase has dried Hydrangea Annabelle flowers, sprinkled with a gold spray. Aerosol cans do not work very well these days and to be honest I was disappointed with the finish on these.

I have used a frog in the base of the pot to hold the stiff stems in place. 


The tiny clusters of flowers are so pretty but I still feel the gold looks remarkably like the dried flowers: brown!

That’s it for 2019. I shall be joining Cathy when I can in 2020 and encourage you to join us too.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2020 wherever you are. Thanks for reading. D.