Six on Saturday: who are you calling ugly?


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Around the side of my house is a rather dark concrete spot. To look out from the window on to these dirty dark grey slabs is very unattractive and definitely ugly. I could clean them, I have in the past believe it or not. Anyway I thought I would take them up and create a new planting area. Out came the slabs. The cut slabs were edged in a rustic fashion, ie. wonky, with some old bricks that had been taken out from elsewhere in the garden. Full of sand and blue clay, perhaps this wasn’t such a great idea after all.
I added a bucket of manure and a load of tree and shrub compost. The big lumps of brick and and cement were removed.

Initially my plan was to order in some box edging, a large urn perhaps or some topiary to be mixed with colour themed annuals and seasonal bedding in the form of bulbs and annuals.

For now I shall make do with seed sowing.

To this bunch I shall add squash, spinach and dahlias.

It will be a riot of colour and certainly a whole lot prettier than previously. I will keep you posted.

So these are my six to share with you and The Propagator . ‘Hold up!’ I hear you say, there’s only five there. That’s right, I owe you one.

Strange times. Stay safe wherever you are. Thanks for reading. D.

In a vase on Monday: dainty


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Good morning. Spring is absolutely happening. Whilst we have to lockdown, stay indoors and isolate it is all happening outside. Hedges are beginning to open to reveal a type of fresh green that is almost impossible to visualise in the depths of a dark grey, wet winter.

The snowdrops have been and gone but if you are quick there is time to divide clumps. Hellebores are pushing out their new foliage as their flowers have peaked. Crocus in my lawn are still flowering but are beginning to get leggy so are past their best already.

This is time for the daffodils to shine. Along roadsides and verges, in window boxes and containers, vast swathes of all shades of yellow and gold are brightening the scene. I love to see daffodils en-masse, they really do herald spring like no other. The ones I love most are the more delicate ones. Give me Tête-à-tête that pack a punchy yellow but do not blow over. Show me clumps of Thalia, not yellow at all but white, small flowers, long slim stems and leaves. Later in the daffodil season is the oldest known variety, Pheasants eye, Narcissus poeticus which has a refined scent and small polite look. No brash trumpets here.

Anyway they are still to come through. Right now in my garden the tête-à-tête are beginning to go over, slightly browning at the petal edge. Could be down to the change in temperature. Instead the highly scented multi flowered stems of narcissus from the Isles of Scilly are shining.

Just two stems provides me with a vase full to share with you and our host, Cathy. Each flower is only 2cm across but together each stem provides multiple flowers (5 and 11 to be precise).

Tiny fruit beetles are emerging, I think that is what they are?

Those of you who are kind enough to follow this blog may have seen this next vase.

A tiny Japanese pot, a piece of Amelanchier and a single bloom.

Daffodil season is officially here. I hope that you are able to enjoy them from wherever you may be holed up. Challenging times.

Have a good day wherever you are. Thanks for reading. D.

In a vase on Monday: blue


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Hi Cathy. In case you do not know, Cathy is the the host of this meme to share something from the garden.

I am happy to report that blue refers to the colour of my flowers for today’s vase, rather than my mood.

World news frankly beggars belief. I feel as if I am taking part in some dodgy science fiction film ( and I mostly hate science fiction). The virus is all consuming unless we are careful to limit our exposure. Social distancing is the new norm.

I have clustered these glass vases in reckless close proximity. Taking kicks where one can.

I have had rare moments in my garden this year thanks to the wet weather. The incessant rain and heavy clay soil left the garden sodden all winter. To have tried to walk on it, let alone garden, would have done more damage than good. So it is a very welcome relief to see the sunshine over the last couple of days.

The perennials are all cut back and I have my dahlias potted up. The lawn has had a light trim. Just an enormous amount of weeding needs to be done, once I have taken the other debris to the household waste site. ( I hope they are still open?).

For those of us who are lucky enough to have an outside space we can keep calm and carry on gardening in our free time.

I will be trying to catch up on my garden now that it is beginning to dry out. With heavy clay there is a window between when it’s too sticky, when wet, or like concrete, when dry.

The flowers are shades of blue: Hyacinth, Muscari, and a delicate Siberian squill.

I hope you are staying safe, keeping to the new rules. If you are WFH perhaps you could try joining in, it would be lovely to see what flowers you have in your garden.

Have a good week wherever you are, stay safe and thanks for reading. D.

In a vase on Monday: 9/3/20


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My garden has been swamp like for what seems like months and months. So horrid. I have hardly been able to get out there. Today I squelched across grass that needs cutting to look for some flowers to join Cathy and her regular followers.

There are hellebores and daffodils, iris reticulata and viburnum. There is blossom on the plum tree and fresh growth showing on the Hemerocallis and those plants formerly known as sedums. Leaves are budding on the Sambucus and the Hydrangeas. Roses are budding their purple leaves. There is much happening out there.

I have chosen a small selection to put in my vases

Small scale vases.

This pot has Narcissus tête-à-tête and Rip van winkle. You can see they are mud spattered. The one with the orange centre came as a birthday gift box of bulbs from the Isles of Scilly. Highly scented these are always delightful, thanks Kay.

Iris reticulata are exquisite and I shall try adding some named varieties for next year now that I know they are happy under the chestnut trees. Behind is a twig of the delicate pale blossom of the plum tree.

A sprig of candy floss pink viburnum blossom and that’s my lot for today. Please take a look at other participants picked flowers, it is incredible how different they all are each week. Thanks to our host Cathy who always, without exception responds to our posts.

Have a good week, wherever you are. Thanks for reading. D.