Six on Saturday | colour returns to the garden

Another damp week here in the south-west so not great for any gardening although every time I popped out to fill up the bird feeders I had a quick look around to see what was growing and also pull out some of the bittercress which seems to becoming rampant here. I also took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch on Monday, settling in the conservatory with mug of coffee, notebook, pencil and binoculars. Along came the usual crowd, the sparrows, chaffinches, goldfinches, a robin, a pied wagtail, blue tits and great tits and even a wren. And shortly after the hour had ended in came a blackbird, a dunnock, my collared doves and the Maggies!

  1. Braving the mizzle on Thursday I decided to get outside and do some clearing up of the space next to my patio in which a number of damp loving plants have run riot. Iris pseudacorus, Arum lilies, wild water mint, Filipendula vulgaris and Japanese anemones all crammed together in a very small space. Brambles manage to grow there too and it is impossible for me to reach the rose at the back which badly needed pruning. It was not particularly cold outside, but it was wet and slippery on the algae and leaves and I was glad when the garden bin was full and I could stop! I pulled out a lot of thick rhizomes so this space will look quite bare in May.
  2.  Whilst I was out I had a look to see if the snowdrops planted under the Kilmarnock willow tree were doing anything and to my delight I found one open and several in bud. I am hopeful that they will spread under here. This is a terrible photo, but I couldn’t get any closer because of the crocuses coming through and I only had my phone on me, which although it  has an excellent camera I struggle to hold still.
  3. More Iris reticulata have opened, this time the ones I planted in the raised bed. These are pretty ‘Pixie’  which flowers early in spring when little else in the garden is in flower, bringing vibrant violet-blue hues to your borders and patio pots. I planted more ‘Alida’ in this bed too and one is open so far.
  4. In the woodland border and also the Cornish hedge in the ‘Wild Garden’ aka car park, I found several clumps of dwarf narcissi in bud and almost ready to open. The ones in the wall were taken from the pots I had last year and I have some new varieties in pots this year which are coming up. I love these jolly little flowers and they seem to do well here, better than the taller varieties which get wind damaged.
  5. Also in the raised beds I noticed several dwarf lupin plants growing quite strongly. These were free with an order I placed last year, I wouldn’t choose lupins as the S&S get to them and I am trying to eliminate plants that they love from my garden. Last year only one plant flowered but maybe they are stronger plants now and will do better this year. Time will tell.
  6. Now to the front courtyard where I have three pots of Skimmia Japonica. The two new ones I bought last autumn were under-planted with bright red cyclamen that are still flowering. These plants cost me only a few quid from Asda supermarket and have been well worth the price.

You will have noticed all the raindrops on these photos! The header photo is Iris reticulataHarmony’ another one replanted from last year’s pots. As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world and many more wonderful snowdrops!

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Spring really is on the way! I find it hard to get a nice clear shot with my phone too. It’s hard to hold it still.

  2. Cathy says:

    Good to see your colour, Jude, and I like the grouping of the sink and the hexagonal pots – a much more accommodating shape! Are your narcissi earlier than usual? Here I have some showing buds even though they are barely abive ground yet!

    1. Heyjude says:

      These narcissi in the border are always flowering in February so I guess a week or so early this year, but my Hellebore niger is later than it was last year! The irises that are flowering are early. The new bulbs in pots are not in flower yet.

      1. Cathy says:

        Here it would be unusual for the crocus and narcissi to be flowering at the same time, so that’s an intriguing difference between regions

        1. Heyjude says:

          My crocuses have yet to emerge, except for one yellow one in the ground and some in pots that are trying their best!

        2. Cathy says:

          I suppose the crocus tommasinianus (which I have) may be earlier than others and had not considered this

        3. Heyjude says:

          I had some of those, but no idea what has happened to them, no sign so far.

  3. BeckyB says:

    Spring seems to have almost arrived for you!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Usually February is when the bulbs appear, but my hellebore is late and last January I had forget-me-nots in flower! I’m simply grateful the bulbs haven’t rotted away with all the rain we’ve had.

      1. BeckyB says:

        Clever how they don’t!

  4. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Good to know you’re finding your phone camera useful!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a good camera, but I am not so good at keeping it still!

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