Itsy Bitsy Six on Saturday

I am starting with the above photograph for the benefit of our Six on Saturday host, Jon the Propagator, who has been disappointed that the lower branches of his wisteria have not been flowering. Our wisteria is trained over the back of the house but one branch has been taken round the corner and over the back door at the side of the house; trained this way perhaps 10 years ago this branch has only once produced any blooms, and I recall this was merely a single truss. This year, however, the whole branch is smothered in swelling buds, the like of which has never been seen before, not surprisingly bringing me Great Pleasure.

Also bringing Great Pleasure is the semi-shaded border behind the Coop; this was created as part of the Greater Coop Plan, so has only been in existence for a year, but it has filled out nicely and the mounds of foliage are most pleasing. I am especially taken with a green heuchera and a tellima, both moved from the special snowdrop border and both bursting with health and vigour – the conditions must suit them.

Also bringing immense pleasure but deserving to be on of the Six on its own is the Greenhouse, the working one, which after collecting bedding plants for my tubs and baskets from Brookside Nursery during the week is now officially FULL! If I hadn’t shunted as much as I could outside to harden off it would have been overflowing, but I have worked hard to keep on top of the whole process, and out of curiosity I totted up the contents as of today:

2 quarter trays of recently sown seeds
6 12 cell half trays of pricked out seedlings
62 6 cell half trays of potted on seedlings
28 6 or 12 cell half trays of bedding plants
20 assorted 9cm pots of cuttings, mostly dahlias
18 9cm pots of tomatoes
3 larger pots of sprouting dahlia tubers
greenhouse bed of Winter Sunshine sweet peas

OK, I agree that sounds a lot – but they won’t be wasted, honest!

As part of the process of creating enough space in the greenhouse to accommodate the bedding plants, I finally succumbed to planting out some of the oldest seedlings  – and some of the dahlias. Having checked in my records, last year I didn’t plant anything in the cutting beds till the middle of May although one year some things were planted out in the first week; deciding I was big enough (metaphorically speaking) to make my own decisions based on good judgement and experience, the most advanced dahlias were planted out in the cutting beds yesterday and joined by the first seedlings, cosmos, clary and dwarf sunflowers. Up to now, the cutting beds have been serving as a holding area for hardening off seedlings but are emptying as I plant out as much as I can, when I can – not just in the cutting beds but in the borders too, with well established cosmos and annual grasses finding a new home now the ground is damper and more hospitable.

So if  #3 was the Cutting Beds,  #4 must be Roses. Having added so many roses since last year it is pleasing to see how well they are settling in. The border below, originally one of the 4 main herbaceous beds, was planted with England’s Rose and The Mayflower roses in autumn, and it is good to see how the bushes are already growing into each other, hopefully producing an amorphous clump of dark and light pink roses in a couple of months. The lower picture shows one of the low growing roses under the clematis colonnade, Baby Faurax which, like of all the new roses here, is a mass of buds – and the race is on, to see which flowers first! Sadly, there also seems to be a race to see which is covered in the most greenfly, which seem to be particularly prevalent this year.

The last two of the Six on Saturday are intertwined, Projects and Quirk. Visitors and regular readers would describe the garden as quirky and I am always on the lookout for more ways to add to the quirkiness. The first car boot sale visit of the year produced some interesting bits that will find a place in the garden, as well as some vintage clay pots:

The vintage roller, an auction buy from many years ago, has finally got new handles, courtesy of the Golfer’s turning skills, which will need to be painted before they can be considered ‘finished’; the mangle, however, is no further on as the broken pottery I was going to use to ’tile’ the top has proved to be unsuitable. Undaunted, I have a box of mosaic tiles left from a previous project and this is now on my To Do list instead.

With our open garden dates only 7-8 weeks away, keeping on top of all the tasks (whether routine or improvements), is paramount, and starting New Projects is not to be recommended unless they are small ones like the roller and mangle or another little wall to highlight the open frogs you find in some bricks, which can be used for planting succulents and the like:

So that’s my six for today: thank you to Jon for hosting and please check out his blog for other Sixes on Saturday.

This entry was posted in art in the garden, cutting beds, dahlias, Gardening, Gardens, greenhouse, projects, Recycling, Six on Saturday and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Itsy Bitsy Six on Saturday

  1. cavershamjj says:

    Lovely, I shall just be patient with my wisteria! I have an old roller like that, sans handle. I need a handy turner! I’m a recent convert to roses, I’ve planted 15ish climbers in the last 2 or 3 years. This year they seem to be battered by various bugs and ailments. High maintenance.

    • Cathy says:

      I started just with climbers but as my appreciation of roses grew so has the number of roses, which include bushes now, chosen for length of flowering and scent instead of just colour as it would have been in my earlier rose days. Already I can see the benefit of having defoliated some of them in the autumn last year – no blackspot on these ones

    • Cathy says:

      You are in luck…the Golfer says that if you let me know the spindle diameter and length, he will turn a pair for you…

      • cavershamjj says:

        That’s very kind of you both but really I will never use it, it is just clutter! Thanks for the offer.

        • Cathy says:

          You don’t want to display your vintage clutter in the garden then Jon?

          • cavershamjj says:

            What, and take up valuable planting space? No I got it years ago to actually use as a lawn roller, but it’s too bloomin heavy. I should get rid of it really.

          • Cathy says:

            Well, that’s a good point – and if I gave up all my hard surfacing as well, think of my extra planting space! ps we don’t use our roller either!

          • cavershamjj says:

            I’ve tried to explain to my wife that if only we removed the extension we put in 5 years ago (before my obsession fully took hold) I would be able to make the garden much nicer. She isn’t having it for some reason…

          • Cathy says:

            You will have to try some other lateral thinking instead Jon – and growing UP is always a good way of adding more plants. Posts with roses, clematis, etc? Trellis? Your boundaries are more elastic than you might think…

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It is so satisfying to move a plant that was doing so so and have it respond to the new planting area. I like all your oddities in the garden. I can’t imagine you actually using that roller though. What ever for??

    • Cathy says:

      The roller is just decorative now, Lisa – in the ‘old days’ it would have been used for lawns ps we don’t use the mangle either… 😉

  3. bcparkison says:

    Still in my dreams, I did trim back the wisteria after it finished blooming before it took over every thing.One year as my son walked under it a creepy crawler ( snake) fell out on him,,,he moved pretty fast.and I have managed to transplant shasta daisy. I love them.

  4. Heyjude says:

    I can see why the Wisteria is giving you Great Pleasure and I love your quirky bits. Those are what makes a garden so personal.

  5. Lora Hughes says:

    Your greenhouse is staggeringly wonderful! Hope everything that got evicted does really well. If temps dip, things can always be covered. And I’m so glad your wisteria bloomed. Nothing like a mature wisteria, is there?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lora – yes, alrhough frosts are unlikely they are still possible. I still have the wisteria to look forward to as it will be a few weeks before the buds open – but at last once the buds appear you know that blooms will follow!

  6. Cathy your Wisteria I love it. The Greenhouse is bursting with life. I am glad that you have decided to plant the cutting beds: that the weather is good so that all the plants grow strong and beautiful. Cathy your collection of roses is a wonder, I love it. I like bricks with succulent plants and I like all the antiques that you have been placing in the garden: they give you the stamp of your personality. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you Margarita – I believe that we should be ourselves in our gardens rather than follow any trends, so my garden really does reflect me

  7. Kris P says:

    I envy you that greenhouse space! I love all the quirky touches too. I’m sure your open garden days will be a smashing success.

    • Cathy says:

      I could manage with a bit more space Kris – perhaps not surprisingly! We are opening 3 times in June this year so it will be interesting to see how that affects the numbers

  8. Chloris says:

    Wow, you have been busy, your greenhouse certainly is bursting at the seams. I love all the foliage in your shade bed. How exciting having so many buds on your wisteria. It is worth making the effort to prune it properly. Your roses are going to be a picture too.

    • Cathy says:

      Pruning my wisteria is one of my favourite rituals – because I know it will make a difference. And the shady bed definitely demands gazing time at the moment (by the way, it wouldn’t have been evident in the picture but I took the plunge and added a ‘dwarf’ forsythia recently)

  9. Noelle says:

    All those little plants will soon be sprouting and I am sure we shall see flowers IAVOM in the summer. That wisteria is going to be lovely.

  10. Looks like you have been busy with all your propagating. Everything looks so lush and ready to go out in the garden. I dare not show my pitiful seedlings now that I’ve seen yours. A green house definitely makes a difference. I would love to have half of your success. It is all so beautiful and must feel most rewarding.

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely rewarding, Cindy, and thinking back to my earlier efforts I can see that you get back what you put into it. Without a greenhouse it would, of course, be very much harder.

  11. tonytomeo says:

    I SO miss a nice neat and orderly greenhouse!; although I am pleased that I do not need to keep so much inside.

  12. Goodness me Cathy, your greenhouse is s veritable production line!

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