Six on Saturday: Scraping the Barrel

I may have been scraping the barrel today to find 6 things to feature in the Saturday meme hosted by Jon the Propagator, but there were no barrels to literally scrape in the garden; I was, however, able to remove the leaves and rotten apples from the stream (yes, there is a stream under the leafy camouflage of the above picture) and scrape most of the mud from the stream bed, before switching the pump on again and enjoy the restful sound of moving water.

We have had some beautifully sunny days this week, interspersed with grey and damp and drizzly ones, the latter sadly seeming to coincide with my available time, but today the stars were in my favour and I set about ticking jobs off my to-do list, compiled on the damp and drizzly days. Clearing the stream was one of them, as was sweeping up the remnants of fallen leaves, hopefully for the last time this year.

Defoliating the last of the roses was also achieved today, with pruning the wisteria next on the list, a much easier job than in summer when I have to fight my way through foliage; hopefully tomorrow will see that crossed off too.

The Golfer was given his own task, removing ivy that had grown up onto our neighbour’s pigeon loft and clearing the gutter it had invaded on its way up there. The intention is that now it has been trimmed to below fence height, an annual trim will stop it following the same pattern again. It was about half-past four when he called it a day, and all but dark, but surprisingly the ‘after’ picture still came out clearly, indicating the distinct improvement from his efforts. The ivy still on the roof has been cut and just needs to be bagged up for disposal. Note Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ still in his leafy splendour, not yet felled by sharp frosts

The continued mildness brings with it more surprises, this week the overnight transformation of witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Jelena’, now in full bloom. Usually you can spot a gradual hint of colour emerging, but I inspect my witch hazels every day at this time of year and this was definitely a zero to hero (heroine) scenario.

As the barrel is now all but empty, my sixth is a Christmas card I received from a niece this week, for which a tree was planted; not only was a tree planted, but there was a little ‘seed token’ included with the card, impregnated with flower seeds (for garden/window settings only, do not plant in nature), which I thought was a lovely idea. I have detached the token before displaying the card, to make sure I don’t forget it when the cards come down on the Twelfth Night.

That may or may not be six things but that’s all you are getting and I am off to Jon’s blog to see what he and other contributors have posted.

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20 Responses to Six on Saturday: Scraping the Barrel

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Even the fallen leaves are pretty there. We get a few, but they are not quite the same as in climates with more pronounced seasons. Hamamelis are pretty sweet! They actually do well here, but are uncommon, perhaps because they are so unfamiliar. We grew them on the farm, but discontinued them because of limited marketability.

  2. Paddy Tobin says:

    You are fortunate to be able to get so much work done at this time of year. All work has stopped here as the place is too wet – but the snowdrops are in flower!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, you have such lovely big clumps of established snowdrops! Here, we have a lot of hard surfaced paths, so it is easy to get round the garden whatever the weather

  3. Pádraig says:

    That’s a lovely tree card idea, Cathy. We were given a certificate from friends of a tree planted in County Wicklow when our daughter was born. Both are adults now, and friends are starting older adulthood.
    I love your stepped garden area. Great for trapping leaves!

    • Cathy says:

      That’s such a nice idea, Padraig, even if you don’t know exactly which tree it is! My younger sister died last year and had a green burial, with a tree and wild flowers planted on the grave. In time the whole site will resemble a natural woodland, albeit with a random mix of trees! And yes, the ‘sunken area’ is a great but unintentional leaf trap!!

  4. Joy says:

    I am a newbie to the six on Saturday but thoroughly enjoying all the new (to me) blogs about gardening. Your witch hazel looks fantastic. Where I garden we are on sand and though I have tried a couple of times, I just can not keep them alive. Delicious fragrance as well. Happy leaf collecting.

    • Cathy says:

      Hello Joy – and welcome to Rambling in the Garden! There are loads of gardening blogs about, more than you could ever keep up with, and it’s a matter of finding out which you want to stick with really, otherwise it could take over your life 😉 Are you in the UK? If so I know you can successfully grow witch hazel in a large pot – worth checking out?

  5. Heyjude says:

    Nice card. And good to be able to get some work done. I have given up now, far too wet to do anything but look for bulbs 😊

    • Cathy says:

      I certainly don’t regret the time and money spent putting paths and other hard surfaces again – although the ‘pretend’ stone we mostly used is very much more expensive these days and not readily stocked because of this

  6. Anna says:

    I noticed one of my witch hazels coming into flower today Cathy – definitely ten days or so ahead of last year. Leaf sweeping is a never ending job – well done on hopefully reaching the end. A great card idea.

    • Cathy says:

      Ooh, that’s something to be watching closely – which one? Surprisingly, many of mine were beginning to show signs of flowering before Christmas last year, but apart from Jemna and Orange Peel there is no sign of colour yet on most of them, so they seem to have a different agenda to the snowdrops and hellebores… Strangely, I quite enjoy leaf sweeping and definitely more so than bagging them up!!

  7. janesmudgeegarden says:

    i have wondered about your stream in the past and thought it must be a stream that you were lucky enough to have making its way through the bottom of your garden. Now, with talk of pumps, I wonder if it’s a stream you have created yourself. Whichever, it must be delightful to hear it burbling away.

    • Cathy says:

      I would love to have a real stream, but no, this is pumped, although I am pleased to say it looks quite realistic. It means though that anything planted ‘streamside’ is not in esecially damp soil. To save electricity and reduce evaporation we use a timer for it which comes on from 10 – 4, which we override when we open the garden for charity

  8. Well done team Rambling! That represents a good bit of timely work. Your talk of over-riding the timer for your stream for open days reminded me of the french film ‘Mon Oncle’ by Jacques Tati. Did you ever see it? E.g.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Allison – I haven’t seen Mon Oncle but googled what the theme of it was to try and work out why you were reminded of it…but I can see I shall have to watch the film to find out for sure!!

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