Six on Saturday: Behold a Great Light…

…and the angel Gabriel appeared, the only main season snowdrop likely to be flowering at Christmas. Last year two thirds of the specials were poking their noses through, with six in flower, an all-time record here; this year looks to be more typical as far as the snowdrops go.

A more typical season for witch hazels too, with just a few tiny spicks and specks of colour beginning to appear, and only Hamamelis ‘Orange Peel’ being anywhere near ‘out’, a full three weeks later than last year:

Elsewhere I managed to plant out the early flowering Winter Sunshine sweet peas into the greenhouse border today, having first boosted the soil with homemade compost first. They should begin flowering by the end of March or into April at the latest.

Also accomplished this week was the planting of new rose ‘City of York’, which had been heeled into one of the cutting beds until I reached a decision on its planting hole. A climbing rose, it was destined for the side of the house, clambering up the wall and onto the entrance archway, and the original plan was for a raised brick surround; a belated flash of inspiration created a new plan, utilising an existing pot with its base removed and sunk into the ground. This gives it a neater profile with less obstructive potential than a brick surround.

And finally, for the sixth of my Six on Saturday contribution to the meme hosted by Jon The Propagator, is a large clump of Iris ensata, dug out of the streamside grass and awaiting splitting and removal of uninvited couch grass from its rootball. The irises have not flowered for 4 years, possibly suffering from a combination of dry weather and congestion. Using a saw, I cut chunks from the rootball and have left them soaking in a bucket of water so I can tease out any unwanted couch grass, before replanting them in the streamside border itself, which I am hoping will be a better location for them as it seems to hold more moisture. That will be another job to tick off my To-Do List!

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14 Responses to Six on Saturday: Behold a Great Light…

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, the last picture looks more like a winter chore than the rest. This is the time of year that we get aggressive.

    • Cathy says:

      Haha, yes, it certainly needed a firm hand, Tony, especially digging it out – but it was a job I decided many months ago to get done in the ‘off’ season, so it was good to get it done before the end of the year

      • tonytomeo says:

        I just dug out a windmill palm for a neighbor who wanted to move it from his former home to his new home. Although not large, it had already launched, so was quite heavy. It is recovering out in the yard now. As you can imagine, it was a gratifying project.

  2. Clever idea with the terracotta pot and rose! I’ve just been given a bare-rooted witch hazel, so I was pleased to know how far along yours are.

  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I often plant things in bottomless pots as my soil is quite thin. And I know about couch grass! Your flowers are way ahead of mine – both the snowdrops (mine were here when I arrived so probably semi-wild – and the witchhazel which I must check but is certainly not fully flowering.

    • Cathy says:

      This was in spam too! I have a few witch hazels and some don’t even have a hint of colour yet – they were all much earlier the last 2 years. And the snowdrops were generally about 3 weeks ahead last year. I open the garden for the NGS in Feb (and June), so don’t want things to be too early! Using the bottomless pot here meant I could get it closer to the wall

  4. Roguegarden says:

    I must get a Hamamelis! The solution you developed for the rose is quite clever. How did you remove the top of the pot? I, too, have some irises inherited with the garden that urgently need transplanting. I would love to see a photo of your stream.

    • Cathy says:

      Witch hazels are gorgeous, and stars in a winter garden! It was just the bottom of the pot that was sliced off – with an angle grinder – leaving the full depth of the pot (about 12″) to sink into the ground. The stream is a (wo)man-made one but looks fairly natural. The pump is currently switched off as the stream is full of leaves, although clearing them is on myy to-do list! If you put ‘stream’ or ‘streamside’ in the search box on the blog you should find some pictures

  5. Pauline says:

    Snowdrops are all popping up everywhere, it’s that time of year again! Your greenhouse looks very well organised, unlike mine which is still a mess, I must get it sorted so that I can start of some seeds.I’m sure your Iris ensata will enjoy the moist soil by your stream, hopefully it will then start flowering again.

  6. Cathy says:

    Your snowdrops have such wonderful names! 😃

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