Six on Saturday: Busy, Busy

Unlike this pristine Camellia japonica ‘Nobilissima’, a solitary bloom on this bush now freed from the encroachment of an adjacent hedge and currently busy doing nothing, I have been busy busy with little jobs on a non-diminishing job list, as we work towards our garden opening in a week’s time.

Most are non-plant related tasks, like bringing the signs down from the loft for reviewing and updating, and repainting the words inspired by the garden on an assortment of pebbles. Collecting them in for their annual service can be a bit like ‘hunt the thimble’, and even today I found one I had missed, ‘abundance’, hidden under (ahem) an abundance of foliage.

A number of bulbs in the greenhouse are now in bud, although not yet in a flower, so I brought a selection into the warmth of the house to chivy them on a bit:

A long-outstandng task, waiting for a mild enough day, was some remedial brickwork, firstly to join the three bricks making up the mini insect hotel (more like a lodging house, perhaps) and secondly to add another course of bricks to the lower side of this bed in the blue & white border, remedying a natural slope which had been causing soil loss. It took less than an hour to complete both, plus refixing a loose brick elsewhere, and left enough mortar to thwart sparrows nesting under the roof outside our bedroom window this year.

More party guests seem to be gearing up for the occasion now, with the four shown on Wednesday now joined by a growing number of hellebores and colourful glimpses of various pulmonaria. It really does seem to be a case of something new to spot every day, but I am certainly glad to be including more newcomers in today’s Six on Saturday, the meme kindly hosted by Jon the Propagator. Why not visit his blog and see some more Sixes?

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22 Responses to Six on Saturday: Busy, Busy

  1. Noelle says:

    I do like the bricks used as an insect house. I think I have a few lying around, and a few hollow stems. If I succeed, I’ll post them as one of my six on Saturday. Let’s hope you cope with the many visitors.

    • Cathy says:

      To the insect house…?! 😁 At least it should be more stable now the bricks are mortared together, as I don’t think the slab it is sitting on is entirely flat

  2. Rosie Amber says:

    I adore your inspiration stones, I think I shall try some for my garden. I have started an insect wall, but at the moment the birds keep pulling out all the hollow sticks.

    • Cathy says:

      I saw some for sale with the letters incised into them which gave me the idea – this is a very much cheaper option even though I do need to renew the writing every year or two

  3. Anna says:

    What an exquisite camellia Cathy. I hope that your preparations for next weekend go well and that the weather befits the occasion. No colour from pulmonarias here yet apart from the ever early ‘Rubra Redstart’. Have you got that one?

  4. Chloris says:

    A lovely camellia. I hope your Witch hazels will hang on until next week. Mine are still looking.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Painted stones, which were also known as ‘rocks’, were a fad not too long ago, and remain popular. Although I do not find the fad to be appealing, I sometimes find such rocks in the public landscapes at work. I will not remove them. If I must put them aside for a project, I return them, just in case the person who put them there returns to see if they are still there.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I had heard people did leave them in public places, I suspect with the hope that they will bring pleasure to whoever picks them up. I believe people do the same with books

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh, of course. People construct mini-libraries out near the roads, like mailboxes, but filled with books to exchange. They are delightfully ornate. In town, people leave books and other things at the laundromat or even at a particular bench in Felton Covered Bridge Park. The also leave clothing and food for homeless people. It is an excellent system. I write about it at my other blog sometimes.

  6. Pauline says:

    Lovely camellia!I hope everything goes well for you next weekend and that the weather behaves itself, such a worry when you open at this time of year.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – at the moment the forecast suggests a small chance of light rain in the morning. We open at 12, so it might be a case of nott putting cushions on the benches till just before

  7. Going Batty in Wales says:

    Good luck with the Open Day – you have worked so hard! I love the painted pebbles.

    • Cathy says:

      I don’t feel as if I have worked that hard, really – having opened for 5 or 6 years now we know what we are doing and it is probably more a matter of plodding through the job list and not leaving things to the last minute…

  8. Jim Stephens says:

    Good ole’ ‘Nobilissima’, right at the end of its flowering down here. Good luck with your garden opening, hope the weather is kind.

  9. I love the insect house, and the rocks! Great ideas!

  10. I love the insect house too. I’ve been using breeze block for the same task, but have found that the nesting materials, like hollow sticks etc seem to be able to blow out of the blocks too easily.

    • Cathy says:

      My intention was that the bricks would be placed against a wall, so things wouldn’t then fall out of the back, but where they have been sitting since I first put them together there is a slight change of level where two slabs abut, so that hasn’t happened – I ought to find a better spot, really!

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