Six on Saturday 2020 29-02

a Garden Centre lunch

Just to be clear from the start – this isn’t a post about food! It’s a post about Garden Centres, plants, and a lack of will power. On Wednesday I lunched with my two sisters. Mostly the food isn’t particularly brilliant, and the cakes are much too large, but we’re not really there for the food, we’re there to catch up with each other’s news and we know that if we want to chat for hours, no one will notice and no one will try to hint that it’s time to move on and free up the table.

But of course, there’s another reason why we go there, and eventually, someone will ask ‘anyone buying today’. The answer is usually, ‘no’. I don’t know why we bother asking because mostly we do…buy, that is. Buying or not, we always go for a look round…plant browsing is therapeutic…so we tell ourselves.

I needed grit and bird food. I definitely wasn’t buying plants, but once we’d left our table, the first stop, for all three of us, (who weren’t buying), was the outdoor plant space. I left my sisters looking for a rose called Lucky, took a trolley and added two bags of grit and some bird food.

I wasn’t there for plants, because I’m concentrating now on summer planting, and I’ll wait for those to come on display, or I’ll order online. That was until I saw Helleborus (HGC) ‘Merlin’. It was on offer, (which rather annoyed my sister), who had it in her garden but had bought it online at half the size for the full price of this one. Needless to say, it went through checkout and returned home with me.

Helleborus (GHC) Merlin

I love the mix of pale cream with a hint of pink, that becomes a soft overall pink and finally deepens to rich dusky pink as the flower ages. The detail on the back of the flowers is equally beautiful.

Helleborus (GHC) Merlin
Helleborus (GHC) Merlin

Excitement! The tulips are started to show. There’s about 15 pots of various varieties, including a few from last year, and not all above the soil yet, but I think one is enough to show because right now they all look much the same!

Tulip ‘Royal Acres’ makes an appearance.
frozen pots

We had snow on Wednesday night, followed by some rain, and then it froze. By early morning it had gone from the grass, shrubs and most planting. But some remained in the pots around the garden, and I was out before breakfast, camera in hand, and wearing umpteen layers of clothing. It was slippy underfoot, but here’s a little visual summary of what’s springing into life at the end of February.

More Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’ starting to open
Emerging Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Pink Pearl’
Three frozen Forget-me-nots in a pot
Tools on Standby

I’ve identified several days in the coming 10-day forecast where I think I can get some gardening done. Dry days – what a joy!  In preparation for the big event, I’ve been trying to give my grubby tools a bit of a clean. They also need to be sharpened, and the hand hoe in particular needs some strong elbow grease applied. That’s a job for husband.

I have arthritis in my hands and it can be pretty painful, especially in winter. After a shoulder & arm injury 18 months ago, I had real concerns that I wouldn’t be able to garden for quite some time. But then I saw a few online videos of gardeners using various tools and wondered if they would work for me. Standing, using full-length tools is too painful on my back – so I garden on my knees – I’ve always gardened like that. It can be a bit rough on the knees, but I enjoy being close to the plants. I bought the selection below and found that gardening was easier than it had been previously. Not only that, the exercise helped to heal the injury to my arm and shoulder. Long live gardening!

The Favourite Five

Ratchet secateurs, Razor hoe, Hand rake, Snips, Pointed trowel

The razor hoe effortlessly cuts through the soil and lifts the weeds. The little hand rake (which is designed to pull leaves from beneath shrubs), then pulls the weeds toward me. The pointed trowel is great for digging smaller planting holes in my clay soil. The ratchet secateurs make it so much easier for me to prune. The snips are with me constantly, for deadheading, cutting fine stems, cutting flowers and more. They’re small, they suit my hand size. I do use other tools, but those five are my favourites and the most used.

Cleaning & sharpening – a job to be tackled

I use this very tough little bag to hold my tools and bits n bobs that I need when I’m working on anything in the garden. As long as I remember to put the tool back in the bag when I’ve used it, it’s less likely to get lost in the garden.

I also use a Garden Caddy on wheels to move compost about, plus everything that’s heading for the compost bin. It’s the ideal size to fit a garden tub into, and I wheel it around with me – it’s much easier than carrying. The tub can then be lifted out and emptied. It works for me, and it’s a better size for our garden than a wheelbarrow.

I’d provide a photo – but right now, we’re having another day of heavy rain. I’m sure most of you will know what I’m talking about though.


I doubt if we’re going to get any heavy falls of snow this winter (will I be wrong?) and since I’m going to be short of six this week, mainly because of the dreadful weather, I’m indulging in posting a few shots of the snow-covered garden from a previous year. If I want any more snow scenes, I’ll just have to wait now to see what next winter brings!

Snow-covered garden
Snow-laden shrubs and conifers
No breakfast in the garden today

That’s my six for this week, I’m happy if you want to leave a comment, or join in with all of us worldwide who take part in Six on Saturday – click the link below to get more information.


Six on Saturday is like a weekly journal. Take six photographs and post them to Twitter and/or your blog. You can get all the details from The Propagator who kindly set it all up. If you want to join in and see what everyone else is doing in the garden, just follow the link!

All photographs copyright of Catherine Wood unless otherwise stated.

14 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 29-02

  1. What clean garden tools……I’m impressed. I have a garden tool carrier rather like yours and I find it most useful. You have had much more snow than us. I “forgot” or was too lazy to plant my bulbs so they are still in a cardboard box in the garage. Interesting Six-on-Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to confess, I gave them a bit of a scrub, so they were more presentable to have their photo taken. 😁 Just like you, I store in cardboard boxes in the garage, I just hope I can find the dahlias…


  2. The Hellebore is such a pretty colour and your photos are a delight. I’m quite keen to buy some of the marbled leaf ones (Rodney Davey) as they hold their heads up nicely, but they are expensive. If I manage to get to a nursery and see one I could be tempted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just had a look for them, and yes, they are costly. On the other hand, they are rather lovely. Anna’s Red looks gorgeous, but I’m all bought out now – no more until next winter! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think many of us escaped the weather this week by heading to garden centres that are full of the promise of spring.
      Thanks for your nice comments. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That hellebore is really something to look at indeed. Maybe it’ll form seed you can pass along to your sister who can then have Merlin for free . . . if it comes true to the parent plant. My son got me a garden bag similar to yours but in a lovely printed canvas. I thought it too nice for outdoors, so carried books in it. I wonder how many secateurs might’ve been saved had I only used it in the garden?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I rather like the sound of your bag in a nice printed canvas! But I think if I ever came across one, I’d be like you – and reluctant to get it covered in mud and grime!


    1. My tools went into a basin of hot soapy water before they were photographed. 😁 But my much-loved hand hoe is looking a bit rusty.


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