Six on Saturday 2020 05-03

Hello Spring!

I’ve had such a lovely week in the garden, and it’s been a productive one. After weeks of almost relentless rain and winds, the first week of the meteorological spring brought us sunshine and gentle winds. It’s still bitingly cold but it’s been the type of week that conveys a sense of anticipation that springtime is gently flowing over the earth once more.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

The first job I tackled on Monday morning was to rearrange the pots on the two-layer staging that my husband pulled together from a couple of old scaffolding boards. I took away some pots where the bulbs have gone over and added in the three recently-bought Hellebores that I’ve been so enchanted with. It brought an instant facelift to the garden and a big smile to my face. Colour in the garden at last! It may not be a professional effort, but it makes me happy to look at, and that’s what matters.

Some in bloom, some to follow

I asked my husband if he could make me a planter for the patio at the back of the house. The patio is raised off the ground by a couple of feet at one point, and I was worried that our 18-month grandson would go rushing towards the edge and right over.

So he built me a planter, mostly from wood he had in the garage. It’s 1.8m in length, 450mm high and 450mm deep, and it’s a visual stop if this active little toddler decides to go wildly running about on the patio. The remaining length of the patio will have some pots on it, and that will block off the remaining area. Perennials on the other two sides will soon be growing and will complete the ‘visual barrier’.

The Patio Planter

When he was putting it together, on the drive at the front of the house, we did get a few looks from our neighbours. It looked like a coffin. You know, the type that you see in Western movies, the type they put dead gunslingers into…have you got the idea? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But it looks a bit more classy than that now, and although you couldn’t call it a lovely piece of garden furniture, it should serve its purpose, saving a very active little boy from a fall, and giving the patio some summer colour. The joke was, that if one of us suddenly disappeared, everyone would know where to look. ๐Ÿค”

Former identity – ‘the coffin’

We’ve filled the planter with some of our own compost, and some bought compost. On Wednesday morning I added two hydrangeas, a pink and a white, that I’ve been growing from cuttings since July 2018. They’re scrappy-looking at this time of the year, but as we move towards summer I hope they’ll start to flourish.

Hydrangea – pink. Variety unknown

The planter gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon, and that suits the two hydrangeas, but what else can I add for a profusion of summer colour? The catalogues are being browsed, but no decisions have been made. I’ll add some spring-flowering bulbs in the autumn, but beyond that, I’m not sure what to plant.ย Ideas are most welcome!


Mostly I’ve been pruning throughout the week, although I also started emptying the greenhouse so that I can give it a good clean…and that clean is scheduled for today. This morning I plan to wash down the outside, and in the afternoon I’ll tackle the inside…since the forecast says it’s going to rain. Our good spell of weather might be over.ย Next week I’m aiming to start sowing seeds – in an old – but hopefully bug-free greenhouse.

Tools arriving for work

I’m pleasantly surprised at the growth of the rhubarb this year. It’s an old plant that was divided a couple of years ago. One large piece was replanted, and another, smaller piece, planted nearby. I can’t remember ever having so much rhubarb so early in March – we’ve been picking since mid-February. Too much rhubarb is never a problem as we have a few neighbours who like rhubarb and happily, there’s enough to go around…if there happens to be any surplus there’s always the freezer!

For the pot – just a taster
Clematis montana ‘Freda’

This clematis has been growing in the garden for a number of years, and I absolutely adore when her petals break free in April. Yesterday I noticed that she’s covered in good strong buds and on her way to becoming the star of the garden, if only for a short time.

Clematis montana ‘Freda’ buds in early March

Here’s what I’m looking forward to at some point towards the end of April. Ahh, gorgeous!

Clematis montana ‘Freda’ in bloom late April
Summer Colour

It’s fun when you order something in the depths of winter, forget about it, and as soon as spring arrives the delivery man appears at the door, announcing, “it’s for your garden”. He did exactly that yesterday morning. ๐Ÿ˜

Summer colour-in-waiting

The Dahlia tubers arrived a couple of weeks ago, and this morning the box from Farmer Gracy contained Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ Allium ‘Millenium’ and Stachys monnieri ‘Hummelo’. All these varieties are new to me and I’m really excited to see how they perform in my garden.

Well, that’s about it from me this week, except perhaps to say that the camera often picks up things that the eye doesn’t see. It wasn’t until I zoomed in on some photographs on the computer that I noticed that I have some unwelcome visitors on one of the hydrangeas!

Unwelcome visitors – hopefully not residents

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.

19 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 05-03

  1. Your pot display is lovely – and your pots are so clean! You have a clever hubby! I envy you your rhubarb. I had to remove the crown I had as it had pretty much rotted away. And I do like rhubarb…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re not normally clean at this time of the year – I’ve been wondering if it’s because they’re raised off the ground. Other pots at the back of the garden are going green and they were planted at the same time. Maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a new rhubarb crown..or two… ๐Ÿ˜


  2. The plant display looks very classy. I’m rather jealous. The coffin looks very professional. I wish my other half could knock something like that up from leftovers. One blogger (sorry I don’t remember who) recently included a quote from Margery Fish – ‘When in doubt, plant a geranium’. Perhaps you could try one of those for your planter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’ll pass that comment about the coffin onto my other half – that’ll please him. Now, why did I not think about geraniums…! Good idea – and thank you. ๐Ÿ˜


  3. The pot display is lovely and your husband’s woodwork skills make mine look very poor (I tried making a bird box this afternoon and I can’t imagine anything moving in). I think my great aunt Freda has that clematis! Those aphids look far too cosy in the hydrandea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll pass on your praise. The latest project is a bird table. I just wanted a simple flat top table so that our grandson could watch the birdies from the patio doors. But it seems to have grown a roof and some side planters…I’m not sure how it’s is going to look but it will probably debut on next week’s Six.

      I’m sure the birds will love your bird box – you’re giving them a little home – just wait – they will come. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Your great-aunt Freda has great taste. ๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s mine done! On the inside anyway – it was too wet to tackle the outside, but it means that I can get everything moved back in next week…and start sowing seeds. Yeah! It took all day – but was worth it.


  4. I do like your two tiers of pots, especially the hellebore ones, and the โ€˜coffinโ€™ is a great addition especially if itโ€™s going to prevent an unfortunate accident. I am a bit envious of that rhubarb as I managed to kill mine. Perhaps I overwatered it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. I wouldn’t like to be without my rhubarb ๐Ÿ˜ The rain does all the watering here – I don’t think I’ve ever had to water that plan.! Maybe you should treat yourself to a new crown if just to enjoy a lovely rhubarb crumble. Yum. ย ย 


  5. I love your new planter (aren’t husbands a wonderful thing?!). Some hostas and salvias would look lovely in it (and the slugs wouldn’t get to them so easily). As for your rhubarb โ€“ wow! I’d love to know your secret for having that much growth at this time of year (mine is only just starting to break through the surface).


    1. Yes, they come in handy from time to time!

      Good idea about the hostas & salvias. Now on my list. ๐Ÿ˜

      I think the variety of rhubarb must be ‘Timperley Early’ It was given to us by a friend many years ago, straight from his garden, so no labels to refer to. ‘Timperley Early’ can be harvested in February but even so, it’s much larger than it usually is at this time of the year – probably to do with the milder than usual winter that we’ve had.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, OK. I will look out for Timperley Early, not that I know where I’d put it at the moment. I may need to start digging out some more borders! I wonder if you can grow rhubarb in a pot. I’ve just purchased 3 blackberry plants, and they are in pots for the moment until I can find a spot for them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I believe you can grow it in a pot – but I think it would have to be a fairly large (and strong) pot. I have a couple of blueberries in pots, and also a blackcurrant, but I think they will have to be repotted this year – or, like you, find a piece of ground to put them into ๐Ÿ˜


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