Six on Saturday 2020 21-03

This has been a difficult and emotional week for most of us. Covid-19 has occupied our thoughts, and there’s been no escaping from it. My husband and I are social distancing because of our age. Having to physically distance ourselves from our family is tough and I can tell you that many tears have been shed this week.

My place of solace has been the garden and fortunately, we’ve had sunshine during most of this week (though cold!). We’ve spent much of those days in the garden, and that’s the plan for the coming weeks. We’ll work in the garden on dry days, go for walks in the park or along the prom (while keeping to the two-metre rule) and we’ll do a bit of decorating in the house on wet days – or tackle the housework that won’t get done while we’re in the garden. And we’ll have daily conversations on FaceTime with our children and grandchildren in Scotland, the US and Australia, all of whom are currently working from home and caring for their children who just want to get out and about with their friends.

Meantime, here’s my Six for the Saturday, and I hope you can find something here to enjoy, inspire or just ponder over.

Skimmia japonica

The flowers on the Skimmia are starting to open, though I really do like the little tight balls that are the buds, and besides the bright red berries, it’s a shrub that never loses its appeal at this time of the year.

Bright red berries and tiny white flowers

You can’t help but love Forget-me-nots, especially when they’re creating that fabulous blue haze across your borders or beneath shrubs or trees. Mine haven’t reached that stage yet, but they’re starting to open their buds and in a couple of weeks, I hope that I can enjoy seeing that swathe of blue.

Forget-me-not ‘Sylvia’
Spring’s Yellow Trumpets

I returned a book to a friend on Thursday morning and we stood outside her front door chatting, at the required two-metre distance. I felt quite cheered after leaving her, the sun was shining and for a moment I almost forgot about the situation that was minute by minute, changing all our lives.

I stopped on my way home at a little park area near home and photographed the daffodils. Is there anything more joyous in spring than “a host of golden daffodils”.

Daffodils en-masse
A joyful scene
Tulip ‘Ancilla’

They just refuse to grow at the same time, and I can’t persuade them to behave and grow beautifully together. However, Tulip ‘Ancilla’ is pretty and I reckon that I’ll plant some in the front garden border for next spring. Lots perhaps.

Tulip ‘Ancilla’
New Plants 1

The doorbell rang this morning and when I answered it, a parcel lay on the top step. I looked up and the delivery man was already sitting in his van with the window down, waiting for acknowledgement that the parcel had been received. I shouted thanks to him, he waved and was gone. Social distancing – the gesture was appreciated.

I didn’t get the chance last year to take Verbena bonariensis cuttings and I didn’t order seeds, so in my little box were five good, healthy seedlings from Sarah Raven.

Verbena bonariensis seedlings

They were potted on this afternoon – in a sunny warm greenhouse and popped outside until I’m ready to plant them.

Potted up
New Plants 2

An order from Crocus arrived on Monday and I started potting-on some of them today. There’s six Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ two of which will go into planters and the others into the ground. I grow them in the garden every year, normally from cuttings taken the previous year because they don’t make it through the winter here. This year I had no cuttings (the result of a poorly timed holiday) and had to buy new plants.

There’s also two Digitalis ‘Pink Panther’ (I’m really hoping that they’re going to be fabulous) and one Geranium nodosum.

Fresh and health plants

That’s mine for this week. I hope you are all keeping safe and healthy. If you want to join in with Six on Saturday around the world, here are the details:


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.





12 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 21-03

  1. Cheering photographs, which is what’s needed right now. I never had any luck with Skimmia for some reason which is annoying as yours is stunning with the combination of buds and berries. I feel the same about the flower buds of the Viburnum carlesii – they look just as nice as the opened flowers. Your forget-me-nots are way ahead of mine.

    It hasn’t hit me yet that I probably won’t get to visit my parents in Wales this summer (they’re self isolating too). My wife’s mum lives a few doors down the road and is in her 80s so we can still stalk to her in person at a safe distance.

    I think I’m going to making a lot of online plant purchases over the coming months!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Forget-me-nots are a bit early here, though only a few are starting to open.

      It will be hard for you not being able to visit your parents, though I hope you can talk to them daily whether by phone or video link. They will feel the loss too. My daughter had to cancel her wedding yesterday. My children & their families live in three different continents and this was to be our big family gathering, something that doesn’t happen too often.

      I think our gardens are going to be more essential to us than ever before – online garden companies are going to be swamped with orders for plants this year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they do look similar Fred. Though sometimes I find it hard to see any difference at all between two or more varieties of flower and plants. I think it takes a more trained pair of eyes than mine. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have three Skimmia – two females and one male, all flowering prettily just now. I hope the females produce some berries next year – yours is gorgeous. As is that Tulip β€˜Ancilla’ – what pretty colours. My tulips are beginning to flower, though I hope they slow down somewhat or they’ll be finished long before May! Sad that your daughter has had to cancel her wedding and the family get together. Life will be very strange for all of us this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Skimmia always surprises me. It gets absolutely no attention at all. To my knowledge, it has never been pruned or fed, but it’s grown happily in that corner of the garden for more years than I can remember. My daughter’s wedding will happen in time, once all this chaos and its after-effects have settled down and world economies have picked up again. Thanks for your comments.😊

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I could guess and say yes because that’s the way I always remember it – but I could be wrong. I honestly don’t know. I have only the one plant, and I don’t think any of my neighbours have one, so I’ve always been rather confused as to what variety it is.


  3. Yes,that Skimmia is beautiful. I haven’t grown that. Does it like shade or sun? I will look that up tomorrow. Such a shame your daughter’s wedding had to be postponed. It’s al very strange and rather alarming. It’s a pity I don’t live near….I could have given you several dozen verbena bonariensis seedlings or a few thousand seeds!! Look after yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It gets morning sun and late afternoon shade in summer. I never seem to get any seedlings from my Verbena bonariensis – or perhaps they just get evicted with the weeds in spring. The seedlings would have been nice, but I’m not sure I could have coped with several thousand seeds. πŸ˜‚
      You take care too…stay close to home as much as possible.


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