Six on Saturday 2020 04-04

It’s been a busy week. Busy in the garden and busy with family matters. My son, three daughters and their families are all under varying degrees of lockdown, here at home, in the US and Australia. So messages and FaceTime calls have multiplied and devices have been pinging throughout the day. This isn’t a complaint, I’m delighted to be able to talk to them and hear how they’re coping with this strange lack of freedom, and how they are managing to keep their children occupied during the day, and for some, also work from home.

It’s been a week of mixed weather, with the only constants being the wind and the cold. Some days have been sunny, some have been dull and others have sprinkled us with light rain. I’ve potted up dahlias, new plants, sown seeds, and did a bit of weeding, feeding & mulching. With the help of husband I’ve moved some perennials, divided others and lifted two Clematis that haven’t done well since they were first planted in what turned out to be an unsuitable location. I’ve put them into pots and I’ll just let them alone for a while and see if they would like the chance to shine again. I hope they will.

Here’s my selection of six for this week. Some are new, some are updates, it’s their last chance to say goodbye until the following Spring.

Camellia Daintiness

Camellia Daintiness is flowering now, but most of her blooms are at the top, higher than I can reach, and I wasn’t about to start climbing a ladder. So the photographs show just a couple of the flowers that were in bloom at a more accessible level, but taken in quite deep shade. In a week or so the plant should be covered in blooms and I’ll photograph her again.

She’s flowered reliably at the side of our patio doors for many years now, and I look forward to seeing her every spring, even for just a short while.


This is February Gold…which flowered in March…

Narcissus ‘February Gold’

And this is January Gold (which I think might now be called ‘First Hope’ -though the packet did say ‘January Gold’)…which flowered in…yes, you guess it…February. January Gold is past its best now, but February is still doing well.

Narcissus ‘January Gold’
Tulip updates

Tulip ‘Shakespeare’ made me laugh. I went into the garden on Tuesday morning for some reason or other and I didn’t instantly recognise the large brilliantly coloured saucers that were flopping around in the breeze. I went back inside to get the camera, but the sun had gone in, and they had already started to close a little. I think you can get the general idea from the photographs, that they really didn’t look like the tulips I’d photographed the previous week. Their colour is becoming more vibrant as the days go on – these are a keeper – another note for my autumn planting list.

Tulip ‘Shakespeare’
They were attracting plenty of bees

Tulip ‘Ancilla’ opened too, but to a lesser degree, and was still recognisable as a tulip – though what struck me was the intensity of the markings that were now visible.

Tulip ‘Ancilla’. Beautiful
New Plants this Week

The postman’s been three times this week with small rooted cuttings, and (yeah!) more to follow. The first box contained 5 little Argyranthemum frutescens ‘Grandaisy Pink Halo’ and 5 Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Nana Attraction’ (both are quite a mouthful) which will be planted together in a container.

I’ve had Artemisia ‘Nana’ in the garden in the past, and it’s a lovely soft, touchy-feely little plant – I could never pass it by without stooping to feel it between my fingers. Sadly it doesn’t survive through the winter in this garden, but these are going in a pot along with the Argyranthemum, so I’m wondering if I could overwinter them in the unheated greenhouse. Meantime though, I’m hoping for a beautiful summer pot display from them.

Note the difference in size-and the root structure
All potted up and ready to grow.

Second to arrive were three Achillea millefolium ‘Lilac Beauty’ which, at the moment will be fine staying in the pots they arrived in. I can’t quite make up my mind exactly where they’re going, and I don’t think I’ll get a clear idea of that until I can see what’s coming up in the garden. They’re sitting outside now, along with the other, still potted, perennials.

Friday morning brought the postman to the door again with another 10 rooted cuttings. They have been in the mail for four days – travelling 1st Class, 24-hour service! Even so, they were in fairly good condition. The roots were still moist, though the verbenas were a bit floppy. I had them potted up within the hour, and I’m sure that they’ll recover just fine.

They’re both whites – Bacopa cordite ‘Gulliver White’ and Verbena x ‘Vepita Polar’ -and some are going into the new homemade planter on the patio.

Rooted Cuttings – Verbena & Bacopa
Bacopa cordata ‘Gulliver White’
Verbena x ‘Vepita Polar’

The half-trays of seedlings and newly sown seeds are lined up on my window ledges. I think by next week a few will be ready to make the transition to the greenhouse and some will be ready to be pricked out. I can’t get terribly excited about photographs of seedlings in trays, but here’s just a few to show.

Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’
Oh so easy to grow ‘Calendula ‘Indian Prince’
Helianthus ‘Vanilla Ice’
Spring Pots

Finally, a last goodbye to the Spring Pots Display that sits just beyond my study window. The pots rest on two different-height layers of staging made from old scaffolding boards – and they’ve been a source of visual joy this Spring. Many of the bulbs are starting to go over, and their pots will soon be needed for summer planting. Some of the plants will go into the borders, some will be transferred to another pot where they will die down, be dried off and stored until Autumn. I’ll have to come up with a plan for the staging – it can’t be left empty!

A happy jumble of colour, form and texture

I hope you’re all coping with life in this strange, and often frightening, new world that we’re currently living it. Take care of yourselves, your families and friends. 🌈

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.

22 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 04-04

  1. Fabulous pictures Catherine! All so optimistic and full of promise. I was so thrilled to see the plantlets and seedlings, it was almost as good as if they were my own. As for those tulips ……. what beauties! Stay safe and well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’ve been getting split deliveries, hence all the postie visits. But it’s a joy each time I get a message to say ‘your order is on its way’. Managed to sow a load of seeds this afternoon…more future plants…I hope!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Some more seedlings were sown today, and I’m hoping that they germinate well. Sometimes it’s more ‘miss’ than ‘hit’ with them, but trying is the first step. I prefer working with seedlings when they’re a bit larger and I’m less afraid of killing them off. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your Spring Pots collection, and am amazed your postal service will deliver those rooted cuttings in such wonderful condition … can’t even imagine what Canada Post’s automated sorting conveyor belts would do to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are all very well packaged Chris. The cuttings are in strong plastic (that word that should only be whispered!) containers and then in a sturdy cardboard box.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Fred. Soon all our spring pots will just be happy memories – or better – photographs for our albums or photo books. Yes, T. Shakespeare was a bit of a surprise, but a nice one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely photos and I actually like the seedling photos! The small things in life we don’t really notice until someone points a camera at them. Your species tulips are fabulous and I see you have them in pots. I planted some when I moved here, but under a tree and apart from the first year I have seen no sign of them. I have come to realise that tulips do actually prefer the sun. I might have to buy some more in the autumn and use the shallow bowls to plant them in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh…the seedling photos. I think I need to pay more attention to them as others appear to like to see little seedlings emerge from the soil! I think my aversion to photographing them comes from the fact that to do the job as well I would like to, I need to mount the camera on a tripod! And that takes more time and more effort, especially when one is upstairs and the other is downstairs and the tripod is heavy. Lol.

      All of my tulips are grown in pots, though some of them will go into the ground, and if they’re in a plastic pot, then that goes in too. I can then just lift it out when the dahlias are ready to take their place. Those in terracotta or glazed pots will be scattered around the garden once they begin to flower.


  4. Those tulips are stunning. The small mystery red ones I have open out fully in the sun – I hadn’t realised tulips did this. You’re going to be busy pricking out and potting on seedlings! I will try and remember February Gold when we get to bulb ordering season. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I quite enjoy pricking out seedlings, though I don’t like if there’s a bunch of them and I have to pick the strongest. It seems so cruel to discard the weakest. Perhaps that’s why I always end up with way too many.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It does feel a bit like that when the postman calls, Linda. 😁 The orders are currently coming in as split orders, so it makes it seem as if I’ve made a lot of orders when I actually haven’t.


  5. Those tulips are fantastic. Love the Shakespeare plates & the inner markings of those ancilla. My own’ve opened to show themselves to pollinators, I suspect, but they look a lot more bedraggled than yours. All those young plants did well in the post. You’ve a lot to look forward to this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine are a bit bedraggled now too, Lora. They’ve done well this spring, though I’m a bit sorry to see them go.


  6. I’m glad it’s not just me getting lots of plants by post. I’ve always bought many of my plants online and right now the smaller nurseries really need us! Your photos are beautiful as always and Shakespeare is to die for. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m astonished to see so many online sites who appear to be struggling to fulfil orders. I was on one over the weekend where I was placed in a queue – I’m afraid it was too much like trying to get a food delivery slot, and I left. On the plus side, it’s good to know that more people are obviously embracing their gardens during the lockdown.


  7. wow lots of planty promise in your six this week. i love a plant delivery, and it’s always exciting to see seedlings come up. i ordered some geraniums the other day, hoping they turn up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two emails today – two more orders on the way, Hoping I have enough compost for all this potting up that’s going to need to be tackled. Hope you get your geraniums!


  8. Beautiful photographs as always. I’m particularly taken by your opening shot of the camellia hanging it’s head so daintily. It’s nice that you can still get some plants by post, and that they survived their longer than usual journeys. It gives us a bit of normality among all the weirdness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m so glad that online garden sites are still able to supply plants – gardens are turning out to be a lifeline for many people during this lockdown. My heart goes out to anyone who is restricted to a city apartment without easy access to green spaces.

      I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work in the garden almost every day, and the time passes so fast that I often feel a wee bit irritated when I have to stop to go make dinner. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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