Six on Saturday 2020 16-05

Most of the focus this week has been on hardening off plants. The pelargoniums and dahlias have been out during the day for around 10 days now, but every time I think it’s going to be safe to leave them out, the forecast slithers downwards and I have to put them back undercover.

The pellies are now at the front door, they’ve outgrown their greenhouse space and had to leave. Evicted, if you like. Overnight temperatures are looking pretty good right up until the end of the month, but if there are any drastic changes there’s always horticulture fleece. Right?

Now it’s the turn of all the small plants, mostly grown from seeds. The daily shuffle of moving them in and out of the greenhouse is a necessary task that can easily become a bit of a chore. I’ve been known to shorten the time between the plants being all cosy in the greenhouse and being planted into the often still-cold soil. This year, I’m hoping to get it right.

But enough of that, here’s my six for this weekend.

Choisya – Mexican Orange Blossom

The perfume from this Choisya is usually quite beautiful, but so far there’s not a whiff of scent from it. Perhaps it is just too cold at the moment…I wonder if it could hold onto its blossom for another week as it looks as though temperatures here are going to rise a little.

Choisya ternata might just be an ordinary garden shrub, but it’s beautiful when it flowers.

Choisya ternata with Acer ‘Bloodgood’ behind
The small white flowers are generally fragrant

Farewell Tulipa Orange Princess, you’ve brightened up this garden for weeks, but it’s time for you to take a rest, and return, looking just as beautiful next year.

I didn’t notice the incredible beauty of the back of the outer leaves of Orange Princess until one morning this week. I was working my way around the garden, deadheading and generally tidying up and noticed how lovely the underside of the heads were. By that time they were all in the tub along with some weed and other debris, so I fished them out and put them into a little trug, which was the only thing I had handy.

I felt it looked a little bit contrived but at that point, it was that or nothing at all.  The sun was strong and quite unforgiving, so I took a few shots inside the summerhouse, with sunlight flowing through the window.

A touch of drama with this light and shadow shot
A few minutes later when the sun went behind a cloud
Stunning colour and painterly detail
The Den

This is the little clearing beneath Acer ‘Bloodgood’ and surrounded by various shrubs. We haven’t progressed much with my ideas to develop it since the local sawmill has been closed in recent weeks. When it reopens a neighbour will be going for some supplies and will bring us whatever is needed.

Once the base is in place I’ll plant the area and add bark. I’ve ordered Tiarella which will arrive in a few weeks and pre-ordered Erythronium Pagoda and White Beauty bulbs that will be here around September for autumn planting.

There probably won’t be any structure built in there, it’s a small space, and I don’t want it to feel over-enclosed. Rather than over-theme it, I’d like the focus to be woodland, with all its associated smells and sounds. I’d like the children use their imaginations to create their own visions of what this space is about, but I will add a few things to it, right now I’m just not sure what.

We added a few stepping stones this week. Beyond the fourth stepping stone is a second small clearing.

Stepping stones for little children to explore

Inside the area there’s a few smallish ferns and hostas, but when I went in there a few weeks ago to add the little tree hugger, I spotted this lovely fern, happily growing in dappled shade.

The fern is currently around 3 ft high
A favourite spot

This bench is at the back of the garden and faces on to the rose bed. Partially surrounded by trees and shrubs it’s probably the most sheltered spot, and also the warmest as it gets full sun throughout the day.

I’m hoping to find time to sit there soon, in the warmth of a summer’s day, gazing onto the roses that should open in a few weeks time.  It would be nice if lockdown restrictions were lifted by then, perhaps just enough so that we could have family join us. But I’m realistic and know that might not happen for some time to come.

The entrance to ‘The Den’ is to the right of the bench

I put pots of pelargoniums at my door every year, it’s a spot they seem to appreciate – facing the sun, sheltered from the winds and also the rain as the canopy over the house acts as a giant umbrella. Now that their period of hardening-off is complete, and night temperatures have risen, they’ve been placed at their favourite spot at the front of the house.

Hardening off outside the greenhouse
Potted up and at the front door
Leaf scented pelargonium
Wallflowers & Forget-me-Nots

The Forget-me-Nots will be fading soon, they seem to be lasting forever and they’ve been fabulous this year.

The wallflowers that are dotted around in little clusters are still doing their thing, though I’m definitely a bit over the top about wanting to tidy them up. Perhaps it would have made a bit of sense have some lower growing plants in front of them. I bought the plants bare-root, but I’m toying with the idea of growing from seed this year. That’s only a maybe.

Wallflowers & Forget-me-nots
The Forget-me-nots happily self-seed throughout the garden

That’s all I can show you for this Saturday, but be sure to check out all the other Six on Saturday posts which are from all around the world, and you’ll find plenty of ideas for your own garden. Enjoy your gardening weekend, and stay safe and healthy. 🌈

If you want to join in with photographs of your own, 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.



21 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 2020 16-05

    1. I remember playing in our ‘den’ as a child. It was an area near our home, and was an opening under shrubs and trees on wasteland that bordered the local cemetery!

      Our revised forecast now says that we’ll have one dry day this coming week, with a maximum of 17C. Oh well… I can always dream of ☀️


  1. I really like the choisya : the flowering and scent are fantastic. Mine finishes flowering here.
    There was a TV show yesterday night and they proposed to plant a choisya in a pot on a Parisian balcony … It made me angry because in a while, this plant will be condemned. It needs to be planted in the ground !
    Nice six and very beautiful photos as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve had a Choisya in a pot for around 6 years, the last three of them in an old coal box
      It’s still fine and healthy, and has flowered every year, although the confines of the box have kept it quite small. I only moved in out into the soil a few weeks ago to fill a gap near a boundary, so I’m hoping it’ll take off and double in size now it’s planted in open ground.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve had a look at your coal box pot on your blog, and your other containers! All very original ideas.

        I can remember my mother had coal box similar to that, which she polished regularly with Brasso. – I expect she simply got rid of it when our home went all-electric.


    2. Thank you.
      I wouldn’t imagine that there would be a lot of space on a balcony for a large pot, so let’s hope the owners give their choisya to a good home when it grows too big.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you might be right about the Choisya requiring a bit of warmth to release the scent of the flowers. Your theory was certainly correct about the Hesperis – I could detect fragrance the other week when it was warm. You favourite spot looks lovely and the combination of wall flowers and forget-me-nots beautiful. I wondered what the tree hugger was until I spotted it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only 13C today, but felt colder – and absolutely no scent from the choisya. I’ve been looking forward to it scent all spring – and none! I hope my little Wisteria tree isn’t the same when it blooms.

      Glad you spotted the little kitty tree hugger. I’ve had that for a couple of years – and only put it in place (well, to be honest, husband did it) about two weeks ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Little children”? I see stepping stones and I want to follow them, even if I have to crawl! They offer the promise of something interesting at the other end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol – you almost would have to crawl. I’ve had to tie a ‘Duck! Mind your head’ sign on a low Acer branch as I’ve cracked my head on it a few times.

      The other end will have to be developed a little…and I have my thinking cap on, but the brain is still empty. 🤔


  4. What beautiful colours….you have a lovely garden, but only as a result of much hard work, I am sure. My Mexican orange blossom has been (and still is) covered in blossom. I will prune it rather vigorously when they finish, it seems to like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Granny – the hard work is carrying us through lockdown. I think mine could do with a good prune too – I’ve just let it ramble around, doing its own thing, perhaps it’s time to give it a treat.


  5. Your Choisya is gorgeous, I wish I had room for one. The scent might only be detected in the warmth, I noticed that about the gorse around here recently, no smell at all until a warmer day when the distinct smell of suntan lotion (coconut) filled the air 😊 I love your painterly tulips – I leave mine to complete fade away and drop their dying petals, often the colours are even more spectacular then. But the leaves are very untidy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re probably right about the perfume – and there’s little warmth around at the moment to coax it out of the flowers.

      Half the tulip heads had already fallen off, and the petals were blowing everywhere – I’m not normally that tidy, but they were really messy looking. So it was, off with their heads! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Sometimes it’s just a case of ‘seeing’ a possible shot, rather than having any great skill.


    1. Thank you Anna, I just need to be able to transfer my thoughts to my husband’s brain as he will have to do the initial groundwork. He hasn’t quite caught the vision of it…yet. 😁


  6. i really must plant out my pellies. i saved some over the winter in the GH, just vey basic ones, and i bought a few recently, of course i’ve taken cuttings. a job for one evening this week perhaps. all looking very lovely in your garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have three pellies left over that I think I”ll try in the back garden – probably in a pot on the patio. Oddly I’ve never grown them in the back garden, or in the ground. Time to experiment. Good luck with your cuttings, you seem to have the magic touch when it comes to things like that. 😁


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