Six on Saturday

Having spent the last few days wondering if three or three and half on Saturday would pass muster I finally knuckled down and came up with six.  It may sound as though it’s an onerous task to post weekly.  But no,  I am enjoying the discipline of looking at the garden in a focused way.  It may even be making me a more productive gardener!


A week or so ago I succumbed to this impulse buy from a supermarket.  Of course, when I arrived home I thought where on earth am I going to plant them?  Their pretty little viola faces seemed rather dwarfed once positioned in the garden.  This week serendipity struck.  I remembered I had three neglected terracotta troughs.  I think they will be just right for some block planting and then I can place them along one side of a raised bed.  Perfect.



Inspired by a tweet from Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire I am sharing with you my borders in February.  First is the border that was extended in November.  The line of snowdrops and emerging daffodils under the hedge shows where the old border ended.  They will be moved to the front after flowering.  The roses were planted in November: three Darcy Bussell and a Jaqueline du Pre.  Perhaps now I need an artistic rose to complete the cultural theme.



This is my long border. As you can see the foxes/squirrels love spreading the mulch around.  I have used roses and euphorbia as the framework and I am filling in around them with astrantia, gernaniums, scabious, penstemon and a variety of annuals. The borders at Waterperry are famous for their careful staking of plants.  Here’s a tip from Pat Havers, Head Gardener there.  They start staking their perennials in April.  I always leave my staking until it’s too late.  This year I will do better.



Hedges.  The background to the new border is a mixed hedge.  Elaeaganus, bay and viburnum.  I like the bay and viburnum but I would love to replace the elaeaganus with a darker green hedge to give a stronger background to the foreground plants.  Sometimes you have to garden with what you have.



Last week I mentioned that I prefer primula vulgaris to the stronger coloured primroses appearing in the nurseries.  The brightly coloured versions add colour at this time of year but the pale yellow of the common primrose is always the winner for me.  I grow them in my spring corner.  First the primroses and snowdrops appear, followed by anemones, bluebells and aquilegia and then I am hoping last October’s planting of pheasant eye narcissus will steal the show.


And lastly, the February issue of Gardeners World came to my rescue.  Mint is beginning to come through now and they suggest breaking up small clumps of it to pot up for the greenhouse.   This will give an earlier crop.  The perfect job for the weekend.

There’s a cold spell ahead and it’s a gloomy day today, but there is always something to enjoy.  I hope you find time to garden or to reflect on your garden this weekend.  It’s a lovely thing to do.  More international gardening thoughts can be found at The Propagator who hosts this meme.



16 thoughts on “Six on Saturday

  1. I agree about the primula. Later in the year, that delicate colour gets lost, but when they first come out, the pale yellows suit the rest of the garden. A gentle wake-up call. Loved all the tips you shared as well – AND those terracotta troughs. Look forward to a photo of the violas in them. (I wouldn’t’ve been able to resist those little faces, either.)

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  2. Hmm! I like the blousy coloured primula/polyanthus though, admittedly, containerised rather than in the ground, where, like you, I prefer the natives – vulgaris and veris. I’ve been putting off the staking for about 20 years now. There has to be a knack to it. I never managed to get the staking right; it always looked like artificially staked plants. I now use, where I really have to, those round plant support things which I can shove in when the occasional mood takes me (usually when I can’t get along a path past a floppy plant).

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    • Your approach to staking is very similar to my own. I’m trying to perfect the relaxed rambling border but every now and then I need to stake and always I realise it too late. I’m going to make an effort this year!

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  3. Nice Six! Like the others, I prefer native primulas and I don’t take care of them, they are sowing themselves every year. Your terracotta pots are very beautiful (the 3 that you have presented and also the big one in the background)

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  4. I find myself lusting after that nice soil/mulch in your beds! I find I consistently under-feed,largely because the sight of mulch inspired the chooks to dig up my plants. I haven’t been able to get staking right either..I do the ‘right’ things,but still looks artificial. I am beginning to believe that staking is not a science,but an art and I simply don’t have ‘it’.


    • I felt the soil in the new garden needed a lift. So this is second year of mulching. It’s the foxes here that like to dig it up. I like to grow delphiniums so I’ve accepted the artificial look a bamboo canes. But the folks at waterperry gardens do have staking down to a fine art. I’ll never match them!


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