Six On Saturday: Busy, busy, busy

There is much going on at the moment.  Projects in the house and the garden are keeping me busy.  Last weekend was good gardening time.  The first and second earlies are now all in the ground.  The onions grown in modules were planted out and the hydrangea has been moved.  The choisya got a stay of execution!  It is in bud so how I could I chop it down?  It is definitely one plant with a split personality: one side healthy and one side poorly.  Here’s what else is happening:


I failed to get all my new tulip purchases in the ground last winter.  My bulb planter was reduced to a mangled mess, my hands hurt and I kept hitting the spots where previous tulips were lying dormant.  The surplus went into pots which were lined up against a south facing wall.  The warm weather has encouraged them to flower.  The purple ones are ‘Ronaldo’ which I was expecting to be a deeper red.  In the other pots are ‘World Friendship’.


I am making progress on my lawn extension project.  In preparation for the new turf – which arrives on Monday – I set about digging up the hydrangea.  It turned out to be two hydrangeas, one very nearly dead!  Deep in amongst the hydrangeas were tulips.  I lifted these and very quickly planted them up again in pots.  I hope they won’t notice the disruption.  So far so good. I can’t wait for the new lawn patch to be laid!


The two hydrangeas may eventually be recycled somewhere but for the moment they have been planted in the north facing border along with my overwintered foxglove seedlings.  This will do for now as next  door to this section is the doomed choisya.  More thinking needs to done for what goes in here when that finally comes out.  Current front runners are choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’, a pinus mugo and possibly a camellia.  But I’d also like to fit in a sarcococca confusa.  Any other suggestions for interesting north facing shrubs gratefully  received.  Ideas for smaller plants for the front are also welcome.


The north facing border is getting most of the attention this year.  June 2016 is a memorable time as that is when we moved in – and I’ll leave it at that!  After nearly three years in the house I have worked my way round to this side of the garden.  This patch here is reserved for the deep shade white planting scheme by Joe Swift as featured in Gardeners’ World magazine August 2018.  The first planting has been made.  A local nursery was offering a good discount on Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris – the climbing hydrangea.  Two 10l pots were purchased.  More planting to follow but the Melica altissima ‘Alba’ is proving difficult to locate.


The mahonia in the front garden is looking particularly fine this year.  I hope this is due to the meticulous prune I gave it last year – dead, diseased, crossing etc all done by secateurs rather than a chop over with the shears!


The long border in March.  My monthly photographic update.  The tulips here will be out in April/May.  The delphiniums are shooting away so fast they have outrun the slugs.  Also racing ahead are the hemerocallis ‘Golden Chimes’.  I have new plantings of sanguisorba tanna and some extra alliums – but I can’t remember which ones, nor can I track down the order.  Another garden mystery to unravel.

I’m hoping to find time for some gardening this weekend and will no doubt be inspired by the garden reports of fellow sixers.  If you are looking for inspiration check out the links at The Propagator’s blog.

14 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Busy, busy, busy

  1. For # 3, I agree with the camellia. Without having read more, I thought of a Mahonia but you already have one, that is very beautiful. Why not a dwarf rhodo? I saw one at the nursery yesterday with blue flowers and I had to resist … Or a Fothergilla major? (beautiful shrub with beautiful white flowers and red orange leaves in autumn, slow growth)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bought my sanguisorba as 9cm pots planted out in autumn. I’m not sure they’ve all survived. But they are only just coming through so maybe some will have shown up by next week.


  2. Your mahonia certainly does look fine! I had one in my previous garden which never looked as good as that…probably not enough rain. It will be interesting to see your long border when the tulips are out. Exciting to have a shady border to fill up too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is the sort of pruning that mahonia needs, but rarely gets. Alternating canes (removal of the aging canes to promote new canes) is also important with old plants. That is why I dislike mahonia so in landscapes maintained by so-called ‘gardeners’. They just get shorn and ruined.


  3. We have just reached our three year milestone in our new home and like you this year I am concentrating on the north side, unlike you I don’t have any soil so my plants have to go into pots. I am very intrigued about the whole white garden scheme. Maybe you could list the plants suggested. Heucheras are good for the front in a shady place. I too have Ronaldo this year and mine are much darker red than yours appear. Sometimes I think it depends on where you buy bulbs from as to what you get. And I love seeing how your long border is developing. Hope you have had a lovely weekend in the garden 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a lovely colour on ‘Ronaldo’7. I want! May I suggest that you don’t plant Sarcococca in a border but, rather, in a container that’s large enough for the plant but small enough to be mobile. I have two which spend much of the year somewhere where I can see the foliage and black berries. But in its flowering season, one container goes outside the front door and the other outside the main back door – where the scent can be appreciated at a time when you’re not going to be regularly perambulating the garden. Some say the honey scent is overpowering but I love it. Easy to open a door and cut a sprig to put in a stem vase in the hall to scent the whole house out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good advice on the sarcococca. I have been hesitating because I thought the scent would be lost in the border! I have been reflecting on the tulip and have concluded it is ‘Barcelona’. Ronaldo has yet to make an appearance. Barcelona is a great colour, I’ve got it mixed with ‘Shirley’ and ‘Queen of night’ in the border but it’s much slower coming through.


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