Six On Saturday: ’tis the winter season

Not being one of the very early risers the gloomy mornings are only just starting to have an impact on me. Fortunately there are only two weeks to go until the shortest day and then we will be on the up again. Winter frosts have turned most of the herbaceous borders brown which is a reminder to me to get those soggy plants removed.  I was looking forlornly out of the kitchen window this morning wondering what my six would be when I realised that the garden was full of birds. The persimmon tree was hosting several species and one in particular caught my eye. Out came the book of birds and I was able to identify a redwing.  Once again Mr P’s Six On Saturday regime has come up trumps.  Armed with optimism I sallied forth to see what else was going on in the December garden.


One step outside the back door and the first reward was spotted,  The mint that had frazzled up and died in the summer is pushing through again.  This was grown from seed this year so I’m very pleased to see it’s resurgence.


Two steps more and I was reminded of the annual moss cull that takes place at this time of year.  The birds descend and pull up the moss from the cracks in the paving.  They fling it around with gay abandon, they have no need for the moss now.  I imagine they are searching for insects.  What else could it be? I have some sweeping up to do.


Down the steps, the hydrangeas are in their last throes of pinky-brown.  Some have advanced further into winter foliage and some have new buds forming.


The leaves are down from the trees.  There seemed to be a never-ending supply of them but now they are piled up in the leaf cage it doesn’t look like much.



Round the back in the nursery corner the salvia ‘Amistad’ that overwintered from last year is still in flower.  I am coming to view this plant as a late summer contributor.  I have six cuttings in the greenhouse that are doing well, so far.  There have been casualties though.  The salvia nemorosa caradonna cuttings have gone from three to one and the lavender looks a bit wobbly.


It feels like a few years ago now but some time in the recent past I sowed a whole packet of euphorbia oblongata seeds.  Forty five I seem to remember.  I managed to get three plants which hovered between life and death for some months.  I tipped them out into the garden to do or die and one of them looks quite healthy now.  It will, of course, die over the winter.  But maybe not.  I’ll keep those fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed that your winter gardening throws up some joys.  I am thinking about the spring bulbs that are doing their thing below the surface at this very moment.  I have also thought about slugs that are lurking so tomorrow’s job will be to clear the sogginess.

16 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: ’tis the winter season

  1. As you said I did it and you too! It’s always a challenge to find 6 things … but by walking in the garden and looking around, you can be sure to find something.
    This week I’ve liked the little mosses on the paving , the faded hydrangea and the pretty foliage of euphorbia that you showed us.
    It’s now the start to look for next week ideas…

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  2. Until I started doing Six on Saturday I just assumed nothing really happened in the garden over the winter months. Last winter I was convinced I’d run out of stuff to share and yet six things were always found. You’ve reminded me I need to tidy up leaves in the front garden tomorrow, if the storm doesn’t tidy them away for me. You’ve also solved my moss mystery!

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    • Glad to be of help on the moss mystery. I think you are so right about gardening over the winter. All too easy to shut the door and not head out there until March but a little careful looking pays dividends. I cleared some of the sogginess and found a lovely collection of weeds nestled in underneath!

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  3. I find the birds’ mossing routine quite charming! Better moss than bulbs, but it does leave a chore for yourself. Your hydrangea is quite pink compared to the ones around here, altho mine & everyone else’s amistad are still blooming. Love that salvia & am so glad SoS introduced me to it. Your leaves are a gorgeous assortment of colours.

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      • Wild native persimmons produce wrinkly burnished orange fruit that is only about as big as ping-pong balls, with a few big seeds. Japanese persimmons produce shiny bright orange fruit as big as baseballs or softballs, without seeds, or rarely with just a few narrow seeds. There are a few cultivars and hybrids of American persimmon that produce bigger and shiner fruit, but they are uncommon.

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      • Wow, I had to look that one up! Sharon fruit is a variety of the same species that was developed in Israel; but I can find no information about how it got there, or if it was naturally occurring. Since there are a few different kinds, I suspect that it is a real variety rather than a distinct cultivar, although cultivars of it have been developed. As I try to research it, I find only information about Japanese cultivars. (References are back to Diospyros kaki.) I a sorry for the confusion. This is a new one for me. I had heard of Sharon fruit, but was not aware that it was the same species of familiar persimmon. This is more confusing than the origin of rhubarb.


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