Six On Saturday: Celebrity opening

The new arch was installed last weekend after a little to-ing and fro-ing over how to put it up without having to prune the apple tree. One of the three cuttings of the rose ‘Madame Alfred Carrière’ was planted at the base and all was well. I was then incredibly lucky to be able to have a celebrity cut the ribbon and officially declare the arch open and ready for use.


Yes, it is Perry the mascot of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games! #PoseWithPerry. What a treat, our first post lockdown visitor – outside only. I may be as mad as ‘mad Alf’ can be in putting this rose at the bottom of an arch but the cutting was sitting in the garden waiting for a home, so it was swiftly put to good use. Now for the other side. Has anyone grown clematis ‘Freckles’? I am very tempted by the flowering period of November to February but I’m not sure about the flower’s eponymous freckles.


The warm weather brought out the blossom on the first of the plum trees. After four years of ‘let’s give it another year’ this tree had finally been condemned. When we took over the garden the tree was suffering from a split in the trunk that looked terminal but each year the tree healed itself a little more, as the trunk improved so the leaves seemed to dry up and die and the fruit crop diminished. This year the tree is covered in blossom, so inevitably it will get another year’s grace. Sadly temperatures of -2 degrees are forecast next week which may cause some damage to the blossom,


The front garden magnolia buds fully opened up and for while there will be a pink cloud outside the bedroom windows. This is the view on a dismal grey day, so much lovelier in the sunshine but I missed the opportunity!


I have been buying some plants for the shadier areas of the garden and my plan was to plant this hydrangea ‘Limelight’ in a particularly dark corner. Of course it will do better if it has a little more light and with the discovery that one of the blackcurrants has died overwinter I now have a better place for it. I feel quite relieved, but I am would be interested to know if anyone grows hydrangeas in deep shade?


Having promoted the hydrangea to a better place I was serendipitously handed the perfect plant for shade. This is helleborus foetidus. I collected some helleborus hybridus from the Finchley Horticultural Society and there was one lonely foetidus among them so it came home as well.


The thalia are out in all their glory now. They are such beautiful spring flowers and with three flowers to a stem they are very rewarding.

I have sown only one tray of flower seeds so far, some dahlia cacti mix which have germinated. The half hardy seeds I have decided to sow a little later than usual. Next week’s weather is colder and as the greenhouse is unheated I don’t think new sowings will do much. Half of my second early/main crop potatoes are in but I discovered a trench full of rubble where my second planting was due to go. More digging to be done. Spring onions, second tomatoes, and cucumbers are making progress. I have just about enough room on the windowsill for some climbing french beans to be started off this week but everything else is on hold until the cold winds change and the weather warms up again. The Propagator as always hosts SOS with humour – and is not really planning to concrete over his years of dedicated work. This week he features glorious daffodils shining in the sun. Happy gardening to all.

22 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Celebrity opening

  1. What an honour to get Perry to open the new arch. I hope this isn’t rude, but what exactly is Perry? A cow perhaps? Your magnolia is quite splendid. As for the hydrangea, I think Limelight might need a bit more sun than a lacecap or mophead, however the main thing hydrangeas hate is dryness at the roots. Too shady might mean less flowers and the plant becoming etiolated. Love the Thalia, I seriously need some. Happy Easter to you!

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  2. Fairly low temperatures are forecasted here for the coming week as well and as you said, the new flowers of fruit trees won’t like that … -1° to -3° depending on the night
    > There is nothing we can do about it
    Lovely thalia border !

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  3. Congrats on the grand opening of your new arch, am sure the rose/clematis combo will be a winner (I haven’t grown Freckles though like the sound of it). Magnificent magnolia and very elegant Thalia blooms. Am also taking a bit of a break from seed sowing, enough going on for now!

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    • Still going slow on the seed sowing but I did start another tray off today. Freckles got a thuggish warning so I am steering away from that one. Currently thinking about replanting the whole corner – never satisfied!


  4. What a brilliant magnolia!

    Re Clematis ‘Freckles’ – we grew it for a good number of years and removed it. It was a VERY strong grower, swamping everything in its path, spreading at the root etc. Beautiful but thuggish.

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  5. OH! That first picture is . . . like something I would chase off with a stick! A wide mouth like that could do a lot of damage! By the way, do you know who the mascot of the University of Rhode Island is?

    Liked by 1 person

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