Six on Saturday: Thinking aloud*

Having spent the last few months day dreaming of garden projects it is time to get real and decide what is going to be put in place and what’s not. I’d love to have a multi stem silver birch and have a space in mind for one, but it would mean displacing three Darcy Bussell roses and it would create a dry spot where the gooseberries grow. That’s not happening. Last year I talked myself out of planting up a grass corner on the grounds that it would be too shady. This year I am going to do it. I might lose a plant or two but that happens every year, usually due to slugs. I didn’t plant Jean D’Arc crocuses, deciding that, as they are Dutch varieties, they would be too large. This year I will go big and order them. February is a month of anticipation, pole position on the grid, foot hovering over the accelerator, but patience is required. There’s plenty of time yet. So ease back and enjoy what is happening now with this week’s six.


I noticed that flowers had started to appear on the rosemary bush. This and the sage were inherited and the sage was showing signs of age last year. I was ruthless in shaping it up and cutting out some very old stems. This year will show whether this results in rejuvenation or demise.


The very first of the crocuses have shown up. These are in a dry spot underneath a magnolia so I am always impressed that they make it through every year.


The annual showing of the fat buds of clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’. This plant helps the garden through February and into March. It’s scented and has pretty white/pink flowers.


This is sarcococca hookeriana ‘Winter Gem’. A smaller growing (70cm) variety with a pinker flower. It has been a slow starter but in its second year it’s beginning to fill the space.


The front garden hydrangea has a much more open texture than the back garden ones. It’s a lace cap variety and it looks pretty good in winter. The fat buds of this year’s growth are appearing.


Aah, the egg box is no longer empty. The ‘Jazzy’ potatoes have arrived and chitting has begun. Vroom, vroom!

Blue skies are arriving and although it’s a cold morning the afternoon could see some gardening tidying being started. If that doesn’t happen there’s always the chance of an online garden mooch through the SOS links on The Propagator’s site. Take a look, join in, all welcome.

*with due acknowledgement to the radio programme of a similar name.

19 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Thinking aloud*

  1. Ah, the joys of anticipation and planning ahead. Keeps us gardeners happy during the winter months. Jean D’Arc crocuses are lovely, I planted some a few years ago. In fact all crocuses are lovely as long as it doesn’t rain as they open up for then they just lay soggy on the soil 😕 Lots of plants for a shady corner, you just have to decide whether it is dry or wet!

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  2. It’s almost the Jazzy time! Glad you got them.
    I regret the time when my Clematis Armandii was still alive… If I had to add one back in the garden, I would change its place.

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  3. You know, . . . I am getting to like these various sarcococca. Only Sarcococca ruscifolia is found here, and is not very common. A few happen to live in shady spots of our landscapes. Although I had not been impressed, the evergreen foliage alone is appealing. I have found that tired old plants regenerate nicely after getting cut to the ground. Now that they are blooming better, the fragrance is more noticeable, and might even be impressive if more of the overgrown plants get cut back. I am starting to understand their appeal, as well as the appeal of other species and cultivars.

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    • So far it has free reign. It is about three years old and covers a wall at least 6ft long. I think this year will be the year that I might need to keep it under control. It is good for its evergreen leaves although in the summer it loses a few due to the sunny and dry situation it has. I planted a montana over an arch last year and it has reached the top in one year – I think that one will prove more rampant!


  4. The potatoes are in egg boxes here also – always British Queens with us! Avoiding the birch is a wise decision. We have two large trees, planted over 30 years ago. They are very shallow rooted and dry out the area terribly.

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