Six On Saturday: Enjoying the change of season

On the third day of December two turtle doves came calling. The weather has turned cold and the light, oh so subtly, has changed to a wintery glow. Heavy skies and mists are to be enjoyed as the last of the gardening jobs are completed. Last year’s leaf mould was emptied out around the gooseberry bushes. The drop in temperatures encouraged a few more leaves to loosen their grip and also made it abundantly clear to me that the agapanthus really must be wrapped up this weekend. Here’s six things from the garden this week.

One

It was my ambition this year to grow some cyclamens from seeds collected from the garden. As always I completely missed the moment but nature has obliged with a few self seeders. I am sure they are doing better than any I might have collected. Once again I thank SOS for making me look closely at the garden every week.

Two

As you may have noticed a mushroom is photo bombing the cyclamen. Yet more were found in various spots around the garden. Nature does it own thing again.

Three

The pellies were despatched to their winter quarters last week, making space in the pots for some winter bedding. A layer of ‘Dolls Minuet’ tulips was the first step and then four bellis daisies topped off each pot.

Four

The last place in my grasses spotlight goes to hakonechloa macra, so much more easily remembered as hak mac. Again only planted out this year, so it will be a few years before they truly bulk up. This one is planted in a very shady spot and I have used others to fill pots that stand on concrete access points to the soak away that runs down the side of the garden. Those are an experiment, but I am persuaded that they will grow in pots for a few years at least.

Five

Last week I spotted a fox eating the windfall figs, but there will be slim pickings now. Here’s one that has rotted on the tree, looking rather like an early Christmas bauble. Taking off those that haven’t ripened is another job to do in the coming weeks.

Six

It seems to me that the leaves have stayed on the trees for longer this year. This week it was the turn of the oak leaves to fall and as the weather looks dry for the weekend there will be another sweep of the lawn with the mower to collect and shred leaves.

What a relief it is that the rain seems to have gone away. Cold weather and frosts seem much more preferable. I’ve dug out the winter gardening fleece and am set to go for a few more weeks. Who know’s what can be found for next week’s six but I’m sure there will be something to reflect on as the year winds down. I happily refer you to Garden Ruminations where Jim hosts the links to the SOS gardening blogs from around the world and inspires us all with such a variety of plants. For me, this week it is the marvellous pea seedlings!

Six On Saturday: Last of the year

Mildness abounds except a local bout of fuming that took place yesterday afternoon. The Christmas tree proved reluctant to take its proper place in the tree stand and it was only after some hard work with the loppers and a saw that we were able to reach a satisfactory conclusion. The tree is about a foot shorter now but it is standing upright. Mildness restored, although the week ahead looks chillier. This is the last six from me for two weeks as Christmas and the New Year roll in.

One

The tree is bought from a local nursery and I couldn’t leave without a quick look round at their stock. I have not been imaginative with the winter planting for the containers so these bellis found their way to the cash desk in some attempt to liven up the pots.

Two

Hellebore and snowdrop season approaches and I was also tempted by, thanks to a SOS from Hortus Bailey, a small pot of ‘Christmas Carol’. Little by little the collection grows.

Three

I have seen so many tweets of cotoneaster this year. It seems to have been a great year for the leaf colour and the berries have stayed around for longer. This is a horizontalis, and over the years I have come to appreciate its contribution to the winter front garden.

Four

Pruning the roses continues and sometimes includes the cutting back of flowering stems. This is a miniature version of ‘Darcey Bussell’.

Five

As I now have several branches of Christmas tree going spare, I will be foraging in the garden again. This time I will be putting together some kind of garland for the bannisters. I have some kitsch fir cone lights and a slightly tatty length of fake berries. I’m hoping wonders can be created with the addition of ivy from the fences. If in doubt add more!

Six

I hope this rather unappealing collection of leaves holds much promise. The last veg standing on the veg plot is always the parsnips. Next week I shall be digging them up in the hope that there is enough for our Christmas lunch. If I’m lucky there may even be some left for a curried parsnip soup.

Wishing you all Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays and above all a Healthy New Year. Thanks to The Propagator for creating this meme and thanks to everyone who takes part and shares their love of gardening. See you all again in 2022.