Six On Saturday: The first rule of gardening is…

Things always take longer than you think.  I could have shared six photos from the one gardening job I had to do this week but I didn’t have the phone with me.  It started well.  The two roses I had bought from Thomas Stone arrived.  Thomas had suggested Rosa Madame Isaac Pereire for a sunny south facing border.  I’ll just put them in before it gets dark I thought.  No need to change I thought, this won’t take long.  There were a few trips up and down the path to locate the fish, bone and blood and the spade, oh and the hand fork for a few weeds, and then the  trug for the weeds to go in but then I was ready.  Suddenly that space didn’t seem quite big enough.  The fennel had to come out and those penstemons.  Down the path again for the fork.  Two penstemons, the fennel and a hollyhock later the rose was ready to go in with a sprinkle of FBB and some mycorrhizal powder.  On to the next one.  Again the space didn’t seem quite big enough so there were more penstemons to be moved.  Two found places in a new location but one had to be heeled in.  The verbena bonariensis also looked a bit close so that came out too.  Time to dig the hole.  The rose was going into a spot that turned out to be quite near the dead tree (which has been cut down and buried by mulch).  So back down the path for the loppers to cut through various tree roots.  Turns out this spot is also where I squeezed in several spring bulbs.  So they were relocated.  Finally time to put the rose in.  Darkness is now descending.  Where is the mycorrhizal powder?  Oh yes, under the heap of soil I dug to create the hole.  Rose goes in at last.  Tools collected up and put away, shed is very dark now and clearly full of spiders.  Jeans are filthy.  Hurrah, the roses are in.  But in the night I think Tony Tomeo flew over from the West Coast (into Heathrow).  In the States they plant their roses differently – with the union at soil level.  Here, I do as I’m told and plant the union about 2 inches below soil level. The next morning this greeted me!





My  heeled in plants joined several others in a spot I am trying to keep clear for onions.  It now houses several delphiniums relocated to make way for the gaura and penesetums, a hebe from the front garden, a polemonium – recovering from slug attacks, and now the fennel and penstemons.  They’ll have to find new homes in the New Year.



In all the trudging up and down I did notice the first of the white hellebores – just in time for Christmas.  It is being photo-bombed by primrose leaves.



Fat balls have been made for the birds. One part fat, two part whatever is around – dried fruits, bread and some oats.  Of course the squirrels get to them first!



The blackcurrants have gone!  I kept four for myself – heeled in around the garden and the others have gone to good homes.  The smell as they were dug up was wonderful. Now I have a blank canvas on the north border for my white shade loving plants.



Time to wish you all Happy Christmas.  Decorating the house has just begun and my small contribution to seasonal light pollution is the wrapping of a string of lights around a bay tree.

It’s a busy time of year but if you need a moment of peaceful relaxation then drop by at Mr P’s.  He maybe playing a bit of Slade but everyone is welcome!


Six On Saturday: Red, white and blue

Oh go on,  indulge me!  It’s Harry and Meghan’s day and here’s my Six:



I’ve planted up the containers.  I’m very predictable.  It’s always two geraniums and something else.  This year I have two trailing ivy leaf geraniums, this one is Merlot.



And the something else is a trailing bacopa snowflake.



And the first of the blues is Polemonium caeruleum or Jacob’s ladder.  I strayed from my plan to plant in blocks and just bought one of these.  I am now trying it out around the garden to be sure I find the perfect spot for it.



The second red is of course a geum, Blazing Sunset.  Bought last year at the Finchley Horticultural Society plant sale – which is where I shall be on Sunday, manning a stall.



The second white is a Cistus or rock rose.  There is a label for this somewhere,  but for now I am joining our noble leader in the var. unk. club! (I think it might be Alan Frapp).



The second blue was a difficult choice but I’ve decided to save my favourite one for next week… For this week it’s going to be Geranium himalayense ‘Gravetye’.  It’s just coming into flower and is doing a great job filling out the new border.

Okay, so maybe the blues are a little purple and one of the reds is on the verge of orange but I think you get my drift!

Happy weekends everyone, be it weddings, football, plant sales or gardening!  And save some time for reading all the other sixes as featured at The Propagator’s blog.