Six on Saturday 21.11.20

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday 21.11.20”

  1. You did well to bring all these plants to this shelter room because this morning, 3/4 of France has been touched by frost…except the NW where I am 😁 (where it was 6 ° this morning when I woke up…)
    It’s only a postponement…
    Don’t wait too long for the cauliflower : last year I lost two because of it

    1. Now sitting inside – it’s getting dark and I’m tired. Forgot the cauliflowers on my ‘to do’ list. It’ll be milder tonight – so maybe we’ll harvest tomorrow?! I thought you were in Normandy, actually Fred – Brittany is it?

      1. No you thought well, I’m in Normandy, at 45km from the Sea coast. This morning we had the chance not to have frost, like almost the whole France according to the weather forecast

    1. Well spotted! Sort of sums our house up. Everything half done. That’s the wiring for lighting in there. My ever-positive husband suddenly decided he’d give me a laugh one day about 2 years ago (as I came up from the garden). That gives you an idea of how slowly we do things!

  2. Lovely photos. Dare I say it, but it is good to see a frost! Still mildish where I am so I have left things out but this feels like the weekend to get serious and move things under shelter. Fantastic cauliflower – enjoy!

    1. Thanks! I forgot the caulis. But won’t be as cold tonight and hopefully cauliflower cheese for supper tomorrow. Yes, I agree. I love winter and particularly the frost and snow. The garden looks as beautiful as in the summer.

  3. I find I’m moving things around less as I age. And finding willing (or unwilling) assistance for the heaviest work. Having things delivered….one of the blessings of lockdown!

    1. We always have to have things delivered here, because there’s no place to buy – but I do know what you mean, nonetheless! I’ve been lucky to have my husband at home during lockdown. Normally it’s just me on my own. So I wonder if I’m feeling more tired this autumn because I’ve been so lazy during the spring and summer! You are so right about the moving things around. I still adore my garden, but the pots are becoming a little too much.

  4. The sun room is charming and I’m hoping there’s room for plants as well as dining next year. Is that a sonchus canariensis in there? The tall palm like plant in the middle?

    1. It’s actually Mahonia ‘Sweet Caress’, which is marginally tender and of which I’m very fond – although not looking too good this season. Last year it was already flowering in late November.

  5. That’s really a nice plastic pot, you can’t tell it’s plastic much at all. Nice to have a sunny place indoors to bring your plants. I don’t have steps, all one flat yard, so that isn’t an issue. I supposed I’d get used to steps, but when I worked the stairs bothered my legs, so maybe not.

    1. We bought five of them in Britain last year (my husband – normally!!! – works there and brought them home in the car. Here decent plastic pots are really hard to find. Normally I take a bag down to the part of the garden with everything I’ll need (mostly just bottled water!) and I stay there. So that’s probably why I find moving the tenders about such a pain!

  6. And I thought our slopes were difficult! Your 96 steps sound daunting. Well done. I’ve always loved terracotta pots, too, especially since I collected gorgeous ones while we lived in Italy, but I’ve had to transition to stoneware, ceramic, and (uck) plastic. Your post gives lovely views of frost.

    1. I’m starting to get used to them – the steps that is! Nice plastic pots are very hard to find here. The ceramic ones I do have stand the weather quite well – I might be forced to transition to them.

  7. You know I actually miss frosts, we get very few in Brussels, and none so far this winter. The crunchy feeling of walking on frosted grass is lovely, and you can take great photos like that of your Bourbon rose that looks perfect frosted!

    1. Thanks Sel – when I lived in Ireland I missed having a proper winter too (since I’m Canadian!). Here we started well with snow etc., but it seems to get milder every year.

  8. You do have a very steep garden, but then you also have the beautiful view that we see at the top of your page. Plastic pots seem a good compromise especially if they look as good as yours.
    I see now why you made the remark about wintering Penstemon on my post. Last winter I cut mine right down to ground level and they came back well. I’ll admit, though that last winter was milder than usual.

    1. It’s hard to find nice plastic pots here, unfortunately. And the tall, skinny ones seem always to be produced in hot pink or black or bright, lime green, which wouldn’t look at all good here! I’ll leave the tops on my penstemons over the winter to protect the base, and then cut them back in the spring to resprout. I’m hoping for a little mildness – but love the frost!

  9. I think of myself as pretty fit, especially for my age, but 96 steps would be another matter! 😉 Here, the garden is relatively flat and I have got heat in the greenhouses, although with harsher frosts you would need more heat than we do – with the garden being one of my main interests I decided that the cost was justified. I was interested to read about your penstemons as I seem to struggle to get established plants, even when buying a plant they don’t seem to settle and bulk up and flowering is poor – I hadn’t thought of blaming the compost or water! Seriously, I have no idea why it is… Thanks for sharing your six, I enjoyed reading about them

    1. Hi Cathy – because my job in the past was propagating tender perennials (and I was good at it – plus penstemons are easy!), I guess I’ve taken the easy way out! But I guess maybe I’m just more slapdash now. It is true, however, that since arriving in France I’ve had a big problem growing plants on from smallies – never experienced in the past. Hey ho … here to learn!

      1. Strange, isn’t it? No reason why you should have lost your previous touch though. I am trying to ensure I grow my cuttings on for longer before I plant them out, to see if that helps

      2. I agree about growing on longer – one of the things I’ve noticed about summer, however, is that most things don’t bulk up very well in the heat – they like the spring and autumn. So much to learn.

  10. I didn’t realise that Penstemons were so susceptible to frost. I leave mine with the growth, and then cut them back in March or April. Have you considered finding plastic pots to fit inside the clay pots, which you would be able to slip out and move more easily? Climate and even micro climates can affect gardens. I am sure we shall get to know how each of our gardens differ over the coming weeks. Your dining room has lovely light.

    1. In the past it was exceptionally cold here in winter, much colder than in Britain (except, perhaps, in Scotland). When I worked propagating penstemons in Britain (just near London), we always took cuttings as insurance policies. Some years we needed them, others not. And it seemed that the more narrow-leaved cultivars were the hardiest. Hence my nervousness – I’ve planted them in a frost-sheltered border. Fingers crossed!

  11. I was anxious to see how the cabbages and cauliflower managed our last freeze, and they were fine, so I believe you can still put your harvest off for several more days 😉 Actually I lost my nerve after dark and was out there trying to chop through the frozen stem of the largest cabbage and was wondering just what had gotten into me to be so concerned about a vegetable when there’s plenty of chocolate in the cupboard, but you know, crazy times…
    I’m also thinning the herd as far as things to overwinter. Last year I left many of the tender plants out and gave away many others, and this year I don’t miss them. Of course there have been new things, but I find that nothing I have is too rare that it can’t be found again when I discover I can’t live without.
    I started only growing annuals in the terra cotta pots, and most are on the deck. When winter approaches I shove them up against the house and the eaves keep most of the rain and snow off of them and they’re fine. It’s a little bit of a pain re-wetting the potting mix in the spring, but I’m far too lazy and cheap to replace it each year 🙂

    1. I harvested – they appear to be fine, just as you promised! Yes – plenty of food in this house too, but I am also a little obsessive about harvesting/cooking everything I can. And, actually, it does me good psychologically. I think we all thought we might be eating turnips by now! I’ve done your ‘eaves’ thing with my olive tree in a pot. Fingers crossed. I tend to be a bit obsessive about not losing plants since everything has to be ordered by mail here – and costs more, since I can’t just window-shop and buy one plant at a time. I’m getting used to it, but really miss the easy selection I used to have in Britain.

  12. We don’t get much frost here in Cornwall which is good in some ways, but the downside is the mild, wet weather doesn’t kill off slugs and snails. And I actually miss those frosty photos you can take. Yours are lovely 😊

    1. Yes – I feel cheated if I don’t get frost and snow in winter. Somehow it feels ‘cleaner’. HOWEVER, I so wish I could grow some of the things that you must be able to grow!

  13. For the last few years I haven’t grown salvias at all.. I got fed up with losing them all every winter. But I see them in other gardens and miss them so much. So this year I bought three. Stock plants is the way to go I think. They are all now in the greenhouse. I took cuttings from two of them in August and they’re rooted already so I hope they’ll go out in Spring. Then we’ll see what happens in my soggy clay soil!
    Only 84 steps here.. doffs cap!

    1. I’ve found that Salvia nemorosa and Salvia sylvestris do suprisingly well here (in all their varieties), so I’m adding to them. And obviously they can stay out over winter. The others are mostly for pots, although I’m planning to set ‘Amistad’ out in the open ground next spring.

  14. Our main ‘new’ challenge is prioritizing vegetation management while neglecting more flowery chores. The CZU Fire reminded us why it is so important. Now that so many who lost their homes live here temporarily, we really do not want that aspect of the landscapes to ‘look’ so neglected.
    Anyway, frost is not much of a bother for us. It happens, but is rather mild. I allow many perennials to get frosted. They will be fine after winter.

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