Six on Saturday, 20 February 2021

37 thoughts on “Six on Saturday, 20 February 2021”

  1. Cathy, In my curiosity, I strained my eyes and squinted, enlarged the photograph and turned the laptop on its side to see the names of the snowdrops you had purchased and all I got was the name of the nursery! LOL I have gone to have a look at their listings now.

    1. So I shall tell you what I bought, since you ask! I bought collection 1 (8 cvs: Sam Arnott, Viridapice, Pusey Green Tips, Hippolyta, Jaquenetta, Straffan, Beluga, Atkinsii). Dineke very sweetly gave me the presents of ‘William Thomson’ and ‘Shropshire Queen’ (which she says do very well even on the poorest soil in her garden). Added to that I couldn’t resist 2 bulbs of ‘Merlin’ – so there you have it. A delightful snowdrop ‘haul’!

      1. I saw their collections and thought they were an excellent idea and very good value. You have started with excellent varieties. ‘S. Arnott’, ‘Hippolyta’, ‘Straffan’ and ‘Atkinsii’ are the very best of good garden plants, I think. ‘Jaquenetta’ is also excellent but not as good as ‘Hippolyta’ – both Greatorex doubles. ‘Merlin’ is one of the classics but not as good a grower as the others. Hope they all do well for you.

    1. I think they are terrific! And Dineke has been so helpful, in spite of not having brilliant English. These are the best quality ‘single’ (some aren’t actually just single) bulbs of snowdrops I’ve ever bought. So I struck gold! You may have read that I discovered that a Dutch friend here, in France, used to live in the village where the nursery/garden are in Holland. She says that the garden’s really beautiful. I noted that they also have a really nice list of peonies (with lots of Itoh types). I’m really going to have to work hard to resist!

  2. What changes in 5 years on your garden plot! It’s very successful.
    With the willow canes, you could also make borders or living huts. I saw it in French magazines and it’s very pretty ( “Rustica” or “Mon jardin ma maison” )

    1. Yes Fred! I read that article too – it was only a week or so ago in Rustica, wasn’t it? There’s a weaving/basketry/horticulture school very close to us and previously I thought of taking a course, but they were about 500€ for a weekend. I chickened out!

    1. It does feel lovely and cosy – good word!- when the sun’s out and you are weeding in there in early spring! Previously that area was very hot and little grew. I’ve noticed since the hedges grew up properly, they are providing some shade to the plants inside and they seem a little happier!

  3. The plants that do well as this time of the year are quite special and they reinforce the feeling of hope. I love to admire willows with the low light. Hope you use all those great willow branches for something for the garden.

  4. Great looking willow stems and you seem to have had plenty of suggestions as to what to do with them. If I had a supply of willow it would be turned into hand woven willow obelisks. The primrose is lovely colour.

  5. Those willows are rad! Coppicing and pollarding are so stigmatized here that I do not even talk about them. Then, when I talk about them as I am expected to, I get hassled by Europeans. I intend to grow Schwedler maples, including at least one to be pollarded for the rich bronze foliage. I already pollard a blue gum, although I would not recommend doing so to others.

    1. It’s so interesting, the different cultural viewpoints on those processes. As I commented on your own blog, pollarding is a real classic maintenance skill here – and it seems part of the town/village landscape. I might post some pictures of it in our (tiny) local town when the weather gets better. Coppicing in particular is so very important in Europe/Britain – we’ve used the stems of hazel in all sorts of ways agricultural/horticultural for centuries – to make charcoal as well. It’s a key building block in sustainable rural living. Very beautiful things are produced from coppiced wood. I couldn’t be without coppicing, even if I have mixed feelings about pollarding.

      1. It is incredibly frustrating to see what horticulture has become here. The Santa Clara Valley had been famous for orchard production. That sort of horticulture was an important part of the culture here, for a very long time. Nowadays, I can not find an arborist to recommend to clients for dormant pruning of fruit trees. Pollarding was never common, but had been acceptable. Of course, back then, there were those who actually knew how to do it properly. A very long time ago, people of Chinese descent pollarded white mulberry to generate lush foliage to feed to silkworms. Other people realized that pollarding prevented messy fruit production where the trees were merely ornamental. Even the fruitless (male) white mulberry was pollarded because some people are allergic to the pollen. Olive trees that had been grown for oil production were pollarded as homes were built around them, because both the pollen and messy fruit were problems for home gardens.

  6. I like the look of your garden plot with its hedges and divisions which make it look interesting. Listening to the Chieftains was a nostalgic trip into the past as I had forgotten about them and that we had an LP of theirs in our younger days. It’s uplifting music.

    1. Glad you enjoyed The Chieftans, Jane. I’ve been into Irish music for a while – I love the more modern Irish/Scottish bands, but someone about 20 ago suggested collecting The Chieftans huge numbers of albums was a good way of learning the classical rendition of tunes.

  7. Really nice effect you’ve created in the Hornbeam garden, it’s amazing what a bit of structure can do. Willow is a lovely thing to grow, it’s beautiful in winter and useful too. At our local urban farm they have a willow area, and use it to make living arbours, very lovely.

  8. I love to see before and after photos of gardens – and they are such a good reminder of just how much the gardener has achieved, which they can forget sometimes, especially with such a dauntingly big project as yours! It must be both intriguing and frustrating to discover what does well in your garden. I shall be looking out for a willow sculpture appearing sometime soon…

    1. I have a couple of new borders to plant in the orchard this spring, Cathy. And then I am really, really hoping that I’ll be able to ‘play’ more!

  9. I do hope you are able to create some sculptures with the Salix! I’d never be able to create a recognisable animal with the sticks. I can relate to your busy time until the heat starts……gardening is minimal for me once the draining summer heat and humidity arrive!

    1. I think it will probably be next year before I get with the sculptures! I wish I had a long water tank – apparently that’s how you keep the stems supple before use.

  10. Verbena is a fabulous plant to attract butterflies, and I love that it self-seeds freely, yet is easy to dislodge if ever it appears where its not wanted.
    I have Knautia seeds, from Fred, ready to sow very shortly. Its a new plant foe me so I’m looking forward to it.

  11. I gave thought to a Hornbeam hedge. I live on an increasingly busy road to the beach and the city does not allow privacy fences in this area. I am going with @ 20 White Birch and plan to have tall native grasses under them. In another area I will have some Hornbeam…just to feed native pollinators and hide the view of a power pole.

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