Six on Saturday – There aren’t enough hours in the day …


I’ve been fighting off a virus this week and while I have finally enough strength to wield a fork and spade again, it feels as though everything is rushing away from me. I am desperately playing catch up with a long list of gardening jobs. Meanwhile, we are still basking in some pretty fantastic sunshine. (This will last only as long as the exam season of course.) Rain is forecast for tomorrow. Sadly, only at 16% likelihood here.

But now it’s time to select some gardening vignettes for Six on Saturday. I join a growing band of Sixers to link up with The Propagator for this fun meme. A warning though: Since starting this meme my plant wish list has grown exponentially.

Black Lace Elderflower


Black Lace Elderflower (Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’) is beginning to open its pink frothy flowers

It is a favourite annual activity to collect plenty of elderflowers to make cordials, syrups and fizz. There isn’t quite enough open flower to do this yet, but I am beginning to smell that distinctive sherbet aroma in the lanes. It is a reminder to stock up on lemons and sugar. Mostly I use wild elderflower in these recipes, but I have discovered that Black Lace flowers colour the end products an attractive shade of pink, so I shall be using these as a priority.

Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus


Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus

I have planted these in clusters around the garden, especially in the meadow patch (where they haven’t done particularly well it must be said), but I have found that they thrive best in the bone dry, sunny spots in the front garden where they are spreading. I love that intense magenta hit against all the spring greens and the fact that the flower spikes are fluttery and delicate and so much nicer than ordinary glads.

A New Geranium


A bronze geranium

I found myself bartering half a dozen echiums for the chance to possess this geranium. I don’t actually know what it is called, but it has quite wonderful bronze leaves. I’ve tried to google it and it may be Geranium pratense ‘Okey dokey’ or ‘Hocus Pocus’ (any ideas?), but it cast a spell on me on a dull day when its, what then looked to be ghostly pale lilac, flowers floated over that ominous dark ruff. It looks lovely in the sun too, but I think its moment will be at dusk.

It’s Poppy Time


The poppy season has started

Suddenly, they explode on the scene. So transient, but equally irresistible. This is my first oriental poppy of the year. Don’t you love them?

The Deer Protection Scheme



Protection AGAINST deer I mean. Yes, the fortifications around the vegetable garden are nearing completion. Soon I will be able to grow beans and peas and … oh everything in safety again. Well, there are some doubters who think that 4’6″ (it’s timber, so it’s imperial!) won’t be enough to stop those jumping muntjacs. Then there are the wags who suggest grisly scenes of impalement on those spikes.

Only time will tell.



The Big Fern Reveal

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing ferns unfurl.

Well that is my six. What are yours?

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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14 Responses to Six on Saturday – There aren’t enough hours in the day …

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Lovely flowers this week, Allison! The bronze geranium and Black Lace elderflower are esp. beautiful.

  2. shoreacres says:

    I do love a good fern — especially in their beginning stages. And — ummmm — good luck with the deer. Of course, yours are different from our white tail. Six to eight feet’s usual height for a fence here, but from what I remember, yours are smaller and probably don’t jump as high.

    • I’ve seen advice that says ~1.5m for muntjac, but fencing comes in discrete sizes and this was the closest we could get. It is raised slightly on the posts and I will plant in front to add depth …. so fingers crossed!

      • shoreacres says:

        The importance of depth is something I’d never considered until I was double-checking the recommended height of deer fencing here. Apparently white tails can jump high, but not far, so plantings, a fence with a slanted top, and so on, are even better.

      • That’s excellent to hear … I’ll check for muntjac too.

  3. fredgardener says:

    I love red poppies. My first one opened also this week. What is funny is to see bumblebees foraging on them. They “perform a dance” and a really special sound.
    What fortifications you have built! You ( and your vegetables) should be quiet with that

  4. Poppies are popping up all over my allotment, making such a pretty sight (and site!).

  5. Lora Hughes says:

    Quite a revelation about the black lace elder flower. I didn’t ever consider using it, even though it’s essentially the same shrub. Good luck w/the deer fence. They’re hard to deter but if the current height doesn’t work, you can always go up with trellis or netting. Hope they simply get the hint & move on.

    • The Black Lace Elderflower cordial was a test to see if they tasted the same (yes, maybe a little more peppery, but as close as can be). The attractive blush makes it seem a nicer drink though. Keeping my fingers crossed about the deer. We are planting roses along the outside 😉

  6. cavershamjj says:

    My poppies are just out too. Same colour actually.

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