Six on Saturday – Not standing still

27/03/2021

Growth in the garden is moving up a notch. The grass needs another trim, which makes it a nearly weekly task again 😦 . Leaves are bursting their buds and the world is turning green. It’s my favourite time of year … even if I do lose an hours sleep tonight.

It’s also time to find six gardening things for today’s #SixonSaturday, as per the rules of Jonathon’s blog.

1 Primroses

Primroses are so evocative of Spring. They re-appear every year and flower for ages, but they are reaching the pinnacle of their show about now, with great clusters of flowers everywhere you look. The first shot was taken in the grounds of our local church, the second is of our lawn and the third one is one of the cheerful lace primulas that was split into six small pieces in the autumn.

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Primroses are reaching their peak show

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Spring primroses

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Lace primula

2 Snakes head fritillaries

The ones in our meadow patch are a bit hit-and-miss as usual. They did come up, they reached droplet stage and were just colouring up nicely when something started to eat them (pheasants, muntjacs, rabbits – could be any, or all of these). So I felt no guilt whatsoever when three pots of ready grown fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) joined the potting compost in my trolley last week. (Especially when I spotted a number of double headed ones in the collection):

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Double-headed fritillaries, not so snake like, but it still feels like a bonus.

3 New island bed

Those fritillaries were promptly planted in our new island bed. Yes, you read that right, we’ve only gone and added one of those dodgy features! I know that they are out of vogue and most people remove them, but honestly, since we’d decided to install a clematis at the base of the trunk a collapsed damson tree, it seemed to make sense to get rid of a bit more lawn and gain some new planting space.

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4 Tibetan Cherry

It’s nearly a year since we chain-sawed two massive boundary leylandii at the side of the patio and planted replacement trees (one holm oak and one tibetan cherry). We chose fairly large trees to accelerate the screening effect on the neighbour’s pipework on the side of their house. The cherry has struggled a little as the gap between the houses tends to be a wind funnel. However, it is budding up nicely now and this morning I noticed the sun catching the first signs of peeling bark. Brilliant! Look at that red glow. That’s exactly why I love them.

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The most appealing bark: Tibetan Cherry (Prunus serrula)

5 Spotty leaves, pretty blue flowers and bees

Alongside the primroses, pretty blue pulmonaria flowers are multiplying rapidly. Enough to attract early-emerging, hairy-footed solitary bees (Anthophora plumipes). Over the last week I’ve spotted quite a few of these fast moving bees darting around the clumps, in search of nectar and females.

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Pulmonaria is great for bees, especially hairy-footed solitary bees. The inset is a male hairy-footed bee at rest. You can easily see his hairy feet and his rather noticeable yellow face.

6 Mini Kiwi

The two self-fertile, mini kiwi ‘Issai’ on our garage wall are coming into leaf already. This is their third year in the garden and although hardy, I foresee a month or so of rushing out to protect the plants from frost to make sure we get a good crop of fruit. Fingers crossed.

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Kiwi ‘Issai’ vines are bursting into leaf

So, those are my six. If you want to join in, check out Mr Propagator’s post, which includes links to meme guidance and to many other Sixes from around the globe.

Have a good weekend!

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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25 Responses to Six on Saturday – Not standing still

  1. fredgardener says:

    I’ve got 2 kiwai, one outside along a wall without leaves and another one in the greenhouse , soon in bloom !
    Beautiful Tibetan cherry bark. I’m jealous and would have one.

    • The cherry was a lockdown cheer-us-up purchase, but I’ve been lusting after one for ages. You know you need one too?!
      Are you treating your kiwis differently as an experiment or out of necessity?

      • fredgardener says:

        I have noticed that kiwai are more sensitive than kiwis when freezing. The flowers are earlier and often burn in April if there is a bad cold night. I preferred to have 2 different plants to get fruit.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    I love primroses, esp. the lace ones. You seem to be about a month ahead of us, as our primrose foliage is just emerging. The hellebores and snowdrops, along with the first crocus are blooming now, so nice to see.

  3. shoreacres says:

    The lace primrose is another I’ve never seen, and it’s quite appealing. Of course, for sheer appeal, nothing beats that solitary bee. He looks quite large, but not at all threatening.

  4. Roguegarden says:

    The Tibetan cherry is indeed brilliant. Your photo of the fritillary is a success; they look like lanterns light from within. I don’t think anyone should ever have to apologize for expanding their garden space; I am in strong support. The miniature kiwi is getting along nicely. I am hoping mine fair better this year, though I’m inclined to believe that they are just poorly placed and must be moved before they will really thrive.

    • 🙂 Actually it is nice to get some gardening space which is not overrun with ground elder (sadly in all the established borders). Good luck with your kiwis. I find it difficult to tell when our fruit is ripe. Do you have any tricks to share?

  5. Cathy says:

    Your neighbours will have been glad to have seen the back of your leylandii too, I am sure! The bark of your replacement cherry is indeed stunning and I love the shot of your hairy-footed bee – something else to look out for here

    • Very probably, but they did make a great screen and I did keep them very narrow and trimmed. Those hairy-footed bees are very fast (bit like the hummingbird hawk moth in terms of darting movements), but it’s the yellow faces that looks like it is covered in pollen that is most distinctive (male only – the females are black … which is also distinctive for our bees I guess)

  6. Paddy Tobin says:

    Though we have pheasants they leave the fritillaries alone.

  7. Amazing pics. I loved the observations.

  8. More planting space, horrah! Love to see the naturalised primroses, the frits are of course beautiful. Happy spring to you x

  9. I do love the Lace primula. I am also considering a wild area in our garden to grow nettles …

  10. Pádraig says:

    You can never have enough planting space! Island bed looks great…

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