Six on Saturday – If I could hold back time …

It feels like I might have a chance to: sow, prick out, pot on, plant, weed, crop (salads) and stand back to enjoy the chaos. Actually I wouldn’t miss this period of activity for anything! It’s such a relief to be doing, after months of planning and waiting. The main problem seems to be the rate I get through compost, grit and vermiculite. What a shame to have to make those tempting trips to the garden centre 🀣.

Anyhow, I’ve just scrubbed my hands, made a cup of tea and am ready to pause, so what better time to write about six garden stars this week for Jonathon’s Six on Saturday post. If you feel like having a go too, head there and check out the format.


Here are my six:

1) Bunny Tails

Bunny Tails is one of my favourite annual grasses, Lagurus ovatus. I am just sowing this year’s crop, but luckily, I have a clump in a patio pot that seems to sow itself each year and therefore flowers really early. It’s doing it now. Look! Makes you want to reach out and touch it, doesn’t it?


Bunny Tail Grass, Lagurus ovatus

2) Loud or beauty or both?

I didn’t buy any tulip bulbs this year, because of the destructive tendencies of our garden mice, voles and squirrels etc etc. Too heart-breaking, but I have a few that have survived their ravages from past seasons and have returned in triumph. This one I didn’t buy. It’s appeared next to the rhubarb patch (Squirrels?). I’ve no idea where it came from, but I am enjoying it nevertheless!


Parrot tulip, possibly ‘Flaming Parrot’ or maybe ‘Estella Rijnveld’

3) The only constant is change

(Yes, I did a Management Leadership course once upon a time)

The pair of Erysimum mutabile that I bought from The Salutation Gardens, when they were still open to the public, are even bigger and better this year. They are charming and, like the rainbows they echo, you never seem to get to the end. There is always one more flower to open!


Erysimum mutabile


4) Bellevalia pycnantha

I’ve grown Bellevalia (also known as Muscari paradoxum) before and lost them over winter, but this time they have popped back up and are extending the grape hyacinth season for a little longer. I like them because they form neat clumps and the flower spikes are wonderfully geometrical.


Bellevalia pycnantha

5) Monkey Flowers

Grown from seed late last season this Mimulus is off to a flying start. I’m going to plant it out by the pond, but as there are a few enthusiastic plants there, I might have to clear some space first.


The Monkey faces of Mimulus

6) Camassia amongst forget-me-nots

My wild meadow patch is full of camassia leaves, but strangely they rarely seem to flower, so no Dixter tributes here. (Ideas? Too deep? Too dry?) Happily, the ones in the border do better and they are starting to flower. Beautiful!


The dazzling stars of Camassia leichtlinii

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your gardens!


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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30 Responses to Six on Saturday – If I could hold back time …

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Love those bunny tails! Everything is looking great, shouting Spring!

  2. Rosie Amber says:

    What a great selection, I need to get up to speed as you have given me lots of new plants to think about. Love the Bunny tails.

  3. Cathy says:

    Love the bunny tails. Is it Camassia season already? Wow, I must check how mine are doing! Mine tend to miss a year now and then, making me think I have lost them. One thing the mice haven’t eaten yet! Those essential trips to the gardening centre are expensive, aren’t they! πŸ˜‰

    • Oh yes, the year is accelerating away now. I’ve just seen my first poppy!! I’m hoping the camassias are just bulking up to flowering size. Fingers crossed for both of us! Garden Centre trips are indeed expensive. They are always trying to get me to sign up for loyalty cards, but those would obviously reveal too much about my obsession!

      • Cathy says:

        My garden centre has a lovely scheme where you collect flower tokens to stick on a card and when the card is full you get 10 euros discount. Reminds me of Green Shield stamps. (Whoops, showing my age!πŸ˜‰)

      • lol, I remember getting stuff for our student house with green shield stamps! (in fairness, showing mine too!)

  4. shoreacres says:

    The Erysimum mutabile certainly demonstrates the reason for its name. I don’t remember ever seeing -ile as the ending for a specific epithet. I would have expected to see mutabilus or some such, but mutabile it is. I tend to prefer simpler tulips, but that parrot tulip’s a stunner.

    • The tulip looks particularly stunning, as it is emerging from a large rhubarb plant! πŸ˜‰
      Yes, the mutabile ending is a bit funny, but I am just copying Beth Chatto.

      • shoreacres says:

        Another scientific term that uses that ending just occurred to me: the bacterium (?) called C. difficile, that’s been causing such havoc. My mom caught it in the hospital, and it’s nothing to mess with.

      • Oh yes, that sounds like it can be very dangerous in certain circumstances. Interesting that some people (3 in 100 apparently) live with it in their gut as a normal thing.

  5. Roguegarden says:

    I really like the parrot tulip – it’s so exuberant. The Erysmium always amazes me with its color variation. Mimulus is one of my new favorites – particularly those with intricate markings on the petals, like yours. I am growing several that are native to this region.

  6. Those are certainly six good reasons to toil in the garden. Love the bunny tails and the survivor parrot tulips.

  7. fredgardener says:

    I also often go to the garden center to buy bags of potting soil and vermiculite, at this season it’s very easy for starting seedlings. I should have a fidelity card!
    The mimulus is very interesting. I didn’t know… Are you going to plant it around the pond in the ground or are you going to leave it in a pot? Is it a tender plant?

    • They do have loyalty cards at my local garden center, but I think it would then make it glaringly obvious how often I go, whereas right now I can be vague about it!! 🀣
      Yes, I was planning on planting the mimulus in the ground. The more common yellow form survives here just fine, but I am not sure about this pretty one. We will see!

  8. Sue says:

    I just love those bunny tails, so appropriately named too! And that tulip is so stunning with its colours, what a treat to see that pop up in your garden!

  9. Cathy says:

    Yes, I certainly wouldn’t want to miss out on the sowing/pricking out/potting on – I absolutely love it, as well as the standing there gawping at the seedlings, which you didn’t mention! I have got through 4 bags of compost in the last 3 or 4 weeks! I was interested to read that you have tulips popping up unexpectedly too! The lagurus has become of my must haves’ in recent years, and have just done a second sowing for extra bunnyness – it’s always commented on by visitors. Not sure it has ever self-seeded though…

    • I took gawping as read! πŸ˜‰ I have to say that the chances are that I would remove bunny tails grass seedlings when weeding. It is just fortunate that it comes back in a small number of pots that I recognise as its home.

      • Cathy says:

        Yiu might be right about the weeding, as after commenting I found what was probably a seedling under a rose so replanted it elsewhere. Most things I would be happy to see reseed usually do so in paving cracks!

      • Lol! Yes, it’s always a gamble as to whether you can extract those with sufficient roots intact.

  10. Noelle says:

    Those bunny tails are so cute. I think I have a packet lurking at the bottom of my seed box, but maybe they are too old to take. Also do I have room? The garden is choc full.

  11. pbmgarden says:

    The bunny tails are such fun. A friend gave me some one year she’d grown from seed. I should try them again. Your scene with the Erysimum is so lovely–a feast of colors.

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