Six on a Saturday 16.2.19


I have missed a few weeks, due to other commitments, but all hail The Propagator and his merry band once again. I look forward to reading your posts.

  1. After several years of abject failure, I have finally cracked the early Spring pot display. Get those low-growing things like Iris reticulata (here, Pixie), Snowdrop and species tulip into little pots or pans and keep them close to the house. That way, you can monitor their watering and appreciate them up close. So simple, I don’t know why it has taken so long to figure out.


2. Hellibore. I have been appreciating these for the last two or three weeks. Again, there are rules for maximising their appeal. Site them high up, if possible, so you don’t put your back out tying to see their flowers. A bank which gets sun at some stage in the day is ideal. Also, cut off last year’s foliage, ideally before Christmas. There is a blackspot which affects the leaf and even the flower, if not tackled.


3. Leafmould. This is eighteen month old leaf mould. We have loads of it from St Mary’s. It is so useful as a mulch, soil conditioner or potting mix. I have been using it to add to the mix in some community planters locally. The good stuff. Now is the time to break into your old stores, if you have them.


4. Frosty edging to gravestone. Cold mornings, warm afternoons at the moment. We are all a bit wary after last year’s shennanegins, but I have a hunch that full-on Spring is just around the corner!


5. I started a new garden last week. It is in a very warm, London microclimate. So it is going to be a foray into tropical and Eastern planting (the client is Thai). However, before I get going, my first job was to appreciate what was there. This Arbutus was a thicket which needed crown lifting and behind it the Euonymus japonicus microphyllus just needed a bit of shaping. I like this corner already.

6. Crocus. You just can’t ignore them at the moment. A purple haze in the cold, frosty, mornings, opening into beautiful pale lilac swathes by the afternoon. I love their generosity and have tuned up to several gardens ready to mow, only to pack up the mower for a month as Crocus have spilled out onto the lawns beautifully. Bees are getting an early nectar hit too. They feature in little pots on a shelf next to my front door too. I think I love them more than Snowdrop, more than Iris.

27 thoughts on “Six on a Saturday 16.2.19

    1. It is such an obvious thing, but I have only just managed it. I quite fancy making a little pot theatre to display things seasonally. Not sure if my woodworking is up to it, but will be looking for suitable timber anyway!


  1. Crocus pushing up through the flat geen expanse of lawn are one of my favourite sights in spring but they are a nuisance for getting access to cut the green stuff.
    Best leave the mower in the shed a while longer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s an interesting idea having a tropical garden in London..could be quite a challenge! It’s nice to see the crocuses coming out- sure signs of Spring even if there could be a sting in the tail end of Winter.

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  3. The hellebores are fabulous. How many do you have it that planting? I think grouping them together really adds to their impact. Likewise with crocuses – I will probably need to order 100s! I have finished reading Plot 49, passed on to me by Gill. I will put it in the post to you this week.

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    1. Thank you so much! The Hellebores are long established in an old client’s garden. There must be 50 separate plants which have seeded themselves. I think even 200-300 Crocus get swallowed up in a border or lawn, but do make a lovely impact. Very kind on the book. Shall I send you postage?


      1. Oh, of course. When I see ‘Arbutus’ I automatically assume it is one that I am familiar with. Arbutus unedo is an exotic (nonnative) sometimes seen in landscapes here. It is almost always a mullti-trunked tree because the trunks are so nice.


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