Here are my six.....
Last Sunday was a reasonable day and I was able to get into the garden for a little while. Last week other gardeners had posted about planting bulbs in hundreds. Although I had planted up a few several weeks ago, I just had to get a few Crocus sativus in the ground. I had popped out to garden centre, to look for large pots and gloves, but came away these. I planted them up in the gravel garden, and surrounded the area with old oyster shells with just their upper edge showing just to mark the area. What is strange is that the information on the pack says 'not for eating'. I know that the bulbs are not for eating...but oh boy when those stigmas are dried then added to baking or a savoury dish they certainly are! The bulbs had started to sprout, and really ought to have been planted out much earlier...so I asked for a discount, and got them half price.
Up around the garden, without a shadow of a doubt, next year I shall have to be pulling out young oak trees. It has been a bumper year for the small acorns, and as I was planting out the crocus, jays were performing acrobatics as they balanced to reach acorns that grow at the end of the pliable evergreen Holm Oak shoots. The squirrels are growing very fat indeed on them. In the summer I have a mulch as they shed some of their older leaves, and in autumn the ground is covered in the cups and missed or half eaten acorns. I like to leave these on the ground as we get Redwings and Fieldfares later in the winter. Maybe in addition to all the insects they search out the acorns.. The tiny fibers are Mr S's whiskers...his beard trimmings get spread over the garden!
All manner of things sprout up, and I like to get rid of them as soon as I can tell whether they are welcome volunteers or not. When digging up these shoots with the telltale vertical pleats, a few came up with the date stone still attached, and this confirmed my suspicions. During the summer we were jettisoning our date stones when we are eating out in the garden.
And we have had too much rain, but in between the sun reveals autumn colours As I stood in the conservatory looking out, my eye was caught by the bright yellow colour of the leaves of Hydrangea paniculata Vanille Fraise growing nearby.
The new foliage on Loropetalum Chinense Fire Dance also catches the light on the other side of the gravel. Small buds point towards a pretty show of spidery pink flowers in a few weeks time. For now, I am very happy with its shiny brightly coloured leaves that make a fine show at the tips of the darker burgundy mature leaves. This is a shrub I have long admired, and managed to a find nicely shaped plant up. I have it growing in a pot along with a couple of cyclamen hederifolium, one with interesting patterned leaves and the other silver. As it get cooler, it will get moved in a more protected position by the front door.
Earlier this week I was scouring the garden for flowers for the Sixth Anniversary of In a Vase on Monday. One of the small flower stem I started with was Nemesia Fruticans Pink Bicolour Imp. I hadn't used it during the year and as everything else that went into the miniature posy had, I felt I ought to add at least one new element. The nemesia has been flowering ever since it was planted during the summer. I may try some cuttings next week. It may be a little late, but I shall try rooting them on the windowsill.
Nemesia Fruticans Pink Bicolour Imp