Saturday, 18 April 2020

Six on Saturday - Back garden activities

Checking in with the Prop who gathers all of our cuttings together in one great compost heap under comments of his weekly post.  I for one often get great ideas from reading them. This week I find the idea of obtaining Geum 'Totally Tangerine rather tantalizing!

With fine warm weather at the start of the week, we have enjoyed having lunch and morning coffee in the garden.  All around us the insects are buzzing,  New this week has been a Humming Bird Hawkmoth which must have overwintered, and on Thursday Mr S had to rescue one from the conservatory, at the same time as an Ashy Mining Bee, which is very distinctive with its black and white furry  stripe on the thorax and black shiny abdomen.  At last a little rain on Friday, and this morning plants appear to have grown overnight.

(1) Painting the bench and table....

A job I ought to have done for some time.  I even began to wonder whether the bench was beyond redemption.  We have paint in stock, so under the current conditions: reduce the number of journeys and that includes the person who comes to deliver things, shut down recycling centre or the opportunity to offer this to maybe someone with a lotti, I decided a refurbishment was in order.

I put this down to my exercise for the day, on account of the numerous squats, bends, lifting etc. 

With help, from Mr S, in that he had to go looking in his beautifully ordered storage for all the components: sand paper, scaper, luckily in store a full tin of paint, dust sheet, tin opener, protective gloves, paint brush. I set to work and just went at it methodically.  Sanding and preparing one day, and on Thursday two coats, finished in time for the glorious rain on Friday. 

I first painted the old bench blue as a bit of a pick me up in 2008, This must be its fourth coat of paint.  The bench is now over 20 years old! The table is cherished as it was made for me by my friend Steve, from old pallets.

This is our shaded lunch time spot now with a smart table and bench.

(2) Lurking under the bench all winter has been a fuchsia.

Usually it get far more protection.  Mr S was wondering whether it was in the 'ready to be despatched' section. It must have started flowering unseen about January.    A re pot, trim and good feed in order I think to bring it back in due course to a reasonable standard.

(3) Iris in flower

Miniature Iris Knick Knack

Mystery Dutch Iris

(4) Gradually picking up leaves brought down by gales earlier in the week. It was either too hot and evenings were spent watering, or I had benches to paint or whatever....maybe next week. Evergreen oak leaves take long to breakdown and tend to blot out the light from small plants, seedlings etc, but made excellent hedgehog bedding.  For now I am laying them along the edge of the stone wall.

(5) Rather than picking up leaves, I have been stepping across to inhale the wonderful scent of the apple blossom on Apple D'Arcy Spice.

Apple D'Arcy Spice in flower
(6)  Enjoying some of the 'whites' this week....

Dicentra cucullaria detail

Dicentra cucullaria

Clematis Moonbeam

Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’


  1. I'm very impressed by your bench and table refurb, worth all your hard work. I love the little white corydalis, I never seem to be able to keep them, perhaps a pot is the answer.

    1. As you saw on the bench I now have two pots going, having split them last autumn. I shall plant out the smaller pot in the garden to test it in the garden. The reserved 'display' pot will hide somewhere and be brought out for the display shelf or table next Spring.

  2. Oh I love your Iris Knick Knack and your Clematis Moonbeam and your little apple tree. What beautiful whites! Good job with the bench and table. We have to make do and mend in these times.

    1. I am rather enjoying the attitude of making do, making compromises, and substitutions both in the garden and in the kitchen. It is quite liberating and find I am using my brain rather than my purse!

  3. Your table and chair look amazing, you made a better job of yours than I did of mine! Love all your white flowers especially the corydalis. Thanks for visiting and cemmenting.

  4. The bench and table look great. None of my Dutch iris are any where near flowering yet. Lovely.

  5. Your garden bench are looking brilliant in their fresh coat of livery Noelle. I love the way that the driftwood is supporting the clematis. Good luck with your search for 'Totally Tangerine'. It's a beauty.

  6. bench etc looking very sharp with its fresh coat. reminds me, I must get hold of some wood preserver, need to give the shed a top-up...