End of December round up

An unusual December as it has already snowed twice. The ground was frozen for the best part of a week on the first occasion.

Snow on the Sedum

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Salvia hardiness

According to the RHS Salvia Hot lips is rated H5 so should survive even severe winters. It has indeed survived so far.

Again according to the RHS the "Wendy's wish" variety has a hardiness rating of H3 and so it may have survived a milder winter here. It is deciduous but given the sudden leaf death after the cold spell I suspect it is not going to make it.

I also believed that I had seen that "Radio red" was also rated at H3 but after checking just before writing this, I was mistaken about that - there is no rating currently on the RHS site for it. Its label when I bought it did say that it was half hardy …

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Six on the last Saturday of 2017

It snowed yesterday and there is still a covering over most of the garden - well there was when I took the pictures, but it has all gone now now that I am writing this up.

So here goes for the final Six on Saturday for the year. It turned out that I had more than 6 things that I wanted to include for a change even though it is late in the year.

1 Blue Primrose

Lets start with some flowers! I like the colour of these, shame that the leaves never look great and the flowers get eaten easily. Here they are looking about as good as they ever do.

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2 Bulbs sprouting

Saw these for the first time today. I planted a number of different bulbs and didn't note exactly which ones I planted where.

As I don't recognise them I am assuming that they will be the …

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The frozen six

Last week the ground was frozen solid for several days, and after a thaw it is again frozen solid today. So I thought I would use this blog to survey the damage caused and the notable survivors.

1 Cyclamen

Two plants, both the same, planted about one foot apart. On one every flower has flopped and turned to mush. The other one has faired much better, flowers are still upright, perhaps lost a bit of their shine.

I was not really expecting them to survive for another year and so its a bit of a shame that we had such cold weather so early. The leaves still look healthy so maybe there is some hope.

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2 Salvia "Wendy's wish"

The label on this said it was hardy, but some commenters on this blog said it never survived the winter for them.

As you can see the recent freeze has completely …

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Last of the shredding and snow

I completed shredding the last of the inner row of the front hedge. The final total was 8.5 tubs or about 320L. I would say that the outer row is less than half the amount of material as the inner row, so on target for about 500L all told I would guess, maybe a little more. It won't last long!

As I finished it started to snow, so here is a picture of the Sedums covered in snow

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Cuttings update

Today was very pleasant, sunny and calm albeit a bit cold. Although there doesn't appear to be any frost, the lawn is frozen and it looks as though it is going to be like this for several days.

In spite of the cold, the Salvias don't appear to be suffering yet. The two Cyclamen are also doing fine. Some bulbs are appearing, although they are probably wishing (if bulbs can wish) that they had kept underground for a bit longer given the sudden cold spell.

I don't want to walk on the lawn when it is like this, so I am taking the chance to do an update on my cuttings showing the growth before I trim some of them back. There are six, so I can crowbar them into the Six on Saturday meme.

1 - Lavender (1)

I would like to have lavender in both the front and back …

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End of November round up

A short round up this month with no pictures. A few plants are still flowering which I think have been covered well enough in the other posts this month.

For me the biggest event was the number of blackbirds that were visiting to eat the Cotoneaster berries. Once they finished the deciduous cotoneaster, they then started on the smaller leaved evergreen one next to it. At the very end of the month, they are starting to move over to the Pyracantha.

I've seen at least six at the same time on a few occasions. They are also keen to hunt through the fallen leaves on the ground, but mostly ignoring the bird food at the moment.

There were also pigeons (I believe wood pigeons but I need to learn to identify pigeons and doves more) eating the Pyracantha berries. Interestingly they seem to start at the top, on the branches …

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Last Saturday in November

There was a lot of rain this week, but the weather has cleared for the weekend and it was a mostly sunny day with the same forecast for tomorrow.

Of course with the clear weather comes the frost but still nothing serious, everything that flowers "until the first frost" is still flowering.

At this time of year the back garden gets very little sun. It kind of catches part of the back border, and the right corner and has gone by about 1pm.

1 Clearing the hedge, continued..

I have now removed the row of laurel shrubs nearest the house. The plan is to leave the rest until the spring.

So far 12 shrubs have resulted in 6 tubs of chippings which I make to be about 240L.

The remaining shrubs seem to be smaller and planted closer together.

I am happier with it already, if I was going to …

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More shredding fun

I cut down the final two shrubs in the house-side row at the front of the house today. Cutting them down is the quickest part of the process, shredding them including all the preparation time is the main part of the effort. So far in total there is a full 4 tubs, with another nearly full, so a bit under 200L. I didn't get through all the shredding so there is another two shrubs or so to go.

I spread the 4 tubs worth across the front garden and the back right corner of the rear garden - it didn't go very far.

The star of the operation was this pruning saw I got for under 7 pounds. I didn't think much of it previously - it doesn't close properly and it is on the large side for most of the jobs I've used it for before. Having said that it made …

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